GainX is on a mission to eliminate billions in wasted innovation spending for global financial services companies

Across the innovation landscape, agility matters. Fast innovators are 42% stronger, 27% more disruptive, get new products to market quickly and generate 30% more revenue from those products.[1]  And yet, 90% of CEOs across all industries remain unsatisfied with their year/over/year progress and returns on innovation. They are plagued by a lack visibility across their complex innovation portfolios and processes. This poor transparency translates into billions of dollars in waste and Innovation DragTM across the industry.

Entrepreneur Angelique Mohring founded her company GainX in 2012 after spending two decades as a technology executive, working for large enterprise software organizations such as OpenText.  “After working with Global 1000s for 20+ years as a tech executive and global change agent, I realized I had the skills, passion and expertise to help the world’s biggest businesses better understand and overcome the innovation challenge and finally realize real financial payback from their efforts,” says Angelique.  “I want people to understand that innovation is so more than simply counting ideas. It is about cultural and digital transformation, and it is about producing measurable business impact.”

GainX, a fast-growing leader in the FinTech market (the company will target other sectors but is initially focused on Financial Services) is leading and defining the Innovation Strategy Management (ISM) market, providing financial services companies with the critical bridge between innovation happening at the edge of business and the core enterprise.

“By combining predictive analytics, artificial intelligence, semantic analysis and in-depth behavioural analytics to drive cultural change and improve innovation capacity, our ISM platform ensures creativity and delivery stay in balance, and allows businesses to achieve sustainable market success and drive greater return on innovation investment (ROII). This results in increased productivity, improved employee engagement, greater clarity of vision and reduced risk of in-market failure,” says Mohring.

Recently, GainX released the findings of a benchmark survey it conducted on behalf of the Canadian financial services industry assessing the innovation capacity of Canada’s leading financial services institutions (FSIs). More than 375 executives and employees participated in the analysis, which captured both data and semantic analytics on innovation derived from their respective organizations. More than 27,000 data points were analyzed through the GainX platform, and FSIs were plotted on an innovation maturity curve, measured against the critical gains necessary for innovation and transformation, including strategy and clarity of vision, appetite for risk, digital enablement, culture, and engagement and collaboration.

While the Canadian FS executives and employees surveyed all identified innovation as a top priority, our analysis found that the sector’s capacity to achieve those goals remains limited. 77% of Canadian FSIs surveyed indicated they lacked an integrated innovation process, and only half (51%) believed their organization to be innovative. More than 90% of those surveyed indicated they lacked a clear, actionable digital strategy and effective tools and technology systems, representing significant barriers to innovation and growth.[2]

After joining the Accelerator Centre in 2015, Angelique has been able to drive the business forward, landing key deployments of the GainX platform in several Canadian banks. Thanks to critical AC JumpStart funding made available through FedDev Ontario, she’s also expanding her presence into the US, the UK and other international markets.

“It’s been powerful to be at the Accelerator Centre and to be able to tap into the fantastic network to draw on the resources most needed to help our company grow. The JumpStart funding provided yet another critical stepping-stone in our company’s development and growth.

“We are on the brink of massive change in the innovation market,” says Mohring. “The emergence of artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies will provide a critical catalyst for innovation, by allowing organizations to unburden smart people from administrative tasks, and to put the right people on the right project to accelerate innovation. It is going to be a huge year for GainX, and I’m so excited I could just about explode.”

 

[1] Boston Consulting Group, 10th Annual Survey, Most Innovative Companies 2015

[2] GainX Insights™ benchmark analysis data.

FindBob Helps Canadian Financial Advisors Grow and Protect their Practices

Matchmaker, Matchmaker

Roland Chan is a matchmaker of an entirely different kind. Rather than pairing up lonely hearts, Chan, a serial entrepreneur, technologist and financial advisor, is seeking to help other financial advisors working in the financial services and insurance world find the right match for their book of business with his company FindBob.

“Financial advisors in Canada today are responsible for managing over $1 trillion in wealth. At the average age of 59, many themselves are nearing retirement age, and yet, for all the retirement counsel they give others, more than 80% of financial advisors have no succession plan of their own,” says Chan.

Chan understands the financial service industry very well. He grew up in the business, so to speak. His father established his own successful financial services and insurance practice 26 years ago, and was joined by his son in the business in 2008.

“I began my career as a software architect, but after stepping into the financial services industry to help my father I grew to love the industry and the millions of dollars it puts back into the community and the economy,” says Roland Chan. “There are some terrific people working in the business who have committed their lives to their clients and to educating the public on the best way to build savings and protect wealth.”

Chan also knows too well the consequences of poor succession planning.

“Around the same time I joined the family practice, we had an advisor who had been with the firm for 15 or 16 years pass away suddenly.  He didn’t have a continuity plan to protect his book of business. In financial services, both the firm and the individual own a percentage of recurring revenue flowing in from clients. Because there was no succession plan in place, it took me over a year to transfer the value from that book of business to our advisor’s widow. And unfortunately, by that time, close to 50% of its value had eroded, due to clients moving on and/or or other agents poaching his business.”

It is a story that Chan has heard repeated over and over again through his work in the industry, and as VP of Advocis, the Financial Advisor’s Association of Canada’s, Toronto Chapter. He also learned why advisors were so reluctant to plan for their own future. “Most advisors don’t participate in succession planning not because they expect to live forever, but rather they can’t find an adequate partner, or find the whole process too daunting.  Their firms want to support and encourage them to do so, yet they lack effective and scaleable processes.”

Realizing there was an unmet need for a more effective solution to aid advisors with succession, he decided it was time to put his decades of technology experience to work to build FindBob, a unique marketplace that pairs advisors looking to scale back or retire, with others in the industry (ideally in the same firm) who are looking to enter the industry or expand.

FindBob’s platform has strongly resonated with the financial advisory community. Since becoming a client of the Accelerator Centre in 2015, Roland Chan’s venture has achieved steady market traction. The company is on the brink of closing its fourth Canadian enterprise client, and now represents the largest insurance practices in the country and the second largest trade association for investment and insurance advisors. “We provide real value to these firms,” says Chan. “We help them protect their existing assets, generate new revenue, recruit new talent and meet their fiduciary responsibility to clients. Currently, FindBob is the only platform focused on on assisting financial institutions with internal transitions. Our marketplace is allowing advisors to discover opportunities within their own firm and connect with others seeking to buy, sell, merge or find a successor. “If you are able to move a block of business internally within a single financial institution that achieves the best outcome for advisors, for industry and for client.

To fuel its next stage expansion, FindBob was able to tap into $30,000 in AC JumpStart funding, made possible through FedDev Ontario.

“Obviously getting an injection of non-dilutive money is tremendously helpful,” says Roland Chan. “It allowed me the freedom to hire a person devoted to customer success, a role that creates real value for the company and for our clients.  Thanks to the AC we added a critical non-technical hire, and now Sylvia is our point person on many enterprise engagements.” – Roland Chan

Based in Toronto, Chan travels the Toronto-Waterloo corridor as often as possible to also connect with the Accelerator Centre’s team of mentors.

“From Kevin Elop, who sends me a five page email response to my question; to Kevin Hood who has saved me from jumping off a cliff on 3 or 4 occasions; to Bob Rushby and Steve Fyke who always offers poignant technology and design advice; to Jackie Lauer’s hiring expertise; to Ellyn Winters, who has forced me to focus on inbound marketing and PR – areas that are decidedly not in my comfort area; the mentors have helped me look at my business from many different points of view.” – Roland Chan

ACJumpStart is made possible by and investment from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) and is delivered in partnership with Conestoga College, Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo.

 

In The Chat enables TD to offer customer support through Facebook

John Huehn - AC Client Showcase 2015

TD partners with AC Client to be the first bank in the world to offer customer service through Facebook Messenger

TORONTO, Dec. 22, 2015 /CNW/ – TD Bank Group announced the launch of customer service through Messenger.  Taking comfort and convenience to the next level, TD is the first bank, globally, to offer Messenger as a way of connecting with customers.

“Whether it is in a branch, over the phone, or on your mobile device, the core of what we do is about delivering legendary experiences for our customers and unparalleled convenience and service every single day,” said Theresa McLaughlin, incoming Chief Marketing Officer, TD Bank Group. “We are excited to be able to extend our ability to engage with our customers in a convenient and timely way through Messenger. More than 16 million Canadians use Facebook every day, so it is an important communication platform for us to make a more personal, human connection with our customers.”

We are making it easier than ever for customers to connect with a TD specialist anytime. In 2011, TD was the first bank in Canada to offer customer service 17 hours a day, seven days a week through a dedicated North American Social Customer Service team on Twitter and Facebook. In addition to today’s launch of Messenger, earlier this year TD launched texting as part of Social Customer Service, TD Helps (the TD online advice community) and TD Live Chat on tdcanadatrust.com where customers are able to start a real-time conversation.

“More than 700 million people use Messenger to stay connected to the people and now, businesses, they care about. We’re pleased that TD Bank Group is leading the way in the Financial Services sector, delivering their customers the best way to communicate quickly, conveniently and within context…all inside one of their favourite apps,” said Jordan Banks, Managing Director, Facebook Canada.

“We know Messenger is a popular and widely used platform and this demonstrates our belief in making sure we bring customer service to where our customers are,” added McLaughlin.

Starting today customers can simply open up the Messenger app and search for TD to begin a conversation with our TD live agents between 6:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. ET, seven days a week. This new service is enabled by In the Chat, a digital customer service platform that brings together messaging capabilities with social media, text, chat and emerging mobile channels in a single, convenient solution.

TD will not ask you to provide personal information, or login information such as usernames, passwords, PINs, IdentificationPlus security questions and answers, or account numbers, through Messenger. For more information on TD’s online communication policy please visit us at https://www.td.com/privacy-and-security/privacy-and-security/how-we-protect-you/online-security/onlinepolicy.jsp.

 

About TD Bank Group

The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Group (“TD” or the “Bank”). TD is the sixth largest bank in North America by branches and serves more than 24 million customers in three key businesses operating in a number of locations in financial centres around the globe: Canadian Retail, including TD Canada Trust, TD Auto Finance Canada, TD Wealth (Canada), TD Direct Investing, and TD Insurance; U.S. Retail, including TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank, TD Auto Finance U.S., TD Wealth (U.S.), and an investment in TD Ameritrade; and Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities. TD also ranks among the world’s leading online financial services firms, with approximately 10.2 million active online and mobile customers. TD had CDN$1.1 trillion in assets on October 31, 2015. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades under the symbol “TD” on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges.

SOURCE TD Bank Group

APrivacy to open regional office in Hong Kong

APrivacy-HongKong

APrivacy, formerly I Think Security, has announced plans to expand operations to Hong Kong.

“Hong Kong was a natural choice for us,” said Dr. Cedric Jeannot, APrivacy’s founder and CEO, who travelled to the Asian financial capital to take part in the FinTech Innovation Lab in 2014.

Jeannot has made several trips between Waterloo Region and Hong Kong, with help from the Canadian Digital Media Network’s Soft Landing program, and those visits led to the decision to establish a permanent presence.

“We were exposed to potential clients and came to understand the need for security and compliance in this region,” said Jeannot. “We recognized that setting up an office in Asia would allow us to tap into a large new market.”

APrivacy, which specializes in encryption and tracking technology for financial institutions, will continue to be a Canadian company headquartered in Waterloo Region, where its core research and development operations are located.

“The support of the Canadian Government, and the Accelerator Centre and Communitech incubators in Waterloo, has been vital to our success, and we want to retain a key presence here,” Jeannot said.

Since June, the company has changed names and more than doubled its size, a trend it expects to continue over the coming months.

Its new Hong Kong office will focus on client relations.

Photo: Hong Kong Gets Ready to Party! by Steve Webel is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

AC Grad I Think Security secures spot in the 2014 Fintech Innovation Lab

Waterloo’s I Think Security was founded in 2010 and graduated from the Accelerator Centre program in September of 2013. The company, which was founded by cryptologist and security expert Dr. Cédric Jeannot, has been steadily growing and launching various products aimed to those concerned with data security.

I Think Security has been named one of eight startups to be selected to participate in the upcoming 2014 FinTech Innovation Lab Asia-Pacific. The core focus of the Lab is to assist early stage companies in the financial sector to develop and commercialize new technologies, specifically targeted to the Asia-Pacific region. The initiative was launched by Accenture in June 2014.

According to the Wall Street Journal, I Think Security is considering expanding into the Asia-Pacific market. Apart from I Think Security, the eight companies selected to participate are: Advanced Merchant Payments, AtCipher, Beijing Wecash Wonder Technology, FinSuite, iDGate, Jocata Financial Advisory & Technology Services and QxBranch.

To read the full article click here.

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