Kurtosys Spotlight: Cheryle Dobbs, megatrends, Womenomics

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This week’s edition of Kurtosys Spotlight features a report on current megatrends, PineBridge’s Cheryle Dobbs, how different generations invest, Ben Phillips’ podcast series, acquisition news and a 20 year reflection on Womenomics.

Digital Leader Spotlight: Cheryle Dobbs – Senior Vice President, Head of Marketing & Communications, EMEA at PineBridge Investments

Cheryle-DobbsJuggling multiple roles within her tenure at PineBridge Investments is Cheryle Dobbs, whose most recent post is Senior Vice President and Head of Marketing and Communications for the EMEA region at the firm.
Starting a career in the financial space, Cheryle enjoyed a three year spell at Hermes Pensions Management, handling the technical design aspects of the business as a Desktop Publisher, which required knowledge and utilisation of such programmes as InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator and Dreamweaver. This paved the way for various creative and marketing posts within the asset management industry, for companies including Schroders, AIG Investments and RBS.
Now at PineBridge (having been here for over 10 years), Cheryle is responsible for tasks including events and sponsorships, PR, communications, project management, and leading branding and campaigns for the marketing side of things. She has also spoken as a thought leader for large industry events including one of the year’s highlights: TSAM. 
Cheryle is part of our Most Influential Digital Leaders in Asset Management gallery – check it out here!

Featured White Paper: Megatrends – The forces shaping our future 

Megatrends-BlackRock-WP-2Futurists will be excited at the prospect of reading a brand new report from BlackRock’s iShares: Megatrends – The forces shaping our future, the exciting annual look into how the way the world is changing will affect economic outlooks and, indeed, investment thinking.
The term ‘megatrend’ certainly sounds gargantuan and, as defined by the report’s authors, megatrends ‘are powerful, transformative forces that can change the trajectory of the global economy by shifting the priorities of societies, driving innovation and redefining business models. They can have a meaningful impact not just on how we live and how we spend money, but also on government policies and corporate strategies.’ Pretty big time.
Thus, the report (which stems from original research with PwC in 2015) goes on to explain the five most prevalent megatrends that they see affecting the way we live. First up is the groundwork factor – technological breakthroughs – which ultimately is what drives the four other trends with the whole world becoming far more digitalised. Technology is the ultimate lynchpin for innovation nowadays, and innovation is what is needed to solve problems including climate change and resource scarcity, demographics and social change, rapid urbanisation, and emerging global wealth.
The research takes each issue here into its own section, looking into where the firm sees innovation occurring and summaries about how the last few years has seen development regarding these megatrends (energy efficiency for the climate change section, for example), as well as what the main investment opportunities will be for each. Among these innovations are 5G technology to increase AI capabilities across industries, healthcare solutions, emerging market companies and their increased value creation, food production methods and renewable energy sources.
There’s plenty of futuristic foresight on display in this compact and exciting paper, which you can download via Savvy Investor.

Featured Infographic: How Different Generations Think About Investing

It’s been a long ol’ while since we revisited the great work from financial-and-tech-data-viz specialists Visual Capitalist, so we figured we’d feature their return to the Spotlight with a generation-centric investment infographic, which comes courtesy of content producers Raconteur.
You can find this condensed reports of sorts over on their website (with the opportunity, as always, to blow it up to full size), which aims to segment the different investment attitudes between the world’s baby boomers, Gen Xers and millennials using research from firms including the CFA Institute, Accenture and BlackRock.
There’s some valuable insights looking into how Gen X investors were far more inclined to save for a first home at age 27 compared to millennials, where only 23% see that as their top financial goal in the modern age. Then again, it’s interesting to see that the majority of millennials (66%) are more confident about the investment opportunities to arise in the next twelve months compared to their older counterparts, who are a more pessimistic bunch in the current climate it seems.
The infographic makes expert use of graphs to display further data: why non-investors aren’t investing and how they look at investing; confidence in investing; the lean towards ESG considerations in fund selection; personal finances and apps; and – the pivotal question – how would each generation spend $10,000? As you will see, baby boomers are driven to use it to pay down debt, and millennials seem less eager or even unsure as to how they would use this monetary token, with fairly low results for every option available.
The different attitudes of customers due to a generational gap is what firms need to be aware of to cater or personalise their content and products, making for an excellent KYC strategy, and this infographic is certainly one way to help illustrate and understand these thought processes.

Podcast: 10 Minutes / 10 Answers Series

To stray from our usual coverage of our Connecting the Dots podcast (more coming soon!), here’s an excellently formatted podcast run by EventShares, whose host Ben Phillips we’ve had the pleasure of interviewing ourselves, which you can check out at this link.
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In the latest edition, Ben talks with Dr. Carolyn McClanahan, founder of Wealthcare and director of financial planning at Life Planning Partners. Carolyn was once a doctor, but made a big move in 2004 to financial planning and founded her own company and has contributed to publications including Forbes and CNBC. In ten minutes, you can find out ten answers to find out more about her role, and all about the link between healthcare and finance which everyone must think about as they go through life.
This is episode 7 of the podcast, with new editions coming out frequently. The podcasts, and the company’s other forms of content, can all be found on the EventShares YouTube channel.

Video in Focus: Womenomics

Goldman Sach’s The Long & Short of It video series offers some excellent rundowns of economic issues, and in this latest episode, Kathy Matsui (Strategist at Goldman Sachs Research) looks into a 20 year old report looking to link the gender employment gap and the country’s economy. Drawing from her own experience of returning from maternity leave, many of her friends did not, hence why there was a phenomenon of half of the population not playing as much of an active part in the workplace.
However, Kathy notes that from around 6 years ago, the National Growth Strategy passed by the government helped participation grow once again, with the concept of Womenomics being a major pillar for the movement, as well as other initiatives and campaigns helping to close the gender employment gap.
But more challenges still remain. This insightful snippet explains all in a succinct manner, and the ideas outlined could be applied to remedy the employment gap situation in financial services, other industries, and other countries around the world.

Fintech News: Acquisition Central

At the start of this week, a big deal in fintech’s payments space was finally sealed, having been finally announced on Fiserv’s Twitter page, as shown below:
As the Tweet above describes, this acquisition of First Data by Fiserv now makes the latter one of the world leaders in the payments arena of the fintech world. First Data was a credit card processing service for small and large businesses, based in Atlanta, Georgia. Fiserv is a global provider of financial technology solutions, for such institutions as banks, credit unions, leasing and finance companies, and retailers.
As reported by Pymnts.com, the deal (which was written up earlier this year) was an all-stock transactions valued at $22 billion. With First Data’s solutions at their fingertips, Fiserv’s clients can now have access to a larger range of capabilities with a larger set of technological innovations. This combined company will be under the Fiserv brand, with First Data common stock no longer listed on the NYSE.
As their press release notes, Jeffery Yabuki (Chairman and CEO of Fiserv) had this to say about the deal: “The completion of this transformative combination is a major milestone in the evolution of our companies, […] We have continued to identify ways in which we can deliver differentiated value to clients, associates and shareholders, and are excited to work together on fulfilling the promise of the combination. We are confident that our people are the best in the industry and will push the boundaries of excellence and innovation for the benefit of all of our stakeholders.”
Certainly a large slice of M&A news which will rock the payments sphere due to its scope and scale. Which other likewise partnerships will we see crop up in 2019?

Social Spotlight: Further valuations

Sticking with the subject of highly valued fintechs, one of the UK’s largest is Revolut – a company we’ve looked at many times, either painting a good story or highlighting its plight to reach the top of the startup list.
In certainly more positive light is this animated Tweet we came across showing how Revolut’s CEO Nikolay Storonsky’s assertion of “Europe is beating the US in fintech innovation” isn’t just true, but Revolut itself is also leading the way on the continent too. Check out this excellent animated clip to show how Europe’s leading neobanks have increased their customer base up until Q3 2019.

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Elliot Burr

Elliot Burr

Fervently chatting about the future of funds and fintech.