Jan 26

Wonders & Blunders: BlackRock Turns the Tide of Investment

 

 
OUR CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF THE WEEK’S NEWS
 
Community engagement now has a much bigger backer. Rocking the boat of the fund raising world, BlackRock announced companies will lose the firm’s support if they don’t contribute to the greater good. Impact investing has already begun making waves, but with a heavy hitter like BlackRock onboard, we are hopeful for an even better tomorrow.  
 
AI’s ability to help users swim instead of sink when faced with complex tasks has taken several industries by storm. The latest: employee benefits (more specifically, open enrollment). Imagine if Alexa or Siri could recommend which health insurance plan was the right fit, throwing a life preserver to employees – saving time, money and frustration. Anchors away, full speed ahead!
 
How many more nautical references can we make? Well…
 
If you were on the Blockchain Cruise last week or distracted by bitcoin’s sinking valuation and missed the news, the U.S. Treasury’s financial crime fighting force announced it will begin looking into international cryptocurrency exchanges and platforms. We hope regulation will ferry a better reputation for crypto companies.
 
 
Dawn of a New Investment Era
If organizations want financial backing from the world’s largest investment firm, BlackRock, they had better invest in society, according an article in The New York Times by Andrew Ross Sorkin
 
BlackRock’s announcement heralds a pivotal shift: An organization’s reputation means more to the public and investors than the company’s actual product or service… and perhaps even profits (gasp!). Check out our blog below to learn how to become a better corporate citizen, because giving back is in the mutual interest of both the community and your business. 
 
Alexa, Sign Me Up For Health Insurance
Now that AI has conquered the retail and entertainment industries and improved user experience, it has its sights set on benefits. Employee Benefit Advisor’s Phil Albinus
has the story.
 
The rapid adoption of AI can be seen by a 2017 survey of 260 organizations, which found 80 percent of companies have already invested in AI. Why? AI makes life easier – we’re thrilled the benefits industry is recognizing this potential and jumping on the bandwagon to further simplify a much-maligned industry for employees. 
 
 
International Crypto Crooks Beware
The U.S. Treasury announced its Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) will pursue all suspicious cryptocurrency platforms and exchanges, including those of overseas companies in countries without anti-money laundering (AML) laws, reports Reuters’ correspondent Michelle Price.  
 
Though the word “regulation” may go against the anti-establishment spirit of crypto enthusiasts, regulating cryptocurrency should help prevent future blunders of international blockchain companies and rid the technology of criminal activity and the associated stigma.
 
» IN THE NEWS
Kiplinger quotes Charles Thorngren, CEO of Noble Alternative Investments, on abandoned 401(k)s.
Forbes speaks with Collin Plume, president of Noble Alternative Investments, about a fluctuation in XRP’s price.
NASDAQ quotes Charles Thorngren, CEO of Noble Alternative Investments, on abandoned 401(k)s.
» BOTTOM LINE: Improving Your Speaking and Presentation Skills
KCD PR President, Kevin Dinino, spoke on two educational panels at the Fall 2017 ACA Conference at the Rancho Bernardo Inn outside San Diego. Executives in the audience learned how to improve their presentation skills and personal brand – key topics for any industry, but especially complicated in compliance roles.
» FEATURED CASE STUDY: Intrinio
Intrinio, a financial marketplace driven by machine learning and artificial intelligence, wanted to appeal to investors, developers and financial services companies as a data provider that delivers enormous efficiencies at a lower price point than firms such as Capital IQ and Bloomberg. The company formed a strategic partnership with QUODD Financial Information Services to provide Nasdaq’s real-time data directly to enterprise clients (institutions and banks). Previously, Nasdaq’s data was provided in a raw and unfiltered form. The partnership provided enterprise users with faster implementation and a lower cost to access Nasdaq basic on the market.
 
 
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