Guest Opinions: The AI-Driven Bank in Emerging Markets

Guest Opinions: The AI-Driven Bank in Emerging Markets

If you think artificial intelligence is a thing of the future, ask yourself why your Amazon homepage looks different from ours or how Google translates websites on the fly. Consumers in developed and developing countries are benefiting today from these smarter types of software. In particular, the subfield of Machine Learning is making rapid strides in everything from detecting rare types of cancer to correcting our grammar. In essence, software development is transitioning from a process where humans figure out a few rules for the machines

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Guest Opinion: Know Your Customer? Are You Sure?

Guest Opinion: Know Your Customer? Are You Sure?

I love movies about great mathematicians, real or fictional. The Imitation Game and Good Will Hunting are great ones, but A Beautiful Mind is my favorite. This movie profiles John Nash, who became a pioneer in game theory and won a Nobel Prize along the way. Because of this, I paid quite a bit of attention to game theory in grad school and constantly looked for applications. Over time I became disappointed, as the models I experimented with didn’t work as well in the real world as in the “games.”

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Guest Opinion: Why Robo-Analysts, Not Robo-Advisors, Will Transform Investing

Guest Opinion: Why Robo-Analysts, Not Robo-Advisors, Will Transform Investing

Robo-advisors and robo-analysts are both important to enabling wealth management firms to cut costs without sacrificing quality of advice, but the importance of a robo-analyst to enhance the quality of investment advice shouldn’t be underestimated. Today, many of the tasks performed by robo-advisors are low value-added services such as determining and communicating asset allocation strategies (e.g., 60% equities, 30% fixed income and 10% cash).

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Guest Opinion: The Coming Resurgence of Active Management

Guest Opinion: The Coming Resurgence of Active Management

Active management has long been the foundation of a well-functioning stock market.  Many of the brightest minds on Wall Street have dedicated their careers to separating the good ideas from the bad, doing deep research to allocate capital to the right themes, sectors and companies.  The by-product for the rest of us has generally been an exceptionally healthy stock market with relatively efficient asset prices.

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Guest Opinion: Burning Down Markowitz’s House

Guest Opinion: Burning Down Markowitz’s House

“Watch out, you might get what you’re after” was an anthem sung by a frantic David Byrne in the Talking Heads classic, Burning Down the House.  When the song was released in the mid-1980s, Wall Street was also in a frantic mode of its own. In the ensuing decade, it began providing its clients with more technology to better access markets and more products to replicate the strategies being employed by institutional investors.

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Guest Opinion: A Sharper Focus on Wealth Management’s Future

Guest Opinion: A Sharper Focus on Wealth Management’s Future

Since Steve Jobs’ death in 2011, four biographies, three documentaries and three feature films have been released about him. His legend grows and he continues to inspire. Yet, those in the wealth management industry should never read another word about Jobs. Instead, if advisors really want to prepare for the future and confront the changes they will encounter, it would be prudent to review the career of George M. C. Fisher.

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Nine Things That Could Happen Next Year

Nine Things That Could Happen Next Year

2016 was a bad year for most prognosticators. As such, we’re bringing a humble attitude to the table for our nine predictions for 2017. After all, we could be right on the call, and wrong on it materializing within the next 365 days. Conversely, we could be wrong on our underlying assumption, but predict correctly thanks to a so-called ‘slop shot’ (i.e., a lucky shot in pool). So, with that in mind, let’s play nine-ball.

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Guest Opinion: Time to go Deep on Deep Learning

Guest Opinion: Time to go Deep on Deep Learning

Artificial Intelligence is no longer something to be associated with the future. It is very much in the here and now, and is being employed by corporations and governments throughout the world to make decisions that impact many aspects of our lives. Mainstream attention has exploded in recent years on the back of a rise in ...

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You Can’t Have Two First Priorities

You Can’t Have Two First Priorities

In his recent testimony before the Senate Banking committee, Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf  accepted accountability for the phony account scandal that overtook the bank under his watch. He also made it perfectly clear that encouraging employees to cross-sell products and services to existing customers will remain core to the bank’s strategy. As Stumpf said ...

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Guest Opinion: Marvin Chang

Guest Opinion: Marvin Chang

Unless you’ve been on a strict media fast of late, there’s no way you could avoid seeing the blizzard of commentary about the Pokémon Go craze taking over much of the world. Augmented reality and its promise to change customer engagement through gamification can be seen in this offering from Niantic Labs, which has millions of people running around their communities seeking to...

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Fintech Lessons From a Troubled Bridge Over New York’s Waters

Fintech Lessons From a Troubled Bridge Over New York’s Waters

“Hey, let’s take a tour of the Manhattan Bridge,” said no one ever. However ancient and unreliable, the Brooklyn Bridge remains the iconic New York river crossing that can do no wrong. Its image, clichéd as it may be, appears on our firm’s website and on millions of postcards, t-shirts and biceps, representing New York’s past and present in all its gritty beauty. No such love or even awareness exists for the Manhattan Bridge, the Brooklyn Bridge’s northern neighbor by just 1,800 feet.

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A New Allentown on Wall Street

A New Allentown on Wall Street

If you are over the age of 40 and/or a Billy Joel fan, you will probably be familiar with the song, Allentown. The song laments the worsening fortunes of workers in Allentown, Pennsylvania after the town’s main employer, Bethlehem Steel, hit upon hard times. This formerly iconic...

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It’s Cool to be a Fintech Pirate Slaying Wall Street (For Now)

It’s Cool to be a Fintech Pirate Slaying Wall Street (For Now)

Recently, we have observed that many Fintech start-ups are talking a big game about world domination. These entrepreneurial buccaneers, and the venture capitalists backing their soaring valuations, seem supremely confident that they can storm Wall Street and grab all the...

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Incumbents Shouldn’t Bet on Rulemaking to Win the Sharing Economy Wars

Incumbents Shouldn’t Bet on Rulemaking to Win the Sharing Economy Wars

Mayor de Blasio and Uber may have reached a truce, but the battle between the sharing economy complex and the groups threatened by it will continue. City councils, presidential candidates, corporations and labor unions will continue to paint the so-called “gig economy”...

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