NICSA Connect Newsletter: April 2019

Your source for the latest insights into global asset management industry trends.

Fund Intelligence: The Product and Marketing Plans of Big Shops? ESG, ESG and ESG

“SSGA, Capital Group, MFS Investment Management, Columbia Threadneedle and Eaton Vance, all highlighted ESG as a top focus at last week's NICSA conference. Meanwhile, distributors such as Charles Schwab and Ameriprise also said they want to see and hear more about responsible investing from asset managers…”  Read Article (free to read for 24 hours for NICSA members!)


NICSA Press Releases:


NICSA 2019 Strategic Leadership Forum Headlines Distribution, Tech Trends, and Diversity “Industry collaboration and idea sharing provides great building blocks for innovation and leadership within the asset management industry…” Read Release


NICSA Honors Volunteers of the Year at 2019 Strategic Leadership Forum  

“These individuals have shown exemplary commitment as volunteers, and have demonstrated a passion around furthering best practices within the global asset management industry…” Read Release


NICSA Releases 2019 Reference Guide for Transfer Agent Compliance Standards
“Serving as an educational resource, the Guide leverages the depth of expertise within one of NICSA’s longest standing committees, the TA Committee…”  Read Release


This year’s Strategic Leadership Forum was chock full of thought leadership, collaboration, and deep dives into today’s top of mind issues.

A recap page, featuring highlights and presentations, can be found here.

If you attended the 2019 SLF, our survey is still open and we would greatly appreciate your feedback. The survey is anonymous and takes less than 5 minutes to complete.


Bookmark NICSA's blog for key takeaways from our most popular sessions: 

Distribution Disruption — From Both Sides

“Broker-dealers and asset managers joined together to outline their unique perspectives on distribution during a General Session at NICSA’s recent 2019 Strategic Leadership Forum. The two panels, moderated by experts at Legg Mason and Merrill Lynch, focused on product innovation and platform enhancements, as well as scale, flexibility, and customization for advisors, home offices, and clients…” Read Blog


AI: Transforming the Asset Management Industry

“In 2016, scientists at SONY CSL Research Lab released 'Daddy’s Car,' the first full song composed by artificial intelligence. The company’s AI software, called Flow Machines, created the song using machine learning.... 'Daddy’s Car' underscores how rapid advances in computing power are enabling all new applications of technologies across many industries — including asset management.”  Read Blog


Uncovering Unconscious Bias 

"We may not be aware of them, but Corporate and Business Development Expert Mona Sabett says our unconscious biases are deeply rooted in our evolutionary pasts..." Read Blog




ETF Product Design and Distribution Trends

MAY 8 | 2:00pm ET |  Register

A look at trends in ETF product design and distribution, with a deep dive into the use of ETFs within models and managed account platforms, and how advisors are using them. Featuring: Fund Intelligence, Legg Mason, WisdomTree, UBS 


Navigating Turbulent Changes to the Sanctions Landscape

Sponsored by SIX Financial Group

MAY 15 | 10:00am ET |  Register

Recent geo-political events have made for challenging times for sanctions compliance professionals. SIX is hosting a webinar with NICSA members to explore ways to reduce operational risk by staying one step ahead of evolving economic sanctions. 


New Challenges on the TA Compliance Landscape

MAY 29 | 2:00pm ET | Register

Authors and contributors of the 2019 Transfer Agent Compliance Guide provide insight on what it takes for transfer agents to stay compliant with GDPR regulations, elder abuse prevention best practices, and other top of mind compliance issues. Featuring: Reed Smith, FIS, Virtus Investment Partners

NICSA East Coast Meeting: ESG Essentials for Asset Managers and Advisors
June 17 | New York City | Registration Opening Soon...

Attendees will gain diverse, timely insights on the following topics:

  • Impact on portfolio risk and investment performance
  • How advisors select ESG/SRI products
  • ESG scoring and other data transparency issues
  • Shareholder activism trends in carbon footprinting, fossil fuel divestment, firearms, tobacco, etc.
  • ESG adoption and implementation best practices
NICSA members continue to generate valuable insight and stimulating discussions on the future of the wealth management industry. Here's a look at our top picks for the month.


BroadridgeBottom-Line Management is Next Frontier for Diversity's Workplace Impact

“Executives with profit & loss roles are critical to the success of diversity & inclusion initiatives, both in terms of improving corporate culture and helping these efforts contribute to the business's bottom-line...” Read Survey Results


Deloitte: Industrial Evolution: Securing Profitable Growth in Tomorrow’s Asset Management Industry
“This white paper outlines the increasing divergence between profitable growth firms, those searching for growth and those focused entirely on cost-cutting and the implications of each approach.  Four competitive advantages profitable growth firms are actively developing: higher-demand investment strategies, disciplined pricing, personalized client experiences, and a more strategic use of technology…” Read White Paper  


PwC: A New Challenge for Financial Services: Making Diversity and Inclusion a Priority 

“Strong D&I programs have been shown to be correlated with increased revenues, improved risk management, and better growth prospects. It is therefore incumbent on firms to change the rules of the game and require managers to deliver on more than short-term revenues by also requiring them to grow a pool of diverse talent en route to building an inclusive environment that truly delivers on long-term business needs...” Read Report

A look back at NICSA's recent educational programming.


The NextGen Workforce in the Asset Management Industry

Hiring managers looking to create a more dynamic and strategically aligned workplace need to focus their human capital management strategies on developing future talent and training tomorrow’s leaders. Financial organizations need to amend hiring, onboarding, and employee engagement practices if they want to remain viable employment options for the NextGen workforce. Join NICSA’s expert panel as they explore practices and programs aligned with what Millennials really want from employers. Replay Webinar


Retirement 2020  

This webinar reveals new research on the saving habits of a new generation of investors, and reviews the strategies that retirement plan professionals are using to streamline operations and leverage new technologies. Replay Webinar


Engaging and Empowering A Diverse Workforce

A discussion around progressing talent recruitment, retention and managing to improve diversity and inclusion in the financial industry. Explore how diversifying the workplace reshapes opportunity. Dan Houlihan, Head of Asset Servicing for North America, and Jim Fitzpatrick, President of NICSA, share more information about The Diversity Project North AmericaReplay Webinar

Industry Leaders Outlook 2019 

NICSA’s panel of thought leaders explores tech and ops trends, distribution and product evolutions, and human capital management issues that are expected to have the biggest impact on the industry in 2019. Insights from Columbia Threadneedle, Morgan Stanley, and  Oppenheimer Funds. Replay Webinar | Read Blog

NICSAtalk: Podcast Series
If you've got ten minutes, we've got on-the-go, quick insights on critical business planning in the world of asset management. It's this simple: (1) Visit iTunes on your mobile device; (2) search "NICSAtalk"; and (3) subscribe. 
New Episodes:

ESG Initiatives in Europe | Listen to the Podcast

Product Proliferation and Accessibility | Listen to the Podcast

Transformative Technology in Asset Management | Listen to the Podcast

Today's NICSA has continued to evolve into a dynamic cross section of all aspects of the global asset management industry, including asset managers, broker dealers, distributors, and professional service providers. 
We are pleased to announce the following new members: 

GMO LLC: Founded in 1977, GMO is a private partnership whose sole business is investment management. The firm manages global portfolios with offices and clients around the world. Investment offerings include equity, fixed income, multi-asset class, and alternative strategies. GMO is known for blended fundamental and quantitative investment research expertise and a long-term orientation toward value opportunities. 

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