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Wealth and Capital Markets Blog wrote a new blog post titled We Might Need to Reconcile
Just got back from the FTF Sec Ops Conference in Boston. Front-to-back asset management work flow was the main focus of the conference with some of the largest asset managers represented but also well represented by smaller AuM AMs. It is amazing the range of technology that covers the buy side, from cutting edge fintech to AMs with less cutting edge technology that are still parsing faxes. Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong here; remember in business there are never problems just issues to be solved! The major observation here is that while fintech players, as well as...
821 days ago
Wealth and Capital Markets Blog wrote a new blog post titled Liquidity and Collateral: getting the blood to flow again
Cash is a dirty word for some cultures, but not for financial services, on the contrary. But I am not talking about the old images of the stingy bankers holding on to their $ bills or about Scrooge McDuck. Banks, custodians, CCPs, CSDs and exchanges are the financial institutions that enable the exchange of cash for securities, the movement of cash between bank accounts, the securitization of cash, the transformation of cash into collateral. Without these markets players entire economies cannot function: they are the safe and resilient pipes and the pipe operators that enable companies to...
824 days ago
Wealth and Capital Markets Blog wrote a new blog post titled Should Asset Managers Pay for Shelf Space?
Last week a wealth management firm announced it would stop selling Vanguard mutual funds, though clients of the firm can still add money to existing Vanguard investments through 1Q18 and purchase Vanguard ETFs. Like many in the investment industry, my first thought was that this firm did this because Vanguard does not pay for the distribution of its funds (aka “shelf space”).  This week that same firm told InvetmentNews that they decided to stop selling Vanguard mutual funds because they are trying to treat all asset managers the same.  In this case, the argument is...
859 days ago
Wealth and Capital Markets Blog wrote a new blog post titled Exploring “Real World Fintech” at the Temenos Community Forum (“TCF”) 2017
I had the honor of attending this year’s Temenos Community Forum (“TCF”) where the theme was “Real World Fintech”.  Throughout the event, we “explored real-world examples of the latest advancements in Fintech, including blockchain, artificial intelligence, virtual reality and advanced data and analytics”.  The conference was meticulously organised and executed across three days for over 1,200 attendees. My experience most notably consisted of attending the main conference sections in the mornings and the wealth management breakout...
860 days ago
Wealth and Capital Markets Blog wrote a new blog post titled The Surging Appetite for Cloud-Based Services
I recently wrote an article for Capital Markets CIO Outlook that incorporates my thinking on the transition from one architecture to another in capital markets. I have the benefit of some of the great thinking of our analyst team on cloud, emerging technologies, and DLT. While the end-state is unclear, directionally more and more capital markets firms are moving to cloud-based infrastructure, BPO, and IT outsourcing. CIOs take note: I encourage you to, as much as possible, look outside your own four walls for inspiration. See here.
866 days ago
Wealth and Capital Markets Blog wrote a new blog post titled Re-tweets, Re-posts and Likes are Subject to FINRA’s Digital Communication Rules
Finra recently released their third regulatory notice around social media and digital communications.  The notice “provides guidance regarding the application of FINRA rules governing communications with the public to digital communications, in light of emerging technologies and communications innovations.” A couple of the Q&A responses listed in the latest regulation notice are particularly interesting to me.  The first two listed below explain that if an advisor shares or likes content from an independent third party, the advisor is in turn, subject to the same...
866 days ago
Wealth and Capital Markets Blog wrote a new blog post titled The DoL Fiduciary Rule: A State of Confusion
A month ago, on April 4, 2017, less than a week prior to the scheduled implementation date for the first phase of Department of Labor (DoL) Fiduciary Rule to go into effect, the DoL filed to delay the regulation by 60 days.  Therefore, as of now, the DoL Fiduciary Rule is scheduled to go into effect June 9, 2017. The DoL has also said that all requirements except for the Impartial Conduct Standards will be deferred until January 1, 2018. Simultaneously, the DoL is undertaking a review of the rule to determine whether or not the regulation as it stands now could hurt Americans ability...
867 days ago
Wealth and Capital Markets Blog wrote a new blog post titled Celent’s Innovation and Insight Day: Wealth and Asset Management Stream
We are only weeks away from Celent's 2017 Innovation and Insight Day where we will explore how players in the financial services market are leveraging technology in innovative ways in order to differentiate themselves in an increasingly competitive and challenging marketplace. We will be featuring a number of case studies, discussions, and deep-dives into topic areas surrounding innovation and focusing on themes, such as: Customer Experience Products Emerging Innovation Operation and Risk Legacy Transformation This is the first year we will have a...
910 days ago
Wealth and Capital Markets Blog wrote a new blog post titled Wealth and Asset Management Converges on Celent’s Annual Innovation and Insight Day
This will be the first year that Wealth and Asset Management (WAM) will have its own stream at Celent’s annual Innovation and Insight (I&I) Day. Traditionally, I&I Day has been focused on insurance and banking, and is an opportunity for insurers and banks to demonstrate innovative projects with the chance to be recognized for outstanding capabilities. Typically, each insurer or bank begins preparing months in advance by submitting their case for how they have exceled in a particular sector. For example, in banking, awards are given for innovation in payments, lending, open...
918 days ago
Wealth and Capital Markets Blog wrote a new blog post titled The Virtual Agent: NLP in Wealth Management
NLP has many use cases in consumer banking and is gaining adoption in wealth management. In my report, The Virtual Agent: Natural Language Processing in Wealth Management, I look at some of the more popular use cases for NLP, including for chatbots/virtual assistants and biometric identification, as well as the more cutting-edge applications, like for advisor matching and more complex virtual assistant processes. IPSoft and Personetics are two vendors making huge strides in the field of NLP.  IPSoft is working with SEB and Personetics is working with BRD, a subsidiary of Groupe...
922 days ago
Wealth and Capital Markets Blog wrote a new blog post titled FinTechStage Luxembourg
This week I attended the conference, FinTechStage Luxembourg, which brings together FinTech start-ups, investors, financial institutions, technology partners, and regulators to discuss the evolving financial market ecosystem. Some of the key takeaways from the day-long discussion among industry experts included: Luxembourg is aiming to attract UK FinTechs post-Brexit by becoming a hub to access the EU Artificial intelligence Digital identities Banking the underbanked in developed countries RegTech Data protection For the purpose of this blog post,...
927 days ago
Wealth and Capital Markets Blog wrote a new blog post titled Cloud is Down
Yes, even the cloud can go down! For the many firms, including the SEC and CIA, who run their infrastructure in the AWS cloud, Tuesday’s outage was a pain. The economic impact of the outage will easily be in the many tens of millions. It is particularly poignant as it comes at a time when so many core processes are moving into the public cloud and more and more capital market participants are building in the cloud, or toward a cloud future, as we discussed in The Cloud Comes of Age in the Capital Markets: All Clear for More Cloud. This outage is a reminder that not only can all...
927 days ago
Wealth and Capital Markets Blog wrote a new blog post titled Ellevest Knows Their Customer
At the end of last year, I decided to try Ellevest, an automated advisory platform that specializes in serving women’s distinct needs. Ellevest’s email communication and marketing have stood out to me. Ellevest understands their audience.  The emails sent by Sallie Krawcheck, cofounder and chief executive, resonate with my beliefs. Her communication strikes the right balance of sensitivity to women’s issues, responsiveness to current events, and emphasis on the importance of financial goals/investing, while also coming across in the same organic language one would...
942 days ago
Wealth and Capital Markets Blog wrote a new blog post titled Impact Investing Gains Momentum
The polarizing political climate appears to be serving as an impetus for some firms to take socially responsible investing more seriously.  At today’s Impact Investing conference hosted by The Economist in NYC, Audrey Choi, Chief Executive of Morgan Stanley’s Institute for Sustainable Investing, said there is research that shows that 70% of investors want to align their investments with their values. Not surprisingly millennials are interested in impact investing. Audrey Choi also referenced research that that millennials are two times as likely to buy or divest stocks...
943 days ago
Wealth and Capital Markets Blog wrote a new blog post titled No lumber, no slumber: Canadian robo steps up
As I point out in my recent report on robo advisors in Canada, price points for digital advisors are on the high side, even for the lumbering Canadian advice market. Especially as these robos are not known for standout service, as other bloggers have noted. So should it be a surprise that Invesco Canada has developed plans to roll out Jemstep in Canada, the digital advice service the parent company acquired in January 2016? Opportunity beckons The truth is that the roll out has relatively little to do with the small Canadian market, and everything to do with the US, and...
956 days ago
Wealth and Capital Markets Blog wrote a new blog post titled Technology, Training & Compliance in Light of the Fiduciary Standard
Capturing retirement assets is paramount for brokerages. When thinking about the word saving, it is hard not to think about retirement. Brokerages are constantly looking for rollover assets, and as baby boomers retire, this search has never been more significant — which is why, when the DoL Fiduciary Rule was proposed, brokerages quickly reacted. April 10, 2017, when Phase 1 of the DoL Fiduciary Rule goes into effect, is quickly approaching. My latest report, The Quest for Retirement Assets: When the Light Shines on the Fiduciary Standard, explores ways that brokerages are reacting to...
958 days ago
Wealth and Capital Markets Blog wrote a new blog post titled In the world of robo 2017, C.A.S.H. is king
For those of you who seek yearly prognostication, here we go. I see four factors or trends driving the evolution of robo world in 2017, and attempt to capture them here with a simple, suitable acronym: C.A.S.H. Cross border activity: We’re now seeing robo advisors extend their reach across national borders. This is not just the case in Europe (think German-UK robo Scalable and Italy’s Moneyfarm, which launched in the UK) but in North America as well. I comment on the planned entrance of Toronto based robo Wealthsimple into the US market in Financial Planning. Asset managers will continue...
964 days ago
Wealth and Capital Markets Blog wrote a new blog post titled Roll over, don’t play dead
In my most recent report, Wings of a Butterfly: Regulation, Rollovers and a Wave of Optimization Software, I discuss the challenges the DoL conflict of interest rule poses to the $7 trillion IRA rollover business. These challenges center on the need for advisors to break down 401k plan costs and make apples-to-apples comparisons of proposed rollover solutions.   Why focus on the rollover? First, the rollover decision serves as a touchstone in the relationship between client and advisor. Trust sits at the center of recommendation to roll over, and seldom are the vulnerabilities of the...
966 days ago
Wealth and Capital Markets Blog wrote a new blog post titled New Year New Tech New Research
In your new year resolutions, did you pledge to understand more the technology that scares you? Or at least the one that some people (aka analysts like me) claim will replace you? If the answer is “No” and you are working in the field of Investment Research, whether producing, consuming or distributing it, then you may want to read our latest report Start Coding Investment Research: How to Implement MiFID II with Robots and AI. I get paid to write research on fintech so theoretically I am not the tech scared type though I am the first one to control screen time at home. I know we...
980 days ago
Wealth and Capital Markets Blog wrote a new blog post titled Motivations behind Outsourcing in Wealth Management
This year Celent surveyed technology providers that service wealth management firms. The goal of the survey was to learn the motivations and strategies of wealth management firms that outsource components of their business to third party vendors.  The last time we did this survey was five years ago. From the survey, we learned that one of the main drivers of outsourcing today is so wealth managers can experiment with the latest technology before committing vast resources to a technology that may only be a fad.  Similarly, wealth management firms are eager to outsource because it...
1029 days ago