Switzerland has great ambitions to go digital. The country released a digital manifesto in November 2016 with eight points to help it play a worldwide leading role in digital transformation. Digitization concerns all parts of life, but the financial sector is currently in the eye of the tornado. For a while now FinTech startups have Continue Reading

FinTech Made in Switzerland (2016) is the first documentary film about Swiss FinTech. It offers a glimpse into how the traditional bankers’ nation is coming to terms with technological change and plans to catch up in the digital future. Filmmaker and economist Manuel Stagars made interviews with heads of digital banking from major Swiss banks, Continue Reading

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Invited Editorial in the Journal of Asset Management (2014) 15, 347–352. doi:10.1057/jam.2014.35 Abstract Southeast Asian frontier economies, such as Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, have enjoyed impressive average GDP growth between 6 and 8 per cent since the year 2000. They are catching up on entrepreneurship initiatives and investment policy with emerging markets and promise Continue Reading

by Manuel Stagars, CFA, CAIA, ERP Announcing the demise of the financial system as we know it has become popular in the aftermath of the Great Recession. In fact, the Financial Times has dedicated an entire series to the topic, aptly named Death of Banks, wherein author Izabella Kaminska chronicles the downfall of traditional banking. Continue Reading

by Manuel Stagars, CFA, CAIA, ERP For a while, the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa accounted for headlines on a daily basis. By December 2014, Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone reported 13,676 cases. This was the largest outbreak of the disease, and the WHO declared the crisis an “international public health emergency.” In response, Continue Reading

by Manuel Stagars, CFA, CAIA, ERP Abstract This position paper introduces assimilation funds as a new approach to invest capital in startups. Instead of funding startups and hoping for extraordinary returns, an assimilation strategy recommends diversifying early stage capital across the strategic value chain of selected portfolio companies. Such an asset allocation allows investors to Continue Reading

by Manuel Stagars, CFA, CAIA, ERP Most entrepreneurs say money is not a motivation for them. If believe this is true. Financial reward alone is not sufficient to instill in you the entrepreneurial fire that will push you forward in rough times. A paycheck will motivate you enough to complete a certain task and then Continue Reading

by Manuel Stagars, CFA, CAIA, ERP Silicon Valley is the nickname for Santa Clara Valley, the South Bay portion of the San Francisco Bay Area in Northern California. In the last years, the term has become a synonym for innovation. Research parks often dream out loud of copying Silicon Valley. Occasionally, someone makes the mistake Continue Reading

by Manuel Stagars, CFA, CAIA, ERP What primes startups for success is a question of heated debate. There is obviously no sure-fire recipe, no ten-step plan that makes a fledgling venture the next Google. Here are some thoughts about a simple checklist if a startup gravitates towards success or failure. This may be helpful for Continue Reading