Having co-founded, built and eventually sold his share in one of London's largest multi-family offices, Roman Joukovski sowed the seeds for the Dolfin Group in 2012 when he launched a new private wealth manager. His aim was to drastically improve how clients were served, challenging convention by offering more bespoke service, greater flexibility and faster delivery.
Expansion, frustration, inspiration
To broaden the scope of the group, Roman called on Denis Nagy - a long-time friend who had recently sold the investment boutique he built. Denis brought to the venture his expertise in building regulated financial services businesses focused on institutional clients. Like Roman, he was driven by the desire to be different: more agile, more flexible than established firms.
Together, Roman and Denis overcame many of the hurdles created by the industry's apathy and legacy-thinking to build the group's businesses - including a private office and an FCA-regulated financial services provider offering custody, trading and asset management.
Networking with other wealth and asset managers, the two realised that their peers faced the same challenges they had: although critical, administrative tasks such as compliance and client-reporting were time-consuming and inefficient; truly independent research and advisory services were expensive; establishing relationships with counterparts and custodians was time–consuming; and providing clients used to smartphones the always-on convenience they now expect required specialist technology. It was enough to dissuade many ambitious wealth managers from striking out on their own.
"Investment expertise with digital agility"
Instinctively, they knew that marrying the group's investment expertise with digital agility was the key that would unlock the full potential of their business and, in so doing, empower a new wave of wealth managers.
One piece of the puzzle was still missing, and it was filled in 2015, when Denis met with Dmitry Tokarev - a quantitative developer with degrees in banking and international finance, risk management and financial engineering - and explained the challenge: partner with financial intermediaries of all kinds to help grow their business with simplicity and speed.
Dmitry’s solution was bold: an online platform that the likes of private bankers, wealth managers and independent financial advisers could use as a one-stop-shop for client on-boarding, accessing investment advice, trading, reporting and compliance. It would also be available to end-clients who would gain the convenience, transparency and control they demand today from their advisors. As it grew, the platform could become a marketplace for financial firms of all sizes to offer their products to a pool of investors that ranged from retail to UHNW.
A new breed of financial group
Inspired by this vision, Dmitry joined the team as CTO with the remit of building the platform - and a new chapter began.
In 2016, to reflect the group's commitment to fresh thinking and platform technology, its various businesses were consolidated and renamed Dolfin. Its mantra? Reimagine finance.