Kurtosys Spotlight: Plastic-free investing, Madeline Delianides, DMFS

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This week’s edition of Kurtosys Spotlight features Voya IM’s Madeline Delianides, plastic-free investing, sales and marketing technology, Brexit on fintech updates, DMFS Midwest and Chris Skinner’s future for banking.

Digital Leader Spotlight: Madeline Delianides, VP Marketing Capabilities, Voya Investment Management

Madeline-DelianidesA leading pioneer in the marketing side of things for the financial services industry is Madeline Delianides, who has worked not just within asset management, but also at one of the world’s largest banks and one of the most popular US publications.
Madeline has spent most of her career at American Express where she has held a multitude of roles; starting with Director of Marketing Capabilities, Madeline was responsible for developing the firm’s CRM to support their marketing team, and completely redesigned their end-to-end direct marketing process using data model definition. Her final role at American Express was as Vice President of Technology, enhancing their tools of the Technology Solution Delivery Lifecycle and partnering with stakeholders.
Her marketing and technological capabilities also came into play at OppenheimerFunds and The New York Times, where she redefined the newspaper’s marketing technology roadmap and led a team of 45 marketing professionals. Now at Voya Investment Management, Madeline leads the firm’s marketing automation strategy, martech stack development, analysis and data management and compliance issues, taking experience from her prior foray into digital in finserv companies.
Madeline is part of our Most Influential Digital Leaders in Asset Management gallery.

Featured Infographic: The World of Sales Tech

As it’s often a useful exercise to look into the roles of sales and marketing specifically within the industry, we’re featuring a great example from the data-viz aficionados Visual Capitalist looking into the crux of the modern salesperson.
Of course, sales has taken a trajectory well beyond the traditional (as the accompanying VC article highlights – the Glengarry Glen Ross style approach), and sales technology is becoming a massive part of the task of pulling in leads and converting them into customers. With developments in such tools as artificial intelligence to identify quality of leads and personalise customer information quickly and efficiently, the machine is the salesperson’s best friend – a fact that has been exemplified in this infographic.
As is typical of the Viz Cap style, they’ve taken a range on research from the big-time likes of Demandbase, Salesforce, LinkedIn, Hubspot, and arranged the information in a glorious way with attractive and all-encompassing charts.
It’s evident from the surveying of these respondents that data handling is the main bug-bear for them, but 89% feel that the quality of this data is what is ultimately important to guiding sales and marketing decisions – certainly an unanimous thought. Elsewhere, the infographic details the adoption of AI among marketing and sales people, how they actually use it (automated assistants not being quite as popular as you may think), and what the expected benefits from AI technology are.
The main centrepiece of the visual is a large wheel displaying the top sales tools that are being used now, and looking to be used in the coming year. Most are to benefit social selling and lead generation (naturally) whilst gamification is still in nascent stages of interest and use – perhaps this figure will be driven upward when technology gets (even) more advanced.
Check out the infographic and article over at Visual Capitalist.

Video in Focus: Plastic Problems

As ESG considerations continue to become more and more prevalent in investment management, today we’re focusing on the ‘E’. And one of the biggest environmental issues that faces the planet is plastic usage and its discarding. Around 8 million tonnes of plastic enters our vast oceans every year, as this video below shows.
Sam Slator, head of communications at FundCalibre, talks us through her own personal journey of cutting down on plastic waste, something that each and every person needs to do to prolong our future on earth. This segment not only details a Plastic Free July from Sam, but along with research from EdenTree, Aberdeen Standard Investment, Stewart Investors, Rathbones Greenbank Investments, Kames Capital and Hermes Investment Management, it also highlights how fund managers that look into ESG investing are tackling the problem of plastic pollution.
These facts highlight the worst offending industries and detail the cooperative efforts that companies are making to achieve their personal targets to tackle packaging problems. It’s a well-presented collection of research looking into some purposeful initiatives from investment managers, and offers an eye-opening glimpse into how the industry has a very important hold on the halting of plastic waste as much as possible.
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Events: DMFS Midwest

The Digital Marketing for Financial Services Marketing event takes place amongst many places in the US, and the edition for the Midwest is coming up very shortly.
It’s a two day event, taking place from Wednesday 18 September to Thursday 19 September, and occurs at the following address:
Chicago Mart Plaza, River North, Chicago, Illinois
This particular event marks itself out as the tenth in its series and is in fact the longest-running digital marketing event in financial services. Being the ultimate package for financial marketers, the two days of learning will feature talks on the following topics: automation, social media, voice commerce, SEO, content marketing, data analytics, personalisation and c-suite investments.
Much of the delegates for this event are CMOs and Digital Marketing Managers, with other roles including industry stakeholders, marketers, business development representatives and social media experts. Amongst the keynote speakers at the event are directors, global marketing heads and CTOs from companies including BMO Bank of Montreal, Morgan Stanley, Russell Investments and J.P. Morgan.
You can download a brochure all about the event on the official event homepage, as well as register for tickets right here.

Fintech News: Brexit.

Brexit-starThe issue of Brexit in relation to the financial services industry has been going on for quite some time, but here at the Spotlight, we’ve not been covering it so much recently. But over at Coin Telegraph, they’ve taken a look at how the fintech industry will be affected by whatever happens with Brexit in the coming months. Of course, the new deadline for a Brexit deal was extended to October by former Prime Minister Theresa May, and now under new leadership with Boris Johnson, there’s more question marks hovering over the outcomes than ever.
Much of the former coverage whilst Brexit chat was erupting concerned whether the UK could claim itself to still be the centre of fintech excellence in Europe. As the report notes, in 2014 the country gained the position as the global financial services centre, but of course with regulatory differences between the EU and UK post-Brexit, how will crypto cope?
Coin Telegraph have asked a few professionals for their opinions and predictions, namely Jane Thomason (CEO of Fintech Worldwide), Sarah Hall (senior fellow at The UK in a Changing Europe) and Antoine Baschiera (co-founder and CEO of Early Metrics).
Considering there is still a lack of clarity whether there will be a deal or not (although leaning slightly towards the ‘not’ perhaps), there’s a hint of positivity running through some of these responses given the UK (and London’s) already pre-established position as a financial forerunner, but the possibility of a change in waves cannot be discounted. Indeed, some highlight the possibility of no-deal really affecting the UK fintech market in a negative way: access to funding and technologies as well as lesser recruitment opportunities being two major factors.
Time will tell as to where the UK’s financial services position goes from here, but these predictors offer both respite and danger in what is a continually frustrating and inconclusive time.

Social Spotlight: Chris Skinner Returns

Elsewhere in the talk of ‘fintech and our future’, it wouldn’t be a phrase like that without some mention of Chris Skinner, one of the fintwit community’s most prominent thought leaders on the topic.
Chris’ own blog is an excellent resource to keep abreast of the ongoing changes in financial technology and banking – you can see it here – and this Tweet below shows his expertise in speaking at events. Featuring at TEDx in Athens, Chris addresses why banking is still as important as it used to be (hence negating an earlier assumption from Microsoft’s Bill Gates), as well as discussing the Gen Y and Gen Z age groups and how they are already sculpting the future of banks as we know it.

The facts he produces about the age groups of some of the largest fintechs is quite something, and is certainly food for thought about where the new ideas for banking’s changing face are coming from. Remember, fintech matters!
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Elliot Burr

Elliot Burr

Fervently chatting about the future of funds and fintech.