Recap of Model Award Winner Case Studies 2021 | Accelerate!

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29 April 2021
Eiichiro Yanagawa

Innovation & Insight Week 2021 | Webinars in Japanese


The theme for this year’s Celent Innovation & Insights (I&I) Week was “Accelerate!” Celent gathered 50 case studies from around the world that show how financial institutions have used technology to accelerate their innovation. The 50 Model Award–winning projects were selected from a large pool of nominees and evaluated on three criteria: innovation, business impact, and adoption of new technologies.

Our 15th annual Innovation & Insight (I&I) Week event is now available to watch on-demand. We explored how financial services players are using technology innovatively to differentiate themselves in an increasingly competitive and challenging marketplace. We also announced the winners of our 2021 Model Awards and published short case-study videos for each initiative.

With many of our winners taking only weeks or months to complete initiatives that might otherwise have taken them up to a year or more, the theme we explored this year was "Accelerate!”

We’re happy to share that we’ll be translating a select few of our I&I Week on-demand offerings in Japanese. View what we’ll be translating below. The Japanese versions of the webinar series will contain the essential content from the original English program.

The following Japanese sessions are coming soon!

2021 Model Award Winner Case Studies

Part 1. Model Wealth Manager | Merrill Lynch, Client Engagement Workstation: The Reimagined Advisor Desktop

The winner of the Celent Model Wealth Manager Award 2021 in the Emerging Technology category is the Client Engagement Workstation (“CEW”) from Merrill Lynch (“Merrill”). The CEW enables advisors to deliver holistic, personalized service and advice to their clients as efficiently as possible across a variety of devices. The advisor workstation features Merrill’s virtual assistant Erica and new Client Insights alerts.


  • Awards Program and Case Study Overview
  • Celent’s Perspective
  • Opportunities, Initiatives, and Solutions
  • Outcomes, Lessons Learned, and Future Initiatives

Part 2. Model Risk Manager | Credit Suisse, Risk360 Advanced Risk Analytics Platform

Credit Suisse developed a comprehensive risk-intelligence and analytics tool for its investment management and wealth management operations. The solution integrates data from approximately 20 internal systems and six external systems using graph analytics and machine learning—and then develops more than 40 risk-analysis tools based on the data to provide the one-stop, risk-analysis capability for all risk functions. Celent selected this project for the Celent Model Risk Manager Award 2021.


  • Awards Program and Case Study Overview
  • Opportunities, Initiatives, and Solutions
  • Risk360: The Essentials of an Advanced Risk-Analytics Platform
  • Outcomes, Lessons Learned, and Celent’s Perspective

Part 3. Model Bank | Varo Bank, First Fintech to Obtain a US Charter

Varo Bank won the Celent Model Bank Award 2021 due to their use of streamlined technology to create a “de novo bank” (a new bank with a completely new concept) with a significantly reduced cost base. When products are commoditized, the only differentiator is the customer experience, and Varo has been able to escape the commodity trap because its technology stack and banking license give it a tremendous cost and revenue advantage. A key component of its customer experience is a suite of products based on a “no fee” attitude and a commitment to “service that improves customers’ financial lives.”


  • Awards Program and Case Study Overview
  • From Varo Money to Varo Bank
  • Varo’s UI/UX and Business Model
  • Outcomes, Lessons Learned, and Celent’s Perspective

Part 4. Model Insurer | AXA XL, Construction Ecosystem

AXA XL’s insurance business for the North American construction industry launched the Construction Ecosystem, an integrated digital platform unlike any other. The digital platform uses innovative construction industry technologies to monitor and aggregate data, providing AXA XL’s clients with unique insights and benchmarks to help them manage construction-site risks and enterprisewide risks. No other insurer has offered corporate policyholders access to an ecosystem of solutions to mitigate losses and improve operations. This project is the first of its kind, which is why AXA XL was named the Celent Model Insurer Award 2021.


  • Awards Program and Case Study Overview
  • Market Needs: Features and Data
  • Construction Ecosystem Solutions and Technologies
  • Outcomes, Lessons Learned, and Celent’s Perspective

Part 5. Model Sell Side | RBC Capital Markets, Unlocking the Power of AI for Electronic Trading

Aiden is an AI-based electronic trading platform that uses deep learning to improve trading performance and deliver useful insights to clients. The Aiden platform was co-developed by RBC Capital Markets and Borealis AI to address the biggest challenges facing AI today: applying deep learning to an ever-changing environment, such as equity trading, and delivering measurable and explainable results to its users. Celent selected this project for the Celent Model Sell Side Award 2021.


  • Awards Program and Case Study Overview
  • Opportunities, Initiatives, and Solutions
  • Components of the Aiden AI-Based Trading Platform
  • Outcomes, Lessons Learned, and Celent’s Perspective
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Insight details

Capital Markets, Corporate Banking, Life & Health Insurance, Property & Casualty Insurance, Retail Banking, Wealth Management
Subscription(s) required to access this Insight:
Banking, >>Retail & Business Banking, >>Corporate Banking, Insurance, >>Life/Annuities Insurance, >>Property / Casualty Insurance, Capital Markets, Risk, >>Financial Services Risk
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