Key takeaways from last month’s Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) Private Client Conference in Chicago are the subject of the latest industry letter from Ian Russell, president and CEO of the Investment Industry Association of Canada (IIAC).
While the event focused only on the U.S., Russell notes “Canadian firms confront similar demographic and technology trends, and face the same business opportunities and challenges.”
“The baby-boom generation has accumulated record financial assets throughout an extended period of savings and investment,” notes Russell. “This cohort […] is now on the verge of retirement, or has already embarked on it, demanding sophisticated financial and estate tax planning to manage phased retirement plans, finance education for children, meet health-care demands of an elderly parent, arrange for the inter-generational transfer of wealth and meet their philanthropic interests.”
Technology is playing a major role in meeting these needs. “Over the past seven years the U.S. securities industry has invested extensively in technology to facilitate financial and estate planning, improve securities clearing and record keeping,” says Russell.
The conference also addressed a growing worry: cyber attacks. “The frequency and seriousness of cyber attacks has increased dramatically in recent years …. Client funds, confidential client information and access to trading algorithms are vulnerable to computer hacking,” Russell explains.
Read the letter here.