For all their troubles going about alpha generation, algorithmic traders get remarkable little respect these days. Last week while I was attending The Trading Show in New York, a select group of quant-oriented, buy-side participants and fintech enablers debated the limits of traditional computers in financial research and, conversely, of quantum computing’s promise. Many of these investors chase new paradigms for investing. For this, they look for high-quality unstructured data, they invest in quants from various disciplines, they give machines a greater role spotting and acting upon trading opportunities, and they manage a variety of risks.
With data breaches reported nearly daily, it is no stretch to think pretty much everyone’s card information has been compromised at some point. Criminals typically use only a fraction of stolen card information, but this week, I was one of the (un)lucky ones to have my card compromised and used.
The Department of Labor (DOL) Fiduciary Rule is applicable on April 10, 2016, and in full force on January 1, 2018. Broker-dealers and their business partners are at work designing or supporting compliance programs. The effort will have an impact on both financial advisors and clients. The rule affects the financial advisor market serving individual retirement assets, most notably the individual retirement account (IRA) rollover and 401(k) plans with less than US$50 million in assets.
Over the past 18 months, U.S. auto insurers have expressed renewed interest in usage-based insurance as consumers become more comfortable with the concept. Some U.S. insurers are seeing growing uptake for their telematics insurance programs. Over 30% of new customers are now opting for usage-based insurance at Nationwide and Progressive, for instance. The maturation of smartphones as telematics sensors is also playing a considerable role in shaping insurers’ renewed interest.
As usual, last week’s Finovate event offered a great mix of innovation across many areas of financial services. Anyone who has attended knows it is an amazing fire hose of content and smart people. Having attended almost every year since the first conference (this year’s event was the 10-year anniversary) it is great to see how the event has expanded in both geography and attendance.
There were a few themes that really stood out throughout the presentations and side discussions: