This week’s edition of Kurtosys Spotlight features Clay Hagland, AI developments (or not), our podcast with Winnie Sun, a year in fintech, the FN Asset Management Awards and musings on the lead-up to Brexit.

Digital Leader Spotlight: Clay Hagland, Executive Vice President, Head of Marketing, EMEA at PIMCO

Clay-HaglandWith experience in branding, product and directorial roles within the financial services space for his whole career, Clay Hagland is a leading example of a marketing professional, currently the Executive VP and Head of Marketing for the EMEA region at PIMCO.

Starting out at Macquarie Bank in their graduate recruitment program, Clay’s role was Product Development Manager, and role which he then furthered during a tenure at asset manager Schroders. From here, Clay stayed within the asset management space, responsible for the business strategy and brand side of Fidelity International (for almost 7 years) and furthered product development, marketing and customer insight and education for Orbis Investment Advisory’s launch into UK retail funds management market.

This marketing experience, with skills in branding awareness and new market entry, led to a Managing Director and Head of iShares Marketing role for BlackRock (EMEA), where responsibilities included strategic development in marketing sales and product, executive communication and new channel developments. Now at PIMCO, Clay brings a wealth of marketing expertise and has also acted as a thought leadership specialist at large-scale industry events including FundForum 2017.

Clay is part of our Most Influential Digital Leaders in Asset Management gallery, which we have recently updated. Check it out!

Featured White Paper: AI Pioneers in Investment Management

The CFA Institute are back at it again with the report expertise, and this time they’re honing in on the more futuristic issue of artificial intelligence. But not so much concerned with hopeful futurisms, they’re looking into how the industry is practically using machine learning tools.

Further on from that, author Larry Cao, CFA notifies that the report looks to identify “high-impact applications” of big data and AI in real use cases, following on from interviews with industry practitioners from around the globe who cover a range of investments. Most of those surveyed had over 10 years’ worth of experience, with the majority being portfolio managers. Surprisingly, only 10% had implemented artificial intelligence/machine learning to find relationships for their investment strategy and process in the past 12 months. Out of all the techniques that could be performed by artificial intelligence to create trading algorithms, 69% of respondents had not used any at all.

The report goes on to highlight why there hasn’t been much of a take-up for using this technology in the investment industry thus far, citing cost issues, the lack of talent for financial services with AI expertise (as opposed to some of the world’s largest tech giants), the rapid rate of evolution and the lacking vision from the top-down in businesses.

Even still, the author goes into great detail in showing real-life case studies from investment managers including Man Group, State Street, Goldman Sachs, Schroders and many more.

There’s an awful lot of information stored within, and whilst there’s a swathe of hype in regards to AI, and its usage is growing by the day, there’s still a long way for the investment industry to go to make AI the technological beast it can be.

You can find and download the report at this link from Savvy Investor.

Podcast: Connecting the Dots – Winnie Sun

In this edition of our Connecting the Dots podcast, we chat with co-founder of Sun Group Wealth Partners and social media influencer Winnie Sun.

Winnie outlines her history as a financial advisor, the founding of her own wealth management firm in Southern California, as well as her regular appearances in televised videos (CNBC, Cheddar) and publications (Forbes). She believes that, like at Sun Group, financial advisors should also adopt the role of content creators to best connect with clients, always looking to make people feel comfortable talking about money in a down to earth way. Winnie also stresses that making content is to “delight yourself”; it should get you excited as much as it should your customers.

Winnie gives her tips for best leveraging specific social media platforms, depending on which is best for each company, mostly dependent on where their clients and their communities are situated. There’s a large demand nowadays from conference attendees wanting to know all about social media marketing, and Winnie runs the largest business tweet chat every Wednesday on Twitter, averaging around 150 million impressions.

In a key takeaway from this excellent discussion, making an effort to boost quality content in video or conference calls (down to the lighting and cameras, with phone capabilities being useful, too) really resonates with people, and content creators should see if what they produce can reside on network television as well as online.

Winnie also talks about the evolution of working conditions – we need to adapt to the future of how clients want to be contacted, rather than being confined to traditional routines of business that are soon to be outdated.

You can follow Winnie Sun on LinkedIn, and give her a follow on Twitter @winniesun.

Remember, you can also catch all of our episodes from the podcast series on our SoundCloud page, iTunes library, Spotify or Stitcher.

Events: Post-Brexit Business Outlook

Brexit-starSeeing the title of this event will fill some with excitement, some with utter contempt and trepidation. Whilst Brexit has been roaring on in the background of some of the financial industry chat, these past few weeks have seen it once again rise to the forefront, with us in the UK now only a few weeks from what is the assumed date for the exit from the European Union.

Last week was a truly testing time for the UK government, seeing a deal being made and not being fully accepted, and all of this political upheaval has its ramifications for many businesses, including those in the finance space, and that is what an upcoming breakfast event from the Financial Services Forum will look into.

Taking place in December, by the time of the actual event there may indeed be far more known to us than there is now. Halloween marks the decided time for the intended Brexit date, and this should thus see how the month following has changed the face of companies in the banking, capital markets, asset management and insurance spaces.

The events will feature Charlie Ansdell, Managing Partner at Newgate Communications, who will discuss the possible review of the UK’s financial regulation setup, key opportunities and challenges, and whether the City can remain globally competitive and one of the most pertinent financial centres in the world.

The event will take place 5 December at 08.30 for a 09.00 start. The address is as follows:

Newgate Communications, Sky Light City Tower, 50 Basinghall Street, London, EC2V 5DE

You can login and register for the event at the FS Forum website.

Fintech News: Positive Retrospection

As much as we’ve blabbed on about the role that year-end articles take in financial circles round about now, it’s all for a reason. One of the main things we learn at year end (or at least, as we’re now in, the fourth quarter) is how certain sectors have shaped up in 2019. In the spotlight this week, there’s a positive feature on the state of fintech.

Popular fintech evangelist Bradley Leimer was quick to highlight quite how excellent the past few month have been for the fintech space, as shown in the Tweet below:

Summing up exactly what needs to be said: Q3 of 2019 was the second most active quarter for fintech in terms of financing, a total of $12.3 billion according to a new report released by FT Partners. You can find the whole report via a massive and thorough Powerpoint slide deck here, but there’s also a more concise rundown of the information presented is also documented by FT Partner’s Founder and CEO Steve McLaughlin on LinkedIn.

Even more concise still, here’s a few of the most pertinent facts and figures we’d like to single out:

  • Excluding the monolithic Ant Financial’s $14 billion financing round in Q2, Q3 was the most active quarter ever by over $1 billion.
  • 2019 is on track to become the second largest year in terms of financing ever, toppling 2018.
  • 2019 fintech M&A volume YTD has risen to a record $192.2 billion.
  • Global IPO activity is gaining traction to be ahead of 2018, with 21 total IPOs.

With this last quarter of this year still to occur, 2019 may very well become a history-maker for the fintech world, as it continues to assert its dominance in financial spaces as one of the most disruptive sectors on the planet.

Social Spotlight: Congratulations

Last week saw the annual Financial News Asset Management Awards take place, at the prestigiously beautiful V&A Museum.

Schroders seemed to be one of the biggest champions from the night, taking home two of the biggest prizes from the publications 18th event: Asset Manager of the Year – Large and its head Peter Harrison was awarded Chief Executive of the Year. For a full rundown of which awards were snagged by which company, please check out this list on the FN itself.

A very special congratulations however must go to Investment 20/20, the organisation that strives to recruit graduates into the asset management. They won the Diversity Initiative of the Year Award for their Think Investments Programme, which was in collaboration with firms including BNY Mellon, LGIM, the aforementioned Schroders and many more. You can check out their well-deserved celebratory LinkedIn post. Congratulations!

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.