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In the News

Corporate Insight is frequently in the news, whether to announce and discuss our published research or to offer our views on topics within our areas of expertise. Scroll down this page to read the latest articles in which we’ve appeared, and use our News Archive to find previous items.
DC Providers, Step Up Your Game for Millennials PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 09 May 2014 11:29
By: Lande Asiru

A research and consulting shop is urging retirement plan providers to step up their game for Generation Y participants.

In a study released today, New York City-based Corporate Insight says providers need to utilize education, online planning tools and mobile-friendly devices to engage Millennials, whose savings are being constrained by their current financial realities.

“Millennials are struggling to reach financial maturity, but that doesn’t mean financial institutions can afford to ignore them,” states James McGovern, Corporate Insight's VP of consulting services.

The study, titled The Milennial Shift: Financial Services and the Digital Generation, scrutinizes four financial services groups — retirement services, banking/credit cards, brokerage/investing and insurance — and explores the behaviors of Gen Y consumers, examining the most effective ways of marketing to this particular demographic.

Click here to read the full article (Subscription Required)...

Why Starbucks Could Become Your New Favorite Bank PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 09 May 2014 11:15
By Dan Kadlec

But the game is far from over. In The Millennial Shift: Financial Services and the Digital Generation, market research firm Corporate Insight notes that one way banks can capture this generation’s attention is by shifting the bank branch focus from transactions to education and guidance. According to the report:
“Traditionally, financial services firms have offered a library of static articles on their websites and called this financial education. That approach won’t work with this audience. Interactive features like video-based lessons and quizzes are a must have. Gamification and community can also help spur engagement.”
Millennials are saving more now than boomers did at their age. They know they must manage their own financial future and want someone to guide them in a way that makes sense to them. Online and mobile tools and social media appeal to them. But so would a bank branch that had more of a Starbucks feel and where the staff was as ethnically and gender diverse as this most diverse of generations. It’s not enough for a bank to just offer guidance; it must be sincere, inexpensive, accessible, and above all trustworthy.
 Why Starbucks Could Become Your New Favorite Bank

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Out-of-the-Blue Competition PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 09 May 2014 10:57
By James Green

Danielle Andrus, IA's executive managing editor, reported in mid-April that Corporate Insight “analyzed 11 online investment advice providers and found that combined they have more than $11.5 billion under management or advisement.” Most of those providers only started operations within the last two years, by the way.

My point is not to frighten you, but to encourage you to think about what you offer your clients that's special. Think about how you could serve younger clients, especially the children or relatives of your current affluent or HNW clients. Can you use some of these technology tools that the robo-advisors have rolled out to serve those lower-net-worth clients profitably, while building up a roster of clients for the future, and perhaps using younger advisors to do so? Will your technology partners or broker-dealers or custodians help provide you with that technology (it would be to their benefit as well, of course)?

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Firms to Copy Vanguard's Robo-Advisor Model: Experts PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 29 April 2014 11:32
By Matthew Beaton

Cost-conscious younger investors have higher expectations for online and mobile services and see little value in face-to-face meetings, says Grant Easterbrook, an analyst at Corporate Insight.

“Those preferences don’t really line up with what a lot of the traditional wealth management firms offer,” he says.

The firms “are concerned that some of their distribution partners might not be able to adapt, and it might be time to think about just going straight to the consumer,” Easterbrook adds.

So companies may look to the robo-advisor platforms to reel in young investors. The gradual wealth shift represents a “major change” for how firms do business, and if done correctly, robo-advisors could mean asset growth, Easterbrook says.

“If they can keep their existing distribution channels and [offer online managed accounts], I think the value is certainly there,” he says.

The key is for major players, such as Franklin Templeton, to avoid alienating their distributors because automated managed accounts circumvent advisors, Easterbrook says. Large firms can copy the online-only low-cost managed account platform relatively easily, but the question is whether they want to, he says.

Click here to read the full article...

How Robo-Advisors Are Reshaping Investing PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 29 April 2014 11:28
By Cinthia Murphy

ETF.com: We're seeing a massive proliferation of these online-based financial advisors and investment tools. What’s driving the growth of this segment?

(Grant) Easterbrook: A lot of these firms can be grouped into a post-financial crisis generation of startups. In the aftermath of the crisis, a lot of venture capitalists and entrepreneurial minds got their eyes set on the investment industry, on personal finance.

They saw the major players were battening down the hatches, trying to survive in an industry that was perceived to have a lot of flaws. They saw an opportunity to offer an online-only service that’s lower cost. The idea was that people were so burned out by their advisors or their institutions they just might consider trusting a new online service.

ETF.com: You looked into more than 100 of these firms, and you broke it down into 10 different categories of various services and tools they provide. Still, it struck me that, in general, most of them point investors toward passive index investing. What do you make of that?

Easterbrook: For the most part, they're trying to be competitive on low cost. To do that, they emphasize passive investing. And if they're not using any human touch, it's almost easier, too, to put forward passive management rather than try to explain and justify why they think this or that active fund is better than the passive option. There are a few exceptions in there, but for the most part, these firms are certainly favoring passive options.

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Covestor profiled among online financial startups PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 25 April 2014 15:02
the street
By John Spence

A new report examining online financial startups such as Covestor highlights how the financial services industry is evolving as investors grow more comfortable using the internet for research and building portfolios.

"Online financial startups are starting to take root with investors. A report released Wednesday by Corporate Insight analyzed 11 online investment advice providers and found that combined they have more than $11.5 billion under management or advisement," ThinkAdvisor reports.

"With a few exceptions — Covestor, MarketRiders are a little older — most of these services have gone live in the last year or two. Overall, they're pretty young," said Grant Easterbrook, an analyst for Corporate Insight, in the article.

"The basic idea here is they're trying to build a very scalable model. They want to make it very low-cost at each new customer," Easterbrook said. They can also onboard clients quickly with online tools.

Click here to read the full article...

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