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Robeco looks to Asia for fintech

Robeco fund managers Patrick Lemmens and Jeroen van Oerle have declared Asia the “fintech hub of the future”.
Robeco looks to Asia for fintech

Lemmens and van Oerle, who launched Robeco’s Global FinTech Equities fund in November last year, said they expect most of their opportunities to come from Asia, especially China and India, but added: “We don’t rule out anywhere.”

Discussing their core principles, van Oerle (pictured right) explained that one focus in particular is the move away from cash, “towards plastic payments and mobile”.

He said: “A lot of cash payments are still being used in countries such as Greece, Germany and Italy and we expect this to move very quickly towards the digital side.

While our focus for the fund is global and the opportunities arise globally, some countries like Germany that you could consider as technologically advanced because of their cars, are actually still predominantly 60-70% cash.”

The managers explained that Asia is looking more favourable as the countries do not necessarily have a “legacy business” or an issue with old banking technology to deal with.

“Their choice between cash, ATMs and chequebooks is simply not present and means they can quickly move in to mobile payments and have a very efficient banking system”, van Oerle added.

Meanwhile, Lemmens (pictured left) said that it is the development of banks’ core systems and level of technology where they expect to see growth in these countries.

Describing these systems as a “shiny new Ferrari with an old engine”, he said they are held together with tape and elastic bands, in desperate need of an upgrade.

Part of the Mark Allen Group.