Adecco, Fintech & People

Fintech companies are full of talent and people with strong skills, and job positions in this sector continue to grow. Innovation in the financial sector has led to the creation of new jobs and roles. Today, we talk about this with Adecco, Professional Partner of Fintech District.

 Who exactly is Adecco and what do you do? 

Adecco is the company of The Adecco Group that develops and enhances human capital. 

It is the leading employment agency in Italy: every day we contribute to matching job supply and demand. We respond to the needs of protection, guarantee, and professional continuity of workers and meet the need for transformation expressed by companies in a world of continuous change.

Thanks to a team of 2,000 professionals and more than 300 branches throughout Italy, Adecco employs more than 45,000 people every day and is a partner to more than 11,000 clients.

Who are you addressing and what do you offer? What is your uniqueness and your added value?

We relate to companies and candidates every day: on the one hand, we help companies to take advantage of new growth opportunities by responding to the need for flexibility and quality with dedicated solutions and tailor-made services; on the other hand, we are a true partner for candidates and support them in their search for new job opportunities and in achieving their goals. 

Our uniqueness lies in guiding candidates through all stages of their career path and offering companies the best solutions to their needs. This is possible thanks to all the Adecco professionals who are active throughout the country. 

Why did you become interested in fintech? What opportunities do you see in this sector?

As Adecco, we have chosen to develop a specialized division – Adecco Financial Services – to support companies and candidates in the fintech sector, which is becoming increasingly popular in the market.

Having worked in the fintech sector for many years now, we have realized how the combination of technology and finance is becoming increasingly important. A company like Adecco, synonymous with innovation, start-ups, and the future of work, could only bring added value to companies and candidates in the panorama of new opportunities born in this sector.

How can you support the fintech community as a Professional Partner?

Adecco is part of the most important multi-brand platform of HR solutions and services. Thanks to our ecosystem we are therefore a valuable support for companies and candidates. We will provide the fintech companies of the Community with our know-how and experience in HR management, to support them in the growth, training (upskilling and reskilling), development, and management of human resources.

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MDOTM: Artificial Intelligence in the Asset and Wealth Management Industry

In 2021, MDOTM became the European leader in AI-driven investment strategies after raising a Series-B round and doubling Assets under Advisory (AuA). The company plans to open a New York office and expand its international operations. Representing one of the most active innovation hubs in Europe, Fintech District talked with MDOTM’s CEO Tommaso Migliore about how and where the industry is going. He also discussed how Fintech’s technology assists Asset and Wealth Managers, the rising popularity of Open Innovation partnerships with financial institutions, and the industry’s best practices for ensuring AI explainability and reliability in investments.

Tommaso, how can AI be used to improve the investment process? And how is it helping institutional investors improve their decision-making?

Making an investment decision is a very complicated and thorough process, you need to factor in a lot of information, and today, we live in an abundance of information. To get an idea, IBM estimates that about 90% of data has been created in the last two years alone, and this is not stopping any time soon. Quantitative approaches have been used for many years to support the investment process: from estimating expected risk and returns to building portfolios and managing risk. So why does it make sense to talk about Artificial Intelligence in investing? After decades of research, AI has grown to be a mature technology and has become the logical next step to bring a more adaptive and forward-looking way for managers to build holistic investment views by identifying information hidden in the noise of data. Today it can be used to build portfolios or enhance the strategic and tactical asset allocation.

Research shows that Open Innovation partnerships between Financial Institutions and Fintechs are rapidly growing. What makes them a win-win? And what are the key elements for success?

Over the last years, theAsset and Wealth Management industry has been on a journey of rapid change accelerated by massive regulatory shifts and a new competitive environment. And nowadays to compete you need to change and adapt even faster. Artificial Intelligence is bringing us into the assisted decision-making era, in which specialisation is crucial. This has led to the rise of Open Innovation partnerships, where fintech companies use their specialised know-how to develop new technologies and partner with financial institutions to support them in developing solutions that are more tailored and adaptive for end clients. Partnerships like these allow institutions to access cutting-edge technologies, acquire specialised know-how, shorten time-to-market, and reach new clients – making this a real win-win situation.

AI explainability and reliability have become a top priority, especially in investments. How did you manage to embed it into your proprietary AI? Could you give us some practical use cases?

Explainability is a non-negotiable aspect. In this sense, achieving explainability in Artificial Intelligence requires two main dynamics: the technology itself, and the internal processes. For example, when building ALICE® – our proprietary AI methodology – we embedded explainability right into the design of our systems. We didn’t develop the technology as ‘one big brain’, we developed it as a series of chains where the input is not necessarily connected with a respective output, it’s rather a series of inputs and outputs that ultimately connect together to create a final decision. This series of chains allows us to go back and track exactly what were the main drivers behind every decision that the technology makes. Regarding our internal processes, we have two teams. The first one being our R&D department of over 40 people, blending physicists, engineers, and finance experts who constantly supervise and enhance our AI. The second is the Mission Control team, which monitors the learning rate of our models and periodically meets with clients to explain the rationale behind ALICE’s insights to align their portfolios to the current market regime. This duet creates a process in which there’s a further effort to ensure that the technology is understandable and trackable.

Where do you think the Asset and Wealth Management industry is headed? What are your next steps?

What the last years have shown us, is that Artificial Intelligence and technology are here to stay. This industry is undergoing a massive change driven by increasing complexity and lower marginality. Technology has become the answer in order to cope with these dynamics. This is something not just in Europe, we’ve perceived it from our client base in the UK, Benelux, and the US – a real global-scale phenomenon. The future evolution of this phenomenon is twofold, on the one hand, client interaction will be completely digitalised, and on the other – thanks to Artificial Intelligence – assisted decision-making will be a must. The latter will allow for more adaptability and flexibility when it comes to making investment decisions, and will render the future of the asset and wealth management industry more adaptive, technological, and tailor-made for the final client.

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SMEs and investors, CrescItalia responds to both

CrescItalia is a fintech player constantly evolving and experiencing a moment of acceleration that has also included its entry into the Fintech District community. CEO Mattia Donadeo Spada describes its activities, growth and future objectives.

What CrescItalia does and who it addresses?

CrescItalia is a fintech acting as a hinge between non-bank capital and companies, with the aim of facilitating the meeting between the Italian entrepreneurial fabric and investors. Thanks to our integrated digital servicing platform, we accompany institutional investors in the processes of evaluation and validation of trade receivables, as well as in the management of investment operations. SMEs, in turn, find on the platform an intuitive, user-friendly environment that can be integrated with their existing ERP for access to our solutions, such as financing and invoice assignment. CrescItalia’s activity is therefore aimed at both categories: on the one hand, asset managers and institutional asset managers as well as institutional investors for whom we structure and manage alternative asset funds, guaranteeing compliance and real- time control of operations; on the other hand we find the SMEs to whom we provide these instruments.
At present, our platform manages the entire operation of the solution for the assignment of credits with the non-recourse formula, which makes the risk of insolvency fully borne by the investor. We initially focused on this solution because it is in great demand among companies, that can obtain immediate liquidity without having to be reported to the Central Risk Service and without having to pay an annual fee. CrescItalia thus quickly disburses the fee to the supplier according to the the supplier and according to the agreements reached, usually up to a maximum of 90% in advance and the rest in a subsequent balance, net of the costs of the transfer. We also operate in the field of reverse factoring and medium/long-term financing (minibonds).

How it has grown since its inception and its current numbers?

CrescItalia was founded in 2013 with the aim of offering innovative solutions to support the growth of small and medium-sized Italian companies. After an initial phase of activity in the specialised sector of minibonds with servicing and advisory operations for SGRs, in 2017/2018 we invested heavily in the development of a platform that would manage and monitor alternative asset funds in a streamlined and customised way. Since 2019 we have expanded our operations with the tried and tested and highly effective proprietary dynamic scoring module and the management of assignor and debtor side operations.

CrescItalia is now a lean and agile company, at the forefront of the Italian fintech scene and fintech landscape. It differs from other fintechs because of its decision to validate and build the elements of the business model by always confronting the market, thanks to which it has managed to do so. Thanks to this, it has been able to grow organically, financing capital investments until 2020 with capital increases covered entirely by the initial shareholders. In 2021, in anticipation of a more ambitious growth phase, it listed a fully subscribed bond on the Vienna Stock Exchange.
In terms of traction, CrescItalia has structured and/or serviced six alternative asset funds for over EUR 540 million with prestigious partners, and a further two are planned for 2022, for a further EUR 225 million. On the conveyancing side, in the field of invoice invoices, the volume in 2020 was EUR 17.928 million for 1886 invoices. In the first 8 months of 2021 the volume was EUR 13.738 million for 1065 invoices.

Is CrescItalia interested in open innovation projects? Have you already already done any?

To date, CrescItalia has not participated in any open innovation projects. Rather, at the moment, we are trying to collaborate with other fintechs and corporations to encourage and participate in projects that promote Open Banking for legal entities’ accounts (companies and VAT numbers).

How is your team composed?

We are experiencing a phase of strong acceleration in recent months, with important investments in growth and consolidation of the working team. Thanks to an intense recruiting campaign, the team has grown from seven people in May 2021 to twenty in December of the same year. Not only have new senior figures joined the team, but have an operations structure in the operations area.

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Opening Italian alternative funds to retail clients’ investments

Investment regulations are constantly evolving, generating innovation and new solutions for investors. We talked about it with Giovanni Carotenuto from Carotenuto Studio Legale, an independent law firm with an international vocation.

On 15th March 2022, the Decree of the Minister of Economy and Finance no. 19 of 13th January 2022 (the “Decree”) was published in the Official Gazette, which amending the Ministerial Decree no. 30 of 5th March 2015 in order to redefine the conditions for participation in Italian alternative investment funds (“AIFs”) by retail clients, holding medium/large assets. The Decree will come into force on 30 March 2022.

What is an undertaking in a collective investment scheme and which are its main features?                             

Pursuant to Article 1, paragraph 1, sub-paragraph k), of the Legislative Decree no. 58 of 24th February 1998 (the Consolidated Law on Finance; “CFA”) an undertaking in a collective investment scheme (“UCI”) is a “body set up to provide the service of collective asset management, whose capital is obtained from multiple investors through the issue and offer of units or shares, managed upstream in the investors’ interests and independently by the same, and also invested in financial instruments, credit, including credit backed, in favour of subjects other than consumers, by the UCI’s capital, equity or other fixed or non-fixed assets, on the basis of a predetermined investment policy”.

In brief short, UCI’s purpose is to allow investments of sums of money in through financial instruments (e.g., the UCI’s units) of sums of money collected from professional and retail investors on the basis of a predetermined policy, which includes a description of the level of risk related to such investments.

UCIs can take the form either of mutual funds or investment companies (namely, investment companies with a variable capital (i.e., SICAVs) or investment companies with a fixed capital (i.e., SICAFs)). The investment in the latter amounting amounts  to becoming a shareholder of the company in question.

On the contrary, a mutual fund requires the appointment of an asset management company whose assets are distinct and separated from those of the mutual fund managed. As a result, investors receive a fund’s units in exchange for the capital invested therein.

As part of the wider family of mutual funds, AIFs are specialised alternative funds, professionally managed with the aim of achieving absolute performance, independent of market trends.

Which are the main novelties introduced by the Decree?

As a general remark consideration, the Decree has changed the thresholds for making investments in AIFs. Indeed, beforehand, only the following subjects were entitled to purchase in AIFs’ units:

  1. professional investors (i.e. clients who possess the necessary experience and expertise to make their own informed investment decisions and properly assess the risks they take, such as banks, investment firms, other authorised or regulated financial institutions, insurance companies, collective investment schemes and related management companies, pension funds and management companies, large companies that have at least two of the following requirements: their total balance sheet is equal at least to  € 20,000.000; a their net turnover is equal at least to € 40,000.000 and owns funds of at least € 2,000.000);
  2. retail investors who invest a total amount of not less than € 500,000.00;
  3. asset management company’s Board members and employees without any entry threshold.

From the entry into force of the Decree, AIFs can be subscribed by:

  1. retail investors who, within the ambit of an investment advisory service, purchase AIFs’ units for an initial amount not lower than € 100,000.00, provided however that the total amount of such investment does not exceed 10% of their financial portfolio and takes into account that the initial minimum subscription cannot be split.
  2. individual portfolio managers purchasing AIF’s units on behalf of retail clients for an initial amount not lower than € 100,000.00.

As a result, which opportunities for investemnt in AIFs are now available for retail clients?

AIFs are investment funds characterised by: the absence of a link to a particular benchmark, the presence of a fairly high potential return and, consequently, a medium-high risk profile. Moreover, AIFs have a low correlation with the various equity and bond markets.

As a consequence of the entry into force of the Decree, retail investors with medium/large assets are hence being offered the possibility of gaining returns on their investments even when the market trend is in a negative phase, yet bearing at the same time the related risks.

In light of the foregoing, access to these forms of alternative investments to a wider category of potential investors in medium/long term illiquid assets and unlisted companies, may result in increasing portfolios diversification, achieving appreciable returns, and at the same time, providing alternative sources of financing Italian unlisted companies (particularly, SMEs) and fostering Italy’s economic recovery.

The Decree has also established that intermediaries purchasing AIFs’ units on behalf of retail clients and those advising the latter to subscribe to such units must know the financial instruments purchased or recommended, as well as assess their compatibility with their (actual or potential) clients’ best interest. In addition, the latter must provide the above intermediaries with accurate information on concerning their financial portfolio and other investments in AIFs.

How will these novelties impact on an innovative and agile reality such as the Fintechs in our community?

In this scenario, Fintech companies may benefit from the opening of retail investments, particularly in the venture capital and private equity sectors. Given the constant need for higher investments in the real economy, the novelties introduced by the Decree represent a potential boost in the alternative funds’ market, increasing, in turn, the ability to raise capital for the development of start-ups/SME’s with greater development potentials, amongst which we find Fintech companies.

Full banking licence or e-money licence? Here’s what you need to know

SOLARISBANK, the pan-European player in Banking As A Service, has shared a guide to clarify the differences in banking licenses to help you make the right choices for your business.

If you’re a business that’s thinking of working with a Banking-as-a-Service provider, one of the first decisions you’ll have to make is which licence you’ll need: full banking licence, or e-money licence?

It’s also a crucial one. Your decision will determine the direction your business will take, what services you can or can’t offer your customers, and even how you market yourself.

In this article, we’ll explore the key differences between a full banking licence and an e-money licence, their pros and cons, and the reasons you’d choose one or the other.

What’s a full banking licence?

A full banking licence certifies that you meet the legal criteria to operate as a bank. Having this licence means you can:

  • Offer payment services
  • Manage customers’ deposits
  • Offer interest-bearing accounts
  • Issue credit cards, loans, and other lending products
  • Offer other financial services products such as bancassurance and wealth management
  • Use the term ‘bank’ in your name and marketing materials
  • Give customers the peace of mind that their deposits are protected by a deposit protection scheme (up to €100k per depositor)

In Germany, a full banking licence is known as a CRR credit institution licence or, more commonly, as a deposit credit institution licence. In addition to the full banking licence, it’s also possible to apply for a licence for individual regulated activities.

To get a full banking licence, you need to apply to the financial services regulator in the country where you want to operate and prove that you meet the criteria. That said, in the Eurozone it’s the European Central Bank that ultimately decides whether to approve an application.

In practice, the national financial services regulator — in Germany, this is BaFin, the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority — receives licence applications and makes preliminary decisions. The ECB then reviews the decisions and confirms them, applies additional conditions, or rejects them.

Because every EU country’s banking laws must meet minimum standards, EU banking licences enjoy what are called passporting rights. So, having a licence in one EU country — Germany, for instance — allows you to offer your services in other EU countries and in the EEA.

How do you get a full banking licence?

First things first, you’ll need to meet a minimum capital requirement. This is an amount of money you must set aside over and above any customer deposits. Banks must also contribute to a depositor protection scheme. By law, if a bank fails, customers have a right to get their money back, up to a maximum of €100,000 per customer.

Alongside minimum capital requirements, you must provide the regulator with extensive documentation. This includes, amongst many other things:

  • A business plan that explains how you’ll manage customers’ money and your strategy for becoming and staying profitable
  • A rundown of your organisational structure, that is how you’re going to manage and run the bank and comply with the law on an ongoing basis
  • A list of potential conflicts of interest

Regulators also conduct a series of comprehensive interviews, plus thorough background checks to ensure the key people who own and run the bank are ‘fit and proper’. The idea is to make sure that those who are in charge or have a say in the bank’s business are trustworthy and have the right knowledge and experience, so your money is safe.

What’s an e-money licence and how do I get one?

An e-money licence allows you to offer payment services and some other financial services products, but not operate as a bank or use ‘bank’ in your name or marketing materials.

Broadly speaking, e-money institutions can:

  • Accept customer funds and change them into e-money, but not manage them. Customers can use e-money accounts as digital wallets, but they can’t earn interest on them or go overdrawn
  • Offer debit cards, account-to-account transfers, standing orders, and direct debits, but not lending as a standalone product.
  • Offer some digital financial services products, such as foreign currency exchange

Like full banking licences, e-money licences issued in EU countries have passporting rights, which means you can offer your services in the rest of the EU and EEA.

That said, it’s national financial services regulators who approve applications. The ECB isn’t involved. The licence application process is also shorterand less comple, and the minimum capital requirement is a much lower €350,000. And, because you can’t take risks with client money (more on this in a minute) there’s no need to join a depositor compensation scheme.

Full banking licence vs e-money licence: what are the pros and cons?

The single biggest difference between banks and e-money institutions is that banks can do four things e-money institutions can’t:

  • Manage customers’ money, including investing it or using it to issue loans to other customers at a profit
  • Offer interest-bearing accounts
  • Offer standalone lending products like mortgages or personal loans
  • Hold additional licences. Alongside banking business, banks can also obtain special licences — a payment institution licence, or a securities trading licence, for instance — that allow them to offer a broader range of products and create additional revenue streams

Of course, because banks can take risks with customers’ money, they have to follow very strict regulatory requirements, and are under somewhat more scrutiny than e-money institutions. Which means there’s less flexibility when it comes to how you operate.

By contrast, e-money institutions must keep customers’ money safe in a segregated account with a licensed bank. You can’t touch customers’ money or take any risks with it. Needless to say, this requirement means that, as an e-money institution, you’re dependent on third-party providers, which can make you somewhat less nimble.

Lastly, most e-money licences have limits on transaction volumes, which can restrict how quickly and how much you can scale.

The upside is that e-money licences were specifically designed to allow non-banks to compete with banks. Because there are restrictions on what types of services you can and can’t offer, there’s more operational flexibility. And this allows you to be more agile and innovate more quickly.

Lixi Invest, e-learning for responsible investing

In the Fintech District community, partners play a key role and contribute to the growth of start-ups and scale-ups. Each does this in its own way, offering expertise and experience. In Lixi Invest‘s case, this is explained in this interview.

What does Lixi Invest do and who does it address?

Lixi Invest is a company founded in 2018 and now employing 18 people on a daily basis. Our business model is based on an e-learning platform focused on financial literacy, investing and financial planning: committed to helping investors and savers invest strategically, consciously, and efficiently.
We teach people how to manage their money by following a solid financial planning process, from zero to the investor. Specifically, we pursue our mission by selling memberships, books, digital courses, and newsletters geared toward private savers and investors. Our business model revolves around getting new leads through advertising and educational content, in turn nurturing them these by leveraging free newsletters, videos, blog posts, podcasts, and infographics on different platforms. Finally, the prospects who are keen on taking things to the next level can buy our advanced digital courses and memberships.

Who are you addressing and what do you offer? What is your uniqueness?

Our uniqueness stems from the holistic approach we have towards investing, based on the top -tier academic and scientific literature available. As an agile e-learning platform we have been able to be the first on the Italian market to develop products and services best serving private investors’ interests and investment planning needs covering every stage of the investors’ lifecycle. Unlike the our competitors, we are not forced to launch every two months low – quality products and services in order to supply for the cash – flow needed to run a business in the e-leaning market. We have a loyal, satisfied and recurrent customer base which is expanding thanks to our wide – ranging advertisement campaigns.

Why have you become interested in fintech? What opportunities do you see in this sector?

Fintech is the natural evolution of our company’s growth path. We’re grateful to the world of training and we are willing to mantain our educational vocation which allowed us to reach tens of thousands of investors, but we want to take a step further towards this sector. By leveraging technology, we would like to further improve our investment planning solutions’ efficiency and usability.
We are confident that fintech could be the chance to simplify investors’ money life and investments. Our method, expressed through a new, fast and intuitive form has the potential to hugely impact savers and investors life. The fintech sector is extremely inspiring and innovative. We want to be an active part of the network revolving around it.

How can you, as a Professional Partner , support fintechs in the community?

Lixi Invest is laser focused on the needs, fears, wishes and desires of flesh and blood investors. Our community comprises more than 25.000 savers and investors and it is an ideal starting point to build a permanent observatory with the purpose of gathering data, statistics and insights related to saving habits, investments and personal finance in general. It would be interesting to discuss these topics within the community and to provide our expertise: after all, we are “investor experts” before being investment experts.

Find out more about Lixi InvestAegis SCF

Crime in data, and Mine Crime takes off towards success

Online data on crime and urban decay are at the heart of the business of Mine Crime, the innovative startup led by Giacomo Salvanelli and funded by Bocconi University as part of the Bocconi4Innovation initiative, which recently joined the Fintech District community.

This young company, founded in late 2020, is able to access this data, extrapolate it and transform it into composite risk indicators and then selling it to its clients. Most of the companies involved are medium to large sized but belong to different sectors that, for one reason or another, need this data to grow and be more competitive on the market. These include retail, insurance, real estate, transport and intra-urban logistics companies as well as risk security consultancies and data companies. Mine Crime supports them with this data in the preparation of their risk management plan and risk analysis.

The business model seems to be working because Mine Crime has grown significantly in recent months, both in terms of turnover and in the number of clients it serves. By 2022, the aim is to grow even more, to increase turnover fivefold and to double the number of clients, making the contracts signed with them increasingly significant and substantial. The idea is also to carry out open innovation projects along the lines of the one with Taxi Blue, the largest radio taxi in Milan, but also ranging into other sectors such as real estate or insurance, but also banking.

To face these challenges there is a well-matched team, “a multifaceted team that encompasses all the skills needed to make a successful business”. CEO Giacomo Salvanelli comes from the world of data analysis applied to security and risk analysis. There are two software engineers working full time on the project, Samuel Piatanesi and Luca Ruschioni, respectively responsible for the back end and front end, two experts in the legal field, Pietro Marino, focused on the management of our privacy infrastructure and Enrico Ferrara on contracts in the finance field. and Then there is Giuseppe Caterini, financial manager, who manages the entire financial structure of the company.

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Patent box and R&D tax credit: regulatory news, business news

Regulations are constantly evolving and those who want to succeed in the fintech sector should not be left behind. New opportunities are created when the rules of the game change, and the professionals in the community can help by explaining them to us and enabling us to seize them. Raffaello Fossati of Fantozzi Associati explains the latest news on patent box and R&D tax credit.

What changes brings the repeal of the old Patent Box regime? What does the new regime introduce and what advantages it does provide to Fintech?

Art. 6 of the Law Decree 146/2021 introduced significant changes to the so-called Patent Box regime which was further amended in the 2022 Budget Law (hereinafter referred to as “New Regime”). Specifically, the New Regime represents a substantial shift from the former discipline (concerning the tax exemption availed on intangibles-related income) and hereby considers the research and development (“R&D”) costs with the exclusion of any intra-group expenses incurred in relation to the following IPs (either licensed or directly employed):
> copyrighted software;
> industrial patents;
> designs and models
.
These costs are deductible for the income tax purposes (both IRES and IRAP) at an increased total rate of 210% (i.e., at 110% more than the actual cost incurred). However, in compliance with the previous indications the option for the regime lasts for 5 tax periods, is irrevocable and renewable (as per par. 1 of the cited Art. 6). Finally, par. 10-bis of the 2022 Budget Law provides that in case if R&D costs were incurred for the development of one or more eligible intangible assets in previous years, the taxpayer can benefit of the referred 110% increased deductibility starting from the moment in which the intangible asset is registered on the overall costs incurred in up to maximum of 9 tax periods.

How does the management change for the patents and new software? Is the New Regime considered as an obstacle or, in turn, as an incentive for the innovation?

In the case of software, the New Regime could be viewed as a very appealing opportunity for increasing investments in innovation in consideration of the constant development activities carried out by “software houses”. In particular, the provisions of the old regime specified certain characteristics of the eligible R&D costs in terms of software development which were quite broad and, if the same applies under the New Regime, software houses would retain complete deductibility of the total operating expenses incurred atthe increased rate.

On an overall basis, however, the new regime reduces the incentive for producing profit generating IPs. What were the changes concerning the R&D tax credit?

As per indications provided in par. 45 of Art. 1 of the 2022 Budget Law, the amendments made with respect to the R&D Tax Credit were the following:
> R&D activity – 20% of allowable expenses up to a maximum amount of 4 mio EUR (for tax periods
2023-2031 the rate is decreased to 10% with maximum amount of 5 mio EUR);
> scientific and technological research as well as design and aesthetic ideation activities – 10% of
allowable expenses up to a maximum amount of 2 mio EUR (for tax periods 2024-2025 5% with a
maximum of 2 mio EUR);
> technological innovation activity – 15% of the allowable expenses up to a maximum amount of 2
mio EUR (for tax periods 2024-2025 5% with a maximum of 4 mio EUR).
Additionally, an indemnity was introduced for taxpayers who incorrectly benefited from R&D Tax Credit during the period 2014-2019, by allowing the ratification of the credit amounts used without a further application of penalties and fines.
Furthermore, it should be noted that the possibility for the simultaneous benefit from the Patent Box regime and R&D tax credit was confirmed.

In your opinion, how will these changes impact an innovative and agile reality like the fintech
community?

The introduced changes in fact could be viewed as an incentive given to the taxpayers for a constant development and adjustment to the rapidly changing technological environment by providing the relevant tax savings in a medium-term perspective and thus releasing funds for the additional investment activities to be carried out by companies like Fintechs and startup.
The overall reorganization of both the R&D tax credit and Patent Box carried out since 2019 was clearly aimed at simplification, certainty and limitation of future challenges’ risks which are considered as important drivers of innovation. Subject to the final clarifications to be provided by the Italian tax authorities on the new Patent Box, we expect that startups and young Fintechs could benefit of both incentives and obtain relevant tax savings.
For instance, a company operating as a software house could avail of the Patent Box regime on the vast majority of its costs and be taxed only on the portion of profits which exceeds such development costs (e.g., no taxes should be due until the EBIT margin is approx. 50%).

FD & Luiss Business School together for a new fintech generation

The two institutions share their know-how in a new project of higher education to understand
and govern the logic of the sector

The Italian fintech ecosystem has good growth prospects but among the obstacles towards development, identified by the Bank of Italy, there is the lack of qualified personnel. Scholarships are provided by Fabrick

With global growth prospects of $124.3 billion by the end of 2025 and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23.84%, fintech represents the present and the future of financial services. In spite of the gap with the main European countries, the Italian ecosystem has good evolutionary prospects, but among the obstacles to for development identified by the Bank of Italy in its latest survey on the sector is the lack of qualified personnel. In this context, characterized by an increasing collaboration between traditional operators and innovative companies, Luiss Business School – recognized for its experiential and innovative teaching methodology and for the training of profiles with skills immediately usable in the world of work – and Fintech District – the international community of reference for the fintech ecosystem in Italy – have decided to act synergistically, designing and implementing the Flex executive program in fintech.

Starting in May 2022, the advanced training program is aimed at banking professionals, investors and entrepreneurs interested in understanding the developments and logic of the sector, as well as viable business strategies. Delivered in English with the flex formula, which combines educational excellence and flexibility, it provides 90% of the lessons in through distance learning and the rest in presence in Amsterdam at the international HUB of the Luiss Business School. The program is divided into 6 modules and is enriched by seminars and testimonials, insights on the main market sectors, practical applications and company presentations through the involvement of international innovation ecosystems.

Participants will have an in-depth understanding of the sector at 360°: technology and its impact on the financial sector; the frictions that fintech aims to eliminate; regulation and regulatory changes; new business models based on collaboration and co-creation. Scholarships are made available by Fabrick, a reality that operating internationally to promote open finance, to which the Fintech District belongs.

Enzo Peruffo, Associate Dean for Education, Luiss Business School states: “The advent of Fintech has brought such a disruptive innovation it has made it necessary to rethink the strategies for the future of companies, banks and financial intermediaries. If, on the one hand, companies that are active in the sector are enhancing their offer of digital services, which are increasingly flexible and customizable, redesigning the customer journey, on the other hand, the size and unavoidability of the phenomenon has generated the need to activate appropriate policies and regulations. In addition, and also in light of these profound transformations, operators in the sector will be called upon to re-skill themselves in order to acquire the financial-digital know-how that this training course is, in fact, aimed at building.”

Alessandro Longoni, Head of Fintech District states: “Fintech has demonstrated its strategic role in the evolution of financial services. The strong digital acceleration the pandemic has brought, now requires a change in approach and skills of professionals in the financial world and this comes to be, first of all, through training. We need professionals who know how to govern the new market logics in order to recognize and anticipate future developments. The spread of a culture of innovative financial services is one of the objectives of Fintech District. Thanks to our experience and contacts with the most important Italian and international fintech companies, we can contribute concretely to the training of figures able to support the growth of the industry so that it does not remain a topic for a few experts but is increasingly perceived as a sector able to improve the life of the community and the entrepreneurial fabric. For this reason we are proud to launch this Master together with an accredited and cutting-edge partner such as Luiss Business School”.

Want to know more? Write to tudor.sava@fintechdistrict.com

99bros focuses on AI and multimedia to innovate insurance

99bros has recently joined the ranks of the insurtech start-ups and scale-ups belonging to the Fintech District community. To better understand its business, we interviewed Founder and CEO Claudio Cancellieri.

What does 99bros do and who is it aimed at?

99bros is a digital insurance brokerage platform which, thanks to an integrated system of artificial intelligence, multimedia content and specialised consultants, allows customers to choose the solutions best suited to their risk profile, managing the choice and subscription of policies quickly and easily online. We mainly target people under 40, individuals and families, offering the best solutions for car, motorbike, scooter, bike, home, life, health, accident, supplementary pension policies, and more.

How has it grown in recent months?

After the acceleration in Luiss Enlabs and the related funding received from LVenture Group and Lazio Innova in 2020, we are now on the market with the aim of increasing our customer base to be able so as to refine our machine learning algorithm better and better and to be able to offer our solutions to a wider audience, perhaps even outside of Italy.

Have you done or would you like to do any open innovation projects? What kind and with whom?

We don’t have any on the horizon yet, but we would like to do some with car manufacturers, for a very innovative service that has been running through our heads for a while ….

How is your team structured?

Our team is very “concentrated” and is made up of just five people: Roberta, who takes care of all the operations, Claudio, the CEO, Stefano, the CTO, Marco, who is the Sales Consultant, and Fulvio, who takes care of Marketing.

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