Finanz und Wirtschaft: Wednesday, June 30th 2010
Cfinancials launches a new internet portal - worldwide transparency for investors – and almost all for free
Would you like to find out about financial products accross the whole world on a single platform? Search, compare and analyse every imaginable instrument simply and quickly? And to have access to relevant business and company news as well as all financial reporting? Seems more like wishful thinking than reality – but that is no longer the case.
Cfinancials, based in Lutry on Lake Geneva, introduced its new financial portal a month ago; by year end 9.5 million products should be accessible, constituting 99% of all listed or OTC retail products. All instruments available from financial institutions, including private placements, whether they are shares, bonds, funds or structured products, are entered into the database. This is possible thanks to the partnership between Cfinancials and Six Telekurs, Thomson Reuters, Dow Jones and Interactive Data.
The different product classes are now displayed one after the other, and 98% of the information is accessible online for anyone, free of charge. Michael Heijmeijer, Founder and CEO, revealed in a conversation with Finance and Business:
Cfinancials was my idea, but our customers continually develop the platform further and push the envelope on what is possible <.br />
Heijmeijer's target groups are interested investors, financial consultants, fund managers and companies as well as institutional investors such as banks, governments, foundations, universities and others.
At first glance, the idea seems to be yet another financial portal with nothing innovative about it. After all, there are already a myriad of data providers and processors, and many offers are free. What is special and probably unique is the independence, the scale of the data and the analysis program, which enables all possible comparisons concerning performance, reference indices and alternative products. The user interface is simple and intuitively logical, the queries are extremely quick.
Cfinancials focuses on product information, performance, comparison and communication. The data is updated daily (closing price from previous day), the database is fed by the partners as well as by many other suppliers and customers.
According to Heijmeijer,
The public has a right to information about all products from all providers. Internet traders find additional decision-making support on Cfinancials. Private investors can quickly and simply check on an instrument recommended by a customer consultant, because the data on peers is displayed for every product. Users even include banks that would like to offer the portal to their customer consultants and customers under their own names (white label).
For investment banking, new options for evaluation of new products have opened up: Cfinancials further acts as a barometer of the market, conveying the mood of the financial public through the queries of the market players. These statistics are offered for a fee. Other sources of income include banner ads and specialized reports, so-called premium services, as well as rankings – a provider can therefore pay for its products to appear first on the lists. They are, however, clearly marked as advertisements.
Comparisons made simple
When asked how Cfinancials differs from a data platform like Bloomberg, Heijmeijer explains:
Cfinancials is product oriented; Bloomberg is market oriented. Bloomberg is expensive, and even if you only want to utilize a small part of the offer and analysis options, you need a great deal of experience. For professional traders, who are dependent on real-time market data and commercial information, Cfinancials is a supplement, not a replacement. To ensure continual improvement of the quality of the data entered, the system provides incentives for the issuers to provide the most detailed product information possible. The data quality reflects the specific market (stock exchange, Reuters etc.). Historical performance figures come from three different sources and are subject to a plausibility test.
Even if Cfinancials cannot guarantee financial happiness – as the company's logo suggests – it is still a world-class information platform. The portal makes it possible to change investment decisions and processes in asset management, as it is now possible to compare instruments that investors could not previously compare. Perhaps poorly performing in-house funds in portfolio management mandates will soon be a thing of the past.