Joost Walgemoed and Theo Nout update us about the merger
Now that AIRS has been taken over by Blanco, the integration is the next step. In an earlier interview with both founders (which you can read here) we already discussed the joining of forces of Blanco and AIRS. Although we have already been able to answer many questions from customers in that interview, we can imagine that new questions have arisen in the meantime. So, we spoke again with Joost Walgemoed and Theo Nout. If you still have questions after reading this interview, please feel free to contact them.
Why do you think the merger of Blanco and Airs is a win-win situation?
Joost: “Blanco and AIRS are two strong companies, their strength and specialism however, is different. AIRS is market leader in the field of portfolio management. Blanco is very strong and innovative in the field of KYC and banking securities administration and uses the latest technology. By merging the two companies the best technology in terms of the complete wealth- and asset management cycle, from A to Z, is actually created.”
Theo: “With a broader team we can better guarantee continuity. For example, customers are less dependent on just a few people. A broad team with a lot of experience also provides more opportunities for innovation and development. Over the past five years AIRS has become the market leader in the field of portfolio management. But with the current speed of development it is very questionable whether you will remain market leader and not just be passed over. With the merger we reduce the chance that this will happen.”
What do customers actually notice at the moment?
Joost: “At the moment the most visible thing for our customers is the newsletter. We would like with this newsletter to inform all our customers (both the users of the Blanco- as well as the AIRS-platform) about the latest features that are being developed on both platforms. The software of AIRS will continue to exist for the time being and will also be updated and developed further. Together with our colleagues Wilfred van Roosmalen and Koen Vanderhoydonk, Theo and I are very active in the market as a team, we make many customer visits. In these turbulent times, only online customer visits are being made, this works surprisingly well.
Theo: “Behind the scenes we started to slowly merge the technology of Blanco and AIRS. We expect to take 4 years for this, so that the time pressure will not be at the expense of quality. The first step for merging both platforms has now been taken: we are in the process of linking Blanco’s onboarding module to the AIRS platform. From May on customers of AIRS will be able to use the onboarding module of the Blanco platform, of course, if they feel it adds value, and vice versa customers using the Blanco onboarding module will be able to automatically on-board their customers on the AIRS platform.”
Joost: “The second step will be to link the portfolio and customer information of the AIRS platform with the Client File module in Blanco’s KYC suite. We are as we speak in the process of investigating how we can best connect this to each other. After connecting the onboarding street this will be the next noticeable step.”
Theo: “In the long term it is of course the intention that everyone will use the Blanco platform, in which the AIRS platform will eventually be included.”