Welcome to our asset management marketing focus
This week’s round up brings you the coming of GDPR, further insights into workplace gender diversity, advisory malpractices and Bitcoin Pizza Day.
Movers & Shakers
Is now ➜ Distribution and Marketing Director at Church House Investment Management
Was: Consulting Director at Jigsaw Tree Ltd
Is now ➜ Senior Consultant Relations Manager – UK at AXA Investment Managers
Was: Assistant Vice President Marketing and Client Relations at Oaktree Capital Management, L.P.
Is now ➜ Senior Marketing Manager – France, BeLux & Middle East at Aberdeen Standard Investments
Was: Marketing Manager France & Middle East at Aberdeen Standard Investments
Kurtosys expresses their best wishes to all starting in their new positions.
Fund in Focus: L&G Future World Gender in Leadership UK Index Fund
The investment sphere has made big strides recently in the promotion of gender diversity and equality, and Legal & General Investment Management are carrying the torch by launching the first gender-oriented fund focusing exclusively on UK listed companies. It can also cleverly be abbreviated to the ‘GIRL Fund’.
What makes this investment fund particularly aimed at the encouragement of female leadership is LGIM’s own scoring and ranking of companies on four diversity measures:
- Women on the board of directors
- Women executives
- Women in management
- Women in the workforce
LGIM is also considering adding a fifth metric scoring companies on their gender pay gap.
The companies are expected to reach a minimum of 30% representation of women across these four measures, with only one of the UK’s biggest 350 firms having achieved full marks for diversity. Renewables Infrastructure Group achieve 100 for the number of women in its workforce and C-suite roles. Companies in the index which scored 85 or more included Merlin Entertainments, Next and Marks & Spencer. This follows LGIM’s pledge to vote against chairs of boards of FTSE 350 companies if they have under 25% of female representation at board level in April. LGIM voted against 37 board chairs in the UK last year too due to their lack of diversity.
Helena Morrissey (Head of Personal Investing at LGIM) is chair of the Diversity Project and has worked with Sacha Sadan (director of corporate governance), Clare Payn (head of corporate governance, North America) and David Barron (head of index equity and smart-beta, and manager of the fund) to write up a UK mandate to allocate more to highly diversified companies.
Morrissey states that “Gender inequality is one of the key issues of our time – and one that generates so much frustration […] Rather than feeling trapped or despondent, let’s do something about it. I’m excited about the launch of the GIRL Fund, which empowers us all to use our money to help companies to progress.”
LGIM is seeding the fund with £50 million, and it will be open to institutional and retail investors.
Clearly L&G are paving the way for increased diversity within the financial world in many ways, with the hope that other firms will follow.
Happy GDPR Day, one and all!
It feels like it’s been a long time coming, and I’m sure marketers the world over (and all those inundated with opt-in emails) are wiping sweat from brows and draining champagne from glasses.
On a serious note, however, the GDPR regulation has in turn proven to improve blockchain technology platforms, and it has all started in Poland.
The Polish Credit Office is the largest credit bureau in Central and Eastern Europe, and owned by the largest banks in Poland. There are around 140 million credit histories being tracked for over one million businesses and 24 million individuals, but by teaming up with Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) company Billon, the institution is hoping to store this sensitive customer data on the blockchain.
Their technology is GDPR compliant, with the regulation (along with MiFID II, in fact) emphasising the need for complete visibility and data integrity and the ability to track and access history at any time, for information such as banking records, loan agreements and bills.
The partnership was forged towards the end of 2017 as the best solution to deal with problems surrounding customer information, what with the major EU regulation dropping today. The whole solution has been consulted with the Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) and the Financial Supervision Authority (KNF). It is one of the first regtech compliant blockchain solutions on the planet, and the first with on-chain data storage and the ability for those to have a right to erase personal data. The solution was trialled with eight banks also.
CEO of Billion, Andrzej Horoszczak, goes further stating that “This solution provides the world’s first GDPR-compliant blockchain platform that streamlines customer service processes and implements customer rights such as the ‘right to be forgotten’. We’re fixing the problem of consumer data control, creating a level playing field between individuals and corporations.”
With GDPR comes great responsibility, but for financial institutions, blockchain technology could easily be the key to success, as displayed by this innovative partnership.
Fintech News: The Women of Crypto
Whilst GDPR may be taking up much of the news today, here at AMMF, it’s gender equality pioneering which seems to be the main agenda.
As this article from Glamour magazine notes, and is entitled, Cryptocurrency Is Not Just a Boys’ Club, and it runs us through a brief background to cryptocurrencies, and the fact that the early days of Bitcoin were disproportionately male. Currently however, as the tech industry goes full steam ahead, the drivers are coming to the fore, accompanied with the fact that many of these are women.
However, this piece goes into detail to define the tech and financial backgrounds of some of the cryptocurrency world’s most prolific women; the companies they came from, how their ideas became reality, their successes to-date and their opinions on the digital asset space.
These are the nine women – and their companies – excelling the capabilities of crypto.
The Pope vs Malpractice
In the ongoing debate surrounding financial advisors acting in the best interest of their clients, a slightly unexpected (yet highly influential) figure has continued to speak out against unfair advisory practices.
In a bulletin issued by the Vatican, Pope Francis has become a pioneer for the need for a universal fiduciary standard in regards to financial advisors. The pope is of course a spokesperson with gravitas, and weighed in on broad aspects pertaining to the financial industry, and more niche point such as credit default swaps.
Overall, Pope Francis attacked selfishness of financial advisers who do not subscribe to the ethical issues that come with money management, stressing that a saving needs to be “administered well”, besides just being managed, and he also highlights negligence and lack of protection for clients’ portfolios which come under the financial advisory malpractice umbrella.
Given the attempts (and subsequent) refusals in the US for the DOL Fiduciary rule, whereby professionals are required to adhere to rules to act in their clients’ best interests for retirement accounts, the ongoing pursuit for all-encompassing standards to better the advisory space are still ongoing.
Tight regulatory issues blight (but also benefit) the industry, and now figures such as the pope, seemingly on the periphery of the financial world, are getting involved in the aim to make client servicing a great experience for all.
Virtual Reality in financial services: a matter that has not featured for some time, but is still tantalising as we await the future. And, as we can now see, this future is getter tantalisingly closer, reported by Fortune.
One of the globe’s behemoths – Amazon – has been chatting about branching into financial matters for some time, with our own Allie Filippova assessing their competition with asset managers here, and they look to be shifting into a financial advisory space by believing that its future lies with virtual reality to build closer client-to-advisor relationships.
Teaming up with Fidelity Labs however (in fact the research lab of Fidelity Investments), Amazon has already created a digital Sims-esque advisor which debuted last week. It uses Amazon’s Sumerian VR and AR development tools, which can be used by the public to create apps. VR may prove a hit with game developers, but for the financial services industry, it is still in a nascent stage. Fidelity may therefore find this partnership giving them a head-start.
And now, as we’ve all been waiting for… here’s a video demonstration:
On the issue of malpractice in finances, and continuing in the wonderful format of video, is this little gem courtesy of Conan O’Brien’s talk show (bear with me…).
This time, it’s looking at bad investing. Using a fictional advisory firm called Hindsight Financial, it outlines how risky investing can be, and takes a poke at advisory services in general, is an SNL-esque manner.
Worth a watch for fans of the financial funnies, so here it is below:
…Whilst today is the day for GDPR, earlier this week was a huge day for followers of Bitcoin, especially those that have been there since day one.
8 years ago, the first exchange of bitcoin for a consumer product happened. This was a total of 10,000 bitcoins, and at the time, that cost a whopping $25 dollars for two Papa John’s pizza pies. Fast forward to 2018, and you’ll be astounded to know that the same purchase would now be worth $83.7 million. Hence, May 22 will forever be known as “Bitcoin Pizza Day”. Insane.
Whether Bitcoin-fans or not, at least we have pizza.
That’s all for this week, but be sure to check back soon for more asset management marketing highlights and fintech snippets from Kurtosys.