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All About Technology at SIFMA Annual 2016

The SIFMA Capital Markets Annual meeting in Washington D.C. last week provided industry executives an opportunity to hear expert insights on the state of capital markets from some of the top influencers, including Twitter CEO and Square founder Jack Dorsey, Congressman Jeb Hensarling and SEC Chair Mary Jo White.

Jack Dorsey, founder of Twitter and Square
Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO and Square founder

Overall, the majority of the conference focused on the challenges in securing capital for growth and investment amid increasing regulation and security concerns. Given the evolving landscape of the industry that continues to recover from the recessionary effects of the housing market, my primary focus was to understand the impact that technology will make to assist with the slow growth recovery.
In the opening evening interview, Jack Dorsey shared how his upbringing around small business in his hometown of St. Louis shaped his entrepreneurship and understanding of the customer relationship. The lessons learned have helped shape his approach in running Twitter and the creation of Square.
In one revealing story on the impact of technology, he shared how a local florist he was helping lost a sale because she refused to accept credit cards and would only accept cash. Dorsey, who at the time was trying to convince the florist to adapt Square to process credit card payments, quickly realized she’d have to adapt to the customer’s preferred form of payment if she was to survive in the digital age. Throughout the conference and in the sessions that followed, digital adoption and use of technology to adapt to customer preference came up from multiple speakers and panelists.
In her one-to-one interview with SIFMA President and CEO Kenneth Bentsen Jr., Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Mary Jo White said the agency is throwing a bigger spotlight on fintech, including robo advisors, and that “fintech has the potential to transform the securities industry.”
White said the SEC needs to strike a balance between providing proper regulatory oversight while ensuring advisors and the industry can continue to provide the products and services in the best interests of clients. As evidenced by their commitment to fintech, the SEC is planning on having its first fintech forum in its history on November 14, 2016.
SIFMA Annual panelIn a breakout session focused on the new private wealth manager moderated by HD Vest President and CEO Roger Ochs, technology took center stage. Panelists representing Charles Schwab, DA. Davidson Companies and United Capital discussed the impact the DOL ruling is making to advisor succession planning and the need to draw fresh talent into the business with a focus on millennials. The panelists agreed that technology expectations from customers and employees alike will revolutionize the industry, and that firms that invest in innovation will thrive.
For more details on the conference, visit the SIFMA Annual website.

Victor Gaxiola

Thought leader, speaker, host of the #HSonAir podcast. Evangelist for digital tech adoption in financial services.

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