By @SimonCocking Great interview with April Rudin Global Wealth U/HNW marketing firm. Compliant content = social + digital strategies. HuffPost blogger. Likes:

Business Showcase : TheRudinGroup

What is your background briefly? 

I began work in technology in the late 80s at Kelly Services, a workplace staffing company that has its global headquarters in Detroit, Michigan. Kelly Services invented the “temporary help industry,” and the majority of its business at the time was providing office help, mainly typists. However, then the first wave of technology disruption happened: Word processors such as Wang and the IBM PC with Microsoft Word quickly replaced typewriters and so threatened Kelly’s business. To help Kelly evolve, my team and I located technology that was flexible and low-cost, and more importantly could mimic a variety of systems; thus, it could be standard across all branches globally. We created endorsements and partnerships with Microsoft, IBM, Wordstar (for you oldies!), and many others including Lotus 123. We even partnered with a “start-up” that I had found at a trade show; this was a unique type of partnership between a technology firm and human resources firm. It was the beginning of what I see now as “everyone is a tech-company.”

Is it a logical progression to what you do now?

Yes, but in a roundabout way, just like everyone’s career path. Most of my early skills and experience were in technology and marketing, two fields in which I still am heavily involved. However, since around 2005, I branched out into financial services and began my own entrepreneurial journey in 2008.

What are you excited about?

I am excited about the opportunities for financial services firms who can pivot their service offerings to a more digital interface, and do so iteratively, as digital innovation is not “one and done.” Financial services firms, including banks, must understand that customers are more digital, global, and mobile. This is particularly the case with high-net-worth (HNW) customers, but it’s not limited to wealthy or to millennials.

What trends do you see coming; in wealth/wealthtech?

In wealth, there is a massive wealth transfer underway, with $30 trillion transferring from Baby Boomers to the heirs, including Generation X and Millennials. Wealth is also being created at a much younger age due to increased entrepreneurship. This wealth transfer is a huge opportunity for wealth managers as the vast majority of inheritors are expected to change advisors, use digital products, and buy alternative investments. To capture this wealth, firms need to discover their own value props, identify the clients whom they can work with best, and target their services to those cohorts of clients.

What is NextGen? 

Broadly speaking, NextGen is the next gen of investors, so they are target customers for many financial services products. NextGen ranges from Gen X (born 1965 to 1980) to Gen Y/Millennials (born 1981 to 2000).

Do you see a reduction in weekly hours worked by people or rather that some people will remain busy / working, while others have less work due to automation?

I think that automation will not have an impact on the hours worked, so much as the skills needed by the new workforce. Newer technology will automate some functions, thus leaving more time for other functions that require a human touch or personal interface.

Has fintech already evolved into a series of more specific types of technology?

Personally, I don’t like the term “fintech,” as it is so broad; it can mean almost any technology that is used in financial services, which makes it too diluted to be meaningful. For instance, it’s not useful for the industry to have “fintech” conferences, encompassing everything from digital payments to onboarding software to roboadvising, as these are all a far cry from each other yet they are all categorized in “fintech.” I think that we will see terms like that going away, when we realize that it’s unnecessary, even redundant, to add “tech” to everything in financial services.

What should we have asked you / anything you’d like to add?

Women are going to be the future inheritors of wealth, well before millennials, as they live longer than men. In fact, a 2009 study from Boston College’s Center on Wealth and Philanthropy predicted that women will inherit 70% of the money that gets passed down over the next two generations.

Where do you get your sources of information and inspiration?

I receive much of inspiration and insight from my two millennial sons and their friends. I also am fortunate to travel and meet many people who are inspiring to me! I think speaking to many people is key to gaining new perspectives and growing your network, as well as the most important way of staying fresh and inspired!

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