When finance rhymes with innovation. Welfin introduces itself

An idea, project work, a startup: Welfin’s story progressed from the classrooms of MIP to the financial market thanks to its strong innovative imprint. It will be the first P2P loan platform with credit guaranteed by a company to be launched on the market. Its founders tell about the project.

«In Italy the consumer credit market is constantly expanding and P2P (peer to peer) loans continue to have great potential». Why not start from this and rethink credit between private players in a new intra and inter-corporate perspective? This is the reflection from which Ideo Righi, Francesco Giordani, Alessandra Bellerio and Roberto Bertani, founders of Welfin, as well as 2018 Part-time EMBA alumni, began.
Welfin is a platform that revolutionizes credit between employees, allowing one or more company communities to obtain the maximum from sharing their resources. In the words of its five founders, «Welfin brings together lender, borrower and company (acting as guarantor) by promoting the creation of favourable conditions for all players involved». Let’s take a closer look.

A business model in which all parties are in agreement

In a consumer credit market with interest rates that tend towards the high side, credit concession policies on the part of companies are often cautious and the cost of debt collection expensive. «Welfin steps in, creating a virtuous circle that rewards the three players involved, lender, borrower and company, through a win-win-win system» explains Francesco. «Win for the lender, because they have a guaranteed return from the company at above-market rates; win for the borrower because they also obtain favourable rates and win for the company, which acting as a guarantor, increases the sense of belonging of its employees and improves its reputation», continues Alessandra. «Welfin offers the company a new welfare instrument with which to optimize the management of outstanding credit, creating a shared economic benefit by focusing on financial innovation – stresses Ideo -. There are already many entrepreneurs who, aware of the efficiency of Welfin’s business model, want to implement the platform as soon as possible».

Genesis and development of Welfin. From project work to the choice of “doing business”

But what was the starting point? «The observation of an entrepreneurial reality suffering from the insolvency of its employees towards consumer credit institutions allowed us to study a system that could help all parties involved, from the company to employees. We therefore identified a need and devised a solution» explains Ideo. For Alessandra, «the key values that inspired Welfin were ethics, transparency and usefulness for employees». It’s an idea that was first project work for the 2018 Part-time EMBA and then – thanks to the trust and success achieved – became a startup. «When we realized its potential, we decided to “do business”» says Francesco. «We choose each other inside the classroom of the master’s programme, and we created a close-knit, cross-cutting team, with previous business experience and thus a clear perception of risks. A team whose members are on the same wavelength, both in terms of personal and professional growth», comments Alessandra.

Finance awards sustainable innovation

Welfin won the “Fintech & Insurtech 2019” Prize, set up by the Observatory of Politecnico di Milano, for the most innovative projects in the financial field. What were its winning attributes? «A brand-new business model that is able to innovate the financial sector in a sustainable and intelligent way» its creators say. «Thanks to the recognition obtained we’ll begin a period of innovation through PoliHub, at the same time as developing all the aspects necessary to go to market, from tax to legal ones, so as to be ready at the official kick-off».
The company has also begun a dialogue with the Bank of Italy. «We carried out an initial assessment of the regulatory compliance of the business model. An experience that allowed us to confirm and offered food for thought to make it to the go to market phase even more prepared», according to Francesco, Alessandra and Ideo, who conclude by illustrating the role MIP had in this experience and its strengths: «Its network, the professionalism of professors and the enormous support in all phases of product development. The master’s programme guaranteed us an entrepreneurial, highly pragmatic and interactive experience and was also an incubator of talent and open-mindedness for the business application models and leadership development. And we believe Welfin’s business model could be even more effective in the Covid-19 recovery period, when in the face of increased obstacles for consumer credit access, it will provide support for families and individual workers in difficulty».
All there’s left to do is to (re)start.

Politecnico di Milano wins the Italian CFA Research Challenge

With the equity research report on Ferrari, the students of Politecnico di Milano defeat Università Cattolica and Università Politecnica delle Marche and are getting ready for the EMEA Regional phase. The Global Final will be held on April 22nd

 

Politecnico di Milano wins the Italian final of the CFA Research Challenge 2020, a world finance competition organized by the CFA Institute and promoted in Italy by FactSet, Fidelity International, Kaplan Schweser and PwC Italia.
The event took place remotely on Thursday, March 5th, following the provisions issued by the Ministry of Health in agreement with the President of the Lombardy Region, and involved nine universities, 43 students and over 30 professionals. The Italian phase, coordinated by CFA Society Italy, was attended by the teams representing the following universities: Università Cattolica di Milano, SDA Bocconi, Politecnico di Milano, Ca’ Foscari di Venezia, Università Carlo Cattaneo LIUC, Libera Università di Bolzano, Università di Pavia, Università Politecnica delle Marche and Università di Napoli Federico II.

Students Marco Aurélio De Oliveira Jesus, Luca Marconi, Matteo Muzio, Giovanni Pintus and Beatrice Sartori, under the guidance of faculty advisors Marco Giorgino and Laura Grassi and mentor CFA Alberto Mari, presented their investment case on Ferrari to a jury of six financial experts: Christian Alessandrini (PwC Italy), Alberto Chiandetti, CFA (Fidelity International), Gabriele Montalbetti, CFA, CIPM (Consultinvest), Marco Greco (Value Track), Pinuccia Parini (Family Strategy) and Carla Scarano (Anima SGR). The second and third place were awarded to Università Cattolica and Università Politecnica delle Marche respectively.

Politecnico di Milano will continue directly to the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) Regional Final, which will be held on April 1st and 2nd, 2020. An evidence of the high quality of our students and the professionals who assist them, back in 2016, 2014 and 2011 Italy was successful in winning the EMEA regional final.
The Global Finals will take place on April 22nd 2020, bringing together the winners from EMEA, Americas and Asia Pacific.

We are really happy with the result, which rewards every single effort made during these 4 months. The teamwork and the experience gained are, together with the victory, the biggest prize“. These are the first words expressed by the winning team of Politecnico di Milano. “We would like to thank CFA Society Italy for the organization of the challenge and in particular Mr. Quarto di Palo, Ferrari‘s Investor Relations team for the support and availability, our highly esteemed CFA mentor, Alberto Mari, who dedicated time, energy and above all never stopped believing in us, Prof. Marco Giorgino and Prof. Laura Grassi of Politecnico di Milano for giving us the opportunity to participate in this fantastic experience“.

This year the company was certainly very challenging, a symbol of our country. We are very happy that our students’ work has been appreciated by the judges“, commented Marco Giorgino and Laura Grassi, respectively, professors of Financial Markets and Institutions and Investment Banking at the Politecnico di Milano. “Being the reigning champions and winning the Italian finals for many years now has generated some pressure and expectations, but this motivates students to give their best. Now, however, a new challenge awaits us and the goal will be to proudly represent our Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering and the Politecnico di Milano at EMEA level“.

CFA Society Italy, in its many years of activity, has built an intense relationship with Italian universities to promote the principles of integrity and professional excellence among the younger generations“. Giuseppe Quarto di Palo, CFA, Director of CFA Society Italy and coordinator of the CFA Research Challenge in Italy, said: “We are happy to be able to offer universities and their talents the opportunity to compete in a realistic competition, aimed at reproducing the experience of an equity research department of asset management companies or investment houses. We also offer scholarships to the best students to access the CFA Program, in order to obtain a globally recognized certification in the financial industry“.

This initiative makes it possible to achieve some important objectives in the field of education and academics. First, it is to bring students closer to the labor market by combining academic knowledge with the techniques and tools used by professionals in the financial sector. The second objective is to highlight our Italian university excellence at European and Global level“, commented Giancarlo Sandrin, CFA, President, CFA Society Italy. “This project could not exist without the valuable contribution of the association’s volunteers and the partners who supported the initiative like FactSet, Fidelity International, Kaplan Schweser, PwC Italia and Ferrari, the Maranello-based company being researched by students“.

FactSet is extremely pleased to have supported CFA Research Challenge in Italy for the fifth year in a row by offering our analytical platform to students, professors and mentors“, mentioned Dorin Agache, Account Manager & Academic Sales at FactSet. “One of our main goals is to bridge the gap between the university and the labor market by enabling all participants to have access to the tools and market data needed to fully simulate the profession of financial analysts. Our warmest congratulations first go to Politecnico di Milano, which will continue the competition towards the EMEA title, but also to all the other universities that invest time and resources to improve the quality of teaching and believe in the development value of this extraordinary initiative organized by CFA Institute.”