Welcome to our weekly digital spotlight!
This week’s edition of Kurtosys Spotlight features CTI’s new fund explorer, asset and wealth management pressures, insurtech advancements, the Cross-Border Distribution Conference, more fintech partnerships and the industry’s Super Bowl reaction.
Digital Leader Spotlight: Adam Grimsley
One of the hottest and most divisive digital trends in asset management is cryptocurrency, with the industry split between the support or the shunning of these assets. Leading the case for investments in crypto is Adam Grimsley.
As an ex-BlackRock employee for 8 years, Adam worked as a Fixed Income Specialist where he specialised in business development and relationship management. After a brief stint on the Fixed Income team at L&G Investment Management, Adam then joined Prime Factor Capital with his ex-BlackRock colleague Michael Wong, which made big news in the investment world. Using his investment expertise in a tech guise, Adam is part of a team committed to becoming the “BlackRock of crypto asset managers”.
With over 20 years of experience in managing client portfolios, Prime Factor Capital utilises both quantitative and qualitative methods to deliver exposure to investors in the crypto assets market. As this firm is one of the first of its kind, Adam is certainly a recognised digital leader in the industry, looking to the future of investments.
Adam is part of our brand new Most Influential Digital Leaders in Asset Management Gallery, where you can check out our top 30 people profiles.
Website in Focus: Columbia Threadneedle Investments
This week, we’re looking at one specific area of Columbia Threadneedle’s website that they recently updated. Following on from their Fund Explorer which they launched in 2018, they have now added dedicated fund pages which are both feature-extensive and packed with information.
With upwards of 1050 share classes available in their Fund Explorer, CTI have clearly put a lot of emphasis into the data-driven area of their website. Whilst a Fund Explorer is great for users to quickly scan and compare fund performance data, as well as quickly access related documents, sometimes having dedicated fund pages is the best way to provide investors with the full picture.
CTI’s fund pages include a useful dropdown menu to all the related share classes of a fund; an ‘add to watchlist’ button; the ability to download all the price history in an XLS file; all contained within a ‘sticky navbar’ that stays on screen as you scroll down. As well as all the fund objective, opportunities and risk text, these pages contain some nicely designed elements such as SRRI risk score indicators; fees and charges tables (with expanding panel for explanations); interactive performance charts as well as tabular annualised and rolling period performance; all the fund literature; and finally, a fund managers carousel. The pages are long, but a handy menu on the left allows users to jump between the main sections.
Every Fund Center (or Explorer!) is slightly different to cater for that asset manager’s requirements, and as we’re data and design nerds, we’re always on the lookout for great examples like this.
Featured White Paper: Asset & Wealth Management Revolution: Pressure on profitability
Back with some more expert research into the wealth and asset management industries is PwC, a dab hand at looking into the fortunes and failings in the financial sector. This time around, the Big Four conglomerate has chosen to see how asset and wealth management (AWM), despite AuM on the rise, is also dealing with increasing pressures.
Much of this can come down to the rising costs as firms look to partner with other companies, or to home-grow their own infrastructure and people operations. As well as this, the changes on the scene due to technology (new innovative products and distribution channels) are still slow in the industry, hence why firms are still feeling the heat. Given these factors, this paper aims to predict how management and performance fees will rise or fall up until 2025.
The report builds on another PwC report: Embracing Exponential Change which looked at four transforming trends in AWM: firms needing to remain creative and competitive to fill market voids; build front-to-back platforms; managers to expand their product offerings in more available asset classes; and delivering consistent returns despite diversifying through multi-asset strategies.
Taking each of these topics one by one, PwC offer visual aids to highlight the evolution of AuM from the past 15 years and beyond, management fee distribution, merger and acquisition activity, and the ways that firms are leveraging technology in order to deal with fee pressures and effects of cost and market conditions.
You can download the whole report as a PDF from this landing page.
Video in Focus: Insurance Industry Shake-Up
Goldman Sachs’ video content has been expertly crafted to demonstrate their insights into various niches in the investment industry.
The latest in their The Long and Short of It series looks into the influx of insurtech and its effect on traditional players, whether that being home, life or car insurance. Kelly Galanis from the firm’s Investment Banking Division explains how low-cost mobile-first applications have changed the way that consumers can access (and use) insurance. Technological devices can even go so far as taking a selfie to receive an insurance policy, using personal data and telematics to provide behaviour-based pricing. The robo-advisor focus on bespoke solutions is what is at the forefront of insurtech today, a disruptive tool which makes quality UX for consumers the top of the list.
Check out Kelly’s views in the YouTube clip below.
Featured Event: Cross Border Distribution Conference
The seventh annual Cross-Border Distribution Conference in Luxembourg is almost upon us. Taking place on Tuesday 12 February 2019, it acts as a leading event for asset managers, regulators and industry experts to discuss key distribution issues. It is hosted by Deloitte and Elvinger Hoss Prussen, and Kurtosys is proud to once again act as a gold sponsor once more.
The address for the event next week is the European Convention Center Luxembourg, 4 Place de L’Europe, Luxembourg.
Whilst the full agenda can be found (and downloaded) on the event’s official website, these are the following topics we’re keen on hearing this year:
- FinTech to RegTech – game-changers for fund distribution?
- GDPR – One Year On: is it achieving its objectives?
- Integrating gender diversity into ESG and the wider funds industry
- Brexit Debate – what will happen after March 2019?
You can also find out more information about speakers and topics in the lead up by following Deloitte Luxembourg on Twitter.
We look forward to seeing you at our stand – come and say hi!
Fintech News: Tradition Embracing Tech
There’s more news of banking and fintech partnerships every single week in the Kurtosys Spotlight it seems, and it’s a trend that certainly doesn’t look to be stopping anytime soon, not this time around at the very least.
The latest news of this kind comes from Nordea, who last year became part of a Northern European push for a pan-Nordic payment network alongside Danske Bank, DNB, Handelsbanken, OP Financial Group, SEB and Swedbank. Known as the P27 Project (referring to the 27 million people that live in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland), it’s an attempt to keep tech titans at bay.
Now, Nordea has teamed up with Divido – a consumer lending company based in London – in order to boost their efforts in the market for instant credit at the point of sale, offered by Divido’s multinational white-label platform. Divido had been backed by Mastercard and American Express in its last funding round, and its technology will now be used by Nordea under its own brand to be rolled out firstly in Norway, then to Finland, Sweden and Denmark. It is already used by over a thousand partners in various retail spaces, including top companies such as Shopify and BMW.
Nordea Finance turned to Divido having ruled out the option to build a new in-house lending platform to replace their legacy systems and service multiple market. Christer Holloman, CEO and co-finder of Divido had this to say about the deal:
“Nordea Finance is without a doubt one of the most innovative names in banking today. By licensing Divido, Nordea Finance will have access to technology that enables it to differentiate its product proposition and offer new credit products at the point-of-purchase. With Divido, Nordea Finance merchants will be able to access multiple markets through a single integration, saving them money, time and effort.”
We’re sure that this isn’t the end of fintech partnerships for traditional players to continue to compete with technological giants that are increasing the pressure by looking to start their own financial services platforms.
Social Spotlight: Super Bowl Special
Most readers will probably be well aware of this year’s Super Bowl; one of the year’s most memorable sporting events for all the right (and wrong) reasons. Whilst the scoreline certainly didn’t excite the viewers, or make non-viewers envy those that sat through it all (hey, it wasn’t that bad, didn’t you see the Super Bowl’s longest ever punt?!), the biggest controversy of the evening was the ever-entertaining half time show.
Social media channels certainly weren’t short of criticism for the performance of Maroon 5 and unfortunately short cameos (albeit lacklustre) from Travis Scott and Big Boi, and even the financial world got in on the act, as the tweet below shows…
— WealthManagement.com (@wealth_mgmt) February 4, 2019
…that’s correct, WealthManagement.com has delved into the history books of financial advisory events to see the acts that easily topped the vanilla performance served up by Adam Levine and co., surprisingly enough featuring such big-hitters as Kool and the Gang, Pat Benatar and Steve Miller Band. And if that wasn’t enough, a performance from 90s alt-rock geeks turned internet meme Weezer was scheduled at this week’s TDAI LINC.
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.
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