Kurtosys Spotlight: Rodney Dickson, Morningstar Conference, London fintech

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Welcome to our weekly digital spotlight!

This week’s edition of Kurtosys Spotlight features a return for ETFs, Colonial First State’s Rodney Dickson, podcast and webinar recaps, the upcoming Morningstar conference, Game of Thrones excitement and the rise of London fintech.

Digital Leader Spotlight: Rodney Dickson, Global Head of Digital & Marketing ANZ at Colonial First State Global Asset Management

Rodney-Dickson-2Based in Sydney, Australia is Rodney Dickson, a key and experienced digital marketing professional within asset management, whose experience in multi-channel marketing, digital strategies and user-centric design has followed throughout his decorated career.
Starting out in digital marketing for Tourism Australia, and as a Marketing Manager in Australia and New Zealand for Dominos Pizza, Rodney has a wealth of knowledge in online branding, CRM, email and mobile marketing whether it be for B2C or B2B companies. His first placement within the financial sphere was as Head of Digital Marketing, Retail and Commercial Markets, Asia for RBS where he launched large integrated product launches for the firm’s wealth management, credit cards and loan products, as well as the rebranding and launch of regional corporate and SME banking websites, promotional microsites and wealth management websites.
Rodney’s digital prowess was also present as Head of eBusiness Asia Pacific for Fidelity International, furthering marketing through web content, videos, and developing UX design. Now as the global marketing head for Colonial First State Global Asset Management, he is responsible for all worldwide digital content distribution, online marketing and CRM development for the firm.
Rodney is part of our Most Influential Digital Leaders in Asset Management gallery – see the full list of individuals here!

Featured White Paper: In Turbulent Times, European Institutions Turn to ETFs

An area that has remained slightly untouched in recent times is ETFs, but they’re back with a bang in a new report from Greenwich Associates, and presented by Savvy Investor.
Greenwich Associates developed a survey into the issue of ETFs between October and December of last year, the fifth annual instance of this, interviewing 127 institutional investors. 44% of these institutions have over $10 billion in AUM. The executive summary of the report suspects that the allocations to ETFs are driven by three major factors: the versatility of ETFs within a portfolio; a trend of shifting from active management to index strategies and the funds’ exposure to ESG and its rising popularity.
Taking a further dive into ETFs, the white paper results look into the risks that have faced institutional investors in recent years (mainly concerning macroeconomic and political events), as well as how regulatory issues and changing technologies have changed the way that investors are constructing their portfolios. This has meant that ETFs, due to their cheap price and liquidity, are preferred by investors for index exposures.
There are graphs aplenty looking into the average holding periods for ETFs, how they are used and split within portfolios, and soothsaying graphs looking into how assets are expected to be managed according to ESG factors within the next 5 years.
It’s a welcome look into the 2019 (and beyond) landscape for exchange-traded funds, which still seem to be on trend for institutional investors. You can download the full report from Savvy Investor here.

Podcast: Connecting the Dots – Jayne Fieldhouse

In the latest edition of the Kurtosys Podcast, we have a chat with Jayne Fieldhouse, Head of Communications & Marketing at BlueBay Asset Management.

Part of Jayne’s role is maintaining an excellent web presence, with BlueBay.com being a content-driven site; she talks us through how the content is curated by the firm’s portfolio managers, and editorial duties, as well as identifying how personalisation is becoming a key priority, in fitting with our 2018 digital marketing in asset management survey.
Jayne also identifies how the ‘quality vs quantity’ argument can apply to events as well as content – being selective in participation is the firm’s plan going forward, but she also touches upon how social media platforms including LinkedIn and Twitter still play a vital role in connecting with potential and current clients and investment screening. Jayne also talks us through her most inspirational business book in recent times – Black Box Thinking by Matthew Syed – and how it relates to her role at BlueBay.
Head over to our SoundCloud page, iTunes library or Spotify for all of our podcasts featuring digital professionals in asset management.

Webinar Replay: Producing perfect fund factsheets in half the time

Missed our most recent webinar? Interested in finding out what it’s all about? Here’s a small recap.


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.
Our Product Manager of DocPress Julia Quickfall discusses 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

To find a recording of this webinar, follow this link and press play on the video. You can also sign up for a demo of DocPress at the same page.

Video in Focus: Celebrate Diversity Month

BlackRock are one firm that are doing an excellent job at bringing awareness to #DiversityMonth within the asset management world, and doing so through an excellently consistent video campaign on their social media channels.
One of the most impactful examples from the series is this…

…a collection of interviews with BlackRock employees speaking about how the company’s culture has encouraged a diverse workforce, based on people’s nationality, place of birth, sexual orientation and gender. There are some excellent details about how diversity in the company brings with it wealth of talent, from junior to senior positions, and it’s a well produced video to show how this asset manager is really bolstering their values with excellent content.

Featured Event: Morningstar Investment Conference 2019

One of the largest events for asset managers in the calendar, this year’s Morningstar Investment Conference takes place across three days from 8-10 May at Morningstar’s home in McCormick Place, Chicago.
Bringing together financial experts from all over the world, it’s the perfect opportunity to hear the latest news, developments, insights and perspectives from representatives in the industry. The conference’s main speakers cover various roles in financial services, including Morningstar’s own CEO Kunal Kapoor; Jean M. Hynes, Senior Marketing Director at Wellington Management; partner at the Collaborative Fund Morgan Housel (also a former columnist with the Wall Street Journal and the Motley Fool); and New York Times best-selling author Doris Kearns Goodwin, among many more.
Topics that are looking to be discussed include new tools and data for fixed-income investing, performance and methodology for ETFs, the psychology of investing, index funds, advisor trends for 2019, retirements, impact funds and so much more.
To see the build for the event, you can use the hashtag #MICUS on Twitter, and you can register for the event over at this link. There’s plenty of videos to get through in the run up, including the one below:

We will have our representatives there with an exhibition stand to showcase how Kurtosys can help drive your digital transformation. We look forward to seeing you there!

Fintech News: Lighting the Torch

London-cityscapeThe fintech world sees a lot of competition. Whether that be through startups trying to outmanoeuvre each other in hackathons to gain funding, or between some of the globe’s financial centres looking to be the top dogs of the fintech world.
This latter example is the news in spotlight this week; City A.M. have written an article on London’s efforts to steal the limelight from San Francisco, currently the leading fintech city with the highest number of unicorns.
Out of the total 29 fintechs that are valued at more than $1 billion, 9 have their home in the West Coast hub, whilst 7 are based in the UK’s capital – already the leading fintech nation in Europe. It is speculated however that the UK will soon topple the leader, given the fact that the UK boasts the highest fintech adoption rate from consumers in the Western world (behind China and India globally), with more industry jobs being created too. It’s become the main area of interest for the burgeoning sector, doubling the funding of second-place Berlin with 39% of total investment – staggering!
And the amount of funding looks set to rise considerably, particularly given the news (see here) that Monzo is set to raise even more money from a US investor to bring its value to £2 billion, double what it is now. This will make the company the second most valuable fintech in the country, overtaking Revolut. Whilst there may be some delay whilst waiting for approval from the City’s Prudential Regulation Authority, it’s certainly yet another boost for London’s fintech firepower, and it all seems a little like a financial Game of Thrones to get us hyped for next week.

Social Spotlight: Speaking of which…

… asset managers have certainly been showing interest and getting in on the act:

That’s right, even in the asset management world, the speculation that’s on everyone’s lips besides market outlooks and the future trajectory of ETFs (see earlier) is what’s to come from the last ever series of George R.R. Martin and HBO’s epic. It’s sure to be dominating chat in every industry, with us at Kurtosys similarly excited for the outcome, whatever may happen.
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.