Innovation in Wealth Management
As I try to keep abreast of new innovation in wealth management I try to attend both Finovate Fall in New York (this year’s edition is next week) and Finovate Spring in San Francisco (moving to San Jose next year) every year (I may also attend Finovate Europe in London next year, as we are in discussions for a potential Bank Innovators Council innovation session coinciding with the event next February, and I will eventually round that out with a trip to Singapore for Finovate Asia when the timing is right).
I am a big fan of Finovate and its Founder Jim Bruene and CEO Eric Mattson, and the way they have impacted FinTech innovation in the six years since they launched in 2007. My friend Jim Marous has a great retrospective on the short but impactful history of Finovate and the evolving trends on his Bank Marketing Strategy blog.
The Isle of Misfit Toys
I love innovation of any kind in the financial services industry, but because most of my background has been with affluent markets, I always pay special attention to those that impact the wealth management/investment/financial planning space. I often describe my experience in years past as “being on the Isle of Misfit Toys”
I would attend industry wealth management conferences filled with baby boomer white males (not that there’s anything wrong with that…) in tan pants and navy blazers wielding Cross pens and legal pads. These were often the best minds in the business on financial planning and investment strategies, but no one was tweeting or live-blogging and no one was demoing vibrantly disruptive ideas. Not much had changed in the 20+ years I’ve been in the business.
Then, I would attend Finovate or, in the last couple of years the Bank Innovation conference, and the room was filled with a diverse bunch of bright, energetic people from all over the world who had truly disruptive and inspiring visions– but no one was talking much about the affluent part of the market. In fact, there used to be so much focus on the so-called “underbanked” (Ron Shevlin‘s least favorite word), that I began describing my domain as that of the “overbanked”.
All of that is beginning to change, and I have documented a lot of that change here on this blog and on my personal blog Affluent Strategies.
Last year the Money2020 conference debuted to rave reviews, and although relatively little will be focused on the wealth management and affluent space, I will be among the rapidly multiplied crowd at this year’s event in Las Vegas in October.
I am also pleased to be leading a discussion at the new FinTech Partnerships conference December 9-10 in San Francisco, as we look at innovation in wealth management and how these developments are impacting affluent customers.
The Tipping Point
The September 4, 2013 Wall Street Journal article “How to Get Investment Advice for Less Online” raises the bar for traditional firms clinging to inflated and complex fee schedules and often, a lousy client experience.
As Finovate proudly points out on their own blog each of the “seven highlighted in the column for helping make this possible, every single one is a Finovate alum.”