San Francisco, CA – We learn every day. We learn about technology companies. We learn about enterprise trends, which impact broker dealer data management and solution procurement decisions. We learn about broker dealers. Yet, only a handful of times during each year are we able to go to school and grow our perspective. For the past few days we have had the opportunity to expand our perspective, while attending Chip Roame’s Tiburon CEO Summit XXI, in San Francisco. We were able to grow our perspective by focusing for two days on the end consumer, those ultimate customers for all we dothat Tiburon Strategic Advisors does such a great job of exploring and analyzing.
Before launching into our take-aways, we would like say thank you to a few folks. Obviously, we would like thank Chip Roame for allowing us to attend his summit. We would like to thank his staff for putting on a wonderful event. We also would very much like to thank Atindra Barua and Surajeet Deka from TrustFort. TrustFort is a sponsor of the Tiburon CEO Summit, and were very gracious when they asked us to attend as their guests. We benefited in many ways, but two specifically, broadening our consumer perspective and being able to spend some time with TrustFort, which we will detail in future blogs and research. In reflection, two days well spent.
So, what were our critical “take-aways” from the Tiburon CEO Summit XXI? First, a more contextual understanding of the end consumer perspective. That improved perspective was drawn from presentations that emphasized end consumer buying trends, interactive discussions with industry leaders whom shared their intellectual and infrastructure challenges in supporting end consumers in a changing world driven by shrinking margins, regulatory uncertainty, dynamic technology evolution and social media. Three sessions impacted me the most. They were: Chip Roame’s “The State of the Financial Service Industry, which provided a terrific statistical profile of consumers and the trends they are driving, a panel with four actual end consumers whom emphasized where in the “trust and need” ecosystem financial service sits (it was just above a used car salesman), a breakout session which focused on the emerging demands of social media, the advisor and the end consumer. All the sessions and discussions supplied us with new, or more detailed contextual perspective on a plethora of issues that impact the real driver of our business, the end consumer. For us the value was taking a vacation from our enterprise thinking related to helping our clients build better strategies for managing their data and making scalable procurement decision, and having the opportunity to look at our world through the eyes of the consumer.
All in all, two valuable days. . .
Philadelphia, Pa – On Tuesday, we were fortunate enough to attend the Albridge Perspectives 2011 conference. The conference is the annual forum for higher level discussion, debate and insight into all things Allbridge. We were able to leave with a handful of take-always from our time in attendance. Those specific take-always provided us with additional perspective on the direction Albridge is going, as well as supplying a forum for us to garner thoughts from Albridge’s clients.
Complexities exist for when it comes to Albridge. Let’s get the elephant out on the table. Curiosity is prevalent in the broker-dealer space specific to how Albridge will be digested into the Pershing eco-system. A year plus into the assimilation, our take is that progress is being made. We have empathy for this assimilation. We have done work with both of these organizations, and collectively our feeling is that they are genuinely balancing the relationship. Obviously, Pershing has a strong culture. So does Albridge. While short- term we believe the collective group is under the microscope, working to meld, the upside for broker-dealer clients is powerful. Our perspective is that all clients should take a look at the work Albridge is doing. Is there opportunity for assimilation of Albridge clients into Pershing? Sure. Is there the opportunity for Pershing clients to benefit from Albridge technology, sure. There is also the opportunity for broker-dealers to believe the Albridge solutions can stand on their own, given the solutions merits.
Years ago, a company I was a part of competed with Albridge, then Statement One. While we were sold out and were sucked up into Advent, never to be heard from again after a year, for the next ten years Albridge evolved their Wealth Reporting solution. That patience and attention to detail paid off handsomely for the firm as they were acquired by Mellon a few years back, and then in the last two year sold to Bank of New York, and placed under the Pershing umbrella. Product wise when the second acquisition occurred by BONY, Albridge Wealth Reporting and Replicated data were it for products. Fast forward 12 to 18 months, and Albridge and the former iNautix group have been married. The outcome, the potential for broker-dealers to build a data strategy leveraging Albridge data in a new way that can feed and integrate with overlay solutions like Compliance Surveillance, Data Management, Business Intelligence Reporting, and the possible opportunity for multi-custodial Account Opening. That picture is powerful. A single vendor can support key broker-dealer infrastructure demands off one set of data. The addition of these business support services emphasizes that forward thinking clearing firms are looking at how do we get a greater wallet share than from marginalized traditional clearing / custody services where interest rates are not helping anyone. The evolution comes in the form of offering potentially agnostic Business Support Services that can reach beyond the traditional captured platform to support the broader needs of a broker-dealer, and not just attempt the feared asset grab.
Albridge sessions on data management, compliance surveillance, as well as a handful of others, emphasized to us the expansion beyond Albridge’s traditional Wealth Management Rep centric model. Without a doubt, this canvass is a work in progress. How Albridge evolves its data concept to effectively support the ideas of a data warehouse are to be determined, but the broad brush strokes, along with the discussions that were fostered at Perspectives 2011 warrant a good look at what Albridge is doing. These thoughts are ours, along with a number of clients that supplied us with perspective and context, whom we spoke with.