Fintech firm Avaloq’s chairman streamlines his role to focus on China expansion and possible listing
Francisco Fernandez, who also founded the Switzerland-based firm, has handed over the CEO job and is looking east to the ‘innovative companies’ in China’s financial sector
The chairman of Switzerland-based financial technology company Avaloq will focus on expanding business in China and Asia as well as preparing for a possible stock exchange listing, after handing over his chief executive duties.
Francisco Fernandez, who also founded the company which provides cloud-based solutions for more than 150 banks worldwide, said in a telephone interview from Zurich that he sees a lot of potential in China.
“The change will allow me to have more time to focus on expansion plans and the future development strategy, such as how to expand further in mainland China and Hong Kong,” Fernandez said.
“China is a big market with a fast-growing segment of wealthy bank clients. It has a lot of good financial and innovative companies. They would be interested in Avaloq’s services,” he said.
The company’s clients already include HSBC, Barclays, Deutsche Bank, DBS, China Citic Bank International and Agricultural Bank of China.
Fernandez’s streamlined role will also allow him more time to prepare plans for a possible stock market listing in the next three to five years.
“As Avaloq is about to enter the next phase in accelerating its growth – both organically and through potential acquisitions – the company is implementing a new governance structure that strengthens both its operational and strategic management,” he said.
The company is open about where to list, but he said Hong Kong may be a potential destination, and he would be monitoring plans to reform listing rules in the city.
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing, the stock market operator, recently announced a major listing reform to allow dual-class shareholding structure companies to list from the second half of this year, lifting a ban on such structures that has been in place since the 1980s.
The change came after Hong Kong lost its crown as the world’s largest IPO market in 2017, sliding to third place, with New York, which allows listings of firms with multiple classes of shares, including stocks with special voting rights for founders, taking the top spot.
Such shareholding structures are common among technology companies and start-ups.