This week’s edition of Kurtosys Spotlight features Andy Saperstein from Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, disruptive factors to the eurozone, London’s fintech wins, Deloitte’s big impact, chances to be creative and DEADx highlights.
Digital Leader Spotlight: Andy Saperstein, Co-head at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management
As co-head of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, Andy Saperstein is in for a big year, as the firm plans a large technological takeover for 2019.
Towards the end of last year, the company unveiled plans to launch a complete digital dashboard, what they believe to be the first of its kind to bring together all of its adviser technology suite. Named WealthDesk, it will see whether the large investment from Morgan Stanley into technology will be used actively by advisors to construct portfolios and open digital accounts. It will look to help advisors tap into $2 trillion worth of assets outside of the firm, and its portfolio risk platform is powered by BlackRock’s Aladdin.
Saperstein last May called this Goals Planning System (GPS), stressing the necessary use of the company’s cutting-edge technology, as a way for the firm’s 15,000+ brokers and advisors to gain bigger shares of clients’ assets. It plans to leverage advisors to propel its digital-first strategy in its 2019 compensation plan.
Andy is part of our Most Influential Digital Leaders in Asset Management. Check it out!
Featured Report: Impact Deloitte
Big Four firm Deloitte’s Luxembourg subsidiary often comes up with some excellent content and impressive ways to present them, and this is no different for their Impact Report 2019. Touching on several aspects contained within the umbrella of ESG considerations, it looks into society as a whole, and how humanity is adapting to change and different working environments, and developing solutions to make society more responsible.
This report is the first of its kind, and looks into how Deloitte is doing its best to foster diversity in its own company, as well as how it looks to develop and invest in tools and technology that will deliver solutions to their clients and craft a sustainable future for all.
As you can see on this landing page for the Impact Report, it begins with an introductory video which sees Deloitte Luxembourg CEO John Psaila talking about the 70 year history of the company and how it is rooted to change Luxembourg’s future. He also discusses the necessity for all to think of going an extra step to ensure sustainability, and the fact that we all need to adapt to a more agile working environment.
You can then almost traverse the report by yourself like an adventure book, with each sub section having a call to action that takes you to its own page. Within this includes snippets from Deloitte’s workers talking about how their job is best used to create a lasting impact. It also offers the ability to read the content via area of interest, whether it be talent, market or society.
Featured Infographic: Talking Disruption
It’s not just Brexit for the UK that’s going to cause a bit of bother, and disruption is very much coming for all of the Eurozone. That’s what forms the basis of a semi-interactive infographic courtesy of PIMCO.
The company has identified six main disruptors, which open up in an expand-and-collapse style format. There’s some bold icons adorned in the PIMCO colours and each section has a small write-up all about how each factor will have an effect on trade and the European economy.
Firstly looking at China, its growing global trade tensions and it’s influential tech sector have both positive and negative roles to play on Europe, as well as a rise in populism in politics, the world leaders in technological development, ageing populations (particularly within the workforce), market risks, and potential catastrophes as a result of climate change.
This is also all accompanied by a larger-scale article going into far more detail about how each ‘disruptor’ will create change, written by three PIMCO advisors, which is well worth a read for fans of thoughtful economic assessments. You can find all the information over at this link.
Events: Does Creative Really Matter? An Asset Management Half-Day
The title of this upcoming Financial Services Forum event is fairly blunt, as is the accompanying introductory paragraph on the event page when asking whether asset management is really any good at advertising themselves. Basically, it’s a known fact that the financial services industry finds it difficult to best utilise creative methods to brand themselves and be distinguishable from other companies, but digital means and shorter attention spans necessitate being as creative as possible to appeal to people.
And how to achieve this? Well, this half-day event combined two different sessions to outline how asset managers can get more out of their marketing. The first session is entitled Does Creative Really Matter? and features the following speakers: Lucian Camp (Brand and Marketing Consultant), Ian Henderson (CEO at AML Group), Hannah Springett (Lead Creative Strategist at Ceros), and Grant Warnock (Brand and Customer Marketing Director at Nutmeg).
The second session leans more on how firms can work with external agencies (content, PR and digital included) to develop fresh ideas. Entitled How to Get More From Your Agencies, the featured speakers are Jet Cooke (Head of Marketing – End Investor at Fidelity International), Vincent Hooplot (COO and Chief Strategist at Fundamental Media), and Richard Sherwell (Client Partner at Publicis Sapient).
The event takes place on 28 November 2019 at the following address: Aberdeen Standard Investments, Bow Bells House, 1 Bread Street, London, EC4M 9HH and is open to FS Forum members.
Fintech News: Heavy Lies the Crown
It’s not all fun and games in the UK when it comes to business, but there is a still a shining light at the end of the tunnel. Currently still involved in a Brexit limbo, and with an impending general election, the future that awaits the financial world is still as up-in-the-air as it has been for a long while. And yet, fintech still reigns as an embodiment of optimism still.
London has always been considered the worldwide beacon of fintech success, at the very least in Europe, and an article from City A.M. cements this point, with added financial backing too. As it reports, it has been a record year for fintech in London and beyond in terms of financial backing. Clearly the allure of fintech for investors remains strong, with US venture capital firms being involved in deals worth a total of £3.4 billion. Interestingly, whilst this covers the whole of the UK, London companies account for over three-quarters of the investment. Another interesting fact in the article highlights that Silicon Valley VCs are particularly enamoured with the UK, investing more money into the country in the last five years than France and Germany combined. Clearly Brexit isn’t as off-putting as many predicted, with pessimists believing there to be a shift in where the fintech crown lies.
For those wondering who the biggest winners are from the swathe of investment (after all, we like to see the stories of all the world’s unicorn fintech companies), Monzo come out on top after securing $144 million (that’s around £112 million GDP) in a series F round from Y Combinator. Other companies that did pretty well include data privacy firm Onetrest and cybersecurity company Synk.
Sherry Coutu, an angel investor and co-founder on not-for-profit organisation Silicon Valley Comes to the UK, explains why London remains an attractive hub: “While Brexit has created some uncertainty, investors from the US and further afield continue to look to London as Europe’s leading tech hub because it is home to world class talent and an abundance of innovative companies – especially in areas such as fintech, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence.”
There you have it. What will the next decade bring for UK fintech? Only time will tell, but we’ll soon know for sure.
Social Spotlight: DEADx Highlights
There’ll be some out there that may remember our focus on a whole new brand of conference talks in financial services, courtesy of fans-of-roguery consultancy the lang cat. We covered it in an earlier edition of the Spotlight as a hype-building beast, and we also discussed it with the lang cat’s leader Mark Polson in our podcast.
Essentially, the conference is a slightly altered version of the popular TEDtalk format, inviting trusted names to offer their views on this year’s topic of ‘value in asset management’. It was a smallish event for 140 people as – oh yeah – it was in a crypt. Of course.
Those lucky 140 made it to the tomb last week, and for those that didn’t, it’s worth checking out some social media snippets over on the #langcatdeadx hashtag. It features some of the valuable points that each of the speakers made, and also includes some mandatory lang cat banter from their team. Have a gander!
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I love @CryptontheGreen . Best venue in London by a mile. I’m sure we’ll be back again #langcatdeadx pic.twitter.com/kJ31W7dE6z— Mike Barrett (@langcatmike) November 14, 2019