John Bartlett

Recent Posts

The Matrix, The Imitation Game, Robots and You

Apr 7, 2016 6:00:00 AM / by John Bartlett

Topics: FinTech

It was cold and rainy in New York last weekend. I rewatched two movies that got me thinking – The Matrix and The Imitation Game. These got me digging down “rabbit holes” (get The Matrix line here?) where I ended up rereading several recent articles.

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How Your Google Searches May Already Define Your Pain Points

Apr 5, 2016 6:00:00 AM / by John Bartlett

Topics: Streamline Fund Documentation Creation, FinTech

Have you ever thought about how many online searches you do each day? Here are the facts:

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SEC Modernization – the Storm is Coming

Mar 28, 2016 6:00:00 AM / by John Bartlett

Topics: Fund Regulatory Requirements, FinTech

We had a workshop last week in Boston attended by reporting teams from five different asset managers. The group was diverse not only in the size of funds managed, but the pieces of accounting and reporting that were managed in-house versus outsourced. There was some of everything.

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“Using a Financial Printer” is on the List of Things We Used to Do

Mar 14, 2016 6:00:00 AM / by John Bartlett

Topics: Fund Document Automation, FinTech

Just this week the subject of dealing with a financial printer came up with several financial reporting teams. On two different occasions, teams told us that somewhere around 10-14 days before filing, “we send the document to the printer.”

When I asked why, they looked at me and said, “Well, we have to get it typeset and filed.”

Then I asked how long it takes. They said, "Usually two days to get the first proof back, and then we turn the document two or three more times."

I was shocked. Even more so when I heard what it cost them.

Finally, I asked if they thought this process worked. They said, “Well, no, but what choice do we have?” 

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Financial Management Companies Debate Growth Strategies

Mar 4, 2016 5:30:00 AM / by John Bartlett

Topics: Fund Document Automation, Streamline Fund Documentation Creation

There are interesting debates these days. Cut cost or invest in growth? Outsource vs. keep in-house?Where does scalability fit into this discussion?

I saw this in Ignites last week:

"Market volatility … causes us just to look at our entire business, all the business processes, all the business lines, and rationalize everything…. " said CFO Ken Lewis on an earnings conference call earlier this month. See the article in Ignites.

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Mobile Traffic Surpasses Desktop Traffic – How Does This Impact Fact Sheets?

Feb 24, 2016 6:00:00 AM / by John Bartlett

Topics: Fund Fact Sheet

Here is a very interesting statistic – in November 2014 Google’s traffic from mobile devices surpassed desktops for the first time. We all love our phones and tablets, right? Think that growth is slowing down? It gets even more interesting when you think about how web traffic usage changes with age and demographic categories.

Why does this matter? Because if your Investment Fund Fact Sheet publishing strategy does not align with how the market is accessing and viewing the content, then maybe you need to think about your publishing strategy.

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Is FinTech the Silver Bullet?

Feb 16, 2016 6:00:00 AM / by John Bartlett

Topics: FinTech

Do you think when you are looking for something, you see it more often? I keep seeing articles about:

  • Market “headwinds” and outflows impact on revenue and profits
  • How firms are dealing with the above
  • Technology changes

PwC recently polled 189 CEOs of asset management firms regarding risks of cyber security and opportunities with new technology. One of the findings was that 85 percent are looking at ways technology can help improve and streamline client interaction with their platforms, while 58 percent are giving priority to strategic alliances, for instance with financial technology or FinTech.

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State Street Will Save $550M Through Automation – Does Our Conversation Begin and End Here?

Feb 11, 2016 5:30:00 AM / by John Bartlett

Topics: Fund Document Automation

OK, true confession: I am an Ignites junkie. Did you see this article last week? It made my stomach turn a bit – the hard and cold realities of business.

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If Jon Stewart Can Burn Out at His Job, Your Team Can, Too

Feb 1, 2016 5:30:00 AM / by John Bartlett

Topics: Fund Document Automation, Streamline Fund Documentation Creation, FinTech

August 6, 2015, was Jon Stewart's last time hosting The Daily Show. After 16 years he was burned out and quit. A real loss for American television, but I get it. It happens to all of us.

In the real estate business there is a term – HIGHEST AND BEST USE – defined as the best reasonable and legal use of real estate that is possible, which if supported and is financially feasible, results in the highest value returned.

One of the strongest intellectual drivers people have is to do something well – to master something. We are born with this need. When employees feel they have mastered their jobs, their performance will skyrocket. Finding a good fit between an employee’s natural ability and interest, and the requirements for the job is crucial to meeting the master need.

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“Top Asset Manager Websites not Making the Grade." A Fair Criticism?

Jan 28, 2016 5:30:00 AM / by John Bartlett

Topics: FinTech, Asset Manager Website

In case you missed this Ignites article last week: Top asset manager websites are not making the grade. The article cites a report by MyPrivateBanking Research that “firms are already playing catch up with new financial technology companies.”

There were a couple of comments that caught my attention:

many of the websites are not able to satisfy even basic requirements for an interactive digital experience.

… the report covers a range of criteria including user experience, navigation, structure, content, interactivity, integration, social media use and mobile accessibility.

… the emergence of Fintech companies, which have brought their online presence and interactivity to a whole new level.

… significant shortcomings in what the websites provided for individual investors.

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