Increasing competitive pressures and significant changes are in the works for the wealth management industry, according to a new survey by Forbes, Ernst & Young and SEI Investment Company. The report, "Seeing Beyond: Unlocking the Long-Term Opportunities in Wealth and Asset Management," details how the wealth management industry has been in growth mode but is also on the verge of undergoing profound change. According to the survey, a third of companies say their strategies are either in continuous evaluation, refinement and adjustment or are fully developed and implemented; and more than half say their firms are in pursuit of greater operating efficiencies and cost reductions. “As we have seen over the years in many other industries, top-line growth can only carry a firm for so long; consistent bottom-line growth and profitability is what really matters sooner or later,” said Marcelo Fava, principal, Ernst & Young LLP and its Wealth Management Practice lead. “The best opportunities for wealth and asset management firms reside in having an optimal operating model across client segments, channels, products and platforms that can effectively and efficiently predict and address the changing needs and demands of their clients (both institutional and individual).”
The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, a bill that lets companies share information about cybersecurity breaches with government agencies, cleared an initial vote in the Senate, paving the way for a likely passage. The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association has been very supportive of CISA, stating, “information sharing legislation will help the financial services industry to better protect our systems and data as well as the privacy of our customers.” The lobbying group also got its wish to have a proposed amendment, which would have stripped companies of immunity to liability for breaking privacy agreements, struck down. SIFMA joins the NSA and CIA as one of the few groups supporting CISA. Privacy and Internet freedom advocacy groups, as well as a coalition of nearly every big tech name in Silicon Valley, claiming that it sacrifices their customers’ rights to privacy in the name of security, have roundly opposed the bill.
The New York Times recently ran an interesting long-form feature, “The Lonely Death of George Bell,” that shines some light on the various governmental moving parts that whir to life when someone dies alone. However, this piece is more than just a bummer (though, trust me, it’s that too). As the article follows the difficulties that the public authorities go through to resolve the estate of George Bell, ranging from making basic decisions, like where he’ll be buried, to searching for scattered relations named in a 30-year old will, it offers some great insight into the importance of estate planning documents and the consequences of not having them in place.
Jefferson National announced a new partnership with data analytics firm Quovo to help RIAs and fee-based advisors aggregate tax-deferred assets alongside taxable vehicles. Quovo will now get a direct feed of Jefferson National’s Monument Advisor, a flat-fee investment-only variable annuity used by more than 3,000 advisors. By being able to show taxable and tax-deferred assets in one location, Jefferson National President Laurence Greenberg said advisors could provide clients with more holistic management and transparency. For Quovo, it gives direct access to a new data feed to improve the ability capability for data-driven insights and analytics.