Kurtosys Spotlight: Graham Kellen, eagleglobal.com, robo-limitations

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Welcome to our brand-new-for-2019 weekly digital spotlight!

This year’s first edition of Kurtosys Spotlight features a digital leader in focus, a fresh website offering, a CIO’s perspective on the industry, music’s financial renaissance, reflections of robos and marketing wizardry in fintech. If you have something you want us to feature – people, websites, campaigns, content – or anything you’ve seen in the realm of digital marketing in asset management that you think is worthy of a mention, please let us know!

Digital Leader Spotlight: Graham Kellen

Graham KellenIt has been a monumental year for Schroders’ Graham Kellen. Working as the Chief Digital Officer at the asset manager, Graham is at the forefront of Schroders’ digital evolution, introducing groundbreaking technologies within this niche industry. It’s no wonder that he is a self-described ‘front end of disruption’ via his Twitter.
Last year’s efforts from Schroders’ digital team included the launching of a chatbot messaging service pilot through Facebook Messenger. Named SchrodersGO, it allows users to access real-time market information from Schroders experts anywhere in the world from a mobile phone, and the Chabot answers questions and provides a digital learning experience for users.
In March, Kellen highlighted the need for asset managers to collaborate with the very best fintech startups to “tackle legacy technology issues”, who will in turn learn from Schroders’ industry expertise. Hence, the asset manager launched its own accelerator program – Cobalt – to find new partners. In October of last year, Schroders took a stake in Qwil Messenger as the first company to join the scheme. It aims to again improve secure communication efforts between staff, clients and partners.
To cap off the year, Kellen acted as the chair of the Velocity Advisory Panel. Velocity is an accelerator established by the Investment Association specifically linking fintechs and asset managers. Kellen is part of a 24-strong advisory group which welcomed its first cohort of companies into the programme in October.
It’s refreshing to see such an active digital foray from an asset manager; Kellen is certainly a digital leader for others to follow.
Graham is part of our Most Influential Digital Leaders in Asset Management gallery – follow the link to see our top 30!

Website in Focus: Eagle Global Advisors

To kick 2019 off, we’re focusing our attention on a fresh website launch from Eagle Global Advisors, who are an independent, registered investment advisor located in Houston, Texas.
As well as capturing their core investment strategies, their new site does a lot to emphasise their team, which reflects on them being a 100% employee-owned organization. Each team member has been well presented with accompanying information, which all neatly animate on screen as you scroll down.
The strategy pages are clearly structured and dotted with company statistics as well as blended with content. The site is built in WordPress and it has that ‘modern site’ feel which also scales down perfectly for mobile devices. In fact, the site looks even better on mobile.
With regular insights being published, this is a content-driven site and includes taxonomies for the different types of content they publish. There’s also clear calls-to-action to subscribe by email throughout the site.
This is a simple and easy to use website with a clean structure and navigation, with some additional functionality for users to login to their private portal for additional client or consultant related information. All-in-all a good job in creating a well-presented and easy to use site for prospects and clients – keeping things simple and ultimately a better user experience across all user devices.
As always, head over to our 50 best-designed asset management websites for more design inspiration!

Video in Focus: Goldman Sachs’ Musical Breakdown

Onto economic matters, in a masterfully made video format for easily digestible information aplenty.
Goldman Sachs has invested well into making informative economic update videos, and this example highlights one of the globe’s most prevalent financial U-turns: the music industry.
Seeing its fair share of tumult in sales, the digital revolution of the music industry finally seems to be having a profound economic renaissance. Whilst the turn of the century saw the rise of music piracy to deliver a sucker punch to music’s sales, now with paid streaming services and the upturn in record collecting, global revenues are once again up; maintained interest spurs more innovation, as well as furthered activity from investors looking to pounce on a thriving sector and successful businesses.
Aaron Siegel from the company’s Investment Banking states exactly this, and gives four reasons for why the music is looking to grow to a $100 billion industry in the next decade. You’ll have to take a look at the video for these facts, but also there’s a lot of positives to take from this, in regards to how the financial industry can learn and adopt the techniques that have got this flailing sector back to its former strength. E.g., music streaming services now put the power into the customer’s hand (going from “ownership to access”), as well as maintaining close relationships and excellent customer support. The well-designed apps also accentuate the ease with which consumers can use these services, thus increasing the trust of a brand.
Elsewhere, the rise of home speaker systems. Yes, they’re certainly perfect for a hands-free music recommendation, but we’ve also spotted a whole lot of perks that voice recognition software can provide asset managers, mostly with personalisation which is becoming a key priority for marketing at financial services companies – you can read more about that here.
Besides that, there’s also the breaking into new markets that have previously remained under-served (as fintechs are increasingly looking to do), as well as the boost in creativity from greater resources – all things that marketers in financial circles can utilise for greater client experiences.

CIO Perspectives: Tom Becket, Psigma Investment Management

Tom-Becket-headshotOver on our blog is the most recent interview by Sam Shaw, focusing on asset management perspectives. This time around, it’s the turn on Psigma Investment Management’s Chief Investment Officer (CIO) Tom Becket.
In regards to the fund industry, Tom believes that in his past 15 years of experience, there hasn’t been too much of a drastic change in the way that portfolios are run and put together. Instead however, the regulatory and compliance changes have placed pressure on firms, and in the current market, political crises have caused his role as a CIO to take a “cautious” approach.
Tom also highlights, however, how instrumental the management of digital channels can be. For him, the role of content is something that should not be ignored, and content of all shapes and sizes too. Tom notes that he “initiated the blogs” for his firm, with a keen interest in writing and acknowledging written communications as being an efficient way to stay in touch with clients. Video content is also a big plus for the company:
“We have learnt that people don’t necessarily want to spent 15 minutes reading a written blog, they want to spend 3-5 minutes watching our commentary on their iPhone on the way into work, as an example, and we are taking all that into consideration when producing our content.”
Elsewhere, Tom highlights how Twitter can be an effective tool to filter for investment research, and see immediate opinions (and reactions) to market movements. Social media, handled by sales and marketing teams as well as for personal consumer use, is still key for firms.
Find out more into Tom’s thoughts as a CIO right here.

Featured Event: Robo-Advice: What are the Limitations?

In the realm of wealth management, the disruptors that are robo-advisers are still a hot topic. Whilst some firms could sit back and watch the robot takeover, others are instead looking to leverage their own forms of robo-advisor services, or teaming up with companies already established in the space to develop their customer interactions.
But just how far has the technology come in improving this side of the business? Well, on January 17th 2019, The Financial Services Forum is offering a breakfast event to discuss exactly this. As robos are expanding from simple investment solutions to financial planning and pensions, are they actually living up to the hype that they are given? Are consumers really interacting better with computer-driven advice rather than human advice?
Robo-Advice: What are the Limitations hosts Industry experts ranging from research and pension companies to discuss what the longevity for this technology is. The event kicks off at 9.00am for a 9.30am start, lasting for two hours, and is hosted at the following address: IFF Research, 5th Floor, St. Magnus House, 3 Lower Thames St, London, EC3R 6HD.
Tickets are available at this link, so sign up quickly!

Fintech News: Monzo in the USA

It’s all going on in the digital banking world, and now a story from one UK startup that’s making such the stride that it’s looking to go global.
On the down-low, however. Monzo has been a key player in the UK fintech world for some time now, with its neon pink cards, travel options and money pots becoming a staple for digital banking nerds, along with its competitors such as Revolut, Atom and Starling. And now, from its humble roots of being a pre-paid debit card to becoming a fully fledge bank, it’s now in a bid to go stateside, with a new consumer base, and an extremely large one at that. It seems the logical next step for a fast-growing company, and CEO Tom Blomfeld has hinted at its expansion to over the Atlantic before. That’s on top of the company being backed by American investors.
TechCrunch has reported on Monzo’s “American Dream”, a tentative and quiet release for a “lite” version of the banking options open to the British public, including ATM withdrawals, debit card and account number.
As of now, it’s still a little hush hush, with an office in Las Vegas being opened to provide customer support for existing clients in Blighty at all hours, but perhaps the operations may be expanding some time soon. As a spokesperson states in a message to TechCrunch, once plans materialise, they’ll be set to “tell the world”. Stay tuned; it’s certainly a major time for digital-only banks looking to take on the market leaders.

Social Spotlight: Challenger Banks’ Marketing Masterclass

Drawing two aspects from the stories above here at Kurtosys Spotlight – music and Monzo – is this Tweet of the Week, also doubling up with Instagram to make this social media feature a mammoth one.
Courtesy of fintech influencer Chris Gledhill is the highlighting of the innovative marketing efforts from three of the UK’s leading digital banks: Monzo, Starling Bank and n26. As you can see from the images above, this trinity has made a serious effort to highlight their data-driven services, which large phone icons identifying the spending charts and budgeting breakdowns that define them, all dressed up in each of their trademark colours.
Clearly they’ve all been taking to Instagram like ducks to water, and Monzo’s example in particular draws heavily from Spotify’s end-of-year music compiler which took the Internet by storm. If you’re a Spotify user, a breakdown of your main genre choices and most heavily rotated records were a delight to see around Christmas time last year– it seemingly is no different with knowing how your financials have been distributed throughout the year. Whether the spending is as raucous as the Miles Davis and Mars Volta experimentation Spotify reminded me about is up to the user…
Nonetheless, excellent marketing ideas and execution from two vastly different industries.
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.
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 [email protected]

Elliot Burr

Elliot Burr

Fervently chatting about the future of funds and fintech.