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Let's take a moment to say goodbye to 2017 with a review of some of the best articles and discussions that the Institute for Innovation Development developed through the year. They demonstrate the range of business innovation topics, innovative business leaders, FinTech companies, and next-generation financial services thinking we engaged with this last year and give you an indication of discussions and activities that we will continue to explore into 2018. Cheers!


Uncovering next-generation services and business approaches for financial advisors:

1.  A New Age of Communication for Financial Advisors

"Our technology is not supplanting the advisor’s historical relationship, we’re in fact enhancing it. We’re not a robo product, we’re a bionic advisor product." - Jeremy Floyd, Finworx


A turnkey, persona-based communication platform for advisors and RIAs – combines behavioral analysis and automated digital marketing.  


2.  Strategically Outsourcing Your Middle Office

"An advisory firm should consider, in this extremely competitive and changing environment, strategically focusing their efforts on where they can build more differentiation and create greater impact with clients." - Mike Ciotola, Ultimus Fund Solutions


How outsourcing non-core company functions can be a very strategic & competitive decision.


3.  Marketing Tech Study - Proven Way to Grow Assets

Our expertise is marketing technology and the study itself sought to demonstrate that the firms leveraging client-facing marketing tech tools will grow AUM faster than their contemporaries, all else equal.” - Graig Norden, FreeWheel Marketing
Marketing study proves if advisors RIAs are not using marketing tech, its equivalent to bringing a knife to a gunfight.


Uncovering FinTech companies as part of our ongoing FinTech radar program:

4. Engineering More Liquidity for Non-traded Alternative Securities

As exchange technologists, we could build the infrastructure to actually make these trades possible.” - Jordan Fishfeld, CFX Markets


A blockchain-enabled trading platform creating more liquidity for non-traded alternative securities.


5.  Creating an Alternative Data Set to Enable Smarter Investments

What was once only accessible for the biggest, most profitable trading entities is now within reach of much smaller groups and financial advisors, who can quickly see the ROI of datasets.” Sean Brown, YCharts

Perspectives on and development of new alternative data sets from an emerging FinTech research platform.


 6. Building an AI-based Investment Platform

"We are fortunate that the explosion in data has been met with an explosion in computing power which far surpasses the capacity of any human brain."  - Andrew Dassori, Wavelength Capital

Andrew Dassori, founding partner and CIO of Wavelength Capital Management, discusses new advisor AI investment platform of next-generation portfolio management tools and strategies utilizing artificial intelligence and machine learning.


Uncovering core business innovation concepts and proven processes:

7.  An Innovation Call To Arms For Financial Advisors 

Hyper rates of business and cultural change are creating radically different ways of doing business that will negatively impact the industry's current business models” – Bill Hortz, Institute for Innovation Development

Under the banner of "innovation," there exists a proven business management toolkit specifically designed to help advisors manage their firms in a rapidly changing business environment.


8. Converting Ideas Into Growth And Innovation

In a rapidly changing business environment, the speed of harvesting and implementing ideas for new products, services or business models will become critical for your firm's success.” – Bill Hortz, Institute for Innovation Development

Deliberately and consistently converting new ideas into real-world innovations enable firms to compete on a new, more dynamic level.


9. Building Irrefutable Differentiation in 2017

Innovate where you differentiate was the major message of a webinar by leading business innovation expert and author, Steve Shapiro.” Bill Hortz, Institute for Innovation Development

Proven strategies and practical steps on how to build irrefutable sources of differentiation for your business.


Uncovering progressive, active investment management perspectives:

10. Business Innovation and Stock Selection

"Innovation is the engine that pushes companies forward, and an innovative corporate culture is one of the primary drivers of long-term value for companies.Matthew Blume, Appleseed Fund


How an independent wealth management firm views business innovation and applies it to their socially responsible investing process.

11. Riding Investment Waves For Risk Averse Investors

“A topturn is the sharp turn you see a surfer make off the top of the wave to stay in the momentum of the moving water. I think it’s a perfect analogy for our investing style.” – Dan Darchuck, Topturn Capital
How an independent financial advisory firm headquartered in Monterey, CA delivers innovative asset management strategies and a mutual fund that successfully incorporates surfing references and terminology to communicate their unorthodox investment methodology and approach to investing.

12.  The Investment Value of Being Different

"We try to be different only in ways that we think give us an edge over the intrinsic architecture of the market." Elise Hoffmann, Marshfield Associates


How does an investor balance being "different", protecting capital, and shooting for out-performing the market all at the same time? What is the mindset and approach that allows you to implement that kind of strategy?

13. Rethinking Diversification and Redefining Risk

"It is more important than ever to rethink what diversification should mean and be applied for advisors and their clients." - Floyd Tyler, Preserver Partners 

An independent asset manager challenging our thinking about investment diversification & portfolio risk management. 


To round out our baker's dozen of articles, our most read article of 2017 comes from a collaboration with Dan Sondhelm, CEO of Sondhelm Partners:

The Coming Challenges for Financial Advisors and Asset Managers

"We must accept that technology now drives change faster than ever before, that the consumer has a stronger voice and demographics will force us to adjust." Dan Sondhelm, Sondhelm Partners


  A real-world perspective on key challenges and trends facing financial advisors and fund managers from a nationally recognized financial services communications expert and business consultant.



Thank you for reading and much more to come in 2018!

Bill Hortz, Founder and Dean, Institute for Innovation Development


The Institute for Innovation Development is an educational and business development catalyst for growth-oriented financial advisors and financial services firms determined to lead their businesses in an operating environment of accelerating business and cultural change. We position our members with the necessary ongoing innovation resources and best practices to drive and facilitate their next-generation growth, differentiation and unique community engagement strategies. The institute was launched with the support and foresight of our founding sponsors - Pershing, Voya Financial, Ultimus Fund Solutions, Fidelity, and Charter Financial Publishing (publisher of Financial Advisor and Private Wealth magazines). For more information click here.


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