Every year we look forward to hosting Innovation and Insight (I&I) Day. We get to hear firsthand about firms who have achieved success with IT-related innovation and learn how we can emulate that success. The event also serves as a showcase for the winners of Celent's Model Awards Program.
We are proud at Celent of our position in the middle of the financial services ecosystem. We regularly engage with financial institutions, their technology and service providers, fintech disruptors, consultants, and investors, as we strive to learn from our interactions, offer advice, and make valuable connections. Innovation and Insight (I&I) Day is the physical embodiment and culmination of these activities. The theme for this year’s event – “unleashing the potential of the ecosystem” – called this out explicitly.
As we filled the rooms at 60 State Street in Boston, the conversations started flowing and continued throughout the day. Craig Weber, Celent CEO, welcomed the crowd to the sold-out event and noted how things have changed over the years since we began the Model Awards Program. While Financial Institutions continue to look for areas of improvement, there has been a discernible shift toward innovation, often of the disruptive nature. And there could not have been a better keynote speaker to follow that message than Todd Schofield, Worldwide Industry Lead, Financial Services at Apple, Inc. Todd asked us not to blog or tweet about his presentation, so I will only say that it certainly gave all of us who were there quite a bit of food for thought.
Innovation in Insurance
This year the Model Insurer program received a record number of nominations from around the world. Since its inception, we have had winners with headquarters in 29 countries. The nominations this year witnessed a great health and appetite of the insurance industry to invest in new technologies.
The Insurance group shared some great cases of insurers with innovative and impactful projects; all of which deserve recognition, particularly because innovation in insurance is not easy. Our research shows that innovation in insurance is often inconsistent. Common practices see initiatives rebound; each year we may see similar initiatives brought up without success. In part, this explains why the insurance industry lacks a disciplined approach and common language around what is innovation. When looking at the possible barriers to innovation, the pressures of day-to-day business and company inertia stand out as the most relevant. This level of obstruction is not uncommon. Often times processes govern out innovation; when innovation projects run through the standard project approval process, they usually fail the test. This year's winners' initiatives focused on how to overcome these obstacles.
Our Inaugural Wealth and Asset Manager Awards
This year we were delighted to launch our inaugural Model Wealth Manager and Model Asset Manager Awards and case studies. The awards program was new for the Securities and Investment team, and they reviewed many nominations. Any firm could apply. The awards recognize initiatives that demonstrate the effective use of technology. The winners met criteria of measurable business benefits, implementation excellence, and degree of innovation. The question asked and answered was, “What would it look like for an asset manager or wealth manager to do everything right with today’s technology at their disposal?” The goal for the team was to educate, enlighten, and inspire the attendees for this new part of Innovation and Insight day.
In addition to the awards, the team provided key insights via presentations from Neil Katkov on buy side risk management and emerging technology, data swamps/data smart from Will Trout, API monetization schemes from Kelley Byrnes, and CRM and the digital client experience by Ashley Globerman. It was a full and compelling day.
State of Innovation in Banking
The Banking Practice presented 25 Model Bank Awards, covering an incredible array of innovative initiatives by banks from all over the world. We were delighted to see that so many winners were able to make the trip to Boston to celebrate their achievements.
As the stories of Model Bank winners demonstrate, there is a lot of innovation going on in banking and payments. Zilvinas Bareisis' recent report takes a tour around the key themes observed, covering not just the winning initiatives, but all the Model Bank submissions, and should be the place to start for anyone who is interested in the state of innovation in banking and payments today.
That's a Wrap
The day closed with Celent analysts from different practices engaging in a series of provocative debates around the hottest topics of the day, such as APIs, fintech, and AI. Finally, it was time to raise a glass, while continuing to network with peers in the ecosystem.
Our thoughts are already turning to next year's program. We plan to open the 2019 submissions window very shortly and keep it open until mid-November so that all potential winners have plenty of time to prepare and submit their nominations. Thank you to all who support our Model FI programs, we look forward to hearing from you soon!
Stayed Tuned for more information on our Model Award Programs for 2019