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What We’re Reading This Week

Robo Bosses

Morgan Stanley is planning to augment their advisor force with cute little computers that will follow them around and use algorithms to suggest trades. Only part of that is true, and unfortunately, the depressing part is true. The computers aren’t cute and they’re more likely just a software program, but they will suggest that brokers make certain trades based on information gathered from the market and the advisor.

The programs won’t stop at merely suggesting trades. They will also chime in and recommend when to call the client about major life events. The computers will catalogue all communications – phone, email, and website in order to generate more business from individual clients.

Morgan Stanley is referring to them as assistants. However, having worked as a broker I can tell you, when someone else tells you when to call the client, place trades, and generally how to do your job, YOU are the assistant.


Banking Technology

In today’s banking world, you can really think of banks as more of technology companies than finance companies. In an effort to reduce overhead and compete globally, banks have sunk a tremendous amount of money into improving internal processes and customer-facing platforms.

Goldman Sachs’ “Marcus” is no exception. The investment bank’s foray into retail banking is heavily invested in technology and growth. Apparently, the future of retail is…writing on the table. According to Omar Ismail, the Chief Operating Officer of Marcus:

“We write on everything, we write on our walls, we write on our tables, we write on our windows, again, that’s very new.”

I mean, sure, that sounds very new. I’m not really sure defacing company property is newsworthy but then again, it’s been a long time since I worked at a bank. Maybe current regulations make it harder for banks to commit crimes so it becomes necessary for bank executives to participate in misdemeanors just to feel like they still work in the finance industry. 




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