Latest Commentary

Northern Trust readies for potential trickle-down effect of robo-advisory on fund administration

While its large asset manager clients may not have yet entered the robo-advisory space, Northern Trust's global fund services business is already preparing for the increased transparency demands that the robo-advisory trend signals.


Alternative asset managers wrestle with data management in pursuit of institutional assets

Global consulting and auditing firm PwC has predicted that the private equity industry's assets could grow to between $6.5 trillion and $7.4 trillion by 2020, from around $3.5 trillion today. A 2015 survey by the consultancy Towers Watson found that the top ten private equity managers covered in the survey saw investment from pension funds increase by 2.6 percent to $138 billion in 2014.


Morgan Stanley announces 'Project Streamline' as Wall Street boosts profits through cost reduction

As Morgan Stanley announced that it swung to profit last quarter, the firm revealed that it sees expense reductions and efficiencies as key to continued profitability. The firm earned $908 million, or 39 cents a share in the fourth quarter of 2015, compared to a loss of $1.63 billion, or 91 cents a share in the year earlier period, which includes legal settlement costs.


In specialized cross-border payments space, Flywire expands from universities to hospitals

Started as a way to help university students drastically reduce fees associated with cross-border tuition payments, Flywire began partnering with hospitals last year to extend its business model to international patients. The expansion is a sign of both the growth of cross-border payments, and the growing number of choices targeting the parties making those payments.

Will regulatory compliance drive artificial intelligence adoption?

With their vast warehouses of structured and unstructured data, and the competitive pressures they are facing from nimble technology companies, financial firms may seem like prime candidates for artificial intelligence (AI) technology. But another driver may be also attracting firms to AI and cognitive technologies: compliance.


Barclays 'last look' fine adds to FX debate over the practice

Barclays $150 million fine from New York banking regulators last month over alleged misuse of the FX market's "last look" rule is heating up the longstanding debate about the whether the rule helps or hurts foreign exchange trading.


Investment in fintech firms rose 66%, study shows

Investments in financial technology are estimated to reach $20 billion this year, a 66 percent increase over the $12 billion investment reported last year, according to a new study.

LEI codes await new mandates

One of the possible side effects of the expected one-year delay in the implementation of Europe's landmark Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II, is that it may further postpone the industry's incentive to adopt legal entity identifiers as a tool for assessing systemic risk.

Online small business lending prediction: Transparency and refinance in 2016

The small business lending market has undergone major transitions in the past decade, as banks retrenched from the space and a growing number of alternative lenders stepped in to fill the void. But 2016 may see new trends emerging from this altered landscape.

Anti-money laundering challenges may cause retrenchment from correspondent banking, study shows

Anti-money laundering requirements can be costly and challenging to implement in general. In the correspondent banking world, the challenge can be magnified by multiple additional layers of complexity. This complexity has prompted some banks to pull back from correspondent banking, a recent PwC report argues, creating a new phenomenon in the correspondent banking world known as de-risking.