Press Release

PIMFA members gather at the London Stock Exchange for FinTech Conference

7th September 2017

Cybersecurity highlighted as the ‘crime of our time’, the ‘inevitable’ digitisation of the wealth management’ and the practical implementation of AI key topics for debate.

Over 150 delegates gathered at the London Stock Exchange for the PIMFA1 FinTech conference – a daylong event concentrating on FinTech key issues affecting the investment management and financial advice industry.
Hot topics covered included the digitisation of wealth management, digital disruption, client engagement, building technology solutions vs outsourcing, Cyber Security, Artificial Intelligence and RegTech.
The start of the day saw a presentation from Amin Rajan CEO of CREATE Research on the pace of innovation and change in our industry.  Rajan stated the case for the digitisation of wealth management as being ‘inevitable’ – “the question is when not if. It is a binary choice – adopt or face steady decline” said Rajan. This assertion was later bourne out across the audience with a near complete show of hands in agreement with this statement.
Further, data from CREATE’s latest report2 on this subject conducted in conjunction with PIMFA, showed key points impacting members digital strategy were legacy systems (80%) and regulations (57%).
The day also showcased demonstrations from the winners of the PIMFA innovators competition. Over 25 new innovators in to the industry applied for the chance to demonstrate at the conference and Appway, SenseAdapt, Moneyinfo, Adviscent and Apiax were chosen by a panel of PIMFA member firms.
Digital disruption was a key part of the conversation for the day and the panel discussing this highlighted the exponential growth of social media as communication channels in the past year.  As client demands evolve the panel discussed ways in which the industry can evolve with them. Questions were raised such as ‘is email dead?’ and ‘how do we balance the need for record keeping and compliance with customer engagement on the channels they require?’
Douglas Orr, Founder of Novastone said: “Email was never intended to be secure. Its secure social messaging services that are the future. You have to give people choices”
Rob Hemphill, Head of Innovation at Coutts further added “It’s all about speed and adaption while offering transparency and protecting the individual”.
Another hot topic was the ever-present spectre of Cybercrime. Terry Wilson, Director of Outreach at the Global Cyber Alliance warned delegates that “this is the crime of our time – your industry is where the money and personal data is. The risk to the cyber-criminal is relatively low but the reward is high”.  He then went on to highlight a 3 step process for firms to use in their CyberSecurity strategy of “Protect, Prepare and Prevent”3
Giles Taylor, Head of Data & Cyber Security at Lloyds Bank further emphasised the point saying “it’s an arms race”.
Following this Alessandro Tonchia, Co-Founder and Strategy Director at Finantix discussed Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its potential impact and use for the PIMFA community.
He stated: “there has been a long AI winter that is now coming in to spring. AI can help financial services make better and faster decisions from the intelligent automation of tasks. It has the potential to enhance the experience and productivity of advisors and their clients”. He highlighted uses such as lead generation, KYC, portfolio construction and rebalancing.
However he also cautioned that AI is not a ‘cure all’ and it will work best for micro-intelligence where it can work in conjunction with existing processes.
Liz Field, CEO at PIMFA commented on the day saying “FinTech is a key area for our members. This is one of our most popular dedicated topic conferences and provides an excellent opportunity for members to hear from experts, consider practical applications to their business and discuss ideas with their peers”.

Notes for Editors

1. About PIMFA (Personal Investment Management & Financial Advice Association)

– PIMFA is the UK’s leading trade association in the personal investment management and financial advice sector, representing the firms that support individuals and families to plan and invest for their financial life journey.

– PIMFA represents 2293 full and associate members firms. Full members provide a range of financial solutions including financial advice, portfolio management, as well as investment and execution services. They assist everyone from individuals and families, to charities and pension funds, all the way to trusts and companies. Associate members provide professional services to our full members and share the aims of the PIMFA community.

– PIMFA, which results from the merger in June 2017 of WMA and APFA, will continue to lead the debate on policy and regulatory recommendations to ensure that the UK remains a global centre of excellence in the wealth management, investment advice and financial planning arena.

– Our mission is to create an optimal operating environment so that its member firms can focus on delivering the best service to clients, providing responsible stewardship for their long-term savings and investments.

2. Digitisation of asset and wealth management: promise and pitfalls (2017) Report, CREATE Research

3. Terry Wilson, Director of Outreach, Global Cyber Alliance. 3 step process for firms to use in their CyberSecurity strategy – “Protect, Prepare and Prevent”

Protect: Carry out a strategic threat assessment, especially for those most at risk such a high net worth clients and their relationship managers. Implement security measure that are appropriate those at risk.

Prepare: Plan your firms response to cyber-attacks. Have contingency and disaster recovery in place. Be prepared with your PR and communications.

Prevent: Intervene early to stop attacks early on. Invest in training for staff.


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