Kurtosys Spotlight: Schroders Lens, Wendy Appleton, Libra coin

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This week’s edition of Kurtosys Spotlight features Michael Anyfantakis, FS Forum’s marketing report 2019, our interview with Wendy Appleton, Cheryl Nash from Fiserv, InvestmentNews’ 40 Under 40, and the anticipated news of Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency.

Digital Leader Spotlight: Michael Anyfantakis – Head of Innovation Design at Lloyds Banking Group

Michael-AnyfantakisMichael Anyfantakis is an experienced consultant and advisor, specialising is digital strategy, design and innovation delivery, now the Head of Innovation Design at Lloyds Banking Group.
With a firm basis in financial services, Michael started as a Project Manager at Capital One before leading data architecture teams for consulting firm PWC. With this blend of financial and technological expertise, Michael led system integration programmes for IBM, focusing on online banking, CRMs, data and analytics, before specifically running advisory services for financial services firms at EY regarding their digital strategies as Digital Banking Advisory Director.
Now at Lloyds Banking Group, Michael has held the post of Head of Customer Journey Design, focusing on end-to-end digital transformation to improve customer journey experiences and implementing a coherent service design across all of the firm’s transformation labs – a large undertaking. Now as head of Innovation Design, Michael helps to bring design innovation across many projects, and collaborates closely with the fintech community. Michael is a prominent thought leader for product design, UX and CX in the financial services industry and has spoken at events including CXC 2018.

Featured Report: Marketing Trends Report 2019 by FS Forum

FS-Forum-marketing-reportNot to only be a centre of excellence for asset management-related events, the Financial Services Forum (/FS Forum) has recently released a white paper looking specifically into the challenges and trends that senior marketing professionals within the industry are experiencing this year. The results and key findings given in the following report all came about from a recent survey featuring members of the FS Forum.
Contained within the report are 4 clear chapters which, without further ado, are: marketing challenges; trends in marketing channels; marketing skills and company culture; and budget trends. The survey was completed by 78 senior members who take on the roles of team managers, heads of marketing and marketing directors, with the majority specifically involved in the asset management sector.
Some of the main findings that you can find within include:

  • Creating differentiation and proving effectiveness with marketing efforts are the two largest challenges facing respondents.
  • Proving effectiveness is often down to budget, with (interestingly) those having a more limited budget finding it easier to produce effective content for their audiences.
  • More budget is being allocated across the board to SEO, email marketing, web design, UX and content distribution. Less is being allocated to voice technology and AR/VR, if any at all.
  • For asset management, financial trade media, LinkedIn and Twitter are the three most highly consumed online outlets for marketing material.

There’s plenty more to find in this invaluable report, which you can download over at this link.

Interview: Wendy Appleton, Head of Sales – UK and Ireland at Pictet

Wendy-Appleton-headshotIn the most recent of our interview series, hosted by Sam Shaw, are these excellent insights courtesy of Wendy Appleton, who heads up the sales team for the UK and Ireland region at Pictet. You can find the whole conversation right here.
Enclosed, Wendy explains how Pictet have become pioneers in the field of thematic investing, where the firm manages around £32 billion in assets, dedicating an awful lot of expense into the area. For this reason though, the company allows investors to invest in such matters as smart cities, with their SmartCity strategy being specific to the evolution of technologically forward-thinking cities (and possibly the only example too).
As a salesperson, Wendy also explains how digital disruption can be portrayed in a positive light due to its advantages for sales and marketing teams; notably the use of social media to network and build connections, and the release of market information being far quicker to produce and publish.
Elsewhere, she discusses the roles of video content and platforms such as YouTube (which we have also covered with some of our guests in the Connecting the Dots podcast) which can get these sorts of market updates out into the world far more directly still, and the firm’s creativity in creating 360° VR films to take consumers on a journey of companies that they invest in, or smart traffic infrastructures.
It’s also worth checking out Pictet’s future-looking content site Mega which Wendy accentuates – an independent platform for sharing views on (mainly) technology, sustainability and health, all packed into a neat content site akin to Medium and similar outlets.

Podcast: Connecting the Dots – Cheryl Nash

In this edition of our Connecting the Dots podcast, we speak to Cheryl Nash, President of Investment Services at Fiserv.

We cover many topics on this show, particularly Cheryl’s and Fiserv’s excellent commitment to promoting women in finance through initiatives including their Leading Women Summit, hoping to #ChangetheGame and taking inspiration from similar movements in women’s international sports to influence the fintech and wealth management sector.
We also discuss her best tips for connecting with customers (Fiserv have been named as one of FORTUNE Magazine’s World Most Admired Companies six years in a row), the clinical role of social media channels to network with other women and influencers in the industry, and how a business partnership with the Milwaukee Bucks has helped them to become a recognised fintech leader, bringing the sector to a new audience, nationally and internationally.
You can follow Cheryl on Twitter @cherylnash2, and on LinkedIn.
Remember, you can catch all of our episodes from the podcast series on our SoundCloud page, iTunes librarySpotify, and now Stitcher!

Video in Focus: InvestmentNews 40 Under 40

As we’ve previously covered, it’s very much awards season in the financial landscape, and InvestmentNews has released this year’s final leaderboard for their 40 Under 40 – the best leading young advisers. You can see the full list and their biographies over here.
And in keeping with this rollout, the news site has also produced interview videos with some select individuals from the list, focusing firstly on life as a young investment adviser in, what they call, a “mature industry”, as you can view here 
…and the future of the industry, picking up on what these individuals think will redefine the advisory space in the near future. Such topics include the retirement of older advisors in the industry, technological advancement (or disruption) through fintech, cryptocurrencies, and the transfer of wealth to a younger client base. Check out this snippet at this link!

AM Marketing Feature: Schroders Lens

Below you can see a recent update from Schroders’ Chief Digital Officer Graham Kellen – who features in our Most Influential Digital Leaders in Asset Management gallery – releasing into the world a new app from the UK-based asset manager.

Schroders Lens is an app whose main function is to keep professional investors and advisors up to date with the firm’s insights from their team of experts. The content hub contains in-focus investment trends, market insights, thought leadership pieces and video content, and can be downloaded for free from the Apple App store.
For investors on the go, this is a handy way to best cotton on to the firm’s thinking, and it’s an excellent digital marketing push from Graham and the team – check it out!

Fintech News: Facebook’s Crypto-realism…

Facebook-thumbPerhaps the biggest fintech news of the week, and perhaps even the year, is the long-awaited news from internet conglomerate Facebook about the launch of their cryptocurrency.
It’s been a long time coming, but everything is pointing towards a 2020 rollout date for the currency, called Libra. According to the BBC, and the firm themselves, users will be able to buy coins from their affiliated platforms and store them in a digital wallet called Calibra (clever?), and payments can be made on Facebook’s services such as WhatsApp. The company already has payment connections with Paypal and Visa, as well as major VC firms, techy ride-hailing services Lyft and Uber and digital businesses including Spotify and eBay are “likely” to accept Libra as a valid form of payment in the future. It’s all going on, and giving cryptocurrency another valuable piece of worldwide coverage, albeit being linked to Facebook which, in the past year or so, has come under severe scrutiny for data permission acts. With the decentralised, non-regulated side of cryptocurrencies also coming under fire, what does the amalgamation of these shunned entities mean?
We’ll have to wait and see, but Libra’s beginnings have been going on for some time as reported by the FT, which saw a huge backing of the currency even 18 months ago from many partners. David Marcus, former PayPal president, was instrumental in assembling the team for Libra, pulling expertise from his old company. All of this in the shadows of Facebook’s public scandal, trying to develop blockchain technology with the finish line being a completely new digital currency. And whilst progress was waning at the start of this year, Zuckerberg’s new commitment to privacy in January spurred it on further, owing that Facebook would give over control of Libra once it was fully developed.
It’s certainly going to have its fair share of fans and critics, but this is a monumental move for cryptocurrencies and tech companies everywhere that are placing trust in digital commodities. Where this is headed, nobody knows, but we’ll certainly be keenly reviewing its progress (or lack of) before we eventually find ourselves in a world with Libra as a new ‘coin’.

Social Spotlight: …and the backlash

In light of my past comment, the social media world has clearly taken to the Libra news like a moth to flames, and as you can tell below, the Facebook move into cryptocurrency clearly hasn’t gone down all too well on the whole. See for yourself…

…and, of course, there are memes. See you next week!

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Elliot Burr

Elliot Burr

Fervently chatting about the future of funds and fintech.