Monday morning briefing: The trillion dollar club

BlackRock will ask companies to disclose climate-related risks. The fintech industry could be squeezed by a market downturn. Private equities fundraising may decline in 2020. And much more in this week’s briefing.

Economic/industry news

The U.S. inflation rate was 2.3% in December: US consumer prices gain slightly; underlying inflation tame

China’s economy grew 6.0% (annualized) in the fourth quarter: China just reported its weakest annual growth in 29 years

JPMorgan’s outlook for alternative investments in 2020: What J.P. Morgan sees for hedge funds, real estate, other alt investments in 2020

ICE to enter ESG data business: ICE to launch ESG data service

Sustainable funds had flows of US$20.6 billion in 2019, setting a record: Sustainable fund flows smashed records in 2019: Morningstar

Chart of the week – The trillion dollar club

Alphabet (Google) surpassed a market capitalization of US$1 trillion last week, joining an exclusive club. So far, only tech firms have joined the club. Currently, three firms – Apple, Microsoft and Google – have trillion dollar valuations. Amazon hit the $1 trillion mark in 2019, but a subsequent decline in its share price pulled its market cap back to $929 billion. The next largest firms by market cap are Facebook and Berkshire Hathaway, but both have a long way to go in order to join the club.

Let us know who you think may be next?

Used with permission of Bloomberg Finance L.P.

News and notes (U.S.)

A look at the hedge fund industry in December: State of the industry: December 2019

The keys to success of top-performing hedge fund managers: This is what sets top-performing hedge fund managers apart 

PE fundraising may decline in 2020: After record-breaking 2019, US PE fundraising expected to dip in 2020

The evolving environment for traders: Bonus culture on Wall Street is coming to an end

BlackRock will ask companies to disclose climate-related risksBlackRock makes climate change a top priority

News and notes (Canada)

Picton Mahoney completes acquisition of certain alternative fund assets from Vertex One: Picton Mahoney expands further into alternatives with acquisition

Canadian VC investment reached US$1.17 billion in 2019: Canadian VC investment had a record year in 2019

The TSX is set to release the S&P/TSX Cannabis Index: TSX sparks up new pot index

Mortgage borrowing slowed in November: Household credit growth slows in November

On the pulse – New frontiers in fintech

Learning from the new banking environment in China: The future of banking has arrived

Using technology to enhance the customer experience: Driving emotional transformation

Big firms are benefiting from fintech companies: How the largest firms depend on fintech startups

Reducing loan default risks using machine learning: How machine learning is reducing loan defaults and easing debt recovery

Understanding some of the limitations of personalization: How personalization strategies can backfire on financial marketers

Visa purchases Plaid: Visa buys financial technology company Plaid for $5.3B

The fintech industry could be squeezed by a market downturn: Bye-bye fintech

High-net-worth topics

Helping the high-net-worth access blockchain investments: Guiding HNW clients on blockchain investment options

Is now the time to sell a private, family-owned business?: Family-owned businesses urged to sell before the party ends

Polls & surveys – What financials are saying

Longer lifespan linked to education and income (StatsCan): Gains in lifespan, health not equal: StatsCan study

Less U.S. investors are worried about a recession (Allianz): U.S. investors’ concerns over market volatility eased in Q4: Allianz

Younger Canadians are spending more time worrying about money (Scotiabank): Millennials worry more about money than older Canadians: poll

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