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The UK is in an official COVID-19 recession after GDP plunged 20.4% in Q2

19 hours 36 min ago  |  Clusterstock

 

  • The United Kingdom has entered a recession for the first time in 11 years due to the coronavirus pandemic's impact on the economy.
  • Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that from April to June, GDP plunged 20.4%
  • The figures marked a second consecutive quarter of contraction, the technical definition of a recession.
  • The economy began to rebound in June after lockdown restrictions were relaxed, but is still in deep trouble.
  • The neighboring Eurozone is also in recession, which was announced in late July.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The UK is in an official recession, the country's statistics authority confirmed on Wednesday.

GDP fell by 20.4% in the second quarter of 2020, the biggest fall on record, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.

The fall marks the second consecutive quarter of retraction, a widely-used definition of a recession.

It is a stark sign of the economic ruin caused the the coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown measures used to combat it.

UK GDP began to contract sharply in late March, when COVID-19 began to spread rapidly in the population, and the government imposed sweeping lockdown measures in response.

Although most of the impact was not registered in the Q1 figures due to the timing, UK GDP still fell 2.2% in Q1 2020, setting the stage for the much sharper fall in Q2.

Statistics released on July 31 from the Eurozone — which includes economies like France, Spain, and Italy — showed that the bloc was also in an official recession, reporting a 12.1% fall in its Q2 GDP.

The US economy too is in recession and has been since February, according to its statistics authority.

As Business Insider reported, the National Bureau of Economic Research declared a recession in early June.

However, the bureau does not use the two-consecutive-quarters definition for recession, and instead counts anything considered to be a "significant decline" in economic output.

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The UK Mobile Banking Competitive Edge Report Preview

21 hours 16 min ago  |  Clusterstock

The second annual edition of The UK Mobile Banking Competitive Edge Report examines which UK banks lead in offering the mobile features customers value most.

Our analysts use research and recommendations solicited from the banks participating in our study to identify mobile banking features that might move the needle in bank selection. We then rank the 10 largest UK banks using a weighted scorecard that assigns each feature a point value based on real customer demand.

The 2020 UK study has been updated with two new categories of features: Alerts and Customer Service. The returning categories have also been refreshed to add innovative capabilities and replace ubiquitous ones. In total, we've upped the total number of new features to 41 from 33 last year.

This report aims to help channel strategists identify the mobile banking features customers most desire and see how they stack up to competitors when it comes to offering those features.

Simply enter your information to learn more about Insider Intelligence Banking research and The UK Mobile Banking Competitive Edge report.

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Steve Cohen's Point72 and other hedge funds are sending urgent requests to find a replacement after Robinhood's data on hot stock trades suddenly went dark

Tue, 08/11/2020 - 7:59pm  |  Clusterstock

  • Point72 has reached out to other trading platforms and investing apps in a hunt for new trading signals, according to people with direct knowledge of the outreach.
  • The requests came just hours after popular trading app Robinhood restricted access to an API that showed what stocks were most popular among its users. 
  • The owner of one website that used the data, robintrack.net, told Bloomberg in June that he'd seen evidence that Point72 and quant hedge fund D.E. Shaw were trying to scrape his data. 
  • Steve Cohen's hedge fund is just one of several hedge funds that have been reaching out in the last 24 hours, one of the people said. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Point72 is among hedge funds scrambling to find alternative data sources after day-trading app Robinhood decided to stop providing data on which stocks are most popular on its platform, according to people with direct knowledge of its outreach. 

Representatives for Point72's market intelligence data team, including Zach Cohen and Kerry Van Name, have been reaching out to other trading platforms and investing apps in search of data partnerships over the past day, according to people with direct knowledge of their efforts.

In one email viewed by Business Insider, the Point72 representatives said their interest in a partnership was "an urgent request." In another conversation recounted by a person who was there, representatives of the $16 billion hedge fund linked their desire for trading data directly to Robinhood's decision to shut down their feed. 

The market-intelligence data team's job is to find and vet thousands of alternative data providers each year. A Point72 spokesperson declined to comment. 

Point72 isn't alone among hedge funds reaching out to other data providers, according to one of the people. Within hours yesterday of a Bloomberg story announcing the closing of robintrack.net, a website founded by Casey Primozic to track Robinhood users' favorite stocks, hedge funds began reaching out, the person said. 

Primozic told Bloomberg in June that he has seen evidence that hedge funds were scraping his data, and he claimed that hedge funds such as Point72 and D.E. Shaw had looked into using his data or getting access to it. Last month, he told Bloomberg Television that hedge funds and other proprietary trading shops were looking to aggregate his data and use it as an input into trading algorithms. 

"I've gotten plenty of emails from hedge funds, prop firms, other financial institutions who are interested in the data," Primozic said in the TV interview.

CNBC reported first reported Robinhood would stop publishing how many clients held a particular stock, citing a Robinhood spokesperson who said the data was often "misconstrued" and "misunderstood." The spokesperson also told the business news website that the company will limit access to its API.

Quantitative hedge funds like Point72 and D.E. Shaw use trading information like what stocks are most popular on Robinhood as inputs into algorithms trained to monitor momentum and volatility strategies. 

Read more: Credit-card data is broken. Here's how hedge funds and banks are being forced to rethink one of the earliest alt-data plays.

Alternative data sets going dark, or becoming less valuable overnight, is a common, albeit frustrating, situation for many hedge funds.

Avast's Jumpshot was permanently shut down due to privacy issues while Envestnet's Yodlee dealt with congressional inquiries. 

"It's a problem, and it's a largely unhedgeable risk," Tammer Kamel, the cofounder and CEO of Quandl, told Business Insider in March

That issue was highlighted recently as the coronavirus pandemic disrupted consumers' spending habits. As a result, credit-card data, one of the older and most-used alternative data sets, was deemed less valuable by some.

Meanwhile, alt-data providers are eager to fill the gap left behind by Robinhood's decision to no longer disclose data.

At least one provider, Thinknum, which scrapes data from the web, is working on a product that will track sentiment amongst retail investors following the developments at Robinhood as well as "multiple client requests," according to a source familiar with the matter.

Another source whose company offers brokerage APIs said they received two separate inquiries on Tuesday regarding their product.

Read more: Execs from Man Group, Bridgewater, and Schonfeld explain how they're trying to blend humans and machines

Robinhood has become the face of a retail-trading frenzy

A Silicon Valley darling, Robinhood has long been the brokerage of choice for first-time investors thanks to its sleek user interface and commission-free trading, a novelty when it first launched in 2013. The app has become the face of a recent day-trading frenzy as the coronavirus has closed sports and casino gambling outlets and left many people at home without their usual entertainment options.

Even as traditional brokerages looked to shed trading commissions in the fall of 2019, Robinhood has still managed to maintain its hold on young investors. The startup has had incredible growth, adding 3 million funded accounts in May alone. It raised $600 million in July at an $8.6 billion valuation.

All of this has come despite some setbacks in 2020. 

In March, amid some of the most volatile days of trading, Robinhood was plagued with outages that locked users out of accounts for days at a time. In June, a 20-year-old college student died by suicide after seeing a negative $730,000 balance on his Robinhood account. 

Vlad Tenev and Baiju Bhatt, cofounders and co-CEOs of the startup, acknowledged the death on the startup's blog and said they were working to improve the customer experience. 

But through it all, Robinhood has managed to continue to grow its platform. On Monday, the startup released daily average revenue trades (DARTs) for the month of June. At 4.31 million, Robinhood beat out the traditional incumbents in the space, topping TD Ameritrade (3.84 million), Interactive Brokers (1.86 million), Charles Schwab (1.8 million), and E-Trade (1.1 million). 

SEE ALSO: Credit-card data is broken. Here's how hedge funds and banks are being forced to rethink one of the earliest alt-data plays.

SEE ALSO: Alt data's Wild West days may be ending as Congress and privacy advocates zero in on the industry. Nearly a dozen insiders tell us how data streams going dark is an 'unhedgeable' risk.

SEE ALSO: A JPMorgan-backed personal finance app catering to children has doubled users this year. Now it's eyeing ways to let kids play the stock market.

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THE MONETIZATION OF OPEN BANKING: How legacy institutions can use open banking to develop new revenue streams, reach more customers, and avoid losing out to neobanks and fintechs

Tue, 08/11/2020 - 7:04pm  |  Clusterstock

Open banking has arrived, and it's transforming the UK's banking landscape — next up could be the world. Regulatory efforts in the UK are transforming retail banking, reshaping incumbents' relationships with customers, and easing entry for fintechs.

Regulators across every continent are responding with actions of their own. Underpinning open banking initiatives is the idea that ownership of transactional data belongs to consumers instead of incumbent financial institutions.

The implications of this change for established lenders in the UK are significant. For those that act, open banking presents substantial revenue-generating opportunities.

But the consequences of inaction are even more severe: Business Insider Intelligence estimates that by 2024, £6.5 billion ($8.4 billion) of UK incumbents' revenues will be under threat of being scooped up by forward-thinking companies like fintechs and neobanks. Yet even through the financial incentives to act are clear, many incumbents are struggling to determine the best path to monetization. In fact, some aren't even sure what their options are.

In The Monetization of Open Banking report, Business Insider Intelligence identifies monetization strategies incumbents have at their disposal, describes how they can determine the best approach for their specific needs, and outlines actionable steps they need to make their chosen open banking initiative successful.  

The companies mentioned in this report are: Allied Irish Bank (AIB), Bank of Ireland, Barclays, Danske Bank, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, Nationwide, RBS Group, and Santander, Monzo, Starling, ING, Yolt, Fidor, BBVA

Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

  • Driven by regulatory action, open banking is transforming the UK's banking landscape, but it's also gaining momentum globally.
  • For incumbents, open banking entails a significant threat to their entrenched position.
  • But for forward-looking banks, there are substantial opportunities for revenue generation, both directly and indirectly.
  • To seize these opportunities — and avoid losing revenue to fintechs and neobanks — it's critical that legacy players focus their efforts in the right direction, including identifying their strategic priorities.

 In full, the report:

  • Details the UK's Open Banking regulation in depth.
  • Forecasts the size of the UK's Open Banking-enabled banking industry over the next five years.
  • Discusses the types of monetization opportunities available for incumbents, as well as non-direct revenue-generation opportunities.  
  • Provides actionable steps on how banks can best determine the best strategic approach from the options available.

Interested in getting the full report? Here are two ways to access it:

  1. Purchase & download the full report from our research store. >> Purchase & Download Now
  2. Subscribe to a Premium pass to Business Insider Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report and more than 250 other expertly researched reports. As an added bonus, you'll also gain access to all future reports and daily newsletters to ensure you stay ahead of the curve and benefit personally and professionally. >> Learn More Now

The choice is yours. But however you decide to acquire this report, you've given yourself a powerful advantage in your understanding of the fast-moving world of fintech.

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THE PAYMENTS ECOSYSTEM: The biggest shifts and trends driving short- and long-term growth and shaping the future of the industry

Tue, 08/11/2020 - 6:05pm  |  Clusterstock

The power dynamics in the payments industry are changing as businesses and consumers shift dollars from cash and checks to digital payment methods. Cards dominate the in-store retail channel, but mobile wallets like Apple Pay are seeing a rapid uptick in usage.

At the same time, e-commerce will chip away at brick-and-mortar retail as smartphones attract a rising share of digital shopping. Digital peer-to-peer (P2P) apps are supplanting cash in the day-to-day lives of users across generations as they become more appealing and useful than ever.

And change is trickling down into bigger industries long-dominated by cash and check, like remittances and business-to-business payments.

In response, providers are scrambling for market share. Skyrocketing consolidation that creates mega-giants is forcing providers to diversify in search of new volume.

New entrants, especially from big tech, are threatening the leads of giants. And as payments become increasingly effortless, new types of fraud are threatening data security and privacy. While demand for richer payments offerings is creating opportunities across the space, it's also leaving the industry in search of ways to adapt to change that is putting trillions in volume and billions in revenue up for grabs.

In this report, Business Insider Intelligence examines the payments ecosystem today, its growth drivers, and where the industry is headed. It begins by tracing the path of an in-store card payment from processing to settlement across the key stakeholders. That process is central to understanding payments, and has changed slowly in the face of disruption.

The report also forecasts growth and defines drivers for key digital payment types through 2024. Finally, it highlights three trends that are changing payments, looking at how disparate factors, such as new market entrants and surging fraud, are sparking change across the ecosystem.

The companies mentioned in this report are: ACI Worldwide, Adyen, Amazon, American Express, Apple, Bank of America, Braintree, Bento for Business, Capital One, Citi, Diebold Nixdorf, Discover, Earthport, Elavon, EVO, Facebook, First Data, Fiserv, FIS, Global Payments, Goldman Sachs, Google, Green Dot, Honda, Ingenico, Intuit, JPMorgan Chase, Kabbage, Macy's, Mastercard, MICROS, MoneyGram, NatWest, NICE, NCR, Oracle, Paymentus, PayPal, Rambus, Remitly, Ria, Samsung, SiriusXM, SF Systems, Square, Stripe, Synchrony Financial, The Clearing House, Target, Tipalti, Toast, Transfast, TSYS, Venmo, Verifone, Vocalink, Visa, Walmart, Wells Fargo, WePay, Western Union, Xoom, Zelle

Here are some of the key takeaways from this report:

  • In-store payment methods are still on the rise in the US, comprising 89% of retail volume this year. Credit and debit cards continue to lead the segment, as cash and check usage slowly ticks downward. But surging contactless penetration is set to bring mobile in-store payments to prominence for the first time in the years ahead.
  • Surging e-commerce will eat away at in-store payments' share of overall retail. PCs will continue to lead the way, but smartphones will inch closer to being the top channel for purchasing, in turn driving growth. At the same time, new payment tools, like voice assistants, wearables, and even cars will begin to give consumers even easier ways to pay.
  • The digitization of payments isn't just contained to retail, though, with mobile P2P payments, digital remittances, and digital business payments continuing to blossom as change spreads through the ecosystem.

In full, the report:

  • Traces the path of an in-store card payment from processing to settlement across key stakeholders.
  • Discusses emerging alternatives to card payments.
  • Examines the shifting role of key categories of providers as the ecosystem digitizes and matures.
  • Forecasts growth in key categories, including in-store payments, e-commerce, mobile P2P payments, remittances, and B2B payments.
  • Identifies three trends set to shape payments in 2020 and evaluates what changes the ecosystem is set to undergo.

Interested in getting the full report? Here's how to get access:

  1. Purchase & download the full report from our research store. >> Purchase & Download Now
  2. Sign up for Payments & Commerce Pro, Business Insider Intelligence's expert product suite keeping you up-to-date on the people, technologies, trends, and companies shaping the future of consumerism, delivered to your inbox 6x a week. >> Get Started
  3. Join thousands of top companies worldwide who trust Business Insider Intelligence for their competitive research needs. >> Inquire About Our Enterprise Memberships
  4. Current subscribers can read the report here.

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UPenn just rolled back return-to-campus plans and is dropping its planned bump in tuition, as more schools reconsider in-person classes

Tue, 08/11/2020 - 5:18pm  |  Clusterstock

  • The University of Pennsylvania is the latest college to roll back its hybrid reopening plan. On Tuesday, it announced a remote fall semester and urged students not to return to Philadelphia for the sake of public health.
  • Less than half of US universities are planning on a return to campus, a number that continues to sink as the number of coronavirus cases continue to soar.
  • Coronavirus cases in Pennsylvania have been trending upward, which is the basis for the university's decision.
  • The university also announced that it will roll back its previously announced tuition increase — making it not the only Ivy League institution to reconsider an in-person semester or a price cut.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The University of Pennsylvania has become the latest college to announce to students that it's canceling on-campus activities this fall for a majority of its undergraduates, after previously announcing a hybrid return to campus. 

The announcement comes as officials in higher education are fearing that reopening college campuses could lead to a spike in coronavirus cases. Many colleges are rolling back decisions to welcome students to campus this fall. Those that are reopening are grappling with how many coronavirus cases would shut them back down again.

"With only very limited exceptions for international students and those students dealing with significant housing or personal hardships, we will not be able to accommodate undergraduate students in University housing," University President Amy Gutmann wrote in a statement posted to the school's website on Tuesday.

Read more: A student-housing developer is facing backlash after pressuring schools to bring college kids back to campus so it could keep its revenues up

The announcement did not address graduate and professional programs, which "will continue to evaluate their own operations," according to the statement. 

The statement cited the "alarming" spread of the coronavirus as the reason.

"The sheer number of students who by Pennsylvania public health recommendation would now upon arrival — or based upon testing or high-risk exposure — need to go into a two-week quarantine is untenable," the statement continued.

The statement also urged students to stay home for the sake of public health: "For the safety of students and the broader community, we are encouraging all other students not to return to Philadelphia."

The UPenn also sent a note early on Tuesday afternoon reiterating the same message of warning to its student body, which was viewed by Business Insider. The university did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.

New coronavirus cases have been trending upward in Pennsylvania in recent weeks

The news from the University of Pennsylvania comes as the outbreak of the coronavirus in Pennsylvania has continued through August. The spread of the virus has generally accelerated through the summer months, with just 356 new Pennsylvania cases recorded on June 1, 636 on July 1, and 888 cases reported on August 1, according to the state's department of health.

See more: College students don't want to return in the fall, and it could cause many universities to collapse

In a statement on Tuesday, Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine called on Pennsylvanians to practice public health measures to combat the spread of the disease.

"The mitigation efforts in place now are essential as the new school year approaches and we work to ensure our children can get back to learning," she said. "Wearing a mask, practicing social distancing and following the requirements set forth in the orders for bars and restaurants, gatherings and telework will help keep our case counts low."

The University of Pennsylvania isn't the only Ivy League school to remain closed this fall — or consider what that means for tuition

Throughout the spring semester, students at higher education institutions nationwide that were unimpressed by online learning called on their schools to reduce tuition fees. In its Tuesday statement, the University of Pennsylvania announced that it would roll back tuition to last year's rate, dropping students' tuition fees by 3.9%, and lowering its "general fee," which funds the schools non-instructional student support services, by 10%.

The baseline cost for attending the University of Pennsylvania is $53,166.

"Housing and dining fees that have been paid by students will be credited or refunded in full," the school's statement added, "consistent with the methodology used in the spring." Most other Ivy League universities also waived room and board where applicable, but many did not alter tuition.

See also: University of Virginia's business school is letting some MBA candidates skip the GMAT. Its head of admissions explains who can ditch the test and how they're evaluating applicants without test scores.

Harvard University announced in July that it would conduct classes remotely, but allow 40% of undergraduates — including freshmen and students without a suitable home learning environment — onto campus for the fall semester. Its tuition is remaining the same. 

Princeton University, similarly to the University of Pennsylvania, just rolled back its plans for a hybrid semester with students on campus. It had also previously announced a 10% tuition cut.

"In brief, the pandemic's impact in New Jersey has led us to conclude that we cannot provide a genuinely meaningful on-campus experience for our undergraduate students this fall in a manner that is respectful of public health concerns and consistent with state regulations," Princeton president Christopher Eisgruber wrote in a message shared to the university's website.

Meanwhile, another Ivy League institution, Cornell, conducted a survey and found that most students would return to Ithaca, N.Y., even if campus remained closed — and decided that reopening, however "counterintuitive," would better protect students and the broader community. Cornell's tuition will maintain the 3.6% rise it announced in March.

Read more:

5 photos from schools that have reopened show a disaster in the making

Colleges are reopening with an asterisk — they're deciding how many coronavirus cases would shut them down again

Inside Jefferies' all-virtual summer internship: 5 weeks of charity work, and guest appearances from the CEOs of Blackstone and Zoom

SEE ALSO: What the top 25 colleges and universities in the US have said about their plans to reopen in fall 2020, from postponing the semester to offering more remote coursework

SEE ALSO: Big investors poured billions into student housing — thinking it was a recession-proof bet. Then the pandemic emptied campuses and turned that thesis on its head.

SEE ALSO: College students don't want to return in the fall, and it could cause many universities to collapse

Join the conversation about this story »

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FINTECH ACCELERATORS: An inside look at top banks' accelerator programs — how they work, what success looks like, and what it means for the future of financial services

Tue, 08/11/2020 - 5:01pm  |  Clusterstock

Accelerators are fixed-term and often cohort-based programs during which an incumbent company, like a financial institution (FI), offers its expertise and guidance to startups, such as fintechs, to help the startups develop their product as well as build their company overall.

While initially introduced by companies with a sole focus on running accelerator programs, banks have entered the fray as the need to introduce new digital financial services has increased. 

By running accelerator programs, banks can benefit from the innovative solutions participating startups can bring to the table — something that's more important than ever as the coronavirus pandemic accelerates digital transformation efforts. Additionally, they get insights into various digital trends to keep tabs on the changing industry. Meanwhile, startups are provided with mentoring and guidance to develop and enhance their products and solutions.

In The Fintech Accelerator Report, Business Insider Intelligence spoke with key figures within the accelerators of top banks — Wells Fargo, Barclays, and Citi — to find out more about how they run their respective programs. We detail how the accelerators provide guidance to help startups develop their solutions, and highlight notable alumni startups from each program to reveal insights on how both fintechs and banks benefit from their participation. Finally, we examine the possible effects of the coronavirus on each accelerator program, and how the banks can still ensure effective programs moving forward.

The companies mentioned in the report include: Alkymi, Ascent RegTech, Bank of England, Barclays, Citi, ChargeAfter, Coinbase, Cover, Cyberwrite, Flux, Kasisto, Lloyds of London, Roostify, Simudyne, Stripe, Techstars, Wells Fargo, Waffle, Y Combinator.

Here are some key takeaways from the report:

  • This report highlights three accelerators from banks — Wells Fargo, Barclays, and Citi — that have successfully run their programs over a number of years. 
  • Wells Fargo's accelerator stands out due to its virtual nature, meaning that participating startups don't have to relocate to a Wells Fargo hub. Participants in the accelerator are chosen based on how they can help streamline the bank's operations, and those that are accepted get access to mentorship and potential funding.
  • Barclays launched its accelerator in partnership with Techstars and runs its program in New York and London. Once selected for the program, startups receive mentorship from Barclays and its partners, funding from the bank, and the potential opportunity to partner with the firm outside of the program.
  • Citi's accelerator was introduced in 2013 in Tel Aviv, Israel, as part of the Citi Innovation Lab. Startups have to go through a process that includes pitch events to be accepted into the program, during which they receive mentorship and help raising funding.

In full, the report:

  • Outlines the benefits of accelerator programs for banks and fintechs.
  • Highlights three particular accelerator programs from top banks.
  • Details what services banks provide participating startups up with to help develop their solutions.
  • Spotlights some notable fintechs that have participated in the banks' accelerators, and how they have benefited from the programs.
  • Discusses how the coronavirus has affected the individual programs, and evaluates how banks have reacted to the pandemic.

Interested in getting the full report? Here's how to get access:

  1. Business Insider Intelligence analyzes the fintech industry and provides in-depth analyst reports, proprietary forecasts, customizable charts, and more. >> Check if your company has BII Enterprise membership access to the full report
  2. Sign up for the Fintech Briefing, Business Insider Intelligence's expert email newsletter tailored for today's (and tomorrow's) decision-makers in the financial services industry, delivered to your inbox 6x a week. >> Get Started
  3. Purchase & download the full report from our research store. >> Purchase & Download Now

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Capital One Venture review: One of the best travel credit cards, with 2x miles on every purchase

Tue, 08/11/2020 - 4:51pm  |  Clusterstock
 Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

 

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky Review: Is the Capital One Venture the best card for you?

The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is a competitive travel rewards card at a moderate price point. While it does carry a $95 annual fee, it offers plenty of value and useful benefits. 

The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card card offers 2 miles per dollar spent on all purchases. You can do better in certain spending categories — such as dining and travel — with other cards, but if you value simplicity, earning 2 miles per dollar on all your spending is a solid solution. 

There are some cards that might give you more value, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card — which also has a $95 annual fee — or the ultra-high-end Platinum Card® from American Express. But to get maximum value out of those cards, you need to transfer your points to partners, which is a bit more involved. With the Venture card, you can redeem miles to wipe travel purchases from your credit card statement, or you can transfer miles to a selection of airline and hotel partners.

Bottom line: If you value ease of use when it comes to earning and redeeming credit card rewards, the Venture could be a great fit. The sign-up bonus is worth at least $500 toward travel, and you can use miles to wipe eligible purchases from your monthly statement. Capital One Venture versus other Capital One credit cards   Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business Annual fee $95 $0 $95 (waived the first year) Rewards rate 2x miles on every purchase 1.25x miles on every purchase 2x miles on every purchase Welcome bonus 50k miles after you spend $3k in the first 3 months from account opening 20k miles after you spend $1k in the first 3 months from account opening 50k miles after you spend $4.5k in the first 3 months from account opening   Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business Capital One Venture versus other travel credit cards   Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card The Platinum Card® from American Express Annual fee $95 $95 $550 Rewards rate 2x miles on every purchase

2x points on travel and dining

5x points on Lyft rides through March 2022

1x on everything else

5x points on flights booked directly with airlines or through Amex Travel 

5x points on prepaid hotels booked through Amex Travel 

1x on everything else

Welcome bonus 50k miles after you spend $3k in the first 3 months from account opening 60k Chase points after you spend $4k in the first 3 months from account opening 60k Amex points after you spend $5k in the first 3 months from account opening   Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card The Platinum Card® from American Express Using Capital One miles

Redeeming miles from the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is easy. Much easier than some competing cards, in fact. Once you make a purchase from any major travel company, you can redeem points to wipe out the charge through a statement credit, which Capital One calls the "Purchase Eraser."

You can book new travel through any airline, hotel, train, cruise, or travel agency and reimburse yourself with miles when the transaction posts. Alternatively, you can book new travel through the Capital One portal, which works a lot like most big travel-booking sites online.

You can also transfer miles to 15 airline frequent flyer partners and two hotel partners. This means Capital One "miles" can be used like transferable points such as American Express Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards — and transferable points can often get you a higher value for your rewards.

You can also use miles for gift cards at the same 1-cent-per-mile rate, but don't use your miles for cash-back redemptions. When you do, you only get half a cent per mile in value, which is just not worth it.

Capital One Venture features

The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card comes with some great benefits, some of which are usually reserved for more premium travel rewards cards like Platinum Card® from American Express. These can help you squeeze even more value out of the Venture card beyond what you get in rewards.

Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit 

The card comes with up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. Global Entry, which fast-tracks your re-entry to the US when you travel abroad, includes PreCheck, so it's the better choice.

Because Global Entry lasts five years, that is a $20 per year value. If you already have a membership, you can use this benefit to pay for someone else's application fee, and you'll still be reimbursed.

Exclusive events

Capital One also offers cardholders access to some exclusive events, VIP packages, and presales for concerts, music festivals, sporting events, and other ticketed events.

Other perks

When you jet off across the world, or over any border, the card charges no foreign transaction fees. Those are often around 3% for lower-tier cards that don't include this benefit.

When you hit the road, this card covers you with some great travel insurance benefits. It includes rental car insurance, travel accident insurance, and a 24-hour emergency assistance number.

The card does not offer purchase protection, but it does come with an automatic extended warranty for eligible purchases.

The benefits are not the very best you can find in the travel rewards card space, but at the $95 annual fee price point they are pretty good and cover the most common needs for frequent travelers. If you want the most comprehensive travel coverage at this point, though, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is worth a closer look. Unlike the Venture card, it offers trip cancellation and interruption insurance that can reimburse you if your travel plans are delayed due to a covered reason.

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card Venture card costs and fees

The main cost of this card is the $95 annual fee. If you don't pay the card off in full every month (you should), it charges variable rate interest, currently a 17.24% to 24.49% variable APR based on your credit. Rates can change at any time.

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Warren Buffett's favorite market indicator soars to 30-month high, signaling global stocks are overpriced

Tue, 08/11/2020 - 4:35pm  |  Clusterstock

  • Warren Buffett's preferred stock-market gauge hit a 30-month high this week, signaling that worldwide equities are overvalued and may be due for a correction.
  • The global version of the "Buffett indicator," which compares the value of the world's stocks to global GDP, zoomed past 100% for the first time since February 2018.
  • The milestone was first spotted by the Welt market analyst Holger Zschaepitz on Twitter.
  • Buffett said in 2001 that when the indicator hit a record high in the months before the dot-com crash, it "should have been a very strong warning signal."
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Warren Buffett's favorite stock-market indicator climbed to a 30-month high this week, suggesting that worldwide stocks are overpriced and that a correction may be around the corner.

The global version of the so-called Buffett indicator passed 100% this week for the first time since February 2018. The milestone was first highlighted by the Welt market analyst Holger Zschaepitz on Twitter.

The gauge takes the combined market capitalizations of publicly traded stocks worldwide and divides it by global gross domestic product. A reading of more than 100% suggests that the global stock market is overvalued relative to the world economy.

Read more: Warren Buffett may have dumped his entire Wells Fargo stake last quarter, finance professor David Kass says

Buffett, the billionaire investor who runs Berkshire Hathaway, praised the indicator in a Fortune magazine article in 2001, describing it as "probably the best single measure of where valuations stand at any given moment."

It "should have been a very strong warning signal" when it soared to a record high in the months before the dot-com bubble burst, he added.

However, the gauge has its fair share of flaws. For example, it compares current stock valuations to GDP in the past quarter, and not all countries provide regular, reliable GDP data.

The indicator's current level underlines the striking gap between sky-high stock valuations and depressed economic growth in countries around the world due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Read more: GOLDMAN SACHS: These 24 single-stock trades can help you make big returns in August as the pandemic creates a wildly unpredictable back-to-school season

Stocks have benefited from aggressive intervention by governments and central banks to bail out companies and shore up markets.

Meanwhile, the global economy has suffered from authorities' efforts to combat the virus, including closing nonessential businesses, restricting travel, and encouraging people to stay at home.

The Buffett indicator for the US also soared to an all-time high during the pandemic — the main US stock indexes have almost fully rebounded from the coronavirus crash earlier this year, while GDP plummeted in the second quarter.

Read more: Billionaire investor Paul Tudor Jones famously earned a 4-year streak of triple-digit returns. Here are the 7 trading rules he lives by after suffering a devastating loss.

Here's the global version of the Buffett indicator:

Read more: Morgan Stanley breaks down 4 reasons why the next stock bull market is just getting underway — and lays out the best investing strategy for taking advantage

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NOW WATCH: July 15 is Tax Day — here's what it's like to do your own taxes for the very first time

Real estate giant CBRE has an 'unparalleled' amount of data. Its tech chief lays out how it's putting it to good use.

Tue, 08/11/2020 - 4:23pm  |  Clusterstock

  • Sandeep Davé became the Chief Digital and Technical Officer at CBRE, the world's largest real estate services firm, in July as the pandemic accelerated real estate technology adoption.
  • Business Insider spoke with Davé about how the pandemic has affected CBRE's use of technology and the promises of what real estate data could do.
  • Davé also walked through how the firm thinks about what technology to buy, build, or partner with.
  • Sign up here to receive updates on all things Innovation Inc.

Data has permeated every part of the real estate value chain, from capital markets to construction, and is influencing how business is done. 

Landlords are even using motion sensors in offices to collect data and monitor social distancing in the workplace.

CBRE, as the largest real estate services firm in the world, has potentially the biggest cache of real estate data out of any company in the world. With the coronavirus accelerating the impact of real estate technology, the data that underpins the technology will inform what the future looks like.  

Sandeep Davé, CBRE's chief digital and technical officer, touted the possibilities of CBRE's unmatched access to real estate data worldwide.

"We operate at a massive scale, we manage 7 billion square feet of real estate and we process over $400 billion in transaction volume," Davé said in an interview with Business Insider. "So we have access to unparalleled data, and we want to continue to mine that data."

Davé, who promoted as the pandemic began to accelerate tech adoption in an industry that was already seeing unprecedented digital change, sat down (virtually) with Business Insider to discuss CBRE's role as a tech advisor during a pandemic, and why we're still in the earliest stages of real estate's data journey.

The promises of data and technology

CBRE and real estate as a whole are still in the early days of where data can take people, said Davé. The challenge isn't so much the collection of data, of which there is plenty, but learning how to use the data in a productive way. 

As of today, the firm monitors data for its clients buildings and aggregates it across the portfolio, using it to track everything from energy usage to health and safety risks. The future of the firm's data selection is closely tied to its advisory focus, choosing what to monitor based on the data's alignment with the client's goals.

Davé described CBRE's approach by comparing it against a common way that data is used. 

"Hey let's create a data lake, and then go fishing, and then we find there's no fish in the lake," Davé said, describing the way data is used when it's not clearly tied to an organization or client's goals. 

Instead, CBRE has made sure to build the tools that their clients need, said Davé. He gave the example of Vantage, CBRE's suite of data analytics tools that can fit a wide range of use cases. These use cases came from actual clients, instead of being dreamt up separately from the company's advisory business.

Read more: Companies need to add contactless-entry tech to safely reopen offices. Here are 7 firms ranging from startups to huge conglomerates that are set for a surge in business.

 This comes as tech has become more essential than ever to landlords, which have seen their bottom lines constricted by the pandemic and economic fallout.

"Our clients have all focused on high-quality service delivery at a low cost and now the standards around the delivery are going up, for example, increased cleaning frequency, and at the same time pressures on costs of the business have increased," Sandeep told Business Insider

In this new world, Davé said that the giant's role hasn't changed, even though we're living through "unprecedented times."

CBRE's place in real estate tech

CBRE's global business is composed, roughly, of a brokerage team that helps companies sell, rent, and buy real estate and a team that works with both landlords and corporations to do everything from property management to advise them on technology to bring into the office space. Davé's role supports both sides of the business. 

After beginning his career as a software engineer, Davé had an 8-year stint as a consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton (later Booz and Company), before becoming Citi's director of global digital strategy in 2012. In that time, Davé learned the importance of learning from one's clients. 

"Often in those interactions, not only do we get to advise our clients on the benefits of our technology but we also learn as to what their pain points are and that in turn informs our own technology roadmap," Davé said. 

The technology roadmap had to adapt to the pandemic, but, other than notable exceptions like temperature sensor technology, Davé said that this mostly meant "an acceleration of trends that were already underway."

A notable example are workplace experience apps, which were becoming increasingly used for their ability to connect office workers to amenities and building information

"Today, workplace experience has been pivoted to safe reentry, the main focus of all of our clients," Davé said. 

These apps are now able to give employees notifications when the building and their office has opened and can connect to access tools and workplace sensors to provide information about what parts of the building are potentially overcrowded. 

Read more: Virtual tours are being hyped as a way for commercial real estate giants like CBRE and JLL to keep deals flowing. Here's a look at how they work — and what factors they can't replace.

Looking for innovation

While CBRE's develops its own products, the firm also acquires externally built technology and partners with other tech firms. Unlike competitor JLL, which has its own JLL Spark venture fund, CBRE doesn't directly invest in tech companies but instead chooses to invest through partners like Fifth Wall Ventures, MetaProp, and Taronga Ventures.

Davé said that the company decides between building, buying, or partnering depending on whether the product is significantly differentiated from what's on the market. If it is, CBRE will build it themselves, or if they need to accelerate going to market they will buy a product.

If the technology is commoditized and offered by multiple companies, CBRE will choose to partner instead. Oftentimes, they source their partners from the venture firms who spend all day sorting through real estate tech startups.

A partnership doesn't always mean working with smaller tech providers, it can also mean working in concert with one of the world's largest tech companies, Microsoft. CBRE and Microsoft have worked together on multiple products, including CBRE's Host workplace experience application that uses Microsoft's Azure digital twin technology to build digital models of workplaces. CBRE's partnership with Microsoft to use digital twin technology was announced in 2018.

SEE ALSO: 10 CEOs from Coldwell Banker, JLL, Cushman Wakefield, and more lay out a post-pandemic future of how we'll buy, build, and use real estate

SEE ALSO: Virtual tours are being hyped as a way for commercial real estate giants like CBRE and JLL to keep deals flowing. Here's a look at how they work — and what factors they can't replace.

SEE ALSO: VergeSense, an office-sensor startup that tracks employees' movements, just nabbed $9 million. From social distancing scores to real-time occupancy alerts, here's its pitch to big companies on its tech.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Why electric planes haven't taken off yet

A leaked memo shows Bank of America's Merrill Lynch is dealing with 'many' violations by financial adviser trainees working from home, so it's paused their reach-outs to new clients (BAC)

Tue, 08/11/2020 - 3:44pm  |  Clusterstock

  • Merrill Lynch Wealth Management recently temporarily paused its financial adviser trainees' abilities to contact potential new clients after there were outreach-related violations. 
  • An internal memo showed the business told adviser trainees in late July it was pausing that outreach and instating mandatory training around best practices for soliciting new business.
  • A separate memo sent to some Merrill employees on Monday said the temporary policy came as a result of "many violations across the organization."
  • The new guidance comes as financial advisers-in-training are stuck at home without traditional ways of meeting clients, and sprawling firms like Merrill have scrambled to adjust to the unprecedented complications of mass remote work.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Bank of America's wealth manager recently prohibited its financial advisers-in-training from reaching out to prospective new clients, cutting off a crucial way of bringing in new business for adviser candidates as in-person events and meetings were eliminated during the pandemic.

The reason for Merrill Lynch Wealth Management's temporary pause was "many" outreach-related violations across the organization, according to an internal memo seen by Business Insider that was sent from a market executive to a group of Merrill employees on Monday. 

The manager's memo also encouraged some full-fledged financial advisers to participate in re-training sessions the business is holding around procedures related to call lists and other outreach protocols. The memo did not outline what violations occurred or how many were recorded. 

"We consistently review our policies, procedures and controls for potential enhancements, including with respect to call screening, in order to comply with regulatory requirements," a Merrill Lynch spokesperson told Business Insider. 

"We're continually monitoring activity for compliance with outbound communication policies and procedures and, as with all policies, we take appropriate action for non-compliance," the spokesperson added, and declined to comment on specific employees' situations.

The pause in outreach to potential new clients came as the firm's some 3,000 financial advisers-in-training are stuck at home without traditional ways of meeting new clients, like networking events, and sprawling businesses like Merrill Lynch have scrambled to adjust to the unprecedented complications of mass remote work.

National Financial Advisor Development Program (FADP) Performance Executive Jennifer MacPhee said in a July 31 email that for several weeks, trainees are not allowed to make outbound calls or reach out to prospective new clients in other ways, like over LinkedIn.

They are expected to focus instead on new mandatory training sessions around best practices and technology used when reaching out to potential new clients, as well as servicing existing clients, MacPhee wrote, according to a memo Business Insider reviewed. 

Read more: A financial-adviser retirement wave that could put trillions of assets in play is kicking into high gear thanks to the pandemic. Here's how firms are tackling the handover crisis.

The industry publication OnWallStreet first reported the pause in trainees' outbound interactions. 

"Shortly after the reeducation sessions, we will reach out to inform you when outbound prospecting activities are reinstituted," MacPhee wrote. 

MacPhee also included in her initial guidance that Merrill would ease or freeze trainees' various goals in accordance with the outbound contact pausing so that their performance hurdles would not be negatively impacted.

The trouble with cold reach-outs

Across the wealth management industry, cold-calling and outreach to strangers has long been a way to acquire new clients who need help with their finances.

Reaching out to prospective clients must be compliant, though, and sometimes reaching out to someone who may be on a "do not call" list, for instance, could land an adviser in trouble. The Federal Trade Commission administers such a list. 

Three advisers left Merrill last fall after allegations that they improperly solicited prospective clients in violation of the firm's policy, according to an AdvisorHub report that cited BrokerCheck records.

In 2015, the firm paid $400,000 as part of a settlement with the New Hampshire Bureau of Securities Regulation over allegations it improperly tried to solicited people by contacting people on do-not-call lists. At the time, a Merrill spokesperson told InvestmentNews the business strengthened its relevant internal controls. 

Read more: LEAKED MEMO: Bank of America sent 3.2 million mistaken emails about fraud claims to customers including Merrill Lynch and private bank clients, sparking a surge in calls from worried customers

Changes to the training program throughout the pandemic

The FADP is a rigorous, ultra-competitive 3-1/2-year-long program that brings in novices and trains them up to be full-service advisers. It's also the wealth manager's primary pool of adviser talent and a major engine of growth as it's largely stopped hiring experienced financial advisers from competitors.

As the wider wealth management industry grapples with a retirement crisis that has far fewer younger people entering the business than exiting or retiring, Merrill Lynch and its wirehouse competitors have focused on robust training programs to source new talent. 

The program has gone through several shifts throughout the COVID-19 pandemic this year.

Read more: Bank of America has made at least 45 hires this year for an aggressive push into the red hot — and super competitive — business of courting corporate HR execs. Here's why it's betting on the space.

In early April, as the US federal government's Paycheck Protection Program was in full swing, the business shifted some 650 advisers-in-training over from their typical duties to assist with consumer and small business customers in other areas of the bank.

Later in April, the FADP paused interviews for trainees applying to enter the program as it adjusted to remote work, and the company said in July it resumed interviews.

Merrill Lynch reported $2.4 trillion in client assets under management as of June 30. 

Got a tip? Contact this reporter on the encrypted app Signal at (631) 901-5340, or via email at rungarino@businessinsider.com or rungarino@protonmail.com. 

SEE ALSO: Morgan Stanley, UBS, and Merrill Lynch execs explain how to nab a spot in their next-gen adviser programs and make it through the ultra-competitive, years-long training process

SEE ALSO: Bank of America has made at least 45 hires this year for an aggressive push into the red hot — and super competitive — business of courting corporate HR execs. Here's why it's betting on the space.

SEE ALSO: Merrill Lynch has restarted hiring for its ultra-competitive 3,000-person financial advisor trainee program after hitting pause for months amid the pandemic

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Why electric planes haven't taken off yet

We're tracking which top law firms are delaying their first-year associate classes. Here's what you need to know about new start dates, pay, and benefits so far.

Tue, 08/11/2020 - 3:29pm  |  Clusterstock

  • Top law firms are pushing back start dates for their incoming first years amid postponed or cancelled bar examinations and ongoing health concerns due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Many firms are providing stipends, loans or other forms of financial compensation to their associate classes.
  • Here's everything we know about how top law firms are looking at their fall first-year classes. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

With no near end to the coronavirus pandemic in sight, many major law firms like Kirkland & Ellis, Jones Day and Paul Weiss are pushing back their start dates for incoming first-year associates.

The situation is fluid and firms are actively monitoring developments on how to proceed with their new fall classes.

As coronavirus counts continue to rise in most of the country, states are delaying, moving online or cancelling their bar examinations. These exams are required for new attorneys to obtain the official license to practice law. The uncertainty surrounding when law school graduates can take the bar is upending many plans to start their careers as lawyers, as previously reported by Business Insider.

Nearly half of the 167 schools that participated in a recent survey by the National Association for Law Placement reported that some of their Class of 2020 graduates had their employment offers rescinded. The majority of the rescinded offers — 87 percent — were in private practice.

For the most part, though, it seems that law firms are sticking with their offers, even if start dates may be delayed.

"None of this is ideal, but I think that the firms have really done their best to honor their commitments to the graduates and to our students," said Eduardo Peñalver, dean of the Cornell Law School, in a phone interview.

Business Insider has been collecting information about the fall classes to keep tabs on which firms are doing what.

Here's what we know so far:

Barnes & Thornburg

Usual fall start date: September 8, 2020
Delayed until:
October 12, 2020

Barnes & Thornburg will have 14 associates in five US offices. As its new start date falls just a month after its original date, Sarah L. Evenson, the firm's director of law school programs, told Business Insider that it will not be providing financial compensation.

Kirkland & Ellis

Usual fall start date: n/a
Delayed until: October 19, 2020

Kirkland is preparing for an in-person start, according to a source familiar with the firm's plans. If one or more offices are unable to begin in-person, they will switch to virtual onboarding. 

Latham & Watkins

Usual fall start date: n/a
Delayed until: Choice of either October 26 or November 30, 2020

Latham will welcome 189 new associates across 13 offices in the U.S., Hong Kong, and London, a firm spokeswoman told Business Insider.

Stikeman Elliott

Usual fall start date: September (start dates differ by location)
Delayed until: October 2020

Stikeman Elliott will welcome over 30 new associates in the latter half of 2020 across its Canadian offices and more into 2021, due to differing provincial start dates. The firm said that some Canadian offices have delayed starts, while others have welcomed associates on scheduled dates. The decision to have associates work remotely will be made closer to their start dates, and be based on firm developments in response to the situation.

Jones Day

Usual fall start date: Last week of October 
Delayed until: November 9, 2020

Jones Day said that it will be welcoming 160 new associates across 18 US offices. Its November start date falls within a few weeks of its usual start date, which shifts from year to year. The firm is aiming to have its first-year class start in-person, though this is subject to COVID developments.

Mayer Brown

Original fall start date: October 2020
Delayed until: January 2021

Mayer Brown will have 55 new associates in its US offices. A spokesperson for the firm told Business Insider that it will provide a $5,000 monthly stipend for three months starting in October in addition to its usual $10,000 summer stipend. It will also cover the cost of premiums for medical and related insurance programs in that postponement period. The delay to the start date was first reported by Reuters.

Hogan Lovells

Original fall start date: End of September 2020
Delayed until: January 2021

Hogan Lovells has hired 70 entry-level associates and judicial clerks in their 10 US offices. Irena McGrath, the firm's chief recruitment officer, said that the firm is providing an undisclosed stipend to associates. The delay to the start date was first reported by Reuters.

Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders

Usual fall start date: Late September
Delayed until: January 2021

Troutman Pepper, which recently underwent a merger between the two law firms Troutman Sanders and Pepper Hamilton earlier this year, will invite 56 entry-level associates across 16 US offices. A firm spokesperson said it is offering financial assistance, as well as the opportunity to enroll in the firm's health insurance, starting in the fall as compensation for the delay. 

Fox Rothschild

Original fall start date: Late September 2020
Delayed until: January 2021

Fox Rothschild will have 27 first-year associates begin work in January, assigned to 18 of its 27 offices, all of which are now open, with remote work expected to remain an option at the current time. The firm told Business Insider that it provided a stipend in June, covering bar exam and study costs.  

Reed Smith

Usual fall start date: September 14, 2020
Delayed until:
January 11, 2021

Reed Smith has hired 51 associates in their 11 US offices. Casey Ryan, the firm's global chair of recruiting, said that it is offering two stipends in June and September and is also covering bar exam and study costs. It is also offering to cover health insurance costs for the deferral period, as well as a pre-employment loan to help with living expenses during the deferral period. It did not specify the stipend amounts. The delay was first reported by Reuters

White & Case

Usual fall start date: September/October
Delayed until:
January 11, 2021 or March 8, 2021

White & Case will welcome 106 new associates across its 8 US offices in early 2021. The firm said that it is providing its incoming associates with additional financial assistance by way of a stipend and an optional additional salary advance. This financial assistance is in addition to the firm's financial incentive package already provided to the incoming class, which includes relocation reimbursement, bar exam fees, bar review courses, and a salary advance.

Ropes & Gray

Original fall start date: n/a
Delayed until: January 20, 2021

Ropes & Gray confirmed with Business Insider that it will be providing incoming first years with a $10,000 stipend in October. The first-year associates also have the option of joining the firm's health and dental plan as of October 20, and the cost of coverage will be paid by the firm.

Baker McKenzie

Original fall start date: September 14, 2020
Delayed until: January 25, 2021

Baker McKenzie said that it will have 38 incoming associates across nine US offices. It is offering a loan for deferred associates to cover any expenses incurred leading up to the new start date. The delay to the start date was first reported by Bloomberg Law.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison

Usual fall start date: September
Delayed until: Not confirmed yet

Paul Weiss has confirmed with Business Insider that it's hired 112 first years for its New York and DC offices and that it intends to delay its start date. A source familiar with the firm's plans said it has not announced a new start date. 

Stipends and alleviating stress

Law firms generally have transitioned smoothly to online, remote work, said Thomas O'Donnell, division director of Parker + Lynch, a legal recruiting company. This gives firms the confidence that their associates can be onboarded and work at a high standard despite working from home.

In the meantime, some firms with delayed start dates are providing stipends, health insurance, or loans for their incoming first years. In the aftermath of the 2008 US financial crisis, many big law firms who similarly pushed start dates to January or the fall of 2010 offered compensation to their first-year associates, O'Donnell explained.

These stipends ranged from $10,000 to $20,000 for January 2010 start dates and $60,000 to $80,000 for later fall 2010 start dates, he said. 

Read more: We talked to 6 legal recruiters about the top hiring trends at major law firms if you're thinking of making a move in the middle of the recession

Aside from ensuring their incoming associates have some financial assistance, law firms should also be as proactive as possible with their communications, said Sarah L. Evenson, director of law school programs at Barnes & Thornburg.

Typically after their summer associate programs, students who get return offers don't receive much extra communication until they're ready to start their full-time positions.

"This summer in particular, we've been really taking a more proactive measure and making sure they feel connected to the firm," Evenson said.

"It's already stressful enough going through the bar exam, but with all of this uncertainty going on… it's so much additional stress on them. We really want to make sure that they know we care about them, and that we want to support them in whatever way we can to help them through these uncertain times."

SEE ALSO: We talked to 6 legal recruiters about the top hiring trends at major law firms if you're thinking of making a move in the middle of the recession

SEE ALSO: No Yankees games, schmoozing, or steak dinners. Here's what summer associates at Big Law firms can expect this summer.

SEE ALSO: Peloton rides, beer by mail, and bouncy castles: Here's how Big Law partners are getting and keeping clients during a pandemic

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: July 15 is Tax Day — here's what it's like to do your own taxes for the very first time

We're seeking nominations for the 2020 Rising Stars of Wall Street — here's how to apply

Tue, 08/11/2020 - 3:17pm  |  Clusterstock

  • Business Insider is putting together a power list of the young talent on Wall Street in 2020.
  • We want to hear from you on the individuals that have been rising above the ranks and standing out in the worlds of investment banking, investing as well as sales and trading. 
  • Please submit your ideas through this form or by getting in touch with Michelle Abrego at mabrego@businessinsider.com by August 14th. 

We're seeking nominations for Business Insider's list of rising stars on Wall Street, and we want to hear from you. 

Submit your suggestions below or via this form.

We're looking for the leaders of tomorrow, those making notable contributions or accomplishments and setting themselves apart from their class in investment banking, investing, and sales and trading. 

In the past, we've had people with a variety of roles and experiences from companies including Apollo Global Management, Blackstone, Goldman Sachs, BlackRock, and the New York Stock Exchange. Take a look at our 2019 list here.

Criteria and methodology

Our selection criteria: We ask that nominees be 35 or under, based in the US, and stand out from their peers. Editors make the final decisions.

Please make your submission below or through this form by August 14th to have your selection considered for the list. Please be as specific as possible in your submission.

Please email Michelle Abrego at mabrego@businessinsider.com with any questions or issues submitting your nominations.

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NOW WATCH: What makes 'Parasite' so shocking is the twist that happens in a 10-minute sequence

These are the winning strategies for AI in banking

Tue, 08/11/2020 - 3:00pm  |  Clusterstock

Artificial intelligence (AI) applications are estimated to save banks $447 billion by 2023, and front- and middle-office AI improvements could represent more than 90% of these savings.

Leveraging AI tools like chatbots, voice assistants, and personalized insights can transform the customer experience by enabling frictionless, 24/7 interactions. Additionally, in middle-office banking, AI can be used to improve anti-money laundering efficiency and payments fraud prevention.

A recent OpenText survey found that 80% of banks are highly aware of the potential benefits presented by AI, but much fewer have taken the dive into implementation. When mindfully executed, AI can enable cost cuts, risk mitigation, and a better user experience, but what does winning execution look like?

In the Winning Strategies for AI in Banking report, Business Insider Intelligence looks at several effective strategies used to capture AI's potential in banking, and details how financial institutions like Citi and US Bank have successfully implemented some of these strategies.

This exclusive report can be yours for FREE today.

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Sign up for the Chart of the Day Newsletter

Tue, 08/11/2020 - 2:52pm  |  Clusterstock

Each day, the Insider Intelligence team puts together a chart packed with data and key statistics on the biggest trends in today’s most disruptive industries. The subscription also includes eMarketer FYI—partner webinar announcements, whitepaper offers, best practices guides and research briefs.

Simply enter your email address to receive our new Chart of the Day newsletter right to your inbox each weekday!

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The rise and fall of Elizabeth Holmes, the Theranos founder whose federal fraud trial is delayed until 2021

Tue, 08/11/2020 - 2:14pm  |  Clusterstock

  • Elizabeth Holmes dropped out of Stanford University at 19 to start blood-testing startup Theranos, and grew the company to a valuation of $9 billion.
  • But it all came crashing down when the shortcomings and inaccuracies of the company's technology were exposed, and Theranos and Holmes were charged with "massive fraud." 
  • If convicted, Holmes could face up to 20 years in prison. A California judge initially set an August 2020 start date for the federal trial, but the case has been delayed until March 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

In 2014, blood-testing startup Theranos and its founder, Elizabeth Holmes, were on top of the world.

Back then, Theranos was a revolutionary idea thought up by a woman hailed as a genius who styled herself as a female Steve Jobs. Holmes was the world's youngest female self-made billionaire, and Theranos was one of Silicon Valley's unicorn startups, valued at an estimated $9 billion. 

But then it all came crashing down.

The shortcomings and inaccuracies of Theranos's technology were exposed, along with the role Holmes played in covering it all up. Holmes was ousted as CEO and charged with "massive fraud," and the company was forced to close its labs and testing centers, ultimately shuttering operations altogether.

If convicted, Holmes faces up to 20 years in prison. As she awaits trial, Holmes has reportedly found the time to get engaged — and married — to a hotel heir named Billy Evans.

Holmes' trial was initially scheduled to start in August, but the trial has been delayed until March 2021 at the earliest due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, it's likely the trial will continued to be delayed.

This is how Holmes went from precocious child, to ambitious Stanford dropout, to an embattled startup founder charged with fraud: 

SEE ALSO: 'Predatory' companies like Monat and Mary Kay are using memes and coronavirus anxiety to target millions of newly unemployed Americans

Elizabeth Holmes was born on February 3, 1984 in Washington, D.C. Her mom, Noel, was a Congressional committee staffer, and her dad, Christian Holmes, worked for Enron before moving to government agencies like USAID.

Source: Elizabeth Holmes/TwitterCNN, Vanity Fair



Holmes' family moved when she was young, from Washington, D.C. to Houston.

Source: Fortune



When she was 7, Holmes tried to invent her own time machine, filling up an entire notebook with detailed engineering drawings. At the age of 9, Holmes told relatives she wanted to be a billionaire when she grew up. Her relatives described her as saying it with the "utmost seriousness and determination."

Source: CBS News, Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup



Holmes had an "intense competitive streak" from a young age. She often played Monopoly with her younger brother and cousin, and she would insist on playing until the end, collecting the houses and hotels until she won. If Holmes was losing, she would often storm off. More than once, she ran directly through a screen on the door.

Source: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup



It was during high school that Holmes developed her work ethic, often staying up late to study. She quickly became a straight-A student, and even started her own business: she sold C++ compilers, a type of software that translates computer code, to Chinese schools.

Source: Fortune, Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup



Holmes started taking Mandarin lessons, and part-way through high school, talked her way into being accepted by Stanford University’s summer program, which culminated in a trip to Beijing.

Source: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup



Inspired by her great-great-grandfather Christian Holmes, a surgeon, Holmes decided she wanted to go into medicine. But she discovered early on that she was terrified of needles. Later, she said this influenced her to start Theranos.

Source: San Francisco Business Times



Holmes went to Stanford to study chemical engineering. When she was a freshman, she became a "president's scholar," an honor which came with a $3,000 stipend to go toward a research project.

Source: Fortune



Holmes spent the summer after her freshman year interning at the Genome Institute in Singapore. She got the job partly because she spoke Mandarin.

Source: Fortune



As a sophomore, Holmes went to one of her professors, Channing Robertson, and said: "Let's start a company." With his blessing, she founded Real-Time Cures, later changing the company's name to Theranos. Thanks to a typo, early employees’ paychecks actually said "Real-Time Curses."

Source: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup



Holmes soon filed a patent application for a "medical device for analyte monitoring and drug delivery," a wearable device that would administer medication, monitor patients' blood, and adjust the dosage as needed.

Source: Fortune, US Patent Office



By the next semester, Holmes had dropped out of Stanford altogether, and was working on Theranos in the basement of a college house.

Source: Wall Street Journal



Theranos's business model was based around the idea that it could run blood tests, using proprietary technology that required only a finger pinprick and a small amount of blood. Holmes said the tests would be able to detect medical conditions like cancer and high cholesterol.

Source: Wall Street Journal



Holmes started raising money for Theranos from prominent investors like Oracle founder Larry Ellison and Tim Draper, the father of a childhood friend and the founder of prominent VC firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson. Theranos raised more than $700 million, and Draper has continued to defend Holmes.

Source: SEC, Crunchbase



Holmes took investors' money on the condition that she wouldn't have to reveal how Theranos' technology worked. Plus, she would have final say over everything having to do with the company.

Source: Vanity Fair



That obsession with secrecy extended to every aspect of Theranos. For the first decade Holmes spent building her company, Theranos operated in stealth mode. She even took three former Theranos employees to court, claiming they had misused Theranos trade secrets.

Source: San Francisco Business Times



Holmes' attitude toward secrecy and running a company was borrowed from a Silicon Valley hero of hers: former Apple CEO Steve Jobs. Holmes started dressing in black turtlenecks like Jobs, decorated her office with his favorite furniture, and like Jobs, never took vacations.

Source: Vanity Fair



Even Holmes's uncharacteristically deep voice may have been part of a carefully crafted image intended to help her fit in in the male-dominated business world. In ABC's podcast on Holmes called "The Dropout," former Theranos employees said the CEO sometimes "fell out of character," particularly after drinking, and would speak in a higher voice.

Source: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup, The Cut



Holmes was a demanding boss, and wanted her employees to work as hard as she did. She had her assistants track when employees arrived and left each day. To encourage people to work longer hours, she started having dinner catered to the office around 8 p.m. each night.

Source: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup



More behind-the-scenes footage of what life was like at Theranos was revealed in leaked videos obtained by the team behind the HBO documentary "The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley." The more than 100 hours of footage showed Holmes walking around the office, scenes from company parties, speeches from Holmes and Balwani, and Holmes dancing to "U Can't Touch This" by MC Hammer.

Source: Business Insider



Shortly after Holmes dropped out of Stanford at age 19, she began dating Theranos president and COO Sunny Balwani, who was 20 years her senior. The two met during Holmes' third year in Stanford’s summer Mandarin program, the summer before she went to college. She was bullied by some of the other students, and Balwani had come to her aid.

Source: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup



Balwani became Holmes' No. 2 at Theranos despite having little experience. He was said to be a bully, and often tracked his employees' whereabouts. Holmes and Balwani eventually broke up in spring 2016 when Holmes pushed him out of the company.

Source: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup



In 2008, the Theranos board decided to remove Holmes as CEO in favor of someone more experienced. But over the course of a two-hour meeting, Holmes convinced them to let her stay in charge of her company.

Source: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup



As Theranos started to rake in millions of funding, Holmes became the subject of media attention and acclaim in the tech world. She graced the covers of Fortune and Forbes, gave a TED Talk, and spoke on panels with Bill Clinton and Alibaba's Jack Ma.

Source: Vanity Fair



Theranos quickly began securing outside partnerships. Capital Blue Cross and Cleveland Clinic signed on to offer Theranos tests to their patients, and Walgreens made a deal to open Theranos testing centers in their stores. Theranos also formed a secret partnership with Safeway worth $350 million.

Source: Wired, Business Insider



In 2011, Holmes hired her younger brother, Christian, to work at Theranos, although he didn’t have a medical or science background. Christian Holmes spent his early days at Theranos reading about sports online and recruiting his Duke University fraternity brothers to join the company. People dubbed Holmes and his crew the "Frat Pack" and "Therabros."

Source: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup



At one point, Holmes was the world's youngest self-made female billionaire with a net worth of around $4.5 billion.

Source: Forbes



Holmes was obsessed with security at Theranos. She asked anyone who visited the company’s headquarters to sign non-disclosure agreements before being allowed in the building, and had security guards escort visitors everywhere — even to the bathroom.

 

Holmes hired bodyguards to drive her around in a black Audi sedan. Her nickname was "Eagle One." The windows in her office had bulletproof glass.

Source: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup



Around the same time, questions were being raised about Theranos' technology. Ian Gibbons — chief scientist at Theranos and one of the company's first hires — warned Holmes that the tests weren't ready for the public to take, and that there were inaccuracies in the technology. Outside scientists began voicing their concerns about Theranos, too.

Source: Vanity Fair, Business Insider



By August 2015, the FDA began investigating Theranos, and regulators from the government body that oversees laboratories found "major inaccuracies" in the testing Theranos was doing on patients.

Source: Vanity Fair



By October 2015, Wall Street Journal reporter John Carreyrou published his investigation into Theranos's struggles with its technology. Carreyrou's reporting sparked the beginning of the company's downward spiral.

Source: Wall Street Journal



Carreyrou found that Theranos' blood-testing machine, named Edison, couldn't give accurate results, so Theranos was running its samples through the same machines used by traditional blood-testing companies.

Source: Wall Street Journal



Holmes appeared on CNBC's "Mad Money" shortly after the WSJ published its story to defend herself and Theranos. "This is what happens when you work to change things, and first they think you're crazy, then they fight you, and then all of a sudden you change the world," Holmes said.

Source: CNBC



By 2016, the FDA, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and SEC were all looking into Theranos.

Source: Wall Street Journal, Wired



In July 2016, Holmes was banned from the lab-testing industry for two years. By October, Theranos had shut down its lab operations and wellness centers.

Source: Business Insider



In March 2018, Theranos, Holmes, and Balwani were charged with "massive fraud" by the SEC. Holmes agreed to give up financial and voting control of the company, pay a $500,000 fine, and return 18.9 million shares of Theranos stock. She also isn't allowed to be the director or officer of a publicly traded company for 10 years.

Source: Business Insider



Despite the charges, Holmes was allowed to stay on as CEO of Theranos, since it's a private company. The company had been hanging on by a thread, and Holmes wrote to investors asking for more money to save Theranos. "In light of where we are, this is no easy ask," Holmes wrote.

Source: Business Insider



In Theranos' final days, Holmes reportedly got a Siberian husky puppy named Balto that she brought into the office. However, the dog wasn't potty trained, and would go to the bathroom inside the company's office and during meetings.

Source: Vanity Fair



In June 2018, Theranos announced that Holmes was stepping down as CEO. On the same day, the Department of Justice announced that a federal grand jury had charged Holmes, along with Balwani, with nine counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Source: Business InsiderCNBC




Theranos sent an email to shareholders in September 2018 announcing that the company was shutting down. Theranos reportedly said it planned to spend the next few months repaying creditors with its remaining resources.

Source: Wall Street Journal



Around the time Theranos' time was coming to an end, Holmes made her first public appearance alongside William "Billy" Evans, a 27-year-old heir to a hospitality property management company in California. The two reportedly first met in 2017, and were seen together in 2018 at Burning Man, the art festival in the Nevada desert.

Source: Daily Mail



Holmes is said to wear Evans' MIT "signet ring" on a chain around her neck, and the couple reportedly posts photos "professing their love for each other" on a private Instagram account. Evans' parents are reportedly "flabbergasted" at their son's decision to marry Holmes.

Tweet Embed:
//twitter.com/mims/statuses/1098642159085834240?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
For everyone asking about Holmes's social media. It's private. But here are a few screenshots of her and her fiancé we found online. (I personally find it crazy that she's being charged with 11 felony counts, thousands of people's lives were harmed, and she's as happy as can be.) pic.twitter.com/6nYfjltLt4

Source: Vanity Fair, New York Post



It's unclear where Holmes and Evans currently reside, but they were previously living in a $5,000-a-month apartment in San Francisco until April 2019. The apartment was located just a few blocks from one of the city's top tourist attractions, the famously crooked block of Lombard Street.

Source: Business Insider



It was later reported that Holmes and Evans got engaged in early 2019, then married in June in a secretive wedding ceremony. Former Theranos employees were reportedly not invited to the wedding, according to Vanity Fair.

Source: Vanity Fair, New York Post



Holmes and Balwani are now awaiting federal trial, although their cases have since been separated. If convicted, Holmes and Balwani could each face up to 20 years in prison and a more than $2.7 million fine, the US government has said.

Source: Department of Justice, Business Insider



Besides the criminal case, Holmes is also involved in a number of civil lawsuits, including one in Arizona brought on by former Theranos patients over inaccurate blood tests. The lawyers representing her in the Arizona case said in late 2019 they hadn't been paid over a year, and asked to be removed from Holmes' legal team.

Source: Business Insider



Holmes' lawyers in the federal case have been trying to get the government's entire case thrown out. Holmes recently caught a break after some — but not all — of the charges were dropped, because a judge ruled that some patients didn't suffer financial loss.

Source: Business Insider



Amid the coronavirus outbreak, Holmes' lawyers asked in April the federal judge to deem the case "essential" so the defense team could defy lockdown orders and continue to travel and meet face-to-face. The judge said he was "taken aback by the defense's pleas to violate lockdown.

Source: Business Insider

 



It soon become clear that the pandemic — and the health risks associated with assembling a trial — would make the July trial date unrealistic. Through hearings held on Zoom, the presiding judge initially pushed the trial back to October, and has since pushed it until March 2021 at the earliest.

Source: Business Insider

Maya Kosoff contributed to an earlier version of this story. 



We've been tracking big hires and exits across Wall Street. Here's a look at 2020's must-know people moves and recruiting trends.

Tue, 08/11/2020 - 2:07pm  |  Clusterstock

There's been a mad dash for talent as Wall Street firms quickly overhauled their 2020 playbooks.

Equity and debt trading have surged as a result of the financial turmoil caused by the coronavirus outbreak. Hedge fund managers are responding to investors' expectations to outperform amid the chaos by aggressively hiring experts to fine-tune their strategies. 

While many banks pledged not to cut jobs during the pandemic, it is expected those guarantees will wear off soon. While upper-middle-management roles might be at risk, firms are likely to want to hold on to senior executives and bankers in hopes of an eventual rebound in business. 

The upheaval of normal life due to the pandemic has also put a huge focus on digitalization, accelerating plans for firms across industries to upgrade or build out new tech. 

Here's a roundup of some of the biggest appointments, exits, and hiring initiatives across the world of finance:

Trading 

Trader moves have been happening left and right. 

Banking

Banks have been busy hiring for different initiatives, from chief marketing officers to teams to build out tech projects. Dealmakers have also reshuffled to lean into hot coverage areas. 

Private equity  Hedge funds

There's been a shuffle of quant leadership in at big-name shops in recent months, as firms rethink their data plays while the markets are upside down. They're also hiring in hot areas like bond trading. 

Wealth 

Wells Fargo has been shaking up its wealth management leadership team, including finding a new head who previously oversaw JP Morgan's adviser unit. 

Cloud providers

Google and IMB  have been bringing on Wall Street talent in order to attract more clients from the finance sector to their cloud services.

SEE ALSO: Here's who's most at risk once Wall Street kicks off the tidal wave of layoffs many banks had put on pause

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: What makes 'Parasite' so shocking is the twist that happens in a 10-minute sequence

These 5 banks offer the most sought-after mobile features in the US

Tue, 08/11/2020 - 2:03pm  |  Clusterstock

This is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. This report is exclusively available to enterprise subscribers. To learn more about getting access to this report, email Senior Account Executive Haydn Melia at hmelia@businessinsider.com, or inquire about our enterprise memberships.

Citibank, USAA, BBVA USA, Bank of America, and NFCU lead the US market in offering the most in-demand mobile features in 2019, according to Business Insider Intelligence's third annual US Mobile Banking Competitive Edge Study. 

Mobile is a pivotal banking channel and a vital driver of how customers choose banks, according to our study, which found that 79% of respondents use the channel. Respondents were selected to closely align with the US general population on the criteria of age (18-73), gender, and income. Of respondents who use mobile banking, 38% selected the channel as one of the top three factors they'd consider when choosing a bank — making it the third-ranking answer, edging out online banking, rates, and proximity to ATMs. 

To help banks attract and retain the large base of mobile-oriented customers, our 2019 US Mobile Banking Competitive Edge Study selected 37 sought-after mobile banking capabilities — 18 of which were added to the study this year — and ranked them according to how valuable 2,000 respondents said they are. Next, we determined which of the top 20 US banks and credit unions lead in offering the mobile banking features customers crave.

For more info about the report, use the form at the bottom of the post.

Here are the leaders in supporting sought-after mobile banking tools:

1st: Citibank cemented its reputation as an innovation leader. The bank earned the top spot for a second consecutive year thanks to its broad suite of in-demand mobile banking features. This year, Citi redesigned its app to boost convenience, adding "smart shortcuts" that simplify access to regularly used features. Other new tools introduced include alert enablement when customers withdraw cash from an ATM or receive credit from a merchant, and new credit card activation directly from the account dashboard. Citi also led in the "customer service" category. 

  • Score: 84/100
  • Rank in 2018: 1st

2nd: USAA excelled in security and account management. The military bank offers a robust mobile feature set that includes rare tools, such as the ability to view the status of a card transaction dispute, set spending limits, and get alerts via push notifications that customers can respond to. Further, as a bank with no branches, it focuses on better serving its users on mobile, offering the option to converse with either a human agent via chat or a conversational AI assistant in the app. Taking second place overall, USAA tied for first in the "security and control" and "account management" categories.

  • Score: 82/100
  • Rank in 2018: 3rd (+1 place)

3rd: BBVA USA jumped from ninth to third place. Amid its ongoing digital transformation, BBVA USA focused on building out greater money management capabilities: For instance, users can now transfer money from their credit card to their checking, savings, or money market account, as well as enable push notifications and redeem rewards with each qualifying credit card purchase. The bank tied for first in the "account management" and "transfers" sections by offering poorly supported category tools, such as the ability to change a debit card PIN and send money to people abroad.

  • Score: 78/100
  • Rank in 2018: 9th (+6 places)

4th: Bank of America led in digital money management. To better serve its 29 million active mobile banking users, the bank maintained a rapid pace of feature development over the last year, while in October it unveiled a redesigned app aiming to enhance the user experience with greater ease and convenience. Fresh capabilities include improvements to Erica, the bank's virtual assistant, like new notifications that enable easy enrollment by informing users when balances are trending low. Erica also now offers proactive insights and guidance to help customers stay on top of their finances. 

  • Score: 67/100
  • Rank in 2018: 5th (+1 place)

5th: NFCU set a high bar for sought-after alerts features. The credit union simplified the user experience on mobile through updates that enabled a number of new features, especially within the "alerts" section. NFCU customers can now enable a slew of new alerts, including notifications for daily and low balances as well as deposits and withdrawals. These can be recieved via any combination of push notification, text, or email. 

  • Score: 66/100
  • Rank in 2018: 4th (-1 place)

Business Insider Intelligence's Mobile Banking Competitive Edge Study ranks banks according to the strength of their mobile offerings and offers analysis on what banks need to do to win and retain customers. The study is based on a September benchmark of what features the 20 top US banks offer, and a survey of 2,000 US mobile banking users on the importance of 37 cutting-edge features in choosing a bank. The survey was conducted using the Attest Consumer Growth Platform, and fielded during August and September 2019 to a sample closely aligned with the US population on the criteria of age (for those between 18 and 73), gender, and income.  

The full report will be available to Business Insider Intelligence enterprise clients in December. The Mobile Banking Competitive Edge study includes: Ally, Bank of America, BB&T, BBVA Compass, BMO Harris, Capital One, Chase, Citibank, Fifth Third, HSBC, KeyBank, Navy Federal Credit Union, PNC, Regions, SunTrust, TD, Union Bank, US Bank, USAA, and Wells Fargo.

To learn more about getting access to this report, email Senior Account Executive Haydn Melia at hmelia@businessinsider.com, or inquire about our enterprise memberships.

Join the conversation about this story »

POWER PLAYERS: Meet 11 American Express execs leading the card giant's digital payments and small-business lending push

Tue, 08/11/2020 - 1:07pm  |  Clusterstock

  • The adoption of digital payments has taken off amid the coronavirus pandemic, as consumers look to avoid cash.
  • American Express, both a card network and credit issuer, is riding the digital wave with products like contactless cards, partnerships with players like Venmo, and QR codes to pay.
  • And now, the card giant is eyeing an acquisition of small business lender Kabbage, according to Bloomberg.
  • From fraud monitoring to credit decisioning to exploring new ways to pay, here are the 11 power players leading Amex's digital push.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

While the adoption of digital payments has been increasing for some time, the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated consumers' move toward non-cash options when it comes time to pay. 

And this move away from cash is good news for card companies like American Express. 

In an effort to capture that non-cash spend, Amex is pushing more digital payments options, like contactless cards, mobile wallets, and QR codes to pay.

It's also moving beyond cards with partnerships to help facilitate more transactions. In 2019, Amex expanded its partnership with Paypal to offer its customers the ability to send Venmo requests when they want to split bills on the Amex app.

And whereas Mastercard and Visa offer payment rails, but partner with banks like Chase and Wells Fargo to issue consumer credit, Amex manages it all themselves.

Amex lends to both consumers and businesses. And now, it's eyeing an acquisition of small business lender Kabbage, according to Bloomberg. The deal would amplify Amex's ability to reach smaller, local retailers.

Read more: POWER PLAYERS: Meet the 8 PayPal execs shaping the payment giant's future as its stock rockets to record highs and e-commerce surges

Luke Gebb, head of Amex Digital Labs, told Business Insider it's an important distinction that separates the card giant from its rivals, especially when looking to collaborate with tech companies moving into the payments space.

"Having the end-to-end data set is really big and really important for a lot of the things that we do," he said. "It also gives us a different angle when we're working with a player like Apple or Amazon," Gebb said. 

"We hear that we're able to move faster, because Visa needs to show up with Chase, and we can show up with two parts of American Express," he added.

See more: POWER PLAYERS: Meet the 12 key execs driving Shopify, the breakout e-commerce star that's inking partnerships with Walmart and Facebook and seen its stock price triple since March

Having data on both the transaction side and the consumer behavior side is helpful, especially when thinking about targeted consumer offers like rewards, said Gebb.

From fraud prevention to credit decisions and building new ways to pay, here are the 11 execs driving every aspect of Amex's digital payments strategy.

SEE ALSO: POWER PLAYERS: Meet the 8 PayPal execs shaping the payment giant's future as its stock rockets to record highs and e-commerce surges

SEE ALSO: Payments giants like PayPal and Amex are making hundreds of startup bets to transform how we shop and pay — and it's part of a $1 billion-plus wave of VC investment

SEE ALSO: One-click checkout startup Fast used this pitch deck to nab $20 million from investors like fintech giant Stripe. Here's a look at its vision for taking on Apple Pay.

Raff Breaks, senior vice president of enterprise digital member experiences

Breaks is responsible for card members' digital experiences at Amex, from managing the firm's mobile app, to raising awareness of merchants through digital offers and rewards for customers. Breaks oversees Amex's website and all customer communication channels like email and text.

"We're continuing to see significant growth in mobile-app adoption and a lot of that is coming from Millennials and Gen Z," Breaks said.

In its app, Amex has focused on personalization and push notifications to engage with users.

"We know from extensive customer research that our younger customers expect this proactive outreach," she added.

Breaks joined Amex in 2000, and has held several leadership roles across the firm in digital product development, design, and research.



Gina Taylor Cotter, senior vice president and general manager of global business financing

Taylor Cotter oversees the business lending side of Amex, which includes working capital and other financing solutions for small, medium, and large businesses. Taylor Cotter launched Amex's small-business lending product and its supply-chain financing product, Early Pay.

As a digital lender, Amex's business clients are able to apply for credit at any time, not needing to visit bank branches or fill out piles of paperwork.

"Our team focuses on serving small, mid, large and global customer's working capital and financing needs with a variety of short-term lending solutions that are digital and 'always-on,'" said Taylor Cotter.

Business financing continues to be one of Amex's fastest growing product lines, Taylor Cotter said.

Taylor Cotter joined Amex in 1997, holding several leadership roles, many of which centered around Amex's business clients.



Danielle Crop, senior vice president and chief data officer

As chief data officer, Crop oversees the use, management, and storage of Amex's data for all its consumer and business customers. Crop manages an internal platform called Customer 360°, which provides a global view into all of Amex's customer relationships and product usage.

"The range of opportunities for businesses to use data will continue to rapidly multiply, and I see two important trends as a result," said Crop.

The first is an increased importance of managing data with a focus on consumer trust, as well as evolving government regulations, she said. 

The second, Crop said, is "a race to unlock the potential of these data-powered growth opportunities through such things as open banking services for consumers and businesses."

Crop joined Amex in 2001, and became chief data officer in February.



Tina Eide, senior vice president of global fraud and credit bust out (CBO) risk management

Eide is responsible for Amex's fraud prevention strategy across its entire business. She's led machine-learning efforts that can detect fraud at the point of sale, and predict fraud before it happens. For over a decade, Amex has had the lowest fraud rates in the credit-card industry, according to a recent Nilson report.

And as more spending moves online, managing fraud becomes more complex. Fraudsters look to steal personal information at scale online, and their tactics have become more sophisticated with social engineering (like phishing) and bot technology.

"While the sophistication and scale to which organized criminals operate has steadily evolved over the years, we've been able to outpace them," Eide said.

There is a team of over 1,200 employees at Amex who manage and monitor these risks globally.

Eide joined Amex in 1998, working in international risk management.

 



Luke Gebb, senior vice president of Amex Digital Labs

As head of Amex Digital Labs, Gebb leads Amex's innovation efforts. From QR code payments to artificial intelligence and open banking, Amex Digital Labs' 150 employees work with different parts of Amex's business to deliver on innovation projects.

Gebb oversees initiatives around emerging payments, like contactless cards and QR codes, as well as different customer-experience projects, like enabling an Amazon Alexa integration where users can make payments and check their balances.

"We are meant to drive innovation on behalf of all business units," said Gebb.

Often that means partnering with other leadership to deliver on specific projects.

Gebb joined Amex in 1994, briefly leaving in 2000 to work with e-commerce startup ClickTheButton.com. Gebb rejoined Amex in 2002, starting Amex Digital Labs in 2017.



Priscilla Kam, senior vice president of global strategy & capabilities

Kam oversees the strategy and development of products and platforms at Amex. Focused on new forms of digital payments, Kam leads Amex's rollout of contactless payments and the industry-wide  Click to Pay product, launched in collaboration with Discover, Mastercard, and Visa.

The US has lagged other markets like the UK and Australia in adoption of contactless payments. But amid the coronavirus pandemic, consumers are increasingly looking for touch-free ways to pay, both online and in-store. 

"These new payment habits are likely to have sticking power – not only are more U.S. customers using contactless, but more are saying that it's becoming their preferred form of payment," said Kam. "Early signs are indicating that COVID-19 may be the accelerator for contactless adoption in the US."

Kam joined Amex in 2004, leading various marketing, operations, and business strategy efforts before moving into her current role in 2018.

Read more: Rivals Visa, Mastercard, Amex, and Discover are partnering up for one-click checkouts to compete with the likes of Apple Pay and PayPal as e-commerce booms



Ben Leventhal, CEO of Resy, part of the American Express Global Dining Network

Leventhal is the CEO of Resy, which was acquired by Amex last year. In June, it launched Resy At Home, where restaurants can set up take-out offerings like multi-course meals and grocery boxes.

In late June, Amex announced a new small-business initiative where its customers can earn credits for shopping at small businesses, which extends to restaurants on Resy's platform. And Resy has launched products like mobile waitlists for restaurants.

"Innovation will be critical in rebuilding the restaurant industry," Leventhal said. "We are also exploring tools related to contactless menus, takeout, delivery and more."

Leventhal cofounded Resy in 2014, and is also the cofounder of food publication Eater.com.



Stacy Poritzky, vice president of partnership marketing and global consumer services group

Poritzky is responsible for Amex's co-branded programs, including Delta, Hilton, and Marriott. In addition to overseeing Amex's existing co-brand relationships, Poritzky is also responsible for acquiring prospective partners.

"When the pandemic hit, we saw a shift in how our card members were spending as they adapted to new ways of living and working from home," Poritzky said. 

With travel effectively halted, the typical rewards Amex offers on these co-branded cards, like frequent flier miles, became less relevant. So Amex introduced new rewards targeted toward things like restaurant take-out and grocery shopping.

Amex also has an API through which it can link partners' platforms with its own, ensuring consumers see consistent messaging, whether interacting with Amex's website or booking travel through an Amex partner like Delta.

Poritzky joined Amex in 2000, and currently leads various digital marketing efforts across its U.S. co-brand partners, like Delta, Hilton and Marriott.

 



Erich Ringewald, senior vice president and chief technology architect

As chief technology architect, Ringewald is responsible for Amex's internal tech and software strategy. Ringewald has been leading an initiative called "One Amex," an open-source approach uniting Amex's tech into a more standardized platform.

For many financial institutions, legacy and disjointed tech stacks can be a drag on efficiency and innovation.

"Prior to One Amex, our many digital experiences were created using unrelated tech stacks," said Ringewald. "Interoperability was almost non-existent; small changes in design were slow and expensive to implement; and customizing experiences for different markets was complex. With One Amex, that has changed."

Ringewald joined Amex in 2012, having previously spent time at tech giants Apple and Amazon.



Harshul Sanghi, senior vice president and global head of Amex Ventures

Sanghi leads Amex Ventures, the firm's venture investing arm. With over 60 portfolio companies, including Better.com, Instacart, and Stripe, Amex Ventures typically invests in early stage startups. And often, Amex will form business partnerships with its portfolio companies.

While some may see disruptive fintechs as a threat to institutions like Amex, Sanghi says that partnership is necessary as the future of payments evolve. Two-thirds of Amex Ventures' portfolio companies, like Stripe and Better.com, also have business relationships with Amex. 

"The success of Stripe, one of our Amex Ventures portfolio companies, has been due in part to its ability to process payments on networks such as American Express," Sanghi said. "In the same vein, Stripe has brought tremendous innovation to the merchant acquiring and payment processing sector, which is a mature industry."

Sanghi joined Amex Ventures in 2011, after leading corporate venture investing at Motorola.

Read more: Payments giants like PayPal and Amex are making hundreds of startup bets to transform how we shop and pay — and it's part of a $1 billion-plus wave of VC investment



Chao Yuan, senior vice president and head of decision science & data strategy

Yuan has global oversight of Amex's credit risk, fraud risk, and regulatory models. Yuan's team is responsible for building out the tech that Amex uses to make credit decisions and limit fraud on its network.

Traditional credit data, like FICO scores, are used by most lenders to make credit decisions. But alternative data, like looking at consumers' bank account activity, has come into the spotlight among lenders.

"Traditional credit data continues to be the most powerful source of data in credit decision making," said Yuan.

"Alternative data, such as a customer providing their bank balance and details about their financial assets, can provide a more complete view of consumer's financial behavior, which means we can make better underwriting and lending decisions."

Yuan joined Amex in 1996 working on the fraud-decision science team.

Have a tip? Contact this reporter via email at sbalogh@businessinsider.com, encrypted messaging app Signal (801-824-5318), or direct message on Twitter @shannen_balogh.

Read more:



Airbnb reportedly plans to confidentially file for an IPO later this month

Tue, 08/11/2020 - 1:01pm  |  Clusterstock

  • Airbnb is reportedly planning to confidentially file its initial public offering paperwork later this month.
  • The company had previously planned to go public this year, but postponed the effort when the onset of the coronavirus crisis crushed its business.
  • Airbnb's business has started to rebound in recent months.
  • The company is under pressure to go public this year, because some of the stock options held by some of its earliest employees are set to expire later this year if they aren't exercised.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

In the course of a few months, Airbnb's initial public offering plans have gone from completely off the rails to apparently solidly back on track.

The online travel giant plans to confidentially file its IPO paperwork later this month, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday. The move could set in motion its long-awaited public markets debut with a potential IPO before the end of the year.

An Airbnb representative declined to comment on the report.

Airbnb had previously been preparing for an IPO this year, but halted the efforts this spring when the onset of the coronavirus pandemic crushed the stock market and shut down travel worldwide, cratering its business. Company CEO Brian Chesky warned that thanks to the epidemic, Airbnb expected its revenue for this year to be less than half what it was last year. To shore up its operations and its cash balance, the company laid off 25% of its staff and hundreds of contract workers, froze its marketing spending, and borrowed $2 billion.

As part of its debt financing, the company agreed to have its valuation slashed from $31 billion to $18 billion.

But Airbnb — along with the stock market — has rebounded in recent months as people have started to take vacations to traditional holiday spots near their homes. By late May, the number of vacation rental bookings — Airbnb's core market — had rebounded by 127% from the nadir the market hit in early April. Meanwhile, Airbnb reported its customers booked 1 million nights worth of reservations on July 8, which marked the first time the company had seen that volume of bookings since March 3. With that kind of wind at his back, Chesky told employees last month that the company had resumed its preparations for an IPO.

Still, it remains to be seen just how much of its business has returned and how public investors will value the company. Even before the pandemic, Airbnb was losing significant amounts of money. Last year, it reportedly lost $674 million on some $4.8 billion in sales.

Airbnb is under some pressure to go public this year. Some of its earliest employees hold stock options that will expire later this year if they are not exercised before then. Options generally can't be exercised unless there's a public market for a company's stock.

It's unclear what method Airbnb will use to go public. Prior to the pandemic, the company was widely reported to be considering going out with a direct listing, a method that is less costly but doesn't allow the company using it to raise money. It's possible Airbnb instead will use the traditional IPO path, which will allow the company itself to raise new cash by selling shares to the public.

Got a tip about Airbnb? Contact Troy Wolverton via email at twolverton@businessinsider.com, message him on Twitter @troywolv, or send him a secure message through Signal at 415.515.5594. You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.

SEE ALSO: Airbnb might not get much of a bounce from the rebound in short-term rentals

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