Is this how we will be seeing how the insurance industry is changing?

It’s not disruption, innovation, or reaction to pandemic that is prompting change in the insurance industry- it’s all of those and more.  Look at the news that comes in fire hose volume and force- Hippo raising $150 million for a $1.5 billion valuation as an MGA, Burn to Give continuing to build its social benefit […]

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Radical Digitization elements from the SICTIC Blockchain Investor Day

Efi Pylarinou is the founder of Efi Pylarinou Advisory and a Fintech/Blockchain influencer – No.3 influencer in the finance sector by Refinitiv Global Social Media 2019. I had the pleasure to moderate the annual SICTIC Blockchain investor event which was a collaborative initiative to highlight and support innovation. SICTIC and its event partners, Innosuisse and Trust […]

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Life insurance in the digital age, well, digital/analog age

There’s good news for the life insurance market and there’s the same news- the market potential is dramatic, the product mix is profitable, customers understand the basic product pretty well, there’s not much for a carrier to do once a policy is sold, benefits aren’t paid for years, and there are clever folks coming up […]

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The revised pessimistic projection for Digital wealth AUM does not make sense

Efi Pylarinou is the founder of Efi Pylarinou Advisory and a Fintech/Blockchain influencer – No.3 influencer in the finance sector by Refinitiv Global Social Media 2019.

Consulting practices call for 5yr predictions on all sorts of topics. The so-called Robo Advisor subsector in investing has not escaped these studies.

Back in 2016, was when Vanguard was making its first leapfrogging attempts in a space that Betterment and Wealthfront had brought to market. Personal Capital was also shaping up the hybrid version of `digital investing`. Deloitte, CB insights, Aite Group and others were predicting assets under management by 2020 (which at the time, seemed far away for all of us).

Predictions ranged between $ 2.2 trillion and $ 3.7 trillion in assets to be managed by Robo-Advisory services by 2020 and $16 trillion by 2025.

Permit me to take the mean of the range predicted for 2020 (trillions of USD are being transferred from the government to the `people` anyway as we speak) and round it up to $3 trillion for 2020.

2020 – Well we are in the second quarter of 2020 and we are just reaching $1 trillion. Urs Bolt, highlighted the latest report by BuyShares that says we are heading to $987billion. So, we are at 1/3 the 2016 prediction even though the S&P500 is up 30+% and the Dow is up 28+%, since Jan 2017.


What is more remarkable is that the current 5yr outlook compiled by BuyShares and based on Statistica data, predicts that in less than 5yrs the AUM will grow x2.4 times, reaching $2.4trillion (Statistica).

Screen Shot 2020-06-15 at 11.13.33Screen Shot 2020-06-15 at 11.13.47

At first site, it may seem to you an optimist outlook. However, it is actually a heavily discounted view from that set out back in 2016 when the sector started attracting more VC investments and incumbents. The first predictions were from 0-$3trillion in less than 5yrs and then from $3trillion-$16 trillion in the second 5yr phase (x5+ times).

And now this study is saying,

let’s cut the 5+ times growth rate in AUM to more than half. And let’s cut the AUM managed over the next 5yrs by 85% (we had said $16trillion and now we say $2.4trillion).

Let’s step back and look into the mirror as if it is 2025. Of course, digital onboarding and automated asset allocation offered currently via ETFs will be 100% an option everywhere and probably free.

The more interesting and meaningful question is about the evolution of the ETF market itself which has been the bread and butter of all the digital investing offerings (lumped under the `robo-advisor` umbrella be it with or without human advisory services); and whether artificial intelligence will actually transform digital investing.

1⃣ Will `robo-advisors` continue to build their businesses mainly using ETFs? Their low-cost core value-add has been interchangeable seen as a win for passive investing and mainly via indices.

2⃣ Will the 12% of the $4.7trillion ETF market (based on 2018 year-end data, see here) grow and to what extent?

3⃣ Will active ETFs grow given the current macro environment? ANTs are just emerging and are a step back from the transparency trend and the zero-commission trend. ANTs are active non-transparent and on average their expense ratio is 70bps. Their position reporting is much better than mutual funds (quarterly). Their cost-adjusted and risk-adjusted-performance will have to be seen going forward. They are currently only 2% of the ETF space (see here).

4⃣  Will artificial intelligence finally take over the asset allocation and the decision of switching between direct indexing or stock picking or momentum.

A few facts to consider:

  1. The ETF space grew sustainably in 2019. Statistica reports $6.18trillion by year end of 2019. That is a 30% increase. Of course, by the end of Q1 2020, the ETF global industry experienced a c. 16% drop ($5.4trillion) which was 100% due to the drop-in asset values. ETFs actually experienced in Q1 net inflows of c. $120billion. These were inflows during the major March selloff. Source
  2. An update on my calculations of the assets under management by digital wealth services points to a c.30% increase (by 2019 year-end), which matches the ETF increase. Source
  3. The actual role of artificial intelligence in all the Digital wealth offerings, is still minimal. Even the large incumbents with sizable digital wealth AUM, like Merill Edge or Vanguard, are still in the initial phase of digital transformation in wealth management. Vanguard actually has done very little on the needed digital integration front. Merill Lynch is probably ahead with its new CEW – Client Engagement Workstation – that integrates market data, client information, account servicing tools and some narrow artificial intelligence tools (chatbots).

For 2025, we should be making predictions of the extent that Artificial intelligence will be making better decisions for my asset allocation than I do, or my private banker, or my financial advisor, or my digital wealth service provider.

What has gone wrong in Fintech that pushed the original projections of $16trillion AUM in 2025, to $2.4trillion?

Where are the trillions of currencies that are being transferred, going to end up?

Isn’t the digital transformation of the mutual fund industry what will happen over the next 5yrs? Whether it is through DLT as an infrastructure of the mutual fund administration or by the tokenization of fund structures or the disintermediation of the European banks who dominate mutual fund distribution or all of the above? And wont all this lead to an exponential growth of the `Digital wealth` AUM?

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NPV be damned- here’s a delightful IPO you can love


One can seldom say that reviewing an SEC Form S-1, IPO registration statement, is interesting.  Sure, you can learn much about a company that is planning an initial public stock offering, but that level of excitement is reserved for financial banks and investors.  But that expectation has been shattered by the form recently filed by digital insurer, Lemonade, Inc.  Not only is its filed Prospectus Summary a full eighteen pages long, it contains the words ‘delight’, or ‘delightful’ ten times.  As was the case five years ago, Lemonade has taken what was stodgy and made it, well, different.   image

Patrick Kelahan is a CX, engineering & insurance consultant, working with Insurers, Attorneys & Owners in his day job. He also serves the insurance and Fintech world as the ‘Insurance Elephant’.

Lemonade is a company that started with two entrepreneurs, Daniel Schreiber and Shai Wininger who knew little of insurance, but knew much about launching a company, were veterans of digital innovation, and were experienced in marketing unique concepts.  And, the two determined early on that the administration and selling of insurance was not the key to entry into the market, but that marketing to and building interest from similar insurance neophyte customers was.  In addition, the early vision for the firm was as a peer-to-peer insurer, bypassing the monolithic traditional carrier sells and customer buys model.  The firm’s P2P model was not quite that pure but the concept of mutual benefit remained a cornerstone- if claims are not made in typical frequency then charitable organizations will gain a benefit from surplus.

Fast forward from 2015 to June 2020- the firm’s concept is ingrained within the insurance industry, may just be the most discussed insurance topic other than COVID-19 business interruption, and is now the current talk of the IPO town.

I am not going to belabor an analysis of financials for the firm- right now the most optimistic assessment is there are some fundamentals that are trending in the direction the market would like to see.  The company cedes a majority amount of premiums and claim costs to reinsurers otherwise this conversation would not be occurring.  The firm has been able to leverage the experience and effectiveness levels of officers in building an investment total to date of $480 million (including $300 Mn from SoftBank).  The raise has allowed the firm to grow its geographic footprint to include many US states and now an entry into Europe.  Here is where a typical IPO filing for a financial firm is off track- Lemonade is growing its profits in a wrong direction.  If 2019 indicated a $109 million net loss for the firm, and Q1 for 2020 is showing a $36 million net loss, the growth valuation of $2 billion is more tenuous.  Upon announcement of the IPO there were insurance observers of the InsurTech sort who were asking how they could short the stock offering.

For this article the traditional assessment of the IPO supporting financials will be diminished in importance because few expect Lemonade to be profit generator based on prior year’s financial reports.  A traditional extrapolation of financial value based on NPV of future earnings can’t get past the no worth valuation.  But then, Lemonade has followed a non-traditional path since its inception.


Looking back at the advent of its value proposition- digital sales and service founded on cutting edge technology and information analysis, and on the firm’s early adaptation of behavioral economics, a different view can be taken of the IPO action.  The firm engaged a world-renown behavioral economist, Daniel Ariely,  who in collaboration with the founders’ vision leveraged the concept of game theory in selling its premise- insurance as an iteration of the Prisoner’s Dilemma, a decision pathway where no one really wins because there is distrust of the other party in a decision, or game’s outcome.  Daniel Schreiber publicly took the concept further, stating the firm employed a ‘Ulysses Contract’ approach to the distrust relationship, tying its financial hands  such that there would be no ability to succumb to temptation of traditional insurers and denials of coverage being a flow of premiums to a firm’s bottom line.  I have had prior discussions with Mr. Schreiber about same and published perspective here, and while during the past two years game theory and behavioral economics have been not on the firm’s public radar, we just might be seeing the return of the softer sell within the IPO summary.


In previously stating the prospectus summary having inclusion of ‘delight’ ten times there was a point to be made- most IPO prospectus summaries provide in a few pages the vision or mission of the firm, how its operational functions are tied to the pursuit of the mission, its financial performance to date and how its future performance is planned to support the investment of those who subscribe to the IPO.

Lemonade does not have the option of leveraging financial results on a sure path to NPV calculable to the IPO proceeds.  It’s early days for the volume of shares offered and the expected price per share to be published, but even the marker amount of $100 million will be eclipsed by 2020 net losses (Q1 net losses already at $37 million.)  IPOs can be used for many reasons, and even though the firm notes that proceeds will be used for growth operations, the proceeds could be applied to ensure conversion of 31 million preferred shares to common at a value that the holders could choose to be an exit value (resell of shares) that is favorable, or perhaps retirement of SoftBank’s $300 million investment in order to add some liquidity to SoftBank’s balance sheet. (This is conjecture only- the author has not specific knowledge of any post IPO scenarios.)

What I suggest- the IPO’s story is being told in the twenty or so pages in a  clever IPO marketing scheme that is not dissimilar to the roll-out and growth of the firm- behavioral economics with a dose of group psychology.  Consider- in the Lemonade prospectus summary text one finds beyond the ten uses of ‘delight’, the following atypical IPO verbiage of:

  • Love– four uses, as in “Why we love insurance”
  • Giveback– four uses, as in “Giveback is a distinctive feature”
  • Graduation– two uses, as in “found in a phenomenon we call ‘graduation’ “
  • Breezy, playful, values, encourage, attractive, and encourage


The prospectus summary is less a financial and business conceptual document as it is a comfort manifesto, reassuring potential investors that the purchase of shares is a collective good. It’s no longer the Prisoners’ Dilemma because the firm has built a customer base and industry cohort that trusts the firm and its leaders.  The fact that financial success is not there yet- immaterial if the closed loop data aggregation machine is functioning and claims can be settled virtually and in seconds.  There is a value to the method and that is the apparent underpinning of the offering.  Growth of the digital access concept has driven web traffic to the firm’s site in a pace more than double of three years ago (page views more than quadrupled) and if nothing else, the value of the firm’s domain is in the high five figures 🙂 . Company leadership acknowledges that product mix must evolve (or customers need to graduate to more lucrative lines than renters), CAC cannot remain excessive, and reinsurance ceding of more than 50% of premiums and loss costs can only last so long for a full stack carrier.

A post-COVID environment might be a springboard for a favorable IPO, as might be interest of private equity (plenty of capital in the market), or from existing investors.  The firm’s concept is five years’ old and at the prior threshold of involvement for the co-founders.  Plenty to consider outside of pesky financials.  Many delightful, playful, re-imagined, breezy, loved and attractive concepts to perhaps ensure full subscription of the IPO.


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Digitization in the brokerage business is shrewd – Motif investing is closing

Efi Pylarinou is the founder of Efi Pylarinou Advisory and a Fintech/Blockchain influencer – No.3 influencer in the finance sector by Refinitiv Global Social Media 2019.

MOTIF Investing, one of the earliest innovators in the digital investing space in the US, is shutting down. Apparently, the communication hasn’t been that great, as some advisors found out from a tweet. Motif portfolios will be moved over to Folio Investing that has been competing with Motif.

At Daily Fintech we started covering Motif as early as 2014. The company is 10yrs old and its retail arm `Motif Investing` allowed DIY investors to invest in customized thematic portfolios for $9.95. It was not a social trading platform. It was a regulated broker-dealer in the US whose product offering was low cost but active, as individuals could change weights in each Motif.

In mid 2017, I had picked and covered the `Digital Dollars` Motif that had a 30% one year performance. It was an example of a thematic, fully transparent and customizable motif, with a fintech focus. In that post I was comparing alternative structured product offering exposure to the same thematic.

`What is more important is that Motif offers an optimization algo that allows users to take stocks that can be considered players in the mobile payments space (which are 26 US listed stocks) and optimize (holdings and weights). This is a great tool for DIY thematic investing.` excerpt from my 2017 post

 Motif Capital was the other part of the Motif business launched in 2016 as an investment advisor of all institutional dealings. Through that business, Goldman Sachs had a partnership with Motif, which created in 2019 thematic indices and ETFs, the Goldman Sachs Motif Next Wave of Innovation ETFs.

Screen Shot 2020-04-20 at 09.58.20 

In 2015, Motif had also struck a unique deal with JP Morgan, through which it would offer Pre-IPO access to retail. A strategic investment happened but unfortunately, the market never saw anything actually happen.

Motif was clearly a fascinating early innovator. They even added direct indexing, fractional investing capabilities, and a growing offering with ESG thematics. Seems like they were doing everything right.

They were backed by Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, the UK based VC is Balderton Capital and the Chinese social network company Renren Inc.

Screen Shot 2020-04-20 at 10.06.16

Source: Crunchbase

Motif had raised $126million over the past 10yrs. When I spoke to them in 2016, they were already concerned about a Chinese copycat site that had launched with the same even dashboard. And of course, about being leapfrogged by incumbents.

Fast forward to today, and the Robinhood effect killed them.

Folio Investing (a 20yr player) had already `copied` Motif Investing with their Ready-to-Go-Folios and a much cheaper price. Motif had to fold its business and investors using the unlimited plan will be getting a very similar offering with a 30% lower subscription.

`Investors will be transferred to a Folio Investing Unlimited plan by May 20 and charged $19.95 per month, a discounted fee from the usual $29 negotiated by Motif. ` Source

The sentiment in most online media is one of sadness, as an innovator is killed or stopped because of the price wars. WealthManagement reported that As of late March, Motif Investing’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Motif Capital Management, had $868 million in assets under management, according to regulatory filings.

Motif`s data-driven business that was behind the customized indices and the white papers around investment themes, will also suffer from this sad event.

The vision that Motif had to expand to China, the birthplace of Techfin, will not become reality.

The brokerage business is in danger to stop innovating, simply because commissions have gone to zero and the Schwab`s of the world have caught up with fractional ownership offerings, direct indexing, low cost financial advice and more.

Some say that Motif never found a product market fit. I say, that Motif was in the low-cost active space during a time that low cost passive outperformed. And it was not bought out 3-4 yrs ago from a large broker, like Interactive Brokers bought Covestor in 2015.

Notes: InvestorJunkie review of the Folio investing product and pricing

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Lockdown & market uncertainty lead to a surge in B2B robo-advisors

Efi Pylarinou is the founder of Efi Pylarinou Advisory and a Fintech/Blockchain influencer – No.3 influencer in the finance sector by Refinitiv Global Social Media 2019.

Digital investing, advice and portfolio management is on the rise. A surge in account openings across the board, is now well documented. The first quarter of 2020 has seen a sizable increase in activity compared to 2019.  TD Ameritrade’s automated investment offering reports an increase of 150%. Betterment has publicized account opening increases of 25%. Wealthfront reports a 68% rise since the market downturn.

Vanguard`s all-digital offering launched in late March, so figures are not available. Schwab has also confirmed the overall trend of an uptick in account opening, but no one has reported AUM figures yet.

The Robinhood debacle surely shifted several accounts to other digital platforms but it also revealed that a large portion of Robinhood`s clients were consumers that have very small amounts to trade (interest in fractional shares) and also use their margin allowance to leverage their plays.

The US market is witnessing an increase in consumer interest to start investing during this downturn. I believe that we will maintain increased levels of users on digital platforms.

Go Digital or Die is not debatable anymore in wealth management. There will be variations of Digital but no more only physical.

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending a webinar hosted by Bambu, the B2B robo-advisor out of Singapore. Bambu has grown since 2016 globally with offices n Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, London, San Francisco, and Dubai. They offer all the picks and shovels needed to launch any variation of a Digital investing offering. Their narrative is about creating 21st century investors. They have the backing of Franklin Templeton and have partnered with Refinitiv and Apex.

Since Bambu is not a B2C provider, they embarked on a consumer sentiment analysis by using advanced Google search analytics. Some of their findings show consumer changes and preferences. Naturally, their results have a US bias as it is the largest market in digital advice and investing. During this crisis, there has been an upsurge in searching for Financial advisors.

Consumers are increasingly interested in Long term digital advice.  

Retirement advice, tax optimization and harvesting, are highly sought.

Screen Shot 2020-04-13 at 11.39.35

`Retirement planning` has been strongly trending which is unexpected. People close to retirement prefer traditional channels of advice typically. This trend shows us that there is a reversal and a huge opportunity. It can also mean that consumers realize that there is value in paying an advisor to plan for retirement from early on.

The value of retirement Advice is on the rise.

Bambu`s analysis confirmed (what I knew from fund flows reported by several data providers globally) that there was a huge shift from Fixed income to Equity ETFs. This has resulted in an unexpected inflow into Equity ETFs despite the market downturn.

Eric Balchunas, senior Bloomberg ETF analyst, reported that Vanguard Q1 ETF inflows were at a record $47 billion and this was ALL Equity ETFs, as fixed income ETFs were net $0.


QQQ the Invesco ETF tracking Nasdaq, also saw peak inflows (via Bambu)

Screen Shot 2020-04-13 at 11.37.46

What Bambu added to the picture, that the hugely positive Equity ETF inflows came also from a consumer shift from investing in individual stocks to investing in ETFs.

Consumers are de-risking (diversifying) from individual stocks into ETFs.   

Screen Shot 2020-04-13 at 11.36.58

Consumers are inquiring about Rebalancing. Digital advice on managing portfolios is on the rise which is a shift from stock picking.

None of the US Robo advisors have announced any firings and some are even hiring analysts, developers, and managers.

Bambu reports a very busy month, which shows that Digital in wealth is not going away and variations will be the norm depending on the geographic region and the area of focus.

Uncertainty and the lockdown has strengthened the B2B robo advisor segment.

Go Digital for Financial advice, rebalancing, tax harvesting.

Recording of the Bambu webinar with lots of graphs and details.

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Addressing some symptoms of insurance issues, and not the underlying causes?

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There’s an odd contradiction in some of what the insurance industry does; the industry is built on predicting risk and strategizing risk sharing, yet in many ways it is victim of knowing its own concerns and reacting to and pricing the reaction, and not working to mitigating the effects of the outcomes.  And in at least one case looking to backfill its model to fit corporate strategy and perhaps not customer choice.

 Patrick Kelahan is a CX, engineering & insurance consultant, working with Insurers, Attorneys & Owners in his day job. He also serves the insurance and Fintech world as the ‘Insurance Elephant’.


Backfilling or buyer’s remorse?

Allstate Insurance (US P&C carrier) recently announced its digital insurance brand, Esurance, will be discontinued as part of Allstate’s migration into being an omnichannel carrier where customers have options under one access point/model for agency based or digital insurance acquisition and service.

Looking back to 2011 with Esurance being a $1 billion acquisition by ALL wherein the company’s CEO announced, “Allstate is uniquely positioned to serve different customer segments with unique products and services,” said Thomas J. Wilson, Allstate’s president, chairman and chief executive officer. “This transaction provides immediate incremental growth in customer relationships and makes Allstate the only company serving all four major consumer segments based on their preferences for advice and choice.”

Appears that ALL figures customers in 2020 expect only one access point that will provide purchase options.   Here’s the thing- Allstate had internal rules that inhibited customers from switching agents and/or internal brands, not external barriers; this change will reportedly alleviate the ALL system problem, and empower agents to better serve customers (per leadership and aligned with a previously announced commission decrease) as ALL migrates into being an insurance technology company.  But what of the 1.5 million Esurance policyholders who consciously chose the Esurance model, and may balk at being tied in with the legacy brand?  And, will marketing costs truly be saved if digital customers still need targeted messages?  It’s certain that Allstate’s advertising partners will create a clever omnichannel ad campaign, but legacy brand is legacy brand, and buying culture is buying culture- can ALL be a cleverer digital carrier under the parent name than was Esurance?  Additionally, will rolling the Esurance policies into the parent change how staff handle claims?  Perhaps, but the effects of several years of underwriting losses for the Esurance PIF will not disappear simply because those claim customers are now called Allstate customers.  Would it have been a more direct action to fix the Esurance claim handling issues? And what does this move in combination with centralizing customer service away from agents suggest for the agency model?


Maybe a good idea earlier in the finance value chain?

Swiss Re announced this week the placement of US $225 million in parametrically triggered cat bonding for Bayview Asset Management’s MSR Opportunity Fund, covering mortgage default risk for Bayview’s loan portfolios in the states of California, Washington, Oregon, and South Carolina.  Bayview does manage ‘credit sensitive’ loan portfolios and derivative funds that include packaged mortgage portfolios, so a parametric product is an immediate hedge in the case of an event that meets the USGS survey index associated with the bond.  Seems a suitable move for the management company as it does not have direct ownership of properties but does have exposure to indirect loss if there are mortgage defaults for its funds mix of loans.  Makes one think- loan originators would be doing the market a service if along with property insurance requirements for loans in the respective states there would be either an EQ insurance requirement, or even a parametric option for mortgagors in the event of a trigger occurrence.  Hedging ‘up the food chain’ is good for the portfolio manager but does not help address the potential cause of default.  Swiss Re also has the unique opportunity to market the parametric default risk products to primary mortgagees.  It’s a changing risk mitigation world.

Problem hiding in plain sight

First California, now Australia in the news due to property owners encountering challenges with property underinsurance and unexpected increases in property repair costs.  These concerns are not new and become front burner issues each time a significant regional disaster occurs, always attracting the attention of those who sit at the head of the political insurance table, the insurance commissioners.  California’s commissioner enacted a moratorium on policy cancellations in brushfire areas (1 million property owners involved), and Australia’s Treasurer Josh Frydenberg recently asked Aus property insurance carriers for detailed information to help the government and population better understand where insurance recovery efforts stand.   Not Dutch boys with fingers in the dike, but certainly ex post actions for circumstances that pre-existed the respective regions’ disasters.

At least in California the primary drivers of the problem are property owner valuation knowledge (or lack of it), ineffective underwriting valuation tools, policy premium and market share competition driving carrier lack of enthusiasm for change, and unpredictability of post-disaster rebuilding costs. Also- misconception on the part of the public- few policies (close to zero) include wording of restoring to pre-loss condition, or replacement with like kind and quality.  The reality of the underinsurance problem is that there is now a de facto rise in insureds’ ‘deductibles’ after a disaster due to inadequate coverage limits. The ‘deductible’ effect is mitigated by insureds employing personal property settlement proceeds in the dwelling rebuild costs, but all in all it’s a relative fools’ game.  The worst effect is the extreme hardening of the property insurance market to the point where dwelling insurance becomes unavailable and/or unaffordable. The easy fix is better upfront estimation of rebuild costs, but even with that there is then a problem for carriers- the marginal premium increase suggested under current methods in moving from a $500K limit to a $750K limit is far less than a comparable change from $250K to $500K, so is there an overarching lack of motivation to raise coverage limits?  An unexpected related potential effect for carriers- earlier triggering of reinsurance treaties due to the weight of maximum losses and lessening of rei appetites for renewals under existing agreements.   Without question structural changes (no pun intended) are needed in property policy valuations and underwriting for areas where the frequency of regional disasters is high.

*Contrarian viewpoints of an industry observer, not to be confused with that of mainstream press, and presented in the light of knowing that there are many forward-thinking players in the industry who will work to lessening the effects noted above.

#innovatefromthecustomerbackwards  #newinsurancebalance

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How innovative can Goldman Sachs be with its planned robo-advisor?

Maybe Goldman Sachs leads the way so that Digital Advice reaches the $1.26 trillion projected by 2023.

The large players are moving down-market, slowly and steadily. Goldman Sachs moved Marcus into their asset management division last year and has just announced that they will launch a robo-advisor with a $5k minimum next year. They acquired early on, Honest Dollar for digital retirement savings and Clarity Money, a PFM app. Both are mobile offerings.

Goldman at a high-level glance


Efi Pylarinou is the founder of Efi Pylarinou Advisory and a Fintech/Blockchain influencer – No.3 influencer in the finance sector by Refinitiv Global Social Media 2019.

The details of their planned robo-offering are not known yet and Goldman`s offering with the masses is a work in progress.

 Will Goldman develop a first-class Mobile digital advice app?

 Now that would be a great First in the US market. My intuition tells me that Goldman Sachs will integrate its existing partnerships, like the one with Motif, into this offering and use its existing brand name to build a pipeline of new customers. The partnership with Motif (established earlier this year) aims to launch innovative ETF products and indices based on machine learning and artificial intelligence.

  • Goldman Sachs Motif Data Driven World ETF (GDAT)
  • Goldman Sachs Motif Finance Reimagined ETF (GFIN)
  • Goldman Sachs Motif Human Evolution ETF (GDNA)
  • Goldman Sachs Motif Manufacturing Revolution ETF (GMAN)
  • Goldman Sachs Motif New Age Consumer ETF (GBUY)

Goldman and the newly acquired network of United Capital, are a great launchpad for the upcoming GS down market offering. Imagine it is Christmas next year and your mass affluent dad, aunt, or older friend already banking with GS and or UC, offer you a new investment account at GS which you can be fund with only $5k. Goldman remains a very sticky brand name that is envied by many in the market, and it will become accessible to the masses. The second trick up GS`s sleeve is that their product offering is not only the basic, mass-produced ETFs only but the innovative, in-house branded forward-looking ETFs too.

Smart products via a low-cost offering, by a top brand name provider. And if GS`s offering is mobile-first, then it has a great chance to leapfrog the existing pack.



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Not another Crypto Exchange; by BondEvalue & Northern Trust

  We like We foresee adoption of Blockchain not Bitcoin Digital Currencies not Cryptocurrencies Stable Coins not CBDCs Blockchain not Bitcoin LIBRA not Cryptocurrencies CBDCs from China & the BRICs not the US These are picks of business media talk from the past and the present. As Ajit Tripathi, said to me in a conversation […]

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