This week’s edition of Kurtosys Spotlight features Griffith Norville, the meteoric rise of bond ETFs, our new CRO Marc Schraer, the future of client experience for advisors, the Big Issue and highlights from Arizona’s Wealth/Stack 2019.

Digital Leader Spotlight: Griffith Norville, Principal, Strategic Technology Partnerships and Cobalt LP at Hamilton Lane

Griffith-NorvilleGriffith Norville has handled the technological advancement of investments throughout his career, and is now Principal of Strategic Technology partnerships and Cobalt LP at alternative investment management firm Hamilton Lane.

Having started his career as an Associate at boutique management consulting firm Pace Harmon, Griffith specialised in due diligence for corporate mergers and acquisitions and private equity transactions. From here, Griffith also worked briefly as an Associate for Bank of America Merrill Lynch before moving to Hamilton Lane, where he has worked for the past nine years in – firstly – quantitative research, before his current position.

Clearly with a vast knowledge of technological advancement for the industry, Griffith builds the partnerships which allows for the firm to provide technology solutions to private markets investors. Spearheaded by the Cobalt (for Limited Partners) platform, managers can use data to its full advantage, as its powerful usage integrates private markets data with analytics for investment selection. Griffith is at the forefront of the data revolution within wealth management, furthering the opportunities available to managers and investors alike.

Griffith is part of our Most Influential Digital Leaders in Asset Management gallery.

Featured Infographic: The journey to $1 trillion

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It’s a triple threat from the infographic section in this week’s Spotlight: Visual Capitalist, iShares by BlackRock, and the issue of Bond ETFs. That’s right, the largest ETF provider in the world has crafted an attractive looking graphic to timeline the rise of the bond ETFs from 2002 to the present day, now valued (as the title of the document indicates) at $1 trillion in asset under management.

The infographic discusses how the bonds, being largely traded over the counter rather than on a centralised exchange made them a limited commodities to access, and goes on to highlight their further limitations. Until these bond ETFs became available, investors traditionally had to buy actively-managed mutual funds or individual bonds themselves. With the innovations of the ETFs however, these new form of bonds could be traded on open exchanges and have since gone on to completely change the face of the bond market through democratisation.

With the last two decades being so important in the rise of these assets, the infographic works as a timeline to dictate how most years since 2002 have added a great significance to the continued rise of the bond ETF. Starting in 2002, the graphic notifies exactly how the bond ETF market works in regards to issuers, buyers and sellers, and outlines such notable differing bond ETFs including government bond ETFs, Treasury Inflation-Protection Securities (TIPS) ETFs, Corporate bond ETFs, and Aggregate bond ETFs. In as little as five years later, more innovations in the space became available for investors, including Muni bond ETFs (issued by cities, states, counties and local governments) and High-yield bond ETFs.

The global bond ETF industry already peaked at $250 billion in AUM back in 2012, paving the way for other bond ETF innovation to come to market, continuing with their characteristic of remaining transparent and systematic. Having hit $500 billion in 2016, it has clearly only taken a few more years since to double in value to today’s milestone of a trillion. Nice going, bond ETFs.

To view the infographic in full, check it out on the Visual Capitalist website.

Kurtosys in Focus: Marc Schraer

Marc-ShraerKurtosys is pleased to announce that it has strengthened its executive team with the hire of Marc Schraer as Chief Revenue Officer.

Marc is an experienced leader in scaling global software-as-a-service sales teams, having served most recently as the SVP, Global Sales at Contently and achieved year over year revenue growth at Tubular Labs and Visible Measures. Marc’s effectiveness in scaling was also developed at DoubleClick, leading its global revenue teams before its $3 billion acquisition by Google.

Mash Patel, Founder and CEO at Kurtosys, said “The CRO position focuses ownership of the significant team growth, prospect interest and customer expansion being driven by our enhanced digital experience platform. Marc’s deep experience scaling global SaaS startups, willingness to roll up his sleeves and energizing leadership made him the ideal hire. The appointment of Marc further extends Kurtosys’ ability to drive value for financial services companies throughout the world and signifies our intent to expand our value into other relevant industries.”

Marc will lead our global sales, account management and strategic partnership teams to further revenue growth and expand Kurtosys’ reach in EMEA, North America and Asia. You can more in this press release from PR Newswire.

Video in Focus: CX in the future

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As many believe in the industry, client is key. And to commemorate such a phrase, the INTV team have asked a range of advisors what they see the future looking like for client experience, and how it differs from now.

Interviewed in this clip are Steve Gresham, Chairman of Whealthcare Planning, who looks to the redefining of what makes up the ‘client’, developing very bespoke services that are on the client terms, and the change in payment services. Other speakers – Sean Lawlor (Vice President, Product Strategy and Engagement at Envestnet), Jessica Liberi (Head of Product at eMoney), and Frank McAleer (Senior VP of Wealth, Retirement & Portfolio Solutions at Raymond James) also discuss how years of interactions between advisors and clients determines outcomes, self-services experiences and the ‘above and beyond’ mindset besides money management.

Take a look over at Investment News.

Events: Digital Wealth and Asset Management Forum

Coming to London on the Halloween weekend is, well, Halloween. But to forgot about all things vampires and ghouls and mummies and stuff because it’s all nonsense, it’s time to get back on track with the most pertinent of industry events.

Hosted by BIS Group is this year’s Digital Wealth and Asset Management Forum, which will focus on the new capabilities and challenges for these industries in regards to their use of technological transformation. In a bid for firms to reduce costs and improve efficiency whilst strengthening their client base, experts at this event will help to exchange their experiences of how to embrace digitalisation in wealth and asset management.

The event will feature 24 speakers, with confirmed speakers including the CEO of Atom Invest, Head of Digital Investing, Private Banking, Wealth & Investment Management at Coutts, Head of Blockchain & DLT Strategy at DNB and Global Head of Digital Propositions at Schroders. There are also 20 interactive sessions and 3 panel discussions featuring such topics as evolution of wealth management, recent digital innovations, digital transformation stories in private banking, and investing in the digital economy.

The event takes place on 30-31 October 2019 in London, England.

There are still seats left for the taking, so make sure you register over on the event’s official website.

Fintech News: The Big Issue

When it comes to fintech improving every consumer’s financial future, this week’s story goes the extra mile in how one of Sweden’s top valued fintechs is looking to assist in one of society’s most pervasive problems.

In the UK, The Big Issue Foundation is a scheme which uses the medium of a street newspaper to allow homeless individuals, or those at risk of homelessness, the chance to earn a legitimate income and integrate into society. It has run successfully for almost 20 years, but with monetary means going fully down a digital path, and many people only sticking to contactless card payments, this has had a hugely detrimental effect on Big Issue sellers nationwide.

Back in December 2018, the organisation outlined that it had listened to the concerns of its sellers in regards to the lack of potential customers that carry cash and partnered with Sweden’s payments and points-of-sale company iZettle to supply the sellers with contactless card payment devices, opening up their customer bases significantly.

The article from last year notes that some individual Big Issue vendors took to investing in their own card readers, hence the partnership bringing financial inclusion across the board for their sellers. And now, after a trial finding that around 80% of Big Issue sales were conducted on contactless, it is now available to all. The devices can be bought for a reduced price of £9 and offer a significantly lower per-transaction fee compared to its standard 1.75% rate.

It’s excellent news to see a large fintech company and one of the UK’s top charity initiatives successfully looking to bring financial inclusion to all, regardless of situation, and hopefully the nationwide rollout will bring far more customers and a positive look to the future for The Big Issue’s friendly street vendors.

Social Spotlight: Wealth/Stack 2019

This week saw the 2019 edition of the Wealth/Stack conference, an event dubbed ‘by advisors, for advisors’ and taking place in the stunning sunny city of Scottsdale, Arizona.

Wealth/Stack aims to aid advisors get to grips with the growing digital innovations that are pervading the industry, featuring talks from sector heads in advisory and fintech companies. You can find out more about the event via its official website, or catch up with what went down via their Twitter highlights page.

Taking part in the event however were the roving reports over at Citywire USA, who provided many an informative interview with #fintwit members and some of the leading advisors in attendance. You can check out all of the chats courtesy of Amelia Garland on their Twitter page too, with some examples of the excellent content (including Ritholtz Wealth Management’s Josh Brown) embedded below.

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.