FinTech……..Not for everyone and not for us by Jon Bennion-Pedley

A great operational and investment truth – just because everyone else is doing it doesn´t mean it´s right/good/clever.

Every week I am contacted by companies that tell me they will REVOLUTIONISE our business…….TRANSFORM our investment numbers……and DELIGHT our clients. Who are generally already delighted, as it happens.

How? By an APP!!!!! An APP that will allow our clients to access their investment portfolios, manage them online, and digitally synchronise with all their other devices. Our very own APP!!! Presumably an Owlet. Sigh.

And, without exception, they are horrified when I tell them we want to be closer to no-tech than hi-tech. That most of our clients already know exactly what they will get and when they will get it. And that the reason that clients do business with us is because they want guaranteed terms, guaranteed returns and not to be finding out how things are going at 3am via an app that keeps them awake for all the wrong reasons.

And an APP that would keep me awake for all the wrong reasons too. You see the more you make available online in real-time…….…the more vulnerable your data becomes. We are, and have always been, obsessed with client confidentiality and we know that this matters to our clients. The more data that we put online the more vulnerable our client data becomes. And so, as a business that values client confidentiality above gimmicks, we have, over the last 12 months, purposefully de-teched.

All our client records are now held only on paper or digitally on offline storage devices, which are duplicated and kept in separate locations. The worst that a hacker could do to us is access emails – and even these are routinely archived. Our cyber security is good – but when NASA, the BBC, BA and MI6 are being hacked we would be naïve and arrogant to think that we were invulnerable. But if it isn’t online then short of a physical burglary of an anonymous storage centre you are not going to get our data. So whether a client is a high profile individual, a Politically Exposed Person, or someone who just wants to keep their wealth to themselves……..the hackers aren´t going to compromise your Investment Owl portfolio and your successes will be a secret between us.

Fintech is one of those buzzwords that encompasses a lot of irrelevant technology and a lot of substandard investments. Fintech for our clients means data risk. Fintech for our investors often means investment risk with unachievable projection. All that glitters with gimmicky golden promise is not necessarily 24 carat gold. Caveat Emptor.