This week’s edition of Kurtosys Spotlight features Christopher Murphy from Aegon, the insurance world and ETFs, a data-driven marketing eBook, our psychology podcast with Dr Daniel Crosby, and the #PaymentsRace.
Digital Leader Spotlight: Christopher Murphy – Head of Digital at Aegon Asset Management
Christopher Murphy has headed Aegon Asset Management’s digital marketing function since his tenure at Kames Capital, whose business operations became part of a multi-brand strategy including the former and TKP Investments.
The digital marketing team in the partnership services the institutional and wholesale markets in the UK and Continental Europe, with Chris taking his experience as a digital head with a website focus. Starting his career as a web design manager, Chris then made the move from design to marketing for Adventi, an IT support business, before managing accounts for a web-based technology company for large-scale B2C clients including Disney and Coca-Cola Enterprises.
Now in the B2B space, Chris helps to run websites and marketing campaigns for the multi-brand business, with particular emphasis on Kames’ three different blogs: BondTalk, Sustainability Soapbox, and TalkingStock. He regularly shares their wealth of content via LinkedIn, containing thought leadership pieces and market commentary.
Christopher is part of our Most Influential Digital Leaders in Asset Management gallery – check out the full gallery here!
Featured White Paper: Exchange-Traded Funds in General Accounts – A Look at How Life, P&C and Other Insurers are Using ETFs
A fairly hefty title there, but I suppose it does exactly what it says on the tin. Taking a step in a different direction away from asset management for a second, it’s time at the Spotlight to look into the insurance industry and, as shown by the title, the way that insurers are utilising exchange-traded funds, or, our popular friends ETFs.
This report is a joint effort from Invesco and Greenwich Associates – a data analytics company – which looked to examine the results of a survey covered by the latter during the first few months of the year. 51 professions from insurers: 33% from life insurance companies, 29% from P&C (property and casualty) insurance, 20% from multiline insurers, and the rest made up of from other insurance providers covering health and reinsurance, for example.
What has been found is how, separate from the usual activity of using ETFs as standard investment tools, insurance companies are going further to make use of their versatility. Life insurers are using them to address short-term liquidity in fixed-income portfolios whereas P&C companies are using them to instead maintain long-term strategic investment opportunities in equity portfolios.
The survey looked into many factors on ETF usage. Activity in the ETF space across the insurance board is high overall, with life insurers being the smallest user at 47% – still a considerable percentage. Going further into the results, there seems to be a unanimous aim to better cash management across each sub-section of insurance, as well as acting to lower costs of transactions and management fees. Sourcing liquidity in individual bonds, however, was barely considered an option for these companies surveyed.
Looking to the future, P&C insurers expect to see a highly increased usage of ETFs, whereas health and reinsurance companies seem less enamoured with this, predicting that the current state will remain as a status quo.
There’s plenty more graphs segmenting the thoughts for each sector of insurance, with a healthy amount of qualitative, conclusive arguments built to show why ETFs are popular investment tools for insurance companies, with the differing reasons for their use showing how flexible they can be, even in practice.
You can find a download link to the full report at Savvy Investor.
Podcast: Connecting the Dots – Dr Daniel Crosby
Bringing his expertise as a clinical psychologist to the firm, Daniel talks about his role in developing training, tools and technology to help advisors best connect with their clients. Technology plays a huge part in building relationships, simulating client behaviour to see what their needs are. Gaining a personality match between a financial advisor and a client is what Daniel likens to clinical therapy sessions, so it is integral for investment practices nowadays, where great ideas need to be applied better.
Daniel also talks about how his decision to become an author was an exercise to build his own knowledge, and has gone on to release best-sellers including Personal Benchmark: Integrating Behavioral Finance and Investment Management, The Law of Wealth, and most recently The Behavioural Investor. He also outlines how to be original and authentic as a social media blogger, and embracing the role of being an irreverent or ‘goofy’ presenter in video format to best convey ideas, as well as recommendations for great books to read and influencers to follow.
Video in Focus: The push for data-driven marketing
45% of asset managers are looking to make data-driven marketing a priority for this year, with the intention of personalising their messaging from gaining better insights into their consumer base. This, in turn, should lead to better customer experience and a higher quality of leads in the sales cycle.
We’ve released a brand new eBook looking into how your firm can best implement a data-driven marketing strategy, as well as at the benefits that it can bring if done correctly. You can download it (for free!) at this landing page, with this introductory video above giving some more indication of the content within.
Featured Event: Digital Marketing for Financial Services Summit
The ninth edition of this annual event – a leading conference for the martech and finserv industries alike – takes place once again in the beautiful city of Toronto, bringing together banks, insurance professionals, wealth managers, marketing agencies and technology and software solutions providers.
Over 350 delegates are set to attend, for networking opportunities and speakers addressing such topics as omni-channel marketing strategies, social media adoption, customer journeys and improved experience, data-driven marketing and branding. Speakers at the event come from many backgrounds and industries, including representatives from Adobe, BMO Financial Group, Pinterest, Scotiabank and Prudential.
The event commences on Wednesday 19 June, and continues the next day too, at the following address:
Westin Harbour Castle, 1 Harbour Square, Toronto, ON M5J 1A6, Canada
You can find an agenda of the two day event over at the official website, as well as the place to register, and you can even download a fitting eBook interviewing financial services marketers right here.
Fintech News: Increased Crypto Rules
I recently looked into the issue of cryptocurrencies on our Kurtosys blog, and how an increased valuation of Bitcoin looked to spur a renaissance for the floundering crypto market (and interest). In fact, with the survival of so-called ‘crypto hedge funds’ during this past two years or so of upheaval, perhaps they are looking to be the future of the hedge fund as we know it. You can read more of my thought son this issue here.
Interestingly therefore, the regulatory clouds that hang over crypto are back in the news this week. Largely removed from any sort of supervision (also being a plus-point for fans of cryptocurrencies, mind you), Coindesk has highlighted how global regulators are looking to finally clamp down on these digital assets with a “travel rule”.
Essentially, the rule makes it mandatory for crypto exchanges and wallet providers to pass on customer information when transferring funds, similar to what banks have to do. The regulation has been handled by intergovernmental body the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), who held a consultative meeting in Austria earlier this month for industry heads to voice their concerns over the proposed introduction. It was attended by up to 300 people, including compliance officers and bitcoin broker representatives. The firm was created by the G7 advanced economies as an attempt to combat money laundering and terrorist financial activity.
As the article included highlights the amount of backlash such a law has brought from the wider crypto community, many who are condemning regulators of sending the practice of transferrals into the dark ages.
You can’t please everyone, and certainly not in the world of crypto, where scepticism and enthusiasm meet each other in battle consistently. Will there ever be a desirable outcome, and just how big (and valid) can the cryptocurrency market become? Only time will tell.
Social Spotlight: #PaymentsRace
Over at the Fintech Finance Twitter page this whole week, it’s all been kicking for the #PaymentsRace, the latest edition (at time of writing) you can see advertised in the share below:
📺WATCH📺 DAY 7 HIGHLIGHTS for @alexhobern @foshma @ValKristensen @SophieTheen #teamcrypto #teammobile #teamcash #teamcard in the #paymentsrace #RTWrace to #M2020Eu@TeanaTaylor @lwintermeyer @matveevp @AmelieArras @wirexapp @token_io @ErinLovett1 https://t.co/QlaytChBmy
— Fintech Finance (@fintechf) May 30, 2019
If you’re wondering what’s going on here, you can check out the introductory episode here, but basically it comprises of this. Representatives have two weeks to get from Trafalgar Square to Amsterdam in time for Money 20/20 (June 3rd). Sounds easy, right? Not really when you have to head in a Westerly direction, using only one specific form of payment for everything.
Backed by a camera person, and a team of external supporters and sponsors along the way, these plucky hopefuls each have to navigate their course using these formats: cash (@ValKristensen), card (@SophieTheen), mobile (@foshma) and cryptocurrency (@alexhobern).
An exciting experiment to see exactly how the way we use money is changing (not just here, but everywhere), you can catch up with each team’s progress via YouTube, featuring 5-minute highlight reels of their transactions, transport methods (extra points) and amazing globetrotting experiences to Belfast, Singapore, Vancouver, Toronto, Indonesia, Milan, Hong Kong and many more.
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