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The new Infront - teaming up to deliver more

Who is the new Infront and what does it stand for?

Read the following interview about our new market positioning, our product strategy and how you will benefit from it. Kristian Nesbak, CEO of Infront, Florent Grauer as CPO of Infront and Afsheen Azam as Head of Customer Support, Europe at Infront will give you some insights.

 

Who is the new Infront and what does it stand for?  

Kristian Nesbak: Bringing Infront and vwd together has made us stronger, more complete. As “old Infront” we are always looking to do things better and make it easier for our customers to navigate financial data and investment decisions. Ever since Infront was founded in 1998, challenging conventional thinking has been a driving force throughout our company. As when we started, the financial industry remains in a constant state of change. New players emerge. Different needs arise. And everything keeps getting more complex as the sheer volume of financial data explodes, accompanied by new standards and compliance requirements. In such a dynamic environment, “one-size- fits-all” simply doesn’t work anymore. Which is why we saw the need for greater flexibility and transparency.


What specifically is vwd’s strategic role in this?

Kristian: By adding vwd into our company in 2019, we gained a financial information expert with 70 years of experience, extending our capabilities in providing smart solutions across the entire financial workflow. Old Infront and vwd fulfill each other’s gaps and we are clearly stronger together, it’s the perfect match that will benefit all our clients. Now, as an entirely new group, we drive a common business forward by pioneering better and more transparent solutions, flexible and scalable, so that they can be tailored to each individual need. And very much still as a challenger at heart.


What do you mean by challenger? What does this mean for your customers?

Kristian: We try to keep it simple for our customers and approach things differently. Easy access to what the customer really needs, finding the data faster to make smarter decisions – that has been our objective from the start and we will stick to it.

Our name represents a promise. If we are to keep our customers “in front” of the competition, we also need to stay “in front” of the industry. That means continuing to challenge the conventional way of doing things.

Helping our customers meet the C19 crisis head on is a tangible example of this. With our Infront Professional Terminal you can easily have access to the market from your home office. It works easily from home without additional infrastructure, and you can be up and running in just a couple of minutes.


Which markets and target groups do you focus on? And what does this mean for the product offering?

Florent Grauer: Infront is a European financial data and solutions provider serving financial market participants and combining global coverage with a strong local market expertise. Our products and solutions are covering a broad landscape of financial industry segments, including Wealth management, Asset management, Investment banking, Digital banking, Treasury, Audit & Consulting, Risk, Compliance & Valuation as well as Financial Media.


Which European markets do you focus upon?

Florent: We are currently strengthening our leading position in the Nordics, Germany and Italy. We also have ambitious plans to accelerate our growth in other European markets, including the UK.

We operate close to our customers: we are speaking their language, we also understand the local financial markets they compete in, and we provide the data and solutions to support them while they face very demanding market conditions and regulatory demands​.
When talking to our clients, they indeed highlight numerous challenges, and we still hear about the three main topics: digital transformation, cost optimization, compliance to regulations. In order to succeed in this environment, they need a partner with a strong local market expertise and a broad coverage. Infront is here to help around those topics.


What are the changes to the existing development roadmap?

Florent: All our customers in every region will benefit from the combined expertise of the new company. Infront and vwd is a fantastic opportunity to integrate all our products and solutions on one platform of services: real-time market data, news and analytics display, trading solutions, portfolio management, digital advisory and web solutions, risk, compliance and valuation solutions.

We have been working on the integration of our combined products and services since the first days after the merger. Our existing products and solutions will remain and expanded, as we intend to enhance our customers’ journey with Infront by providing innovative solutions that meeting their needs.


How do your customers benefit from it?

Florent: Our customers benefit from a product offering which cover the entire investment management value chain, from financial product issuance, market and instrument comparative analysis, portfolio construction, execution, market conformity, risk and valuation, portfolio management and communication to investors and customers.


Are there applications that will be replaced or migrated?

Florent: We continue to support all our products, and most of them are continually improved. For now, our technical migration journey – to create one platform of products, modules and services based on one data backbone. This continues with vwd’s products. Our products will be progressively available on that platform, ensuring the best user experience for our clients. The integration and combination of Infront and vwd products will allow us to keep delivering state-of-the-art solutions fitted to local market requirements.


What happens to products that are very similar?

Florent: In some areas, with significant overlap between two similar products targeting the same customer group, we have the ambitious goal to bring more capabilities and expertise into the best-in-class product, to serve our clients better. As an example, in the DACH region, we have recently started to actively promote the Infront Professional Terminal in parallel to the existing solution. The Infront Professional Terminal is our flagship real-time market data display terminal, and all our users in the region can now subscribe to it. A lot of new functionalities and data content have been added to cater for local requirements.


Will the strong focus on product development in the DACHL region remain, as with the Portfolio Manager?

Florent: Yes, absolutely. Most Infront employees are working in R&D, and it has always been in the DNA of Infront to focus on product development. As for the DACH region where we have a substantial market foothold with the historic presence of vwd, we will distribute Infront cutting-edge products such as the Infront Professional Terminal. We will also continue to improve our existing solutions, such as our Portfolio Manager, with more digitalization towards our cloud architecture and also a SaaS model offering that suits current market requirements.


Is there also another strategic rational to this?

Florent: Portfolio management solutions are strong assets in our customer value proposition, and we have the ambition to expand by combining and integrating fully with our trading and market data solutions. This has already started, we can now address more workflows and deliver a fully integrated platform from portfolio monitoring to order processing, routing and execution. This integration means better efficiency for our clients towards digitalization of the complete portfolio management process.


Do clients of the former vwd have to expect changes, for example, in customer service?

Afsheen: As Florent said our customers will benefit from a broader range of product offerings that we are able to provide as a result of this merger. This allows us to meet our customers’ needs across various levels of financial decision-making processes – ranging from accessing financial market data to setting up portfolios on behalf of our customers’ clients to executing the trades.  We can offer better solutions both in terms of technology and market data coverage.

Due to the merger we are looking to serve all our customers from one software solution - and as such, this may affect how our customers reach out to us - but these changes will not be major and our customers can still expect the same level of expertise and service level as before.


Are there any changes regarding relevant  contacts at Infront?

Afsheen: Customers will still be able to reach out to their contacts, and our support services are available during local opening hours, as before. Additionally, we will now also offer a dedicated Client Success Manager to some of our biggest client accounts who will provide an exclusive service to these clients.


Thank you!

If you have any questions or require further information, please contact: Christiane.kaczmarek@infrontfinance.com.