The general understanding among wealth management regulatory experts has been that the Biden administration was not overly likely to overturn Reg BI. However, that faith might be waning in the face of some developments out of Congress. The House Financial Services Committee, led by Maxine Waters, has been adamantly pushing for Biden to completely overturn the rule and bring in new legislation. To this point, most thought Biden would simply install a new SEC chair that would become a stronger enforcer of the rule rather than trying to write an entirely new one. And with the name of former prosecutor Preet Bharara as the rumored next head of the SEC, the focus on enforcement makes sense.
FINSUM: We wonder to what extent Biden might reward his Democratic allies in Congress by pushing an agenda that writes an entirely new rule. On the one hand, it does not appear too farfetched, but on the other, it seems Reg BI may be way down the priority list given the pandemic.
WealthManagement.com has run an interesting article about the role of technology in our industry. Authored by Adam Malamed, former COO of Ladenburg Thalmann, the piece discusses how technology should be employed in wealth management, and what has separated successful from unsuccessful technologies. Adam makes the point that while new technologies may be nice in themselves, they are useless unless they fulfil a real market need, which is why so many previously hyped technologies have gone bust (e.g. facial recognition tech for client pitches). Furthermore, the industry itself has been experiencing heavy margin compression, and therefore wealth tech companies need to find ways to simultaneously increase operating margins while also improving client experience. One great example the article makes is Docusign, which made document execution immensely simpler, while also reducing the costs of
processing paperwork. It is a win for clients and for firms.
FINSUM: We couldn’t agree more with this view. Change in our space is by its very nature evolutionary. Clients don’t want to take risks on new tech with capital that took them fifty years to earn, and therefore, many wealth management firms are reticent to adopt “disruptive” new technologies.
Gold has been hurting recently, with prices currently around $1,800 after some strong gains over the course of 2020. The big question is where gold is headed now that the vaccine is rolling out and a new administration is coming in. See the full story here on our partner Magnifi's site.
The Apple Car (capital C!) has been hyped all over the internet over the last year, and investors seem to be frothing over the idea. See the full story here on our partner Magnifi's site.
One of the big risks to the muni sector that has gone underappreciated by the financial media and investing community is the threat of the soon-to-be revamped SEC making some big changes to the asset class. See the full story here on our parnter Magnifi's site.