Startel Oy, which belongs to the SanomaWSOY, together with Evli Asset Management Ltd, Gyllenberg Funds Ltd and Alfred Berg Rahastoyhtiö Oy (Alfred Berg funds) will establish an online marketplace, available on Internet, for trading in fund units.
The Fund Manager for the marketplace will be Online Funds Oy, where its founding members hold an equal participation each. The address of the marketplace is www.rahastot.fi.
The marketplace provides economic information and news to individuals and corporations interested in fund investment.
"Startel and its publication Taloussanomat want to promote electronic trading and investing in funds. Taloussanomat is committed to advancing sound financial management, which also includes asset management on behalf of private individuals", mentions Startel Oy's President and Taloussanomat's Editor-in-Chief, Mr. Antti-Pekka Pietilä.
According to Mr. Pietilä, Rahastot.fi will also provide fund rating services to fund investors to facilitate a comparison of return expectations and investment risks.
The new electronic marketplace will be open to all investment funds authorised to operate in Finland, provided that they have an agreement with Online Funds. The objective of Rahastot.fi is to become a leading Internet marketplace for investment funds in Finland. Rahastot.fi will become operative in spring 2000, offering initially acces in about 100 funds.
The new company will earn its income from the subscription and redemption fees paid by the investment managers as well as from management fees and the investment managers' "listing fees". Customers will incur no extra costs for the subscription or redemption of fund units through the electronic marketplace.
Startel will produce content services to investors
Evli, Gyllenberg, Alfred Berg and Startel will initially hold 25 % each of the shares and votes in the new company. The founding members offer a stake in the company also to other investment managers willing to join. In addition, the key personnel of the company will be shareholders in the company.
"Startel will operate as producer of news and current topics, and provide share price and analysis data for Rahastot.fi in accordance with its autonomous approach to content production, as the principal has been with the Startel News Agency and Taloussanomat", Mr. Pietilä says.
He reminds that unbiased, correct and quick economic information ranks among the most important tools of every investor.
Electronic marketplace open to everybody
Following the global trend, the markets for trading in fund units are increasingly shifting to Internet also in Finland. Easy and quick subscription and convenient payment are some of the major benefits of electronic trading. Until now, electronic trading in fund units has been mostly possible on the internet pages of private bankers and commercial banks.
Opening an electronic market to everybody facilitates the comparison of prices, return expectations and risks between different fund units. This will be increasingly important as the number of fund investors is rapidly growing, while at the same time the use of Internet is becoming more and more common.
"The wide range of offerings will in fact be the greatest competitive advantage of this marketplace over the marketplaces provided by specific investment funds. Thanks to Rahastot.fi, customers can have a one-stop shop to follow the trend of their fund investments. Another competitive advantage is Startel's extensive supply of leading economic information about the branch", Mr. Pietilä mentions.
Trading of fund units will go Internet
A major part of trading in fund units will in future happen on Internet. According to the Nordic asset management study published by Ernst & Young, about one third of all trading in investment fund units will happen on Internet within a couple of years. - The new company will be established on the existing and new customer base of the investment funds managed by the founding members.
Startel will contribute its content expertise and technical implementation know-how. The participating private banks possess up-to-date expertise about trading systems and their use, which can be utilised to develop the services of the new company.
"The new marketplace will provide an innovative cost-efficient distribution channel to all investment managers and help investors select the investment fund that best suits their investment objective. I am convinced that the open and unbiased fund information provided by Rahastot.fi combined with the convenience of trading will speed up a transfer of assets from bank accounts to more lucrative investment targets, such as investment funds", says Evli Fund Management Ltd's President, Mr. Jyri Viskari.
Investor Relations and Group Communications
DISTRIBUTION: Helsinki Stock Exchanges, Principal media