#clientfirst defines everything we do and is about constantly improving without compromising on our beliefs.

Jakob Hafner

Investment Manager

Tell us about yourself and your role at LIQID?
I work as an investment manager for LIQID Wealth. We offer different strategies that enable clients to invest in active, passive, or sustainable portfolios according to their risk appetite and personal preferences. My team and I ensure that each client’s portfolio is allocated appropriately across a variety of assets, including stocks, bonds, and liquid alternatives such as commodities and hedge funds. My role involves managing long-term capital expectations (SAA), tactical asset allocation, and fund selection for our clients' portfolios. For this, we collaborate closely with our investment advisor, LGT, and have worldwide access to experts in every asset class. Of course, a big part of the job is also to provide clients with a great investment experience and help them understand where their money is allocated and for what reason. I provide research and reporting content and make sure that clients are informed about developments in their portfolios and understand the rationale behind their investments.

How did you find out about LIQID?

When I started at LIQID in 2019, robo-advisory had already been available in Germany, in fact, since 2016. For clients, this was a major breakthrough as wealth management, which had previously been an exclusive service, was suddenly available to the masses. I felt that it was an exciting development, and for customers, it brought real benefits. Being curious about this new trend at the time, LIQID stood out from the rest of the market – and in my opinion even in international comparison. On the one hand, there was an experienced investment team behind the product, HQ Trust. On the other hand, the offering was much more differentiated than a standard ETF portfolio. Sure, that existed as well – but if you wanted, you could already invest in private equity combined with an actively managed multi-asset portfolio at LIQID in 2019.

What was the main reason you joined LIQID?

First, the interview process: The people I talked to were open, kind and gave me a clear understanding of the company. However, what really convinced me was the feeling that the people were very enthusiastic about what they were doing. That makes you want to get started right away. By the way, I still work with the colleagues from that interview every day.

What is your purpose? What drives you?

At LIQID, our mission is to level the playing field for mass affluent investors. We aim to make people aware of the opportunities they can have. Digitalisation and the rise of ETFs have made investing easy for everyone: it’s ultra-low-cost, transparent, and fair. However, for most people, investing is still a topic they either don’t approach at all or approach in the wrong way. This is where we can be their long-term partner, offering a service that is hard to beat and a premium experience at retail cost.

One of LIQID’s core values is “Client first”. How does this mindset shape your approach to daily tasks?

Every LIQID customer has a personal contact, one of our dedicated relationship managers. Therefore, I rarely have personal contact with clients. However, I can say that it is very fulfilling to be able to help with individual issues and answer detailed questions that clients may have. As a member of the investment team, “Client first” means that we look at every decision from the client’s point of view. We are independent, which means we have no obligation to any fund provider. We are compensated solely by the client. As a result, “Client First” defines everything we do, and we are very grateful for the feedback we receive from our clients. Ultimately, the goal is to provide a great product and a good experience for the client along the way.

What’s your greatest personal success regarding “Client first”?

Again, it’s hard to name a specific success because I have limited contact with clients. However, I’m always happy to receive positive feedback from clients, such as their satisfaction with being well-informed. To provide a concrete example of recent success: A few weeks ago, we optimized our sustainability-oriented portfolios. As a result, we reduced product costs by an average of 50%, improved our ESG profile, and increased diversification. Furthermore, all ten strategies are now certified by the independent IVA for their risk-return profile and sustainability. “Client First” is also about constantly improving without compromising on our core beliefs.

What initiatives are there to demand and promote “Client first”?

As a product team, we maintain close contact with our relationship managers, which allows us to gain an understanding of our clients’ needs and concerns. This becomes particularly important during turbulent market periods like 2022, as it enables us to be the partner our clients expect. We strive to ascertain if they comprehend our decisions if they desire more information about the markets, and if they appreciate our reports and video content. Regarding product development, we aim to address the specific needs of clients during various market phases. Currently, the focus is on capitalizing on higher interest rates in the short term while maintaining flexibility. That’s why we are actively working on a solution to provide customers with attractive returns even for short-term investments.

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