Monthly Archives: September 2015

Category: Client Forum, Conferences and Events

2015 Client Forum – Day Two Recap


If you missed the Client Forum day one recap, read it here.

attendees-on-terraceDay two of the Client Forum was not to be missed. The agenda was set to cover two of the most important topics in the industry – compliance and cybersecurity.

After opening remarks from Terry Metzger, Boston Financial President and CEO, a panel of compliance experts took the stage for a session titled Compliance Matters. Participants included:

  • Jeff Morton, Partner & Co-Founder, ACA
  • Craig Hollis, Chief Compliance Officer, Boston Financial
  • Joe Melcher, Chief Compliance Officer, Hartford Funds
  • Tamara Salmon, Senior Associate Counsel, Investment Company Institute

The group shared their perspectives on a number of different regulatory topics including transparency, liquidity management, risk management, and state escheatment. They also provided great insights into current areas of focus for the SEC.

The next and final session of the event was Cybersecurity: Getting Ready for the Inevitable. Boston Financial CTO, Mike Rizzo, took the podium to introduce the topic. He explained that the increasingly complex environment that we operate in has made it difficult to detect who the bad guys are. We have to operate under the possibility that there will most likely be a breach and we should mitigate risk through information sharing and improved detection. He then introduced Don Ainslie, Vice President, Security, Privacy and Risk, DST Systems.

Ainslie spoke from the DST/Boston Financial enterprise perspective. Throughout his presentation, Ainslie stressed that clients want more engagement from us and we want engagement from them, as well. He expressed that we need to dig deeper into what we can do collectively. He talked about the nature of the threats that are out there and the fact that cyber breaches are a global issue. He also discussed the investments being made by DST and the overall organization and some of the new approaches to risk management.

Following the cybersecurity session, Terry Metzger closed out the event and thanked everyone for their attendance. The 2015 Client Forum was a great success. Over the next few weeks we’ll be hearing from attendees and sharing more in depth insights at some of the sessions right here on the Perspectives blog.

Category: Client Forum

2015 Client Forum – Day One Recap


BFCF-in-lightsYesterday Boston Financial clients gathered at the Peninsula Hotel in Chicago for a full day of speakers and discussions. The day started bright and early with several Best Practice Sessions. Attendees had the opportunity to join one of the following breakout sessions:

  • Let’s Discuss Your Top 3 to 5 Compliance issues with Greg Barner, Software Development Manager at DST, and Craig Hollis, Chief Compliance Officer at Boston Financial.
  • Revolutionizing Business Collaboration and Communication Through Social Platforms with Julia Binder, Head of Strategic Marketing Research at kasina, and Jessica Perkins, Relationship Manager at Boston Financial.
  • Addressing Financial and Gender Folklore with Sean Fullerton CFA, Senior Research Analyst at State Street’s Center for Applied Research.

Following the Best Practice Sessions, attendees gathered in the main ballroom for opening remarks from Boston Financial President and CEO, Terry Metzger.

Erica Dhawan, Founder and CEO, Cotential, was the first speaker of the day. Dhawan spoke about the concepts of her book Get Big Things Done: The Power of Connectional Intelligence. She explained why Connectional Intelligence matters:

  • Creates informal knowledge networks
  • Accelerates client relationships through greater interaction and information exchange
  • Increases cross selling ideas and opportunities within and across business units
  • Drives long term value creation by tapping broader ecosystems of client and other stakeholders

As Dhawan continued, she explained that we are all connectors. At the end of her talk she gave attendees three practical ways to be connectors and bring Connectional Intelligence back to their companies:

  • Build your employees Connectional Intelligence knowledge base through Accelerated ConnectednessTM
  • Invest in enabling technology structure for scalable and replicable execution
  • Build leadership and executive support


Next at the podium was Greg Valliere, Chief Political Strategist, Potomac Research Group Holdings, Inc. In his talk, The Washington Effect, Valliere shared his views on the pre-election climate in Washington. He touched upon monetary policy, federal interest rates, and shared his views on the upcoming presidential election.

After a break for lunch, Gunjan Kedia, Executive Vice President, State Street Corporation, took the stage for a talk on Putting Creative Thinking Into Action. She explained that innovation requires creative thinking and that you should keep an eye out at all times for innovation opportunities. She shared some of State Street’s innovation strategies which includes expanding their footprint and keeping automation and technology at the forefront.

Next up was Sean Fullerton CFA, Senior Research Analyst, State Street’s Center for Applied Research. His talk was about gender folklore in our industry. He addressed the question “why are there so few women working in the finance industry?”

  • Asset owners are 22% women and 78% men
  • Asset managers are 20% women and 80% men
  • Intermediaries and consultants are 34% women and 66% men
  • Regulators are 46% women and 54% men

He explained that there is a folklore creating gender disparity. He encouraged attendees to think about what they can do on a day-to-day basis to increase diversity in their business.

Mid-afternoon, Daniel Cross, Vice President, Customer Engagement, Applied Analytics Group at DST Systems, provided insights on creating connections through data. He gave a good set of recommendations for putting data analytics in your firm:

  • Keep it simple to start
  • Target known and well defined business metrics
  • Identify drivers – test the known – detect the unknown
  • Keep an eye on context
  • Leverage what you can change and plan for the future

The day closed out with two engaging panel discussions. Optimizing the Customer and Intermediary Experience was moderated by Cheryl Kananowicz, Vice President, DST Systems. Panel participants talked about why it is important to ensure consumers – shareholders and intermediaries – have the optimal customer experience.


The second panel discussion was based around PwC’s whitepaper on the evolution of the mutual fund transfer agent. It was moderated by Nicholas D’Angelo, Director, PWC and featured a group on industry experts who shares their perspectives on how transfer agents must adapt and find new ways to bring value to the funds they serve.

There is still more to come today. We’ll be back tomorrow with a recap of day two! In the meantime, follow the event Tagboard for photos and session highlights.

Read the Client Forum day two recap here.

Category: Client Forum, Social Media

Live Streaming from the 2015 Client Forum


The 2015 Boston Financial Client Forum is just days away! This weekend attendees will be headed to Chicago and the event will kickoff Sunday evening.

Every year we try to extend the value of the Client Forum by shperiscope-logoaring the content with a wider audience. This is typically done through Twitter and blog posts, but this year, we have a new way for you to participate. We will be live streaming exclusive content on the app Periscope throughout the event! There are a few ways to access the Periscope broadcasts…

  1. Follow Boston Financial on Periscope – Download the Periscope app on your phone and search for Boston Financial or @BFClients and follow us. When you do this our broadcasts from the event will show up on the app home feed.
  2. Follow @BFClients on Twitter – Periscope will automatically send a Tweet to the @BFClients account when we go live with each broadcast. If you click on the link from a computer you can watch them there. If you click on the link from your phone you will be redirected to watch in the Periscope app.

Each broadcast will be available for 24 hours before it is gone for good so make sure you follow along!

Category: Client Forum, Conferences and Events, Social Media

Why Social Technology is Essential for Workforce Collaboration


“What’s the best way to talk about the impact of inflation on this fund’s performance?” “Which logo do I use on the presentation on this investment strategy?” “Who needs to be involved in addressing the new requirements of this distributor?” At leading firms, these questions are posed not via email or in a phone call, but using enterprise social collaboration software like IBM Connections, Jive and SAP Jam. The social functionality embedded in these platforms opens old-style one-to-one business conversations to more employees, enabling them to learn, solve problems more easily, help customers quickly, and get work done more efficiently. At its core, social collaboration enables companies to unlock the experience, passion, and knowledge of their employees to gain greater competitive advantage.

Unlocking Institutional Expertise

We live in a business world where customer reviews, comments, and ratings are pervasive. At leading firms, the use of social business technology to make institutional expertise accessible encourages the previously silent expert who won’t speak up in a meeting, to post a salient comment on a query that helps solve a customer problem. It forges new relationships, like when a user in one business line shared presentation files from an industry conference with a colleague in another business line who wasn’t able to attend. It is reflected in the better price a firm was able to negotiate with a vendor because more business unit leaders committed to using an application they learned about in an internal videoconference.

Addressing Challenges to Enterprise-Wide Collaboration

JB-Graphickasina’s research shows that 2 of 3 firms have some form of enterprise collaboration technology in place, like SharePoint, Sitrion or Chatter. But many have at least one of 3 challenges that prevent them from opening the conversations and flattening the hierarchies that allow customers to be better serviced, and ideas for improvement and innovation to flourish.

  1. They aren’t leveraging the social aspect of technologies that integrate activity streams like Twitter, offer the ability to find and follow experts like LinkedIn, and allow users to provide recommendations and comments like Facebook.
  2. They lack mass adoption by employees because platforms haven’t been universally deployed, or technologies are unsuitable for their needs. kasina’s research shows that employees at 1 in 3 firms find the technology inconvenient to use.
  3. Their executives aren’t making enterprise-wide use a business imperative. At nearly half of firms, lack of executive use is a top reason why implementation of enterprise collaboration tools is unsuccessful.

We’ll be talking about practical ways to address these challenges at Boston Financial’s Client Forum including:

  • Increasing executive use
  • Gaining critical mass
  • Managing the community
  • Communicating outcomes

Being a social business is rapidly becoming a necessity in this era of unprecedented need for speed in identifying market trends, anticipating customer needs, and solving customer problems. A listening leadership, an enthusiastic workforce, and a culture that is committed to collaboration are essential to competing effectively. Businesses that have successfully integrated social collaboration technologies throughout their enterprises are better positioned to make full use of workforce expertise and drive organizational growth.

Category: Client Forum, Conferences and Events

Solving Problems with Connectional Intelligence


ThinkstockPhotos-466850679 [Converted]A few weeks ago Anne Hebard-Duduch shared her summer reading list suggestion; Get Big Things Done by 2015 Boston Financial Client Forum speaker Erica Dhawan. The topic of Connectional Intelligence piqued my interest and I wanted to see what it was all about…

I did what I usually do when a topic interests me; I went straight to Google. The first thing I found was, ironically, a talk Dhawan gave to Google employees earlier this year. I have to admit that she almost lost me when she brought up one of my least favorite buzz-words, millennials, but I quickly realized that her views on the subject line up with mine when at the beginning of her talk she stated “most of the characteristics we perceive as unique to millennials are not actually unique to millennials.”

Dhawan debunked some myths commonly associated with millennials. However, she recognized that there are things that are unique about the future work mindset that are manifested by millennials, but ultimately used by all generations in the workforce today. One of those things is Connectional Intelligence.

Dhawan defines Connectional Intelligence as “the ability to combine knowledge, ambition, and human capital, forcing connections on a global scale that create unprecedented value and meaning.” Connectional Intelligence is not a new concept. Groundbreakers from Marie Curie to Gandhi have used the principals of Connectional Intelligence to get big things done throughout history. But today the scale, depth, and breadth of our connection is radically different and it is changing the way we operate.

Dhawan shared a story about a leading New York law firm that saw something peculiar happening a few years ago. The millennial associates were billing less hours than ever before. This was concerning because they were giving them more work, not less, and law firms bill by the hours. When they dug deeper into it they found out that they had created their own Twitter network to quickly and efficiently help them solve cases. They used it to ask questions like “I need this legal citation, does anyone know where to find it?” or “Does anyone remember this case from law school?” The firm has since embraced a Twitter at work initiative and teaches associates of all ages how to use social business tools to solve problems.

Many companies are now using social business tools to increase their organization’s Connectional Intelligence. At Boston Financial we use The Hub as our primary communication and collaboration tool. Introducing this tool has added a level of efficiency to the way we work and it has helped us solve problems for clients quickly. This new way of working is not only embraced by the millennial workforce of our company, but by over 80% of employees. The future work mindset spans all generations within our company, reinforcing Dhawan’s point that it is important for senior leaders and emerging leaders to come together to solve problems.

After I finished watching Dhawan’s talk at Google I started to think about the other ways I might be able to use connectional intelligence in my work and personal life. Will I read her book now? Definitely. The book takes a deeper look into the fundamental capabilities of Connectional Intelligence, allows you to identify what kind of connector you are, and includes a number of case study stories. Additionally, if you are attending our Client Forum in a few weeks you will have the opportunity to hear Dhawan speak when she opens the event on September 21.