Wonders & Blunders: Super Bowl Selfie for the Win

By: Kevin Dinino

All subject line references aside, we hope you’ve recovered from any Super Bowl shenanigans by now. Here’s what happened in fintech news while you were celebrating a win, suffering a loss or tweeting about the ads.
A recently uncovered blunder caused a $600 million longtime client to walk away from Wells Fargo, after it increased investment risk on a flagship conservative retirement plan. The financial company’s signature stagecoach may be breaking down … perhaps they should trade it in for a self-driving car? Though that could depend on the Waymo vs. Uber trial this week!
Shifting to blockchain news, Ripple’s popularity in fintech shows no sign of fading, despite the XRP token’s decline in value. Banco Santander announced the distributed ledger technology’s debut in the personal payments space. What’s next for the current cryptocurrency industry darling?
The latest development in robo advisors involves some of the largest financial firms creating products in-house instead of white-labeling third-party software. Regaining customer control, building on recently strengthened mobile and digital services and an increasing ease of hiring internal technology teams led to the change. Will it help attract the B2B customers banks are seeking?
Bye, Bye, Bye Big Wells Fargo Client
Tim McLaughlin in Reuters.
Wells Fargo & Co increased the risk in its flagship retirement funds, causing one of its largest customers to leave the plan. TexaSaver pulled more than $600 million from the Wells Fargo target-date funds. The plan was previously well-known for a conservative investment strategy, but the new strategy included buying junk bonds, stocks in emerging markets and derivatives. TexaSaver ended its long relationship because of how Wells Fargo handled the strategy transition.
Ripple-Powered Personal Payments
– in Finextra.
Banco Santander will introduce same-day international mobile payments using Ripple’s distributed ledger. The bank tested the new service among its staffers during the past 18 months. Santander said it will be the first global bank to use a distributed ledger in personal payments. Blockchain-enabled cross-border payments using Ripple are in progress at the bank for B2B customers as well.
In-House Digital-Human Hybrids
Several of the largest financial institutions, including Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan Chase and Goldman Sachs, have launched their own in-house digital investment products or are developing similar robo advisors products. In addition to regaining control of customers, the choice to build products in-house makes business sense because it’s now easier to find the expert teams and technology needed to create these products.
Forbes speaks with Charles Thorngren, CEO of Noble Alternative Investments, about XRP.
» BOTTOM LINE: Spreading Startup Love
February is often considered the month of love so we felt it was only proper to spread some affection and highlight a few favorite startups that have our hearts fluttering. Our valentines this year consist of fintech players seeking to bring resurgence to their respected verticals and change the status quo, but most importantly their service offerings are unique and provide true value to end users.
Brain Corp, a Qualcomm Ventures-funded robotics company based in San Diego, was seeking brand visibility to support several new product launches and a 2017 funding round. Specifically, Brain Corp wanted to be recognized as the company that builds artificial brains for robots and self-driving vehicles, not as a company that builds robots. Brain Corp asked KCD PR to quickly advance that message to key technology and business reporters prior to the company’s announcement of its partnership with a national retailer.

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