Paolo Di Grazia, Fineco General Manager & Head of Global Business on the Italian bank’s UK derivatives expansion

Paolo Di Grazia, Fineco General Manager

As Deputy General Manager of Fineco as well as Head of Global Business. What does an average day look like for you?

Right now one of the top priorities for the bank, and consequentially for me, is serving at best our UK clients. Fineco Bank has over 20 years of history and the UK is the first market we decided to explore out of Italy. We were born as one of the first European online brokers and then we evolved as a full bank and investment platform: here, during the last months, we have been going through the same path. We started delivering on the UK market a complete trading platform, as we’re not a discount broker. In fact, we had zero technical issues during the recent volatility, even with exceptionally high volumes. Every day, 22 hours a day, we offered access to both listed and CFD products, comprehending futures, options and bonds that usually “vertical” brokers don’t offer in the UK.

We are proud of our technology, developed 100% internally, and we offer three different platforms (one of which dedicated to our professional or very active clients) and one app. We are appealing for every user category, from the new trader to the professional thanks to the largest offer by product range in the UK, but during my day by day activity, I follow the implementation of two more services.

Fineco has also a banking and an investment platform for Funds, ETF and shares with a very competitive price. We already distribute a full set of investment funds from Fineco Asset management, but also from other asset managers: clients can invest in funds depending on their risk appetite, choose a selection of best global strategies from the best global asset managers or even, with Fam Megatrend, in the major trends who are going to change the world.

My average day is focused on making things as smooth as possible for our clients the selection of the best investment, giving at the same time giving an option for international payments and a multicurrency debit card as well.

If you were having lunch with a prospective client of Fineco and they asked you “what does Fineco do better than anyone else?”. What would you say?

I would say that the strength of Fineco is the delivery of a best in class platform offering outstanding transactional banking, professional trading and excellent investing services: a ‘one-stop’ solution for all financial needs.

I do not think you could find anything similar in Uk, where a client can choose between incumbent banks or specialized players. We’re different from both of them as we thrive on excellence in every business area. 

I think the trading platform is our main selling point, perfectly integrated with our user-friendly mobile app. It also enables clients to make instant payments from the UK to the rest of Europe, change the amount that can be spent on their credit or debit card, and view a breakdown of their total portfolio – stocks, mutual funds, currencies, cash, liquidity. We have also incorporated a feed from Reuters so clients can view news and events that are relevant to their trading and investments.

In Italy, we have more than 6,000 mutual funds from major providers on our platform, and we’re going to replicate this offer in the UK. 

What’s the best thing about working at Fineco?

I’m honored to be working in a dynamic, very flexible company since the beginning. After 20 years it is still exciting seeing how everybody in Fineco is focused on maintaining the highest customer satisfaction rate in the market, a leadership which needs a common effort to be confirmed year after year.

The strength of our business model is a diversified revenue stream, which means that in every business area (banking, brokerage and investing) we continuously offer the same high-quality offering that a specialized player offers on a single product. We’re the first fintech who has been able to integrate three different specialized services in a single offer, and to reach this goal we’ve invested in proprietary technology since the beginning. That’s why we can proudly keep on serving our customers with the same high standard they expect from Fineco even during this dramatic situation, demonstrating our 100% digital Dna.  

And the worst or most challenging thing?

Fineco is the biggest fintech in Europe, a fully-fledged bank with a full-service offering. However, here in the UK, we consider ourself as a challenger bank. We compete with traditional banks, attempting to attract clients by offering more than a single product. Our offer, like the incumbent banks’ one, aims to serve many of our clients’ needs, but we reach our goal in a very innovative way.

Moreover, differently from the majority of the fintechs on the stage, we’re profitable, which means we’re a solid partner for our clients’ business. We would like our clients to be free to just open an account and see how it works: our challenge is to convince them to make full use of the different services we provide. When we started here a couple of years ago, the majority of our clients were expats, mainly Italians: now over 80% of our new clients are British or from other nations.

What three online resources can you recommend to traders to help them improve their strategies?

First I strongly recommend you to have a look at our stock screener. We have invested time, money and energy to create a screener that is best in class in online brokerage and allows our user to create strategies based on fundamental and technical parameters. There are two ways to use this tool. You can use our search ideas, which we regularly updated, and identify stocks can perform better in a particular scenario. For instance, we have recently launched two ideas based on the evolution of the stock market and the pandemic situation. We have create a Covid-19 defensive idea which identify stocks which will over perform in case the volatility and the market turmoil will continue.

Also we have developed a more aggressive strategy which can deliver great result if you believe the market will recover. These are global strategy but can be filtered just for UK equity. Other tool I recommend is our webinar and seminar section, we have thousands of trading product more than any UK firm and with the help of our partners and professional trader we have created a series of webinar and seminars to help beginners and advanced trader to improve their techniques.

Finally we have one of the largest and deep news feed with global coverage and our market and trading section of our platform is the perfect console to start your day and plan your trading where in one shot you can access news, tweets and financial analysis

Paolo Di Grazia, is General Manager & Head of Global Business at Fineco

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