Welcome to our weekly digital spotlight!

This week’s edition of Kurtosys Spotlight features five ‘building blocks’ for impact investing, Santander’s James Dunne, our podcast with Manuela Froehlich, a noteworthy webinar, and the awaited launch of the Apple Card.

Digital Leader Spotlight: James Dunne, Global Head of Digital Investing, Wealth Management Division at Banco Santander

James-DunneCommitted to serving the wealth management world with the greatest developing technologies is James Dunne, who heads the digital investing platforms for Banco Santander, and has experience in different markets worldwide.

James started at Banco Santander in 2011 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, working his way up to Director of Commercial Development, before assuming the role of Director of SME Markets, US & Europe in the Madrid Area. Here, James designed the banks’s SME banking model, recognised by Euromoney in 2016, and has furthered his role as a strategic director in the UK too, heading the digital investment agenda for its newly created wealth management division.

Elsewhere, James has been responsible for the management of Santander’s ’Investment Hub’ advertising campaign in 2017; a personalised experience for today’s customers in collaboration with the FCA and various fintech partners and asset managers. He is a keen user on digital channels such as LinkedIn and Twitter, and shares Santander’s excellent digitally-focused campaigns, which you can see on YouTube.

Featured White Paper: Five Building Blocks for Impact Management

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Heading further down the rabbit hole of responsible investing, the white paper specialists over at Franklin Templeton (in conjunction with consulting firm Tideline) have delved into the issue of impact investing. How can investors build impact management systems that align to their strategies, and how can different aspects of impact management work in addition to one another?

Those are the kinds of questions that arise from this paper, entitled Five Building Blocks for Impact Management, which you can download as a PDF from this page. As stated in the introduction, impact investing accounts for roughly $250 billion in AUM, with most asset managers putting a focus on this strategy in regards to societal issues including climate change, or water or waste management, which can change the world for the better. It is the boost in societal responsibility for the planet’s concerns in the past decade which have driven the potential of impact investment.

However, as we have seen from covering the ESG landscape, there is no fixed methodology for managing these investments, leading to mixed reviews of their validity and scepticism from investors. Therefore, this paper breaks down these ‘five building blocks’ (tools and frameworks) in an attempt to provide some more rigorous classification, these being: objectives; standards; certifications; methodologies; and metrics.

Starting off by outlining the broader influence of impact management in the market, the paper goes into more detail in outlining what each of these five frameworks mean, and why they have chosen them to give investors a way to construct an impact investment strategy of their own. It features external research, and useful charts and tables to back up its claims, all condensed into a succinct 14-page document.

The struggle for singular, clarified ways of dealing with impact investing continues, but hopefully furthered from papers such as this.

Podcast: Connecting the Dots

Manuela Froehlich

In 2015, LRI Group’s Global Head of Business Development Manuela Froehlich co-founded the largest professional network in asset management in German speaking countries; she identifies in this podcast how Fondsfrauen nurtures talent and aims to bring young graduates into the industry, and reflects on how International Women’s Day is accentuating growing female empowerment within financial services.

Having worked in the investment industry for 30 years, Manuela outlines that positive and sustainable human relationships are what still underline sales roles, but technology still plays its part in assisting sales enablement; sales people can focus on building these relationships rather than investing time in the research that tech can handle.

Manuela also discusses the competitiveness of fintech companies in Luxembourg and Germany, and what working for a financial services company in Luxembourg – a major finance hub – is like.

Head over to our SoundCloud pageiTunes library or Spotify to find all of our podcasts featuring digital professionals in asset management.

Webinar: Producing perfect fund factsheets in half the time

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We have another new webinar coming up on the 4th April 2019 (next Thursday), all about fund factsheet production.

Fund factsheets can feel like a huge burden: documents looking to house everything from compliance and regulations, past performance graphs, disclosures, fund descriptions, and risk ratings. However, with automation, the makings of the perfect fund factsheets can become quick and efficient.

Led by our Product Manager of DocPress (which you can learn more about over here) Julia Quickfall, this half-hour discussion will show you five ways to cut time and cost whilst retaining regulatory needs, which are as follows:

  1. Creating customised approval step workflows
  2. Closing the feedback loop when errors are identified
  3. Retaining control and flexibility with real-time data changes
  4. Effectively managing compliancy rules in different jurisdictions
  5. Distributing documents with meta tags that can be used to boost marketing initiatives

The webinar starts at 3pm GMT, 10am EST – you can sign up for it at this link, book your place now!

Video in Focus: The Inevitable Happened

This week wouldn’t be this week without the talk of the town for everyone involved in finance and technology. Without further ado, here’s the glossy new video from Apple…

That’s right: what every financial institution feared has now come true, in the rollout from Apple this week which also included new TV streaming and magazine subscription services. Whilst challenger banks have dominated the chat about disruption, the speculation of tech giants such as Apple, Google and Facebook making the move into payments has not gone unnoticed, certainly here at Kurtosys, with our own Allie Filippova talking about the issue way back in 2017.

THE APPLE CARD EXISTS – at least in the US (for now) – with a fully integrated mobile banking application, and a card that sits in the Apple Wallet, devoid of numbers and uses Touch ID and Face ID to maintain maximum security. And for those that can’t use Apple Pay anywhere, there’s a titanium card complete with Apple and Mastercard Logos and names only. There’s been an awful lot of journalism on the subject from esteemed tech publications like TechCrunch or The Verge, many being fairly complimentary, others more scornful (see a Tech Radar questioning session here).

A video that has many people talking, it’ll be remarkably interesting to see how other tech conglomerates react to Apple’s foray into financial services.

Fintech News: Top of the Digital Tree

When assessing the successes of financial institutions and their digital efforts, we’ve come across many making strides in the development of apps, and linking up with fintechs to make their customer experiences as simple and fluid as possible.

This week, it’s come to our attention that BBVA’s technological development is flying the flag, as least so much that the firm’s mobile banking app has been voted the best in the world for two years running by Forrester, in the countries where it operates. This information all comes as part of a BBVA release, describing how they have taken their digital efforts to new heights.

BBVA Experience – their digital platform allowing bank designers globally to create banking products and services on a mass scale – is one way in which a financial company is looking to create a unified design for their worldwide system, akin to some of the largest technology companies in the world.

What is interesting is the firm’s commitment to investing in digital talent; with 240 designers working around the world, the company is looking to reuse technological components to make sure that each product and service is fully uniform.

It’s an interesting case study which we should see as an industry standard in the near future, and you can find out more about how BBVA Group’s design system works here.

Social Spotlight: The Argument Continues

The Apple rollout was certainly the biggest talking point on social media, but as the Tweet below shows, there seems to have been a lot pain points that weren’t addressed:

Despite the star-studded line up with names including Jennifer Aniston, Jason Mamoa, Steven Spielberg and Big Bird (a new Apple-based Sesame Street show will teach kids coding, neat!), it seems that these glossed over information including pricing, international launch dates, and content…

…then again, fintech influencers certainly seem to be revelling in the news of the Apple Card, including Chris Gledhill above, who likens this news to the iTunes/Napster revolution of the early 00s. It’s a rocking time for innovation in the financial services circle – watch this space.

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.