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November 24, 2010 by Denise Valentine

Has the moment finally arrived when the bastion of business development will move off the golf course and onto the Internet? Has the Internet equalized the business field for those of us with an abysmal golf game? Could Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, MySpace and Blogger become the apex of business activity?

We’ve been here before. Remember when the Internet first hit business? We were frantic to establish a website. E-mail? That was actually quite a thrill; no more rolling into voicemail trying to catch someone…we could even avoid talking to someone we weren’t particularly fond of.  Next, we moved to instant messaging―who doesn’t like instant gratification?!

October 7, 2010 by Sophie Schmitt

I attended FinnovateFall (Oct 4 and 5), where 56 companies large and small presented their latest technology innovations. Most of the solutions came from B2C firms, with a few B2B companies focused on small businesses, and one in particular (Ace Portal) addressing the private placement market. Solutions spanned product/service areas, ranging from bill payment to online investing. This post focuses on some of the most interesting solutions catering to the wealth management/financial planning space.

Personal Financial Management (PFM)

July 6, 2010 by Sophie Schmitt

While the full impact of the financial reform bill on the wealth management industry remains unknown, the proposal with the greatest potential impact would establish a uniform fiduciary duty for brokers, dealers, and investment advisors. The reform bill may also indirectly impact the wealth management arm of the largest U.S. banks. The estimated decrease in banking revenues combined with regulatory-related expenses (e.g., FDIC fund contribution) may lead large banks to focus on growing revenues through additional services, potentially in wealth management lines of business.

June 29, 2010 by Clark Troy

As I discussed in an earlier post–Asian Regulatory Battles for Insurers–and in my published report, Regulatory Currents in Indian Life Insurance:  Protecting Investors and Paying Producers, a protracted tussle over who would regulate Unit-Linked Insurance Plans (ULIPs) has been going on in India.  ULIPs are variable life and annuity products that have constituted a considerable majority of the booming Indian life insurance market in recent years.  They have been popular for a number of reasons, not least because they have given Indian retail inves

June 16, 2010 by Denise Valentine

Ok, ok — UCITS* aren’t new.  But the latest generation, UCITS IV, came about in January 2009 with the July 1, 2010 implementation date just around the corner. So after all the anticipation, it’s interesting to see who is taking hold of what given some broader trends in the business.

At a time of regulatory uncertainty (or any uncertainty, for that matter), we grab hold of what we know. And in this case, hedge funds are taking hold of UCITS. There is uncertainty about the European Commission’s draft of the Alternative Investment Fund Management Directive, though, generally speaking, more regulation looms. Non-U.S. hedge funds realize that they may face new barriers marketing to the EU. Ouch!