Wonders & Blunders: Regulations and Reputations

By: Kevin Dinino
Category: Fintech


We once again start the Wonders and Blunders newsletter with an uplifting story about financial businesses making the world a better place. A consulting firm in Australia leverages the negotiation strengths and knowledge from volunteer big bank employees to raise money for a charity battling poverty around the world. Humanitarian efforts like this could raise public opinion about the banking industry, which has been in desperate need of good news since the financial crisis.
The SEC has had a busy few weeks … contemplating the securities status of cryptocurrency tokens and making a very relevant ruling for the traditional financial services industry for brokers to advise in their clients’ best interest.
What intriguing fintech news have you read this week? Tweet it to us at @kcdpr!
Battling Poverty and Bad Reputations
Wonder: The Philanthropist Pushing Bankers to Do Good – Laura Colby in Bloomberg Businessweek.
Former lawyer and banking executive Audette Exel founded a consulting company in Australia named Adara Partners to add more visible integrity to the financial industry. Its pro bono staff consists of employees of Goldman Sachs, UBS and other big banks. One-hundred percent of Adara Partners consulting fees go to Exel’s charity, Adara Development, which helps people in poverty, including building schools and health clinics in Nepal and Uganda.
Are All Cryptocurrencies Securities?
Wonder: Venture Capitalists Seek ‘Safe Harbor’ for Virtual Currencies – Nathaniel Popper in the New York Times.
Andreessen Horowitz led a group of lawyers and investors in a meeting with the SEC to propose a “safe harbor” for certain virtual currencies, asking for an official classification as utility tokens instead of securities. The SEC chairman’s public remarks about considering every ICO token a security prompted the meeting, in addition to its recent round of subpoenas to cryptocurrency companies. The group’s main concern is Ethereum, which raised money selling Ether tokens in a pre-sale similar to what is now known as an ICO. A securities designation could cause Ether’s value to plummet.
New SEC Rules for Financial Advice
Wonder: SEC Reluctantly Votes to Push Best Interest Proposals Forward – David H. Lenok in WealthManagement.
In a highly anticipated judgement, an SEC panel voted to propose a “landmark” rule package to set a standard for broker advice, create a mandatory disclosure document about relationships with clients and provide an official interpretation of the advisor standard of conduct. Brokers now must work in the best interest of their clients, according to clarified best interest guidelines. The disclosure document should relieve customer confusion about the differences between brokers and RIAs. The registration status of financial professionals will also become more transparent, restricting brokers from using the terms ‘adviser’ or ‘advisor’ in their name or title.
ThinkAdvisor  reports that Atria Wealth Solutions is acquiring Cadaret Grant, an independent broker-dealer.
Supply Chain Dive discusses the MODEX 2018 panel, “Turning Ordinary Machines into Self-Driving Robots” sponsored by AI operating system provider Brain Corp.
Forbes quotes Sebastião Coelho, CMO of blockchain-powered fintech company Flashmoni , on cryptocurrency taxes.
» BOTTOM LINE: 10 Ways to Repurpose a Conference Presentation Speech
Once you’ve finished giving a presentation at a conference or panel, what happens to it? We briefly touched on how to repurpose this content in our blog about improving your personal brand, but let’s dig deeper to learn exactly how you can use that ready-made content to network and attract business leads.
COBINHOOD, a cryptocurrency platform built for the blockchain era, approached KCD PR as an unknown entity to the outside world. From our initial proposal to the Initial Coin Offering (ICO), KCD PR had three weeks to build awareness with the media and potential investors. In addition to being in Taipei, Taiwan, the firm also faced challenges associated with not having a U.S. presence or U.S. representation on its board of advisors.

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