Welcome to our weekly digital spotlight!

This week’s edition of Kurtosys Spotlight features CBRE Clarion Securities’ website, another featured digital leader in asset management, Franklin Templeton’s analysis of AI, collaboration in finance and roundups from Davos 2019.

Digital Leader Spotlight: Edouard Legrand, Global Head of Digital at BNP Paribas Asset Management

Edouard-LegrandGoing from an intern of market intelligence to the Global Head of Digital at BNP Paribas Asset Management is an impressive feat, but one achieved by Edouard Legrand, now a digital marketing professional with 10 years’ experience in the industry.

In his role, Edouard leads a team of 20 people remotely, all of whom are digital specialists, from product owners to UX designers in order to build tools such as mobile applications, learning platforms and websites in order for advisors to better promote their products to clients. Currently, the team is developing tools to help advisors across all networks of the BNP Paribas group – private banking, retail banking etc. – alongside their Gambit subsidiary, a specialist in automated financial consulting.

The Group’s strategic plan for 2020 outlined that 70% to 80% of projects are linked to digital transformation initiatives, and they organize Digital Days to train BNP Paribas employees using innovative methods from leaders in digital and fintech, with Edouard’s leadership steering the ship.

Edouard is part of our Most Influential Digital Leaders in Asset Management gallery – follow the link to see our top 30!

Website in Focus: CBRE Clarion Securities

CBRE Clarion Securities Kurtosys Website

CBRE Clarion Securities is a global investment manager specializing in real estate securities, listed infrastructure and midstream energy and MLPs. They recently launched a new site which caught our attention, so we took a look at their new offering.

Featuring an almost-full-screen carousel, the home page is bold and punchy with striking imagery but at the same time remains uncluttered and makes good use of white space. The site is easy to navigate, since it’s been divided up into four simple sections, and is all accessible via a compact mega-menu that also scales down nicely for mobile. A subtly placed ‘Company & Affiliates’ link in the top-left triggers a full-screen menu which allows users to jump into one of the many other offerings from the wider CBRE group.

Diving into one of the core strategy pages reveals modern web layouts with some really nice design touches and iconography inviting the user to hover over various panels, triggering subtle animation effects. The CBRE Clarion Global Real Estate Income Fund page reveals the data-driven portion of the site, with a clear tabular layout housing all the extended fund data with interactive charts and graphs across performance, portfolio diversification and fund literature. The site also features regular insights content which keeps the site fresh with high-quality articles that include well-presented data and thought leadership.

All-in-all a really well-designed, cleverly branded and carefully constructed site that breaks the mould of the classic real estate website.

Featured White Paper: Artificial intelligence: Real opportunity

AI-FT-thinks

Over at Savvy Investor are a whole swathe of the very best industry-specific white papers, including this new addition from Franklin Templeton’s quarterly publication Franklin Templeton Thinks, looking to gaining the ever-challenging grasp of what artificial intelligence holds for those in the financial services industry.

It’s a topic that we’ve delved into before, and other white papers have looked into the same issue, but artificial intelligence has yet to manifest to mainstream use amongst asset managers still, despite the constant disruption which is shaking up the workforce. But, as this document discusses, AI’s hype does permeate down to our everyday lives, with talk on the topic perhaps outweighing its proper merits. Hence, Franklin Templeton’s analysts and investment writers have looks to see the more feasible and practical uses of AI.

The main argument here is that the main benefit from AI – being the housing and processing of vast amounts of data – will touch every single industry that deals with sensitive information. Financial institutions handling customer data – both financial and personal – can utilise AI to learn even more from this information, and this personalises their services and marketing material.

This concise white paper gives the reader a great footing into AI, with some flow charts to explain how machine learning actually works before looking into its individual implications for detecting fraud, digit recognition, facial recognition for accounts, stocking and pricing, and marketing and customer services through chatbots etc.

Ultimately, for fund managers looking to create more value for customers, it seems that AI can be the perfect place to start, so long as a company has the right data to solve problems and improve services. As the report points out, $1 trillion is the projected savings in financial services alone by 2030 due to the impact of artificial intelligence.

It’s a concept many within and outside the industry are still attempting to come to terms with and involve in their business, but with tangible positives for customer satisfaction and retention, it may certainly be the way forward for FinServ.

Video in Focus: Tech Talk

April Rudin HeadshotOne of the most experienced heads in wealth management marketing and fintech disruption is April Rudin, Founder & CEO of The Rudin Group. We’ve interviewed April before, whereby she gave a marketing strategist’s view on how financial institutions can think digitally going forward, away from more old school marketing techniques.

The Banker has now interviewed April Rudin to discuss how specifically wealth management is starting to commit to digital innovation rather than just discussing its potential, with the next couple of years being pivotal for the growth of the industry away from its perception of being ‘behind’ in a technological sense.

April believes that partnerships between traditional firms and digital companies is the main trend for 2019 (as we shall see more of later), as well as relying on the human touch to maintain a hybrid –style strategy with the growth of robo-advisors for customer-facing services. April also feels that legacy systems that have been brought together through consolidation has made traditional wealth management firms more messy, which can also be solved through collaboration with fintechs, and ultimately appealing to more millennial investors, opposed to the average age of investors in wealth managers: 55.

All of this, and much more, in an astute interview with a wealth management expert looking to revolutionise the industry through tech adoption.

Featured Event: Future of Finance and CFO Summit

Future-of-Finance-Summit

Speaking about the future, here’s the opportunity to hear more speakers on the future of finance.

Staying as a valuable business in the present day and beyond is a question of how well a company can adapt their business, people and technological operations in the face of digital disruption, and this upcoming event notes that, as we near 2020, this main factor is something that must be developed industry-wide for “advanced insight and partnering”.

The Future of Finance and CFO Summit takes place at The Hurlingham Club in London from 11-13 February 2019. Its featured speakers include the CFO of a robotics firm, the EMEA Financial Operation representative for Facebook, as well as CFOs and strategists from fintechs to technology firms to large-scale B2C companies.

The event is a perfect opportunity to network with financial professionals and attend interactive discussion groups, tech demonstrations, Q&As and many more. To reserve a place, visit the website here: https://www.financetransformationeurope.com/

Fintech News: Collaboration Continues

Fintech-bank-partnershipIt’s always a reason to sound a (happy) alarm when traditional financial institutions look to collaborate with their fintech counterparts. The largest news of this ilk this week came courtesy of MarketInvoice, who closed another £26 million round of equity and debt funding from InnoVentures, Santander’s venture capital arm and led by Barclays.

MarketInvoice is a London-based fintech which provides lending opportunities to businesses. In 2013, the UK government began lending to businesses through the firm, and via British Business Bank. Now, it has grown to become (arguably) Europe’s largest online invoice finance platform.

As well as this investment from the two banking giants, the company has also announced a new £30 million credit from Viola Credit, an Israeli company who has also invested in MarketInvoice’s shares as part of this deal. Another European venture capital firm – Northzone – has taken part in the fundraising. The amount raised from this series-B funding round will be used to expand the cause the question: to launch “cross-border fintech-bank partnerships”, as well as expanding MarketInvoice’s market in its domestic country.

Commenting on the collaborative side of the deal between fintechs and banks, co-founder and CEO Anil Stocker told TechCrunch this:

“For us strategic partnerships, especially those where we can use new sources of data, are becoming increasingly important. Our mission is to help as many entrepreneurs as possible gain access to finance… Barclays realises it’s a good way of upgrading their offering to SMEs, and get more lending out to help these businesses. For us, by working with Barclays’ network and presence in the market, we’re able to educate more businesses on our funding solutions, something which would take much more time if we were to do it on our own.”

Perfectly put; it’s a success for the venture capital arms of banks that are looking to boost technological advancements for the financial inclusion of all businesses and individuals. Who said fintechs and banks had to grow apart from one another?

Further information: City A.M. | Yahoo! Finance

Social Spotlight: Asset TV

This week has seen the return of the World Economic Forum gathering of the year – Davos – taking place in the Swiss Alps, and concluding today.

There’s been talks from many industry-leading professionals and thought leadership moguls, from Prince William to Bono, chatting not just about global economies, but also politics, aerospace, sustainability, mental health, cryptocurrencies and a whole lot more.

On social media, Asset TV has been bringing investment professionals the low-down from proceedings all week, with handy interviews and 60-second videos to easily digest the huge amount of discussion. In this example below is Aberdeen Standard Investment’s Political Economist Stephanie Kelly on Brexit, but it’s worth checking out Asset TV’s Twitter page for daily roundups of Davos action.

That’s all for this week! Be sure to check back next time for more news and marketing features from the world of asset management marketing highlights here at Kurtosys.

If you’d like to have news, people, a new website or articles featured here, please get in touch via Twitter or email us at marketing@kurtosys.com

Elliot Burr

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