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  • user 7:35 am on October 4, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , robo advisor, ,   

    Launch Your Own Robo Advisor 


    Over the years, there have been many quants and poets who tried to define the term ‘ advice’, and so why not add our small version too to the list. Our version goes like this…..Any automated investing or financial planning solution that takes into account client’s personal circumstances and delivers suitable and appropriate guidance to help them achieve their life’s financial goals….we would happily call them all roboadvisors. And we are not afraid to use the word “” on our website, although we would prefer ‘Automated Investing and Planning’.

    We believe delivering automated digital client centric solutions and not being too product focussed is the way to move forward, and we think this strategy will become the norm for all retail focussed financial services firms in the future. Assuming you are with us on that belief, let us try and give you our version of how to launch your own client centric robo-advisor. Firms can move forward in any of the following ways:

    1. Building Solutions In-house

      Firms such as BMO, Charles Schwab and Vanguard launched their own robo advisor platforms by building the solution in-house. However, most firms usually take longer time to competitive digital products primarily due to the arduous internal processes. Efficient companies build solutions in-house preserving IP but companies are vulnerable to operational risks of failure and taking long time to get to market.

      In our view, all Tier 1 firms start with this thought process, and quickly realise the various bottlenecks associated with such deliverables. Moreover, it is often found that company’s culture stifles innovation making it difficult to stay competitive and to stay in tune with customer trends. To keep up with the changing customer trends, companies should launch digital propositions at a faster pace. Firms usually have limited know-how to move forward at that pace and hence require the talent, , and capabilities of the firms, which they have recognised now.

    2. Buying Innovative Start-ups

      Larger Institutions have numerous products and offerings across digital channels. Acquiring another FinTech firm allows firms to innovate their digital journeys and definitely give a quick leg up against the competition. In the last few months, we have seen numerous acquisitions in the robo advisory space – Invesco acquired Jemstep, Blackrock acquired FutureAdvisor, Envestnet acquired Upside, enabling these institutions to deliver client centric advice in an innovative way. All these startups that were acquired had completely different business models to each other but the suitors found value in how to use them for their needs.

      Acquisitions help large institutions enter new markets with new technologies but M&A deals are very capital intensive, and post-acquisition, it is challenging to maintain the innovative culture of the acquired firm within a large organisation. Disparate company cultures are a common cause for the acquisition to not realise its full value. Having said that, some companies have started to take a partnership approach in acquisition providing necessary independence. Such partnerships help companies align their goals and work collaboratively, keeping the innovative culture intact.

    3. Collaborating with B2B Fintech Startups

      We believe incumbents partnering with B2B FinTech startups who have an open, agile and innovative culture without any conflict of business interest, enables them to go to market faster and at a fraction of the cost without losing out to their competition in this digital race. Another level of competition, often ignored by the incumbents is coming from small and innovative B2C robo advisory firms who are slowly starting to gain the trust of the customers, and it is only a matter of time for these small ones to become part of the trusted establishment. Once these small start-ups reach that stage, it would be hard to stop them, and the ones who refuse to transform their strategy in this digital age would be on a downhill path.

      Institutions large and small can and should leverage the capabilities and technologies of Fintech firms to gain competitive advantage, stay relevant, and to reaccelerate growth across segments. These days the API driven seamlessly integrating propositions enable institutions to quickly bring a superior proposition, and one that helps to serve and retain clients providing them with the best of the digital experience.

    At WealthObjects, we think its best to collaborate with B2B Fintech firms, understand each ones role in the relationship, and respect each other’s strengths. Only partnerships where both firms create addition value and share together in the growth story are the ones that will be truly successful in the long term. What we are suggesting is not new; in fact all along firms have been collaborating in various forms such as a supplier, investor, or joint venture relationships.

    So why stop now, especially when the need for collaboration is greater than ever, when the entire financial services sector’s unbundling and disintermediation process has started, and when all existing business models are on the verge of or are already being disrupted.

    Let’s start to collaborate and create more value together!

    WealthObjects is named among the top 100 European FinTech companies 2016!

    WealthObjects offers B2B2C digital robo advisory, and engagement platform for Wealth Managers, Retail , Private Banks, and Investment firms. We help firms launch a bespoke next generation digital or hybrid digital wealth or investment manager or enhance their current offering quickly and at a fraction of the cost using our customisable modular platform.

    Our aim is to be ‘the Custom Cloud-based Open Architecture for Wealth and Investing Technologies’. Our purpose is ‘Taking Wealth Digital’.

    Source: http://wealthobjects.com/blog/launch-your-own-robo-advisor/

  • user 4:18 pm on August 7, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , ,   

    FinTech #Furniture, #Fashion and #Food 


    I have visited quite a few  centres at , accelerators, labs and  startup offices: from the highest floors of mighty skyscrapers in Manhattan, to the folksiest office spaces in suburban warehouses. Everywhere I met enthusiasm, imagination, desire, hard work and openness to discuss global trends and detect:

    • what will stay about FinTech revolution, after initial bonanza;
    • which and business models will shape the world in 2020;
    • recognise what can work well in China, but would be disputed in the US.

    There are two major yet antithetic drivers that turn new FinTech ventures into successful businesses (hopefully unicorns): PERSONALISATION and COMMODITISATION.

    • PERSONALISATION is the quintessential thing that Millennials buy and older clients want, and is the secret sauce to make digital experiences successful, sticky and relevant for customers.
    • COMMODITISATION is essential to build scalable and successful businesses, that can grow fast and exploit the power of digital economies to reach out to long tail consumers at lower than ever costs.

    Yet, as I sat down today at my own kitchen table to write this post, I serendipitously spotted a share by Richard Joye which appeared on The Verge: How Silicon Valley helps spread the same sterile aesthetic across the world. Indeed I faltered and thought how true it is!

    So do not expect many more insights about innovation, disruption and digital trends in the remaining of this article. We are going to talk a bit about casa, moda and buona tavola in the world of startups! Notwithstanding so much travel, speaking at more than 30 banking and FinTech conferences a year … and living in Germany … I remain Italian, born in Milan … and I have a weak for dolce vita stereotypes: design, fashion and food.

    Here three summer recommendations to all my Fintech friends:

    1. Ideas do not come out of the fridge.
    2. Don’t make clothes, dress women.
    3. Don’t eat social media junk food.


    I happened to visit innovation labs at established banking institutions, and walk through rigorously decorated corridors just to feel amazed like Alice in the wonderland by crossing the last door, and find myself in front of super designed kitchens, see people playing table tennis, hear the latest lyrics of Taylor Swift (I know, Millennials account for almost 70% of Spotify clients).

    True say, Bill Gates made his first Microsoft steps in a garage, Zuckerberg and fellow roommates in their dormitory kitchen at Hayward University. I also do most of my work as author in unusual places, like airplanes, my kitchen, the corner table of the Turkish bar which recently opened at the end of the street where I live. However, watch out! The FinTech world can be self-referential in many regards, and you risk to get trapped into a mechanism of emulation instead of autonomous innovation.

    Here is the first recommendation: while it is convenient to work in the kitchen, ideas don’t come out of the IKEA fridge. So be DIFFERENT as much as possible. I don’t mean different from banks (that already comes by working in the kitchen …), I mean different from mainstream FinTech and its social media loudspeakers.



    I find it fascinating to speak at FinTech conferences. The parterre is usually made of 80% FinTech entrepreneurs (wearing some sort of shabby cloths) and 20% bankers (in suits but without ties). While FinTech guys tell their audiences “HEY, I AM THE NEW MILLENNIALS-MINDED BANK“, bankers try to scream loud “HEY, I AM A TECHNOLOGY COMPANY NOW“.

    Truth might lay in the middle, but one thing is certain: banks are still troubled banks, and FinTech companies are still fabulous software firms trying to use new technologies to service innovative business models. Since B2C businesses and revolutions are easier dreamt than won, most FinTechs’ future might feature their institutionalisation, as banks’ partners or service providers.

    Here is the second recommendation: while it is cool to wear sneakers, a good woman’s wardrobe always features a Chanel. Fashion designer Valentino famously said “I don’t make clothes, I dress women”. So do the same: do not just build a Fintech, conceive a business which comes with genuine products, good pipelines, sound business plans and key partnerships.

    If cloths don’t make the Monk, 

    FinTech attire doesn’t make the Unicorn!



    The digital economy makes it truly possible to scale new businesses faster than ever across international borders, however “one man’s meat is another man’s poison“. I am fascinated during my travels and business conversations to learn what can work globally, and what instead makes sense only locally.

    Here my third recommendation: copy and paste Silicon valley might not be a good innovation strategy that works everywhere. Luckily enough, you can eat a decent pizza almost everywhere. However, although Starbucks is a fabulous brand, it might work in the US but has not yet successfully landed in Italy. US might be an easier B2C market for -Advisors than continental Europe, because regulation, banking infrastructure and investors behaviour are not equal across the pond.

    Copy and past Silicon Valley might not always
    be a good innovation strategy


    Elevator’s pitch to executive search companies: should you ask what is the role of a global FinTech though leader, here is what I do …

    I sell the finest FinTech Furniture, FinTech Fashion and FinTech Food!

    Read more about the topic? Check on Amazon my new book “FinTech Innovation: from Robo-Advisors to Goal Based Investing and Gamification“.

    [linkedinbadge URL=”https://www.linkedin.com/in/paolosironipso” connections=”off” mode=”icon” liname=”Paolo Sironi”] is IBM Thought Leader – Wealth Management FinTech Analytics

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