A new report by Roubini ThoughtLab surveyed 1,500 investment providers on their digital initiatives, and separates out those firms deemed “digital leaders,” or those “using fully integrated systems, with strong digital growth.” Only 2.3 percent made the cut. These firms, the researchers say, were well ahead of the others in creating a seamless customer experience, providing easy 24/7 access through any device, and leveraging data and analytics so to fully understand clients’ needs and behaviors. The survey found that firms in later stages of digital maturity spent 11.6 percent of their revenue on technology, with expectations to increase that to 17 percent in the next five years. Such firms can realize a return on investment of 5.5 percent per year when they move from a “beginning” to a “transitioning” stage in their tech development. “Most large legacy firms see the writing on the wall,” said Neesha Hathi, chief digital officer at Charles Schwab. “Everyone uses Uber and Amazon and sees what’s going on there. It’s hard for me to imagine that all of those incumbent firms are just going to sit and watch the movie happen in front of them. They have a lot to lose.”
A Dallas firm described as a “diversified publicly traded holding company focusing on equity crowdfunding, infrastructure, energy, real estate, technology and wellness projects” had its shares suspended from trading by the Securities and Exchange Commission over claims of helping with Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. The shares of Grupo Resilient, formerly known as Paradise Ridge Hydrocarbons, were suspended for two weeks in late September through Thursday. The SEC said the decision to suspended trading of the company was made after Grupo claimed in a press release that it added a “FEMA-approved contractor” to the board of its subsidiary and that it was sending workers and mobile broadband trailers to assist in relief efforts, The Dallas Morning news reports; such claims the SEC considered a scam. “This is further reminder of the need for vigilance when investing in penny stock companies, especially when they are being touted in connection with humanitarian aid during a natural disaster such as Hurricane Harvey,” said Stephanie Avakian, co-director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. “Investors are reminded to keep on the lookout for schemes that seek to attract people who are eager to invest with companies that genuinely provide assistance to those in need.”
In collaboration with SHOOK Research, Working Mother magazine has ranked the top 200 financial advisor mothers according to assets under management, revenue generated for their firms, and qualitative measures like service models, client retention and compliance records. “Every mom on this list has three families: her clients, her team and the one that greets her when she returns home,” said Liz Shook, COO of SHOOK Research. “Who better to trust with your future than a mother?” The researchers gave top honors to Christina Boyd, a Merrill Lynch advisor in Wayzata, Minn., with more than $1.2 billion AUM. Boyd told Working Mother that she followed her father into a career in financial advice, and that the flexibility that comes with owning her own practice makes it a good job for working moms.