Interviewed by Viet Ha Tran, Senior Associate Director of Admissions, Finance Master Programs

We would like to share with you an interview we did with Antonios Kypreos just before the Semana Santa (Spanish Easter holidays) about his 5 year old investment advisory firm he started in 2010- Axion Financial Group.

Antonios Kypreos

Antonios Kypreos is a US/UK citizen; he holds a Master in International Management from IE Business School (graduated December 2009) and Bachelor of International Business Magna Cum Laude Distinction from Drexel University in Philadelphia, USA (graduated June 2005). Antonios has over 8 years of work experience in the investment world. Before attending IE, he worked for Wilmington Trust in Wilmington, Delaware, USA in their wealth advisory division working with ultra high net worth clients. Antonios completed an internship at Bear Stearns in New York and an internship for Smart Marketing Group in Philadelphia having worked as a marketing assistant to the late world champion boxer Joe Frazier. After IE (and after completing his IE exchange at Adolfo Ibanez University in Santiago, Chile), he started his investment advisory firm Axion Financial Group, based in Delaware, USA.

Viet Ha: Hi Antonios, I greatly appreciate your time for this interview despite your hectic daily schedule, I am aware that in 2010 after graduating from IE you created your own investment advisory firm, can you tell us what motivated you to launch your company?

Antonios: Thanks a lot for having me here for this interview. The idea behind Axion Financial Group was to offer a niche service to the high net worth client market segment that the large banks and brokerage firms were not properly servicing. Our goal is to offer “the family office experience to high net worth clients.” When I was working in the investment advisory world as an employee at the bank, I realized that banks and brokerage firms were not offering their high net worth clients (typically 1-10 million in investable assets per client/family) the same high quality products and services that they were offering their ultra high net worth clients (typically 20 million+ in investable assets per client/family). My goal when starting Axion was to create a firm that worked with a small group of high net worth clients, offering them a unique investment advisory service that was modeled after the family office services that the ultra high net worth clients typically received.

Viet Ha: Can you explain more about your business model and what makes it unique?

Antonios: Sure, my pleasure. We have a few areas of our business model that we feel makes our firm very unique in the world of investment advisory: 1) We work with a limited select client group that allows us to offer a high quality client service, as opposed to large banks and brokerage firms that work with hundreds or thousands of clients per advisor. 2) Our firm’s niche on the investment side are our offerings of a large unique selection of alternative investment products to our high net worth client group that due to the high investment minimums and the extensive due diligence required to evaluate these products, are not offered to the high net worth clients of banks and brokerage firms. 3) Our firm is set up as an RIA (registered investment advisory firm) in the state of Delaware and due to that, our firm has to adhere to a strict fiduciary standard of working in our clients’ best interests and not allowing for any conflicts of interest. This is compared to the broker dealer model that has a very high degree of conflict of interest that is typically used by banks and brokerage firms in their wealth advisory divisions.

Viet Ha: Who do you work with at your firm?

Antonios: I currently work with another family member and the firm is currently comprised of the two of us. The nice thing about our firm is that some of our client group is also family members, so we are working in the best interest of our clients and also our family as well. This helps give our clients high confidence as they know we are working for our own family as well as our non-family clients with the same investment products, services and philosophy for both our family and non-family clients.

Viet Ha: What gave you the courage to go by yourself and start your venture?

Antonios: I always wanted the chance to be an entrepreneur and had been waiting for the best opportunity. My previous experiences really helped me in giving me the confidence to start my firm. The experiences I gained at companies in the corporate world, as well as my experiences in my undergraduate and master degree programs contributed greatly to my ability to succeed in an entrepreneurial venture. My IE experience was definitely a great part of that as at IE I had the chance to work closely with an incredibly diverse and motivated student body. After working intensely in groups with motivated students from all over the globe I had gained a great sense of confidence that was easily translated into my current profession.

Viet Ha: What are the next steps for you and your firm?

Antonios: The next step for our firm is to continue to leverage our niche by offering our clients a unique mix of alternative investment products that are not typically offered to the high net worth clients of our asset range. We also are continuously searching the globe and performing due diligence on new investment options and opportunities that would be a potentially good fit for our family and clients. With our focus on excellent client service with a select client group, we are looking forward to continuing to grow our firm by referrals as we have done thus far and are excited for what the future may bring for our firm.

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Viet Ha: Best of luck with your company and I wish you continued success!

Antonios: Thanks for your time and thanks for the well wishes!

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