Monday morning briefing – February 19, 2019

Hedge funds can shine amid volatility. The first U.S. bank-backed cryptocurrency may transform payments. Advancing wealthtech through the “American AI Initiative.” Private equity predictions for 2019. And much more in this week’s briefing.

Economic/industry news

International Economic Data Snapshot – includes aggregated data of the worldwide economy: Snapshot: International economic data

U.S. inflation rate fell to 1.6% in January: Cheaper gasoline restrains US consumer prices

The Japanese economy expanded 1.4%, annualized, in the fourth quarter: Japan Q4 GDP rebounds but trade frictions remain a concern

U.K. GDP growth slowed in the fourth quarter: Car industry malaise drags down UK GDP growth to 0.3%

ESG funds recorded another strong year in 2018 with $5.5 billion of net flows: ESG funds outperform in growth and returns in 2018: Morningstar

Looking for more ESG disclosures: Institutional investors seeking greater ESG disclosure

ESG investing can provide a lot of benefits to advisors: How ESG rankings can help advisors reduce investment risks

In the world’s largest pension markets, defined contribution plans now hold a greater share of total pension assets: DC pension assets surpass DB in world’s largest markets: report

News and notes (U.S.)

A look at the hedge fund industry in January: State of the industry – January, 2019

The Eurekahedge Hedge Fund Index gained 2.22% in January: Most hedge funds started 2019 on positive note with returns of 2.22 per cent, says Eurekahedge

Market volatility may allow hedge fund managers to shine: Time for active managers to prove their worth

PE buyout multiples have risen, impacting the M&A market: PE-backed companies are catching up to their public counterparts

A look at what might be in store for private equity in 2019: 10 predictions for private equity in 2019

VC firms invested approximately $12 billion into fintechs in 2018: Why venture capitalists love fintechs

VC investors expect to increase their usage of data for investment decisions: Appetite for information growing in VC space: Pitchbook

Expect more active ETFs to be launched: More active ETFs are coming to market

FINRA released guidance on cybersecurity for brokerages: FINRA bolsters its cybersecurity guidance

JP Morgan has created the JPM Coin: JP Morgan is rolling out the first US bank-backed cryptocurrency to transform payments business

Fidelity and Charles Schwab to offer iShares as part of their commission-free trading: Schwab, Fidelity both make big moves on commission-free ETFs

News and notes (Canada)

Liquid alternatives could provide retail investors a hedge against market volatility: New ‘liquid alts’ a hedge against stock and bond volatility

A look at potential new products in the Canadian ETF space: What can Canadian ETF investors expect in 2019?

An analysis of mutual fund categories and their cash holdings: Currency & sector liquidity analysis report: Q4 2018

Canadian CEOs to focus on organic growth in 2019: Canadian CEOs expect global growth to decline or stagnate

National Bank has launched four ETFs, which include a liquid alternatives ETF: National Bank Investments enters ETF market

Invesco launched a Canadian dollar-hedged version of its international low volatility ETF: Invesco adds to currency-hedged Canadian ETF lineup

On the pulse – New frontiers in fintech

The fintech sector should continue to grow in 2019: Already thriving, the fintech sector is set for more

The “American AI Initiative” will help advance wealthtech: Federal support for artificial intelligence should benefit wealthtech

Banks should turn these technological advancements into opportunities: When banks turn disruption to innovation

Robo-advisors have expanded their offerings by entering the pension market: Are pensions about to change robo-advice?

Fintech to focus on the small business market, not only the consumer market: Small businesses are the next wave of fintech focus

Will smaller banks merge in order to push forward their digital transformation?: Too big to fail … Too small to succeed

A look at why regtech has attracted so much capital investment: This is how global regtech investment more than doubled in 2018

Fintech firms collaborate to launch new chatbot for banks: Fidor partners with Finn AI to launch a new AI-powered chatbot for banks

UBank launched Mia, a digital human to help clients with their home loan application: UBank launches ‘digital human’ home loan assistant

Fenergo has launched a solution to help financial institutions navigate regulations through the client lifecycle: Fenergo reveals client lifecycle management software: Rules as a Service

A look at a few sectors that have benefitted from blockchain technology and should continue to advance its usage in 2019: Which sectors will be first to mainstream blockchain in 2019?

How these four fintech firms are changing the industry: What can four innovative fintech startups and their investors tell us about the future?

Ant Financial enters European market with purchase of WorldFirst: Alibaba’s Ant Financial buys UK currency exchange giant WorldFirst reportedly for around $700M

High-net-worth topics

How ING Trusts can save the high-net-worth in both income and transfer taxes: ING Trusts: The hot trend in HNW estate planning

To avoid losing the assets of your older high-net-worth clients, engage with the younger generation: Your best clients could be gone soon – Are you ready to replace them?

Polls & surveys – What financials are saying

Fund managers are holding an overweight in cash (Bank of America Merrill Lynch): Fund managers remain bearish despite rally: Merrill

52% of Canadians expect to save money this year (BMO): Canadians optimistic about saving this year

CPPIB sees lower returns ahead: Brace for weaker returns amid global economic winter, says CPPIB chief

For financial marketing and investment commentary help, contact us at 1.844.243.1830 or