Welcome to our asset management marketing focus

This week’s edition brings you a multi-asset veteran, wealth management’s changing landscape, a major MarTech acquisition and RIA rockstars.

Movers & Shakers

Alex Hoctor-Duncan
Is now ➜ Sales Executive at Aberdeen Standard Investments
Was: Head of Retail at BlackRock

Graham Ray headshotGraham Ray
Is now ➜ Managing Director – Global Head of Sales and GRM for Financial Institutions at BNP Paribas Securities Services
Was: Managing Director – Global Head of Investor Services, Product Management at Deutsche Bank

Selina Tyler headshotSelina Tyler
Is now ➜ Head of UK Wholesale at Mirabaud Asset Management
Was: Director – UK Sales at Hermes Investment Management

Kurtosys expresses their best wishes to all starting in their new positions.

Fund in Focus: Jupiter Flexible Income Fund


A fund springing from a big-time industry move now: the new rollout from Jupiter in the form of a global multi-asset income fund.

Back in June, the firm hired Talib Sheikh, who had previously worked for JPMorgan for almost 20 years as a multi-asset specialist. Now the head of multi-asset strategy in his new role at Jupiter, Sheikh had highlighted that within this niche of funds, there needed to be ‘a clear need for alternative options’. It will invest in traditional and non-traditional asset classes, with a focus on four different areas: fixed income, equities, flexible assets (currencies, future and options) and alternatives.

The reasoning for this is due to Sheikh pointing out that, whilst interest rates are rising in Europe, the real yield that accounts for inflation is falling. Investors’ purchasing “is being eroded faster than at any time since the great financial crisis”, and so alternative options for investors in the multi-asset income space are needed to increase flexibility.

The fund is hoping to achieve a yield in the 4-6% range; Sheikh believes that this type of fund has potential as some existing products, whilst small, have a large market share. The fund will have ongoing charges, depending on their class, between 0.61% and 1.47%.

Further information: Citywire New Model Adviser | FT Adviser

Firm in Focus: Ritholtz Wealth Management

Bass-band-RIAsThis edition’s focus on a firm looks into some masters of the social media realm.

For those that are familiar with the wealth management social media landscape, the name Barry Ritholtz may seem familiar, the friendly face behind the popular investment blog The Big Picture, yet he’s also the Founder and CIO of Ritholtz Wealth Management. Barry’s no-nonsense look at the financial world is an addictive, and successful, series of writings and he has since built up his eponymous company with the aid of Josh Brown, CEO and a similarly popular blogging presence. Brown’s The Reformed Broker, was itself inspired by the style and message of Ritzholt’s own musings, so much so that a meeting between the two financial blogistas led to the starting up of the firm in 2013.

Citywire USA had the pleasure of sitting down with the head honchos in this interview, the dubbed ‘RIA rock stars’. In fact, Ritholtz acts almost like the George Clinton for his own P-Funk Allstars: the Ritzholtz financial funk collective. Each member of the core team has their very own blog or content alternative. We’ve featured Michael Batnick and Ben Carlson’s excellent Animal Spirits podcast in our very own writings before, and they’re but two cogs in this well-oiled machine. Even latest member Blair Duquesnay, Investment Advisor, has started up her own characteristically humour-tinged blog The Belle Curve.

Starting off in typical fashion as well is this interview with some sweary, bolshie remarks on Wall Street, before going into great detail about the firm’s rise to social media power, and their investment philosophy which can be best described by the main man himself:

‘The concept is that we want to provide exposure to value, exposure to small caps, exposure to global diversification – and then at that point, we get out of the way.’

They certainly know their stuff, and present their expertise in a straight-forward manner. Give the interview, and the team’s individual (and regular) posts a read: they’re all housed on the firm’s website, in fitting with their prominent marketing prowess.

Important Reports: New generations

Equality-noteGoing further into the investigative side of gender equality in financial services is McKinsey&Company, compilers of some astonishing financial research.

As has been stressed multiple times over, the leadership roles at various institutions from banking to insurance to asset management are dominated by men. McKinsey have taken up the mantle to find out why considering that, in the US, over half of the entry-level positions in finserv are taken by women. Teaming up with LeanIn.Org, this report acts as a hefty piece of research for their annual Women in the Workplace feature.

Packed within the report are some excellent graphs, more deeply looking into issues of gender representation at different levels of career, and also looks into the disparity between men and women of varying race, too. Also contained are in-depth perspectives from industry heads whose points can back up the extensive survey results which permeate the document.

All of these examples of research into the matter seem to be outlining a clear issue industry-wide, but luckily it seems to be having an effect, with articles and similar research papers being released daily in order to highlight, and improve, female representation in the C-suite.

Similarly, just as entry-level jobs are highlighted in the prior report, this article from Terry Duffy (CEO of CME Group), featured in Business Insider, attempts to argue that financial services can be further improved by targeting the interests of the younger generation of future financiers.

School-Bus-BIAs Duffy notes, even despite the US economy’s upturn following the financial crisis, what remains a fragmented crack in the pavement is recruitment levels. A lot of this, he claims, has to do with not just a memory of a now-distant crisis in the longest-running bull market, but a distrust of the financial services industry as a whole. Only 13% of MBA graduates enter the industry.

It’s true that many graduates in today’s climate should be more aware of everyday financial concerns, from loans to pension funds (or 401ks in the States), and amongst these are the financially savvy that the industry needs to hire to refresh the landscape and provide the necessary expertise to a younger generation of investor.

This will – in Duffy’s view – be rectified by the initial promotion of finserv as early as Middle School. An interesting topic for discussion, and certainly one way in which the regularly highlighted ‘millennial’ customer base can be serviced by a new brand of financial advisor.

MarTech News: It’s A Big One

Adobe-buyoutStirring the pot this week in the worlds of technology, marketing and everything B2B were Adobe, who’ve made one of the biggest acquisitions of the year. Marketo, the marketing automation SaaS platform once considered a mere minnow, join Adobe’s conglomerate in order to boost its marketing efforts. It’s an attempt by the software giant to compete with lead-generation methods of such behemoths as Google, Facebook, Microsoft and even the world’s leading CRM: Salesforce.

It’s a big chess move to compete with these other players, and for a big sum too, around $5 billion. But as well as the marketing efficiencies that Marketo can bring to Adobe, it will also add a large dataset, and make it a major force to be reckoned with for its cephalopod-like grasp of both the B2B and B2C markets, amongst its suite of pre-existing products such as Photoshop and Illustrator. Elsewhere, analyst Brian Wieser of Pivotal Research reckons that the platform could rack up around $400 million for Adobe in revenue for the 2018 fiscal year. Not bad, and certainly one of the most buzzworthy stories for MarTech heads going.

Further information: Xconomy | AdAge

Fintech News: Back on the Blockchain

Blockchain-JPMAs blockchain fandom amongst banks continues to expand, with experiments into the DLT bearing fruit, some major news this week is that of a trial going along a similar route, according to the Financial Times.

In a cross-continental blockchain discovery project, JPMorgan, Australia’s ANZ and the Royal Bank of Canada teamed up to look into the technology’s capability in reduced the time and cost of payments to improve efficiency. The project was (aptly) known as the Interbank Information Network, built by the ethereum-based network Quorum as developed by JP Morgan. Now, this trial has gained more than 75 new banks acting as participants, including such names as Société Générale and Santander.

As noted by Jason Goldberg of JP Morgan, by in-housing blockchain technology, it will limit banks’ competition with outsider non-banking competition, as well as furthering digitalisation efforts which are continually looking more robust by the day for even the most antiquated of financial institutions.

Around $14,500 can be processed via the Interbank Information Network, and the news of multiple new companies the world over keen to get in on the act marks another milestone for blockchain adoption in the banking world.

Industry Insights

More cephalopods 

Octopus-wall-streetA return to the vaults of economic writing à la Garth Marenghi now, in an informative article from another financial blog legend: Jason Zweig.

Once again, this week at AMMF has seemed to include a lot of negative press towards Wall Street, but Jason’s post here may go some way in emphasising a history of it. Not only that, but the octopus-like adjectives continue too; in fact, the molluscs have been used excessively as descriptions for NY’s trading centre, and as a history of literature (and Jason) also tells us, it’s a fear-based thing.

Giving a useful background before presenting an excerpt from The Art of Investing by ‘A New York Broker’ (John Ferguson Hume), this gives a fascinating insight into perceptions of the financial world which date back to the 18th century.

As the longest bull market in history continues, how will the markets continue to thrive or fall, before articles such as this resurface again in the future?

Outside the Box 

Undercover-EconomistOften times, it’s a useful exercise to break out of the economic bubble for inspiration to make yourself a better financial mastermind.

Tim Harford – the self-dubbed Undercover Economist – is a worthwhile blogger to follow for all things economic, banking, social media, business, politics etc, and his latest post looks into the value of cultural learnings, and fine art appreciation.

And before you look into the possible pretentiousness of such a post, think again. A team of researchers has looked into how studying art appreciation as scientists actually boosts results regardless of the different workplace environments, termed the “Temin Effect”.

Give the informative post a look in, and see if taking a short study into galleries, museums, and the arts can boost your marketing techniques.

And finally…

Beer-banking…how’s about rebranding your bank branch as a bar to get more business?

Again, what’s that about? But financial marketing newscasters The Financial Brand have looked into a case study of Washington State-based institution O Bee Credit Union, who avoided the closure of their bank branches by instead letting others turn them into funky bars and restaurants.

This is experimental, risk-taking marketing for finance on a mass scale, not just a novel idea for one location, but spread across many different outlets each with their own identity, but always focused on a consumer-friendly banking experience. Like what you hear? You can see the results here yourself.

That’s all for this week, but be sure to check back soon for more asset management marketing highlights and fintech snippets from Kurtosys.

Elliot Burr

Content Marketing Editor at Kurtosys
Fervently chatting about the future of funds and fintech.