Knowledge Base Articles

Skandia Case Study II: Building Channel-Agnostic Wealth Experiences

Founded in 1855, Skandia is one of the indisputable market leaders in financial advisory services within the Nordics. Throughout its long history, the institution has relied on the expertise and experience of its financial advisors, who earned trust and appreciation from thousands of customers over the decades. Today, as the company transitions to a multichannel, digitally empowered business model, a focused area is the delivery of a superior service through all available channels – from traditional face-to-face meetings to digital financial experiences. Therefore, the insurer strives to build communication channels in a digital space that would match the physical experiences in engagement levels and even improve the service quality in a way that has not been achievable before.

Beyond Modern Portfolio Theory: Expected Utility Optimisation

The modern wealth management industry still relies on the 50-year-old approaches to portfolio management, widely popularized by Markowitz's Modern Portfolio Theory (1952). Despite heavy criticism within the academic circles, the alternative methods remain undeservingly overlooked in practice. In the context of the modern leap for hyper-customization, we look into one of the alternatives to Modern Portfolio Theory in greater detail - the Utility-based approach.

Part I - Portfolio Construction - Parameter & Model Uncertainty

There is a number of challenges associated with portfolio construction based on historical data. This three-part article series explores some of the most common issues attributed to the model-based portfolio optimization: the sensitivity to changes in data, large variations in portfolio weights and the bad out-of-sample performance.

Hierarchical Clustering: Prediction of Systematic Underperformance

As machine learning methods grow in use and popularity, we explore yet another dimension of wealth management that our experts consider fit for applying such frameworks. In this article, we deploy hierarchical clustering to find more consistent ways of predicting the relative future performance of funds.

Part III: Asset and Liability Management Using LSMC - Allocation Optimisation

In the third and concluding article in the ALM using LMSC series, we focus on analyzing the optimal asset allocations in the context of changing asset classes as well as finding the optimal allocation by maximizing the risk-adjusted net asset value. The estimates based on the LSMC method are then compared to the estimates obtained from the full nested Monte Carlo method.

Blog Articles

How to Avoid Legacy Traps When Building Digital Wealth Services

Wealth managers often build customer journey islands when introducing a new service or feature. Opting instead for use case-agnostic technology that supports all components of the organization’s strategic roadmap can grant a financial institution the necessary flexibility to achieve a strategic freedom to innovate.

From Digital First to API First: Benefits for Financial Institutions

The race for financial institutions to go digital, digitise their legacy systems or be “digital first” shows no sign of letting up. Customers expect a seamless journey and internal stakeholders will only invest in technology that is robust, cost-effective, secure and extensible into the future. What does extensible mean? In the world of programming, it refers to a language, a system that can be changed by being extended or adding features. In other words, you don’t want to invest in technology that is static or fixed, because it will become obsolete. Can adopting APIs before you transform your entire technology infrastructure to a digital operation give you a competitive advantage?

Fast and slow data: How to enable fast, interactive customer journeys based on slow mathematical models

When it comes to digital journeys, one characteristic defines quality beyond industrial specifics: speed. While rule-based apps or websites are relatively easy to keep lean and quick, the financial industry may be the area where the speed of underlying calculations could be an issue. Unlike e-commerce or media, the digital and physical solutions provided by the financial sector are riddled with computationally heavy models trying to grasp the uncertainty of real-world economies. The more granular and elaborate the underlying model is, the more realistic and accurate its results are. Does it mean that the financial institutions will have to compromise on quality to deliver fast solutions? Today we have spoken to Erik Brodin, an ex-McKinsey quant expert at Kidbrooke, who doesn’t believe a compromise is necessary.

Dare To Be Different: Differentiation for Wealth Managers

The competition for wealth management firms to win with customers is constant and growing. What is driving this? Technology is the source of the problem, because it is driving down costs and fees while accelerating the commoditization of offerings. Technology is also the answer, because the intentional, intelligent application of technology can help wealth managers reinvent and differentiate themselves. Let’s focus on four themes embraced by leaders in wealth management: connectivity, trust, confidence, and action.