Meredith here. I’ll be filling in writing the weekly roundup for Olivia for the next few months. Let’s get to it!
Here at Business Insider, we love taking you inside the companies we cover to learn more about the people driving key decisions and what change actually looks like on the ground. We did just that this week with Digital Asset and Personal Capital – one is undergoing a big pivot, while the other wants to do a better job of explaining what it’s been doing all along.
Personal Capital is a wealth management firm that offers both human advice and online financial tools, and it is hoping to stop being lumped in with robo-advisers like Wealthfront and Betterment. We talked to execs in charge of a rebranding push to understand what’s at stake for the 10-year-old company and why they think a colour-scheme change and logo refresh can help.
We also learned that blockchain startup Digital Asset has lost some 25% of its staff since April, and talked to former employees who explained how the exodus stemmed largely from a pivot away from the distributed-ledger platform the company had originally built its brand around.
And on the WeWork front, we had profiles that took a look at two people – one banker, and one lawyer – who have become deeply entwined in the drama that’s engulfed the coworking company. The first gets to know Bob Schumer, a media lawyer (and brother of US Sen. Chuck Schumer) who former WeWork CEO and now ex-chairman Adam Neumann has hired personally, and who represented the cofounder’s interests during bailout negotiations with SoftBank.
We also did a deep dive into the rise of JPMorgan banker Noah Wintroub that reveals how he forged close ties with tech execs in a push to win the bank more IPO business – efforts that culminated in securing a lead role in a planned debut for WeWork that instead went up in flames.
I’m not quite ready to put away my Halloween decorations, but with the New York City Marathon tomorrow it’s hard to deny that November is here. I’ll be cheering – good luck to anyone running!
Enjoy the weekend,
WEALTH MANAGEMENT INNOVATORS: Meet 7 people shaking up recruiting, tech, and education in the $US49 trillion business of managing money
For Business Insider’s inaugural list of wealth management innovators, through interviews with industry insiders, analysts, and executives, we’ve pinpointed seven people who have been busy shaking up recruitment, industry training, and fee structures.
Mastercard wants to be more than just a card company. It’s turning to a blockchain for seafood and analytics for the healthcare industry.
Mastercard has been on a bit of a rebranding mission, hoping that by dropping the “Mastercard” from its logo, it will be known for more than just credit cards. Now, it’s making moves outside of cards with pushes into services for food and healthcare.
Through acquisitions, partnerships, and redeployment of existing technologies, Mastercard is entering new ecosystems where they aren’t necessarily competitors.
“We’re adding different use cases that aren’t payment related, we’re leveraging the infrastructure we have, and we’re getting into new industries,” Jess Turner, the executive vice president of product and innovation at Mastercard, told Business Insider.
Family offices oversee trillions in wealth and are highly secretive. But that’s changing as they chase direct deals – and company execs want to know who’s behind the money.
Family offices, the bastion of dynastic wealth, aren’t exactly known for their transparency. But that’s slowly changing, and the broader investment community could start better understanding where the world’s wealthiest are investing and gaining influence.
Family offices have leapt at the chance to gain a foothold in the private market with direct deals – particularly as companies stay private longer and a hunt for yield against a backdrop of ultra-low interest rates has stoked demand for alternative investments.
“In order to get access to a management team, to take place in these corporate access meetings and days, companies have to know who you are,” said Valerie Wong Fountain, the head of signature access and single family office advisory at Morgan Stanley.
Giants like JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, and Tradeweb are embracing a credit-trading revolution to move multi-billion-dollar bond portfolios in minutes
One of the hottest trends in credit trading over the past year has every big bank and many trading venues investing money and resources to keep pace with what has become a vastly changing world.
This year marked an inflection point for credit portfolio trading, with volumes surging across Wall Street’s biggest bond-trading desks as clients grew more comfortable with the transactions and banks and venues built out the capabilities to handle them.
AT&T survived round one with activist hedge fund Elliott. Now, the company has to fill a board seat and weigh spin-offs under the fund’s close watch.
AT&T didn’t waste time reaching an agreement with Paul Singer’s activist hedge fund, Elliott Management.
Just a little over seven weeks after the $US38 billion fund announced its campaign with a $US3.2 billion investment in AT&T, the telecom giant has acquiesced on several of the fund’s demands. Chief among them is a cost-cutting plan, to be led by former cable executive Bill Morrow, the addition of two new members to the company’s board, and a review of the firm’s sprawling list of portfolio companies.
But the lion’s share of the work still remains. One of the two new board members has not been selected, sources tell Business Insider, and Elliott is pushing for someone with a media background. And while a review of the portfolio may bring about a sale of a brand like DirecTV, nothing is guaranteed, especially if the market is uninterested in AT&T’s undesired pieces.
- Fitbit surges 17% after Google agrees to buy the company for $US2.1 billion
- A new venture backed by Morgan Stanley and UBS is seeking to become a low-cost alternative to the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq
- A jewellery battle is brewing between 3 of the biggest luxury conglomerates in the world
In tech news:
- Google Nest just launched a pilot with the nation’s largest apartment manager – showing where it sees the next big opportunity selling smart devices
- Inside a huge real-estate tech gathering in New York: big ideas, lots of suits, and some notes of caution as investment surges
Other good stories from around the newsroom: