Roy Keidar of law firm Yigal Arnon & Co examines how blockchain could provide the answer to the anti-money laundering issues that crypto-currencies face.
The insurance industry is facing tremendous change and so are the tasks of those working in this field. We talked to Sebastian Heithoff, Marketing Manager at German InsurTech startup versicherungsberatercheck.de – a platform that looks to increase the quality of insurance brokerage and consumer decision making in the digital age.
A year has passed since the UK voted for Brexit. Speculation has been rife on the potential impact that the Brexit vote, and the trigger of Article 50, could have on the London fintech landscape. Thus far London has maintained its pre-eminent position. In fact we are seeing growth of the tech hub in Croydon and further afield in the UK with growth in Bristol, Manchester and Edinburgh.
Imagine if one of the large high street banks did actually truly innovate. Imagine if banks were somehow capable of taking the innovative lead from fintech. Imagine if your own bank outdid all fintech companies in speed, service, convenience and cost for all financial services you use, for your current account, payments, foreign exchange, savings and investing, and any other services.
Would you stay with your cutting-edge bank or prefer to use four or five individual fintech companies? Most people would choose the convenient option of staying with their bank, right?
In the not so distant past, enterprise computing relied on monolithic applications to provide access to business functions within an organization. These applications strove to meet all operational requirements through rich and ever-growing feature sets—think ERP systems.
Alternative investments are on a tear, and no asset class has seen more growth than private equity. According to a recent study by eVestment, Assets under Administration (AUA) grew 44% from 2015 to 2016. This influx of capital has caused major ripple effects across the entire private equity landscape, with fund managers competing intensely to attract investor capital.
CFOs are under increasing pressure to demonstrate with certainty that they have full knowledge of data sources used for reported statements, to rule out errors and misreporting. However, due to ubiquitous, uncontrolled and unmonitored use of spreadsheets and end user computing applications, many CFOs are struggling to offer such cast-iron guarantees. Meanwhile the role of the CFO is widely recognized to facilitate and support business strategy so that the organization can achieve its goals and objectives – be it of profitability, capital, growth or anything else. Shareholders and investors cherish these metrics too. Consequently, CFOs are routinely driving transformation projects via acquisitions, on-shoring, off-shoring, financial restructuring and such, to control and improve the business performance of their organizations.
A lack of understanding and of the will to change is often described through the story of the boiling frog. The frog is said to be unable to sense the increasing water temperature and will not search for a way out of his misery – leading to his inevitable death.
A common analogy to the finance sector is the newspaper industry, and rightly so. Finance is quickly shaping up to be remarkably similar. The incumbent banks are the heavyweight newspapers – the Washington Post and Financial Times of the world. FinTechs are to banks what the growing mass of alternative news sources – blogs; e-zines; new digital-only newspapers; social media, most prominently, Twitter; and the increasing relevance of corporate content marketing – is to the incumbent newspapers.
The FinTech revolution has become a worldwide movement in just a few years, with no sign of slowing down anytime soon. Global FinTech investments in 2015 were over double that of total investments made in 2014, indicating a surge in interest among different countries to become the FinTech capital of the world.
It is not hyperbole to say that the second Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (a.k.a. “MiFID II”) will have a profound impact on the operations of financial institutions that distribute and trade financial instruments in the EU. In fact, this legislation, which seeks to protect investors by significantly raising the standard for transparency on investment houses, will likely confound even well-intentioned trading organizations doing their best to comply with the directive, much like we are seeing with the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Why should my bank start making data-driven decisions? It’s a common question many bank executives are asking as they see the competition leveraging customer data to improve service, better segment, mitigate risk, enhance marketing messages, and drive new business opportunities.
In the past few years, investment in the Fintech sector has been exploding. In fact, between 2013 and 2014, Fintech investing tripled to grow to more than $12 billion per year. This investing is mainly due to the rapid innovation that is happening in the sector.
However, despite the enormous possibility for growth of Fintech, the industry is now facing one distinct challenge; increased government regulation.
On 8 April 2015, Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JP Morgan, wrote to shareholders with the following caution: “Silicon Valley is coming”. This warning is often cited by those predicting the “imminent demise” of traditional banks and the rise of “FinTech”. But, fast-forward two years and Rome has not burned. The big banks are still here, and whilst FinTech continues to disrupt and challenge the financial services sector, the companies that have pioneered FinTech do not dominate the sector and the traditional banks seem pre-eminent as ever. The banks and FinTech have come to realise that they need each other. FinTech can improve bank customer participation and experience, whilst Banks can give FinTech the missing component to their businesses - users.