Thibault De Barsy (Keytrade): Keyprivate, the first robo-advisor in Luxembourg
KEYPRIVATE, a robo-advisor managed by a panel of financial experts, determines the optimal allocation of user assets according to their objectives, risk profiles and the market context. An interview with Thibault de Barsy, CEO of Keytrade.
Can you describe robo-advisors in a few words?
These tools have been popular in the United States since 2010. Until then, to invest in the stock market, you had to go at it alone or call on the services of an advisor. Generally, this resulted in a substantial initial portfolio and significant management fees. The robot can now permanently calculate the most interesting returns, according to the risks observed on the markets. This philosophy is based on the theory of the economist Markowitz, the “Modern Portfolio Theory” which was awarded the Nobel prize: minimising the risks to obtain a given return and maximising the return for a given risk. The robo-advisor operates online and gives rise to minimal costs, while offering very interesting performances. Its secret? It permanently searches for an appropriate balance between different investment categories: equities, bonds, commodities and liquidity.
« The combination of our robo-advisor and our expert panel is revolutionising discretionary management »
What makes KEYPRIVATE’s robot unique?
In an era of digitisation and the democratisation of online banking, KEYPRIVATE was designed to include 12 index funds - or “trackers” - which replicate the development of a stock index or the price of commodities. This broad sample group covers all global markets and asset classes. In comparison, American robo-advisors focus far too much on their own market and on the dollar. However, the wider the area of focus, the more you can target the most promising trackers in real time. KEYPRIVATE’s second unique feature lies in the way it can immediately adapt to each client’s profile and expectations. It therefore offers a bespoke service.
How do you manage the inherent risks of the financial markets?
We operate with a discretionary contract, but the trust our clients put in us requires total transparency: they can view their portfolio’s composition and return in real time on the platform. With an investment of 15,000 euros or more, a questionnaire will determine their risk profile, from "very aggressive" to "very defensive". Current returns range from 6% to 12% for a fee of 0.75%. Our robo-advisor precisely calculates the composition of the portfolios depending on the context, but the key to our concept lies in a panel of six financial experts which checks that the system is working perfectly and reacts to the latest news, as was the case during the American and French elections. As for the 2008 crisis, this can be combated by diversifying asset classes such as bonds or commodities. KEYPRIVATE never puts all its eggs in one basket.