Martin Signer | Founder of SmartMoneyMatch

Introduction

Success leaves clues.

Finances Strategists sat down with Martin Signer, founder of SmartMoneyMatch. He shared his thoughts on the past, present, and future of the company, as well as the insight he gained from running the business.

Who is Martin Signer?

Q: Who are you and what’s your background?

I am 44, was born in Zug, and live now in Zurich, like sports such as tennis and golf, chess, and music. Professionally, I am currently the managing director of SmartMoneyMatch.
After high school, with a focus on mathematics, I have studied quantitative finance at the University of Zurich. Right after my studies, I was responsible for the market risk management of the Clariden Bank. Besides that, I have also worked as a university lecturer and authored several publications.

Q: Who has been your biggest influence, and why did they have such a significant effect on you?

It’s hard to single out the biggest. The single most are probably my parents and siblings. But all the people I worked with, teachers, etc. impact all of your life and your decision-making.

Q: Knowing what you know now, what advice would you have given your younger self?

Looking back, I’m quite happy with how I approached the different things in my life. Some things could have been a bit better approached e.g. in the project management I know now and would have probably accelerated things a bit.

Business

Q: What is SmartMoneyMatch?

SmartMoneyMatch is the product and social media platform for the investment industry.
On the platform, you can browse and list investments, find investors and indicate your investment interests, and create a request for proposal. There is also the capability to search service providers or offer your services, connect with and message other users, search for and announce relevant events (we also have a fully-fledged event platform and do media partnerships), as well as find jobs, post vacancies or publish articles.

In addition, all users have a profile page where their activities—as an investor, asset manager, or service provider—can be described and listed in the searchable business directory.
Membership is free of charge.

Q: What makes SmartMoneyMatch stand out from its competitors?

It’s by far the biggest of its kind and a pioneer. Kind of LinkedIn for the investment industry. There are some platforms that are doing the transactions. SmartMoneyMatch is an open platform just to get the stakeholders into contact with each other, a bit like a dating website. E.g. a matchmaking service.

Q: What led you to start SmartMoneyMatch?

As I co-founded 4Finance and am based in Zurich – a very international financial center – we got approached from many sides with the request to introduce people and businesses. As we couldn’t always do the due diligence the idea came to offer an online platform adapted for the B2B investment industry that people could use to make these introductions directly.

Q: What has the experience of building the business taught you?

On paper and with the idea, things are faster and easier than in reality. It also takes quite some time and capital effort and a lot of stamina to succeed. I had from the education and network almost everything perfect, and the business idea doesn’t require a lot of capital. The technology is in a way also not too complicated. It’s very important to have people around you who understand the idea.

Q: Where do you see things headed for you and the company in the next 5 years?

There are different scenarios. One is to grow on our own, as we already have a network of more than a million professionals and more than 70,000 companies; another option would also be the sell SmartMoneyMatch to a company where this will be a perfect integration. There have already been several requests though they haven’t been fully substantiated. What I have learned is to stay agile in planning.

For more information, please visit SmartMoneyMatch.com.