This week’s edition of Kurtosys Spotlight features BNY Mellon IM’s successful rebrand, Architas’ Zoe Robson, Pride Month in investment management, FundForum 2019, and Bank of America’s hybrid model push.

Rebrand news: BNY Mellon Investment Management

As was reported via PRNewswire back in March, BNY Mellon IM was due to roll out its rebranding of the Dreyfus retail business and long-term mutual funds in the US in order to wrap it under the firm’s global branding banner.
The “Dreyfus” brand will become “BNY Mellon” for 94 long-term mutual funds, and the Dreyfus Corporation will be renamed “BNY Mellon Investment Advisor, Inc.”, and this rebranding rollout came this week. This was just one part of BNY Mellon IM’s whole rebrand strategy, however, and Kurtosys is proud to have been a part of it. Without further ado, the firm’s Chief Marketing Officer Anne-Marie McConnon summarised it all perfectly:

Congratulations to all teams involved!

Digital Leader Spotlight: Zoe Robson, Global Head of Innovation at Architas

Zoe-RobsonArchitas has a leading digital footprint due to the role of its Global Head of Innovation: design-centric marketing professional Zoe Robson.
Zoe started her career as a Founder and Director for Zed Studio Ltd., a design consultancy specialising in point-of-sale advertising. With clients boasting Nokia and Unilever, Zoe then took her design flair to Ace Academy as a Lead Designer and Project Manager responsible for print, web advertising and marketing campaigns, and supplying art direction for on and offline marketing and website planning.
Zoe has since taken her expertise to Architas where she has worked through many digital roles – from Senior Designer to not only manage teams and deliver product experiences and a thorough brand push across all literature, but also to analyse new trends in technologies for the financial services space. As she has progressed in the company, Zoe has also held the role of Digital and Innovation Lead for the UK and Europe, working with partners on digital and marketing schemes, and implementing new digital tools (in-house or third party) for the company, also working as part of AXA UK for their ‘innovation program’.
Zoe now heads the Innovation team to establish a design mindset and agile working throughout the company, putting her at the forefront of financial services’ innovate leaders. She has featured as a speaker for such events as the Digital Integration in Wealth Management Conference, and has appeared in video as a digital spokesperson for Investment 20/20.

Featured Report: We need more black people in fund management

Coming off the back of a few reports is this excellent article from Financial Times’ Chris Cummings looking into a lack of representation of black employees within the fund management sector.
The first (and shocking) statistic outlined here, and gathered from the Equality and Human Rights Commission, is that black graduates earn 23% less than white people with similar degrees across Britain’s workforce. Of course, wealth management is not alone as a sector in its diminished hiring of black individuals; the article uses the recent example of England striker Raheem Sterling’s massive impact throughout this year in his highlighting and condemning of racist behaviour exhibited towards black football players and fans.
The FT also looked into an industry-wide survey, which pinpoints the fact that only 2% of 3,755 investment management staff were from an African or Caribbean backgrounds, which has signalled a huge effort from the Investment Association to outline a bias that is prevalent in our society.
Conducting their own Black Voices report, looking into the views of 250 black colleagues, the main findings were that only 30% of black workers in the industry felt their companies had sufficient policies to support black employees, and more than 50% expressed that they had no black role models at work; hopefully figures which will increase hugely now that this discussion is finally getting the attention it deserves.

Videos in Focus: Pride Month

Mercer-LGBT-videoEach year, June marks Pride Month across the world, commemorating the Stonewall riots of June 1969 in Greenwich Village. Pride is celebrated not only on the streets of some of the major cities of the world in excellent marches, but companies are also doing their part to highlight diversity and inclusion during this month of awareness.
One investment firm which did this to a great extent earlier this year was Mercer who, following a 2018 report from Stonewall identifying that 35% of LGBT individuals hid their identity due to fear of discrimination, decided to host a panel discussion on the topic of ‘coming out in the workplace’. Whilst this is content from February of this year, it certainly seems prevalent to revisit during pride month.
The panel discussion is led by Nabila Zulfiqar, Chief Adjudicator Solicitors Regulation Authority and SRA Ally, who is joined by Claire Skinner (Global Co-Chair of Mercer Pride), Clare Coates (Deputy Chair for Barclays Spectrum) and Ailsa Brown (Women’s Representative at [email protected]). Clearly, these companies have their own groups indebted to improving LGBT+ relations in their businesses and beyond.
The whole talk can be viewed in full, but they’ve also been broken down into smaller videos focusing on particular topics, including workplace culture, how companies can be more inclusive, the ease or difficulty of coming out at work, and whether they feel that there’s been a significant step in changing attitudes.
You can check out this excellent conversation over at the Mercer website.

Featured Event: FundForum International 2019

A friendly reminder that, in just less than two weeks, one of the largest asset management events in the calendar is taking place in Copenhagen. That’s right, it’s FundForum International, and we are pleased to announce that we will be exhibiting there.
The conference is taking place on 25-27 June 2019, at Bella Center in Copenhagen, the first time in the Nordics. As the number one investment management event in the world, it’s the one-stop shop for asset, investment and wealth managers to learn all about innovation within the industry as well as develop business. Esteemed speakers at the event include Saadia Madsbjerg, Managing Director at The Rockerfeller Foundation; BlackRock’s Head of Retail EMEA Michael Gruener; Unigestion’s Group CEO Fiona Frick and many more, with additions still to be announced.
The three day event will cover a range of content from some of the top industry experts. The six focused topics to encompass these new trends and ideas are: geopolitics, technology and sustainability; distribution; investments; markets; operations; and data and next gen leadership.
Also new for this year is an additional Summit Day which takes place on 24 June; three summits will run simultaneously. One will cover ESG in the Portfolio, one looks into Inside ETFs and the third explores Digital ‘Professionalisation’ and Innovation. You can view the whole summit agenda here.
You can follow all of the lead-up to the event over at @fundforum and on their LinkedIn showcase page.

Fintech News: The coming of the hybrid model

Yeah, yeah, yeah, we’ve heard all about the rise of robots and the upcoming war of the worlds between robo-advisors and desk-dwelling humans, but whilst many call for the idea of the hybrid model to be exacted, who has done this so far?
In this week’s news, it’s Bank of American Merrill Lynch that are at the forefront of the hybrid movement through their Merrill Guide Investing digital advice program, according to InvestmentNews. Not just content with the services of its full-on digital robo-adviser for financial planning and strategy advice, the firm is now adding a human being into the mix (300 additional advisers to be exact) to talk through the plans stemming from the digital counterpart. Additionally, 10 investment strategies can be accessed beyond Guided Investing’s pre-existing 15, with Bank of America charging an annual 85 basis point fee for the platform.
The advisers can be spoken to via phone application, chat function or video conferences, and a full rundown of the platform’s development can be found over at Yahoo! Finance. With this rollout, it’s certainly to be expected that more firms will adopt a similar stance on the human/robo-advice model for a ‘best of both worlds’ approach.

Social Spotlight: Women’s Awards Extravaganza

Asset management awards season is upon us! And amongst the swathe of nomination opportunities are two that we’ve spotted over on Twitter, both spearheading the recognition of great women in financial services. Place your votes following the links in the tweets below!

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