Voted #6 on Top 100 Family Business Influencers, most influential expert on Wealth, Legacy, Finance and Investments: Jacoline Loewen LinkedIn Profile

December 9, 2017

Why Endowment Style Portfolios are catching fire for asset allocation

For those with wealth over ten million, the Endowment Style Portfolio is being used as a model to protect wealth, as well as to give it a better grwoth trajectory than the traditional 60/40 portfolio structure. Here is a great summary of ESP and how their performance is influencing wealth management by John Authors, FT:

The endowments of the most prestigious US universities have long been watched as a model by asset allocators, and have helped to drive interest in such sectors as private equity, hedge funds, and natural resources. Their financial year ends in June, and their results are now available, summarised in this excellent blog post by Markov Processes International. The most interesting result, by far, is what has happened over the past 10 years — a period that started almost exactly as the credit crisis was beginning to take hold in July 2007. By lucky coincidence, I wrote this Long View column in June 2007 after listening to David Swensen, head of Yale’s endowment speak at a Yale reunion. At that point, Yale’s record looked stunningly good. How has it done since? This is Markov’s summary of how the eight Ivy League universities performed, compared with a “60/40” portfolio (60 per cent US stocks, 40 per cent US bonds) representing a typical asset allocation for such endowments before the move into alternative assets took hold:
Jacoline Loewen
 Only Princeton and Columbia have managed to beat a 60/40 portfolio over that time, even though it started just before one of the worst crashes for public equities in history. Yale has almost matched it — but it went to far more trouble than it would have taken just to put the endowment’s money into conventional public assets. Others, particularly Harvard and Cornell, have lagged behind badly.
 Over the past year (not such a relevant period for a long-term endowment, but the results are still interesting), all the Ivies managed positive results, and all bar Harvard managed to beat the 60/40 portfolio reasonably easily, led by Dartmouth. What are the lessons on asset allocation?
 Execution evidently matters. This is not just a game of asset allocation. If you look at how Harvard and Princeton were positioned 10 years ago, they are strikingly similar; with much the same weight in hedge funds and minimal interest in bonds and cash. Harvard had a much greater weighting of resources, which appears to have hurt its returns, and Princeton was considerably more enthusiastic about private equity and venture capital. But these asset allocations are similar enough, while other asset allocations among the Ivies are very different and yet ended with returns in the middle of the pack, to suggest that implementation had a lot to do with this.

Book by Jacoline Loewen

December 5, 2017

Moving the needle – 3 success factors for the Family Office

If you look at the families that have managed their wealth very well, it is very clear that they have one thing in common: they have dared to talk about the money.  It is difficult to understand why 
Jacoline Loewen, Family Office
this would be avoided by many entrepreneurs who have sold their companies and made a sudden fortune. 

Why not discuss the money with their family? What could go wrong? Surely open discussion and sharing of the wealth made by the entrepreneur is a wonderful way to go?

What are the Ingredients?

The families that do well and stay wealthy are able to address the big questions: What does money mean to me and how do I want this vision to actually get achieved?
The experience of families that become and stay wealthy is very clear:

1.       these families grow their wealth above their consumption rate,

2.       maintain family unity,

3.       develop family and non-family talent that contributes to these objectives.

Stumbling in any one of these areas – asset growth, family issues, talent growth – can slow the family down. Falling down on two of these three areas can mean failure. Failing on all three of these areas for over five years or more can signal the end of the family's wealth.

Creating Success

Setting up your family to succeed does mean having the Family Office approach. Whatever the size of Family Office, it is a good vehicle for creating lasting family and financial success.

November 27, 2017

FinTech Awards Black Tie Gala packed with AI and Fintech Innovation

Jacoline Loewen
The Digital Finance Institute is a think tank for FinTech and AI which provides leadership in four key areas - Financial Technology, Artificial Intelligence, Women in FinTech and Financial Inclusion. It also supports the development of FinTech ecosystems for investment in Canada and hosts events of interest to the FinTech community.

FinTech Awards Black Tie Gala Dinner

It was a terrific party at the 3rd Annual Canadian FinTech and AI Awards in Toronto on November 27, 2017 from 7-11:30pm! The Black Tie Reception and Gala Dinner was bigger than ever this year with more award catgories and a much larger venue.
Mindbridge wins the Top Award
The crowd were glamourous in their evening clothes despite being AI tech qeeks and there were also lots of booths with demos of fintech products.  Great to see Toronto buzzing with entrepreneural spirit.

November 26, 2017

How to leave a legacy

From the magazine Unlimited, they have a fascinating story on how to leave a great legacy and the lessons come from looking at how cathedrals were built in the middle ages. 


Jacoline Loewen
I also wrote an article for the Globe and Mail on Cathedral building and how similar it is to building a business in that each generation adds a wing or a tower and then passes it along to the next generation to continue the vision. Some cathedrals took hundreds of years to complete which is hard to imagine. 

I am complaining about Eglinton Avenue and the time to build the subway so it does make me realize that time is relative.



I will post my article below but here is the article from Unlimited and the link to the full article.

We are entering an era of Cathedral Wealth, where the most meaningful thing that you can hand down to the next generation is no longer a watch or family estate, but a grand challenge, a life’s work or a multi-generational task.


In the Middle Ages, building a cathedral to honour God was considered one of the greatest works that a community could undertake. Everyone from heads of state and religious leaders to architects, craftsmen and labourers joined together to create these monumental structures.
Building a cathedral was an endeavour of such scale that they would often take decades or even centuries to finish. The people that laid the foundations would do so in the almost certain knowledge that they would never live to see the finished product.
Today, at a time when the future of mankind has never looked more complex and uncertain, we are increasingly realising that our biggest questions may require multi-generational answers.
‘Modernity has pulled us into an era of short-termism and individualism,’ says Rachel Armstrong, senior TED fellow and founder of Black Sky Thinking.
‘However, the biggest issues facing humanity, such as climate change, over-population and energy and resource shortages, require us to think in terms of solutions that will span generations.’
Like the craftsmen that laid the first stones at St Paul’s, St Basil’s and Notre Dame, today’s leading scientists, business leaders and creative innovators are beginning to think in terms of a new kind of wealth – the handing down of purposeful and life-affirming projects that only their grandchildren, or even great-grandchildren, will see bear fruit.
‘In the past, your legacy would have been much more about handing down tangible assets, such as cash and bricks and mortar,’ says Ken Forster, angel investor and managing director of Internet of Things solutions company Momenta Partners.
‘Today, it’s about a more organic, more sustainable wealth transfer – leaving your life’s work, something you created, unfinished, and trusting those who follow you to see it through to completion.’
In this report, we examine how Cathedral Wealth and long-termism are beginning to emerge in society in three pivotal ways.
: Creative Cathedrals – the multi-generational projects that are shaping the future of science, technology and design
: Commercial Cathedrals – how the world of business is moving its sights from the next quarter to the next decade and even the next century
: Cultural Cathedrals  why our fascination with long-term cathedral wealth is driving the emergence of new forms of art and culture that will be enjoyed by future generations

November 25, 2017

Do you fall victim to soundbite economics?

Jacoline Loewen
At a recent book club, one of my girlfriends who teaches fashion and clothing at Ryerson, brought along a women's magazine from the early 1900s. I was startled by the quality of the content and the depth of the stories.

It made me realize that there has been a steep decline in the sheer complexity and structure of the written word. In comparison, the media and economic sources have simplified and shortened their features. It made me reflect on just how do we cull our daily information? How does this impact on how we view the markets and our investments?

Likewise, I do believe that the quality of economic analysis in financial markets has suffered in recent years. This is not a comment on the quality of my peers in the industry – there are many excellent economists and I do see the very best. 

However the trend in the broader market has been inexorably towards soundbite economics; superficial analysis with little attempt to challenge the wisdom of established authority or "rule of thumb" relationships. 
Call it the economics of the airport bestseller (am I bitter that my books are not stocked at Pearson? Maybe). 

We can see this in the way markets overreact to underlying data, even in the questions that are asked in the media. 

And do not get me started on the blogosphere.

Is it getting too late? The market is late in the cycle prompting investors to ask this question.

November 19, 2017

I am concerned about Canada says Niall Ferguson

With a flair for the dramatic, Niall Ferguson, is saying he is concerned for Canada. Ferguson likes to remind us that he predicted the 2008 crisis and was shouted down. He is now sounding a warning for Canada. Read the full article here.
Ferguson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University in California and a senior research fellow at Oxford. He is a prolific author on history, economics and colonialism and has written and presented five major television series, including The Ascent of Money, which won the 2009 International Emmy Award for best documentary.
"It seems to me unnecessary because Canada doesn't have a major fiscal problem," he said. "It's not as though Canada needs to sell its assets, so I don't see the need for a major realignment of its position as the United States' little brother."
On a recent visit to Australia, Ferguson recalled remarking to an Australian acquaintance: 'You realize you're gradually becoming a Chinese colony? "He said, 'No mate, it's more like a semi-autonomous republic. It's a good place to start (when discussing Canada-China relations)."
"I don't think China makes a massive distinction between Australia and Canada," said Ferguson. "These are thinly populated (nations) with huge quantities of resources that China needs. The question (for China) is: How best to access those? Do you do it by straight forward purchases on the open market or do you want to own them? And if you own them, how far can you go before there is a political backlash. This is what China is asking about a lot of countries."

Fintech innovation and Switzerland

It was an honour to be the guest of the Switzerland Innovaton Enterprise and the Swiss Consulate to their Toronto conference. We were talking Fintech and innovation.
Jacoline Loewen
In the past month, the Switzerland Blockchain Business Council (GBBC) opened an office in Geneva, the group announced in a press release. Launched in January 2017 during the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, the GBBC is a platform bringing together leading businesses and executives from around the world to educate on the latest innovations in blockchain technology and advocate for its widespread adoption. 

It serves as a global forum for information, collaboration and partnerships. Leading full service blockchain technology company The Bitfury Group and international law firm Covington are behind the initiative.
A global center for international cooperation
By locating in Geneva, the GBBC will work side by side with an array of international organizations active in uniting global causes and industries, such as the World Economic Forum (WEF), the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the World Health Organization (WHO). 

Speaking on the decision to house the platform in Geneva, Tomicah Tillemann, GBBC Chairman, explained that the Swiss city has “a long history as a place where people come together to reach consensus”, and that it is “already home to some of the world’s most important and effective international institutions”. 

November 18, 2017

How to Use Grief to Change the World

A father who lost his three daughters to Middle East violence has turned this tragedy into change for the region. Last night, I was part of The Daughters for Life Gala fund raiser which educates middle eastern girls here in Canada. The belief is that these women will change the region's attitudes to hatred and genders.
Jacoline Loewen, Daughters for Life Gala
What a steep hill Izzeldin Abuelaish has chosen to climb.
Izzeldin says it was the death of his daughters which pushed him to create change. The women at my table agreed that to push on after such a loss due to a bombing, was remarkable.
We then listened to the scholarship winners all in STEM studies at Canadian Universities. These young women travelled to Canada to go through university programs donated by Brock, Trent, Laurier and York. They each made us laugh, cry and understand that maybe, just maybe, this intervention would be a keystone to changing the whole Middle East.
I just know that if one of those girls was my daughter, I would be very proud of her. I also believe that each of these girls will indeed make a big difference.
Then Izzeldin gave Margaret Atwood a Lifetime Achievement award.  Margaret epitomizes what one woman can achieve. Her book The Handmaiden's Tale did inspire me to move beyond my original life goal to be a good wife and to get an MBA and get into the male area of business - finance.
Margaret Atwood's speech was a reminder of how far I personally have journeyed while reading her books all the way.
Daughters for Life Lifetime Award Recipient
When I - at first read Atwood - I did so reluctantly. Atwood was holding up a picture of Canadian society that I did not want to acknowledge. She also showed females in not always a positive light, showing our deepest fears and pain in our relationships. Such disappointments because of our place in society. She really spelt out for me that I needed to change and to take the harder road. I learnt through her novels how women needed to get their own income and it did inspire me to have a good career. Through out most of my adult life, Margaret has inspired me. My book club is currently reading Alias Grace and I look forward to our discussion, but my best book of hers is Oryx and Crake, a Booker Prize winner.
This evening, Margaret reminded us how far Canada has come in its gender roles. She told us that early in her career she was advised to stop her scribbling and find a good husband. She did not stop her scribbling and she did find a good man though - Graham Greene, her partner for decades. I am thankful she did find true love and she shared her views so bravely.

November 15, 2017

How can you grow your money?

How can you make money?

I suggest that you steal a page from the wealthy.

Business e-Volution, by Jacoline Loewen
The Spectrem Group found business owners account for 6% of seven-figure households — triple that of doctors and lawyers.

Don’t expect to get rich quick; the payoff comes when you sell. There is a great deal of that so-called sweat equity that is not seen or experienced by the average tax payer in Canada.

The median price for a web-design firm last year was $687,500, according to BizBuySell. I write about how to use the Internet to grow your business in my book, Business e-volution.

Construction firms tend to fetch $2.1 million. The bricks and mortor businesses still deliver a good return Not shabby amounts to add to your investment portfolio.

Two demographic trends to keep markets rising

Next week, I am running a breakfast session with our economics strategist and the topic is "Is it Getting Late?"

Jacoline Loewen
This long run is worrying many investors. As we all know, change is constant so what could keep the markets trending upwards?

Here are two demographic developments that I believe are likely to move the markets for decades:

1. Canada’s echo boom

As the ratio of a country’s middle-aged (35- to 49-year-olds) to young (20 to 34) rises, so do stocks, says Brookfield research.
Why? As people age, they start to save more for retirement, which is good for the markets. The Canadian and U.S. M/Y ratio surged in the ’80s, sank in the 2000s, but is expected to turn around next year, thanks to the aging of the millennials.

2. China’s baby boom

Beijing is easing its one-child policy, starting off by allowing parents who are only children themselves to have a second child.
“Think about what that means for demand for infant formula, food, education, and housing,” says David Winters, manager of the Wintergreen Fund.

What do you think? Continue the conversation on Twitter: jacolineloewen

November 13, 2017

The Wealthy Open Up About Managing Family Expectations

In Wealth Management, I have observed that families with $20M and over are wanting more than portfolio management. They are also wanting guidance in helping the family manage their fortune but alos their family cohesion. That has to come as the result of candid conversations that are, quite frankly, easier to avoid.

Jacoline Loewen
Those unspoken conversations do come back to haunt many and are really are better to have with a skilled facilitator aware of the many roadblocks and bear traps along the way. The following is an example of what can be achieved by tackling the task of the money conversations with family. Read full article here.
In one case, she helped a family patriarch who wanted to open up, by bringing the whole family together for a series of family communications workshops. “This was a dad, he wanted his children to know everything,” she says, but the family members weren’t on the same page. The business founder, his wife, their five kids, and his ex-wife, all came together. Two of the three kids work for the family business. The ex gets alimony funded from the business. Some of them talked “business”--while others felt like they were in the dark. “They were at odds; everybody was trying to find their place,” says Schnaubelt.
First, they identified communications styles and learned how to talk so the others would hear them. Those in the family manufacturing business practiced giving the other family members permission to talk, and the others practiced not letting themselves be pushed over. One outcome: they decided to set up a donor-advised fund at Fidelity Charitable, from which they could make large charitable donations in the family’s name, while each family member could suggest smaller grants from subaccounts. In another workshop, families sort through “Picture Your Legacy” cards to select values and aspirations, and then design a family crest. “It’s a great exercise to bring families together and talk about what’s important,” Markwalter says. Taking a page out of his firm’s playbook, he and his wife Juanita, gathered their five sons—two at home and the others scattered across the country—to give it a try. “I thought they’d think it was corny,” Markwalter says. “What I found was that they were incredibly opinionated in a good way.”
The Markwalters made up a family motto: “Faith, Family, Friends.” and added an actionable tagline: “Do the right thing.” They talked about ambition, and finding work that’s engaging—a work ethic they traced back to ancestors who worked as stone cutters on the Cologne cathedral (hence the stone cutter symbol on the crest). The biggest epiphany, Markwalter found, that he shares with other families hesitant about engaging in these kinds of talks, is that “every single family member has something to offer.”

November 10, 2017

Fintechs at the Future of Finance finals in New York

Jacoline Loewen with the team
IT was a warm week to be in New York with the team to pick the finallist for the Future of Finance Challenge. It has been a journey for all the Canadian companies so it was exciting to finally get to New York and meet the mentors and other finalists.

This is my big AHA: The UBS mentors learnt as much from their interaction with the Fintechs as the entrpreneurs learnt from their time speaking with the UBS experts.

What a great experience to go on the heroic journey with the Canadian fintech finalists, starting in Toronto and then travelling to the UBS HQ in the USA.
There were 11 finalists and 5 were Canadian which was amazing.

Rise of the Millenials - Jacoline Loewen, Speaker at Queens Business Entrepreneurs Association

Jacoline Loewen

November 2, 2017

Billionaires motivated not only by wealth creation

Working at UBS which provides private wealth management to high net worth people and then also the ultra high net worth, I get asked a great deal about the wealthy. Are they nice? Are they mean? Do they have good family relationships? How do they treat their spouse? How do they spend their money? Did they inherit their money? How did they make it?

Jacoline Loewen at The Business Transitions Forum
When I read this article on the wealthy from John Mathews, head of UBS private wealth, it covered many of the insights that are well worth noting. I thought I would share an excerpt of it.

"Whenever we meet our clients we are struck by how normal they are. Yes they are usually intensely focused, bright and passionate, particularly when it comes to their business. But they are also often quiet, thoughtful and preoccupied as much by the responsibilities of great wealth as by its benefits."
"That sense of the 'burden of wealth' is having some interesting effects. The new generation of billionaires in particular is motivated not only by wealth creation but a broader sense of purpose. This means even more commitment to improving living standards, job creation, and providing broader access to cultural capital. As governments around the world cut back on spending, there is a growing feeling that the private sector must play a bigger role. "
  Below is a brief list of the different activities and you can read the full report here.

1. Arts and culture

Billionaires are creating alternative legacies through their cultural pursuits. Private museums are growing in number and public museums are receiving more funding, increasing the accessibility of art to the public. Maja Oeri, a Swiss pharmaceuticals heiress, illustrated the trend when she donated a large proportion of the funds for the 2016 extension of the Kunstmuseum Basel, the city's municipal art collection. Similar initiatives have proven to be equally successful: US museums like the MoMA in New York and SFMOMA thrive on support from billionaires.

2. Sports

The ultrawealthy are also helping sports clubs to become more sustainable, helping them to deliver associated benefits to the communities of which they are a part. For example, Jack Ma's Alibaba has invested in Evergrande Taobao FC, recruiting international players and coaches, building one of the world's biggest football schools, dominating the league and becoming the first Chinese winners of the Asian Champions League in 2013.

3. Philanthropy

Networks and communities are playing an increasingly important part in enabling this sort of purpose-driven activity. A prominent example is The Giving Pledge. At the end of May 2017, 160 signatories, including some of the world's wealthiest individuals and families, had committed more than half their wealth to philanthropy.

4. Impact investing

Impact investing is also growing fast. The Rise Fund, for example, aims to balance competitive financial returns with positive societal outcomes. Its Founders Board includes billionaire entrepreneurs, rock stars, royalty.

5. Family

Looking ahead, the global impact of billionaire wealth is set to grow even further, with an estimated USD2.4 trillion of billionaire wealth expected to be transferred in the next two decades.

November 1, 2017

For Every Business Owner - The Business Transition Forum in Calgary

Last year, the Calgary Business Transition Forum event was packed with speakers sharing great stories. I heard fresh content from seasoned professionals too and got to ask many questions.

The networking was outstanding.
 
Register at: www.businesstransitionsforum.com/Calgary
 
The Business Transitions Forum, Calgary edition, happens at the Westin in Calgary on November 8th. I am looking forward to this year. Dave Mason Adam Mallon David Tyldesley Mark Stephenson Lisa Shepherd

Jacoline Loewen at the Business Transition Forum, Calgary

October 30, 2017

Preparing the Next Generation

It is exciting to share the limited seat offerings in our November 20 - 24, 2017  "Preparing the Next Generation" program in Toronto, ON. The Institute of Family Enterprise Stewards has recently launched and represents a collaboration of thought leaders, families and academic Institutions across CDA. The Institute and the initiatives it supports are without borders and we are actively exploring its expansion beyond CDA in 2018.

One of the most dynamic speakers and consultant on family business- David Simpson - will be co-facilitating the program with Susan Fulford, and as a duo, they offer expertise in innovation & entrepreneurship.

 Content:
The program covers business and financial literacy, communications, trust, values, purpose and clarity of Role & Accountability in families of business & wealth. We also include a focus on conflict & dispute resolution, risk management, negotiations as a life skill and Global Best Practices for building multi generational legacies. Case studies are used liberally. The family  guest speakers we invite in - like Mitzi Perdue, are simply the icing on the cake, and are a valued highlight.

There will be an evening reception.
 
Please call with questions,
Thank you,

Susan Fulford, M.B.A. LL.B. FEA
Dynamic Legacy Inc.
P: (416) 518 8080 | 

 

October 26, 2017

Calgary deals to be done at the Business Transition Forum


If you are seeking to speed up your opportunity to network with those interested in the sale of businesses, check out The Business Transition Forum. The next session is in Calgary on November 8th and then Vancouver on the following week.


October 22, 2017

Top Tool to negotiate the fees for the sale of your business with confidence

For all you business owners who are thinking about selling part or all of their business, you need to download this new report by Firmex and Divestopedia.
I highly recommend reading it to get a true assessment of fees for your sale of business. 
The report also highlights the latest views from the corporate finance experts who will sell your business far better than you can do. Yes, I know you are the smartest person in the room, but you will get more money for your business when the sale is negotiated by the people who have done negotiations for decades.

Also, if you scroll down, you will see a link to sign up for a webinar with John Carvalho, the head of Divstopedia, and with Adam Mallon, BDO, who I enjoy hearing because he tells the stories from the family business kitchen table with deep empathy for the family, but also the sternness to make the right decisions.


For business owners, this report offers an invaluable tool in negotiating fees and terms for investment banking engagements. Of course, in addition to fees, due diligence must be performed on the quality and experience of the M&A advisor. The level of the success fee doesn’t matter much if an M&A transaction is not successfully completed or business owners don’t feel like they got the best outcome.

Get the Full Report

To download your copy of the 2017 M&A Fee Guide, click here.

Attend the Webinar

Join us on November 2nd, 2017 at 1 pm EST for a webinar on the key findings in the M&A Fee Guide 2017. John Carvalho of Divestopedia will moderate a discussion with Adam Mallon and Ryan Farkas of BDO Canada, Shane Stevenson, Dentons, and Jeff Deacon, IAM Group.  To sign up for the webinar, visit: https://www.divestopedia.com/reg/ma-fee-guide-2017/8356.

The whole fintech discussion has changed

Jacoline Loewen
It was terrific to hear our COO, Axel Lehmann, chat about Fintech and banking during his visit to Toronto for SIBOS. Here is a great interview with Business Insider which covers a few of the topics Axel covered with us this week.

Business Insider chatted with Axel Lehmann, chief operating officer of Swiss bank UBS, to ask how the organisation is coming to terms with fast-changing world of fintech.
Ben Moshinsky: Where are the main threats and opportunities to UBS from the fintech boom?
Axel Lehmann: True change is really coming from outside the industry. That is the key challenge we face as of today. The whole fintech discussion has changed, we have moved on from discussing whether a revolution is taking place, and how the banks will become redundant, to a place where most banks are looking at collaborative efforts with other firms. This is why most of what we do in terms of technological development we do in partnership with fintech companies.
I don’t want to get blindsided. It’s less the technology, as such, providing a transformative element in the banking industry. It’s really alternative business models that have the potential to shake up everything and eat into our cake.
It is also full of opportunities. We, the banks, are operating from a position of strength from a customer perspective especially in terms of the amount of customer interaction, the know-how we can provide, and the services we can offer. You can’t create any of this overnight.
And secondly, we have a legacy infrastructure which can be regarded as a liability, but it’s also an asset. When the Trump election got through, for example, volatility was high. We have an infrastructure that can scale up in line with volatility, and that’s something you need to have.
So, in this regard, I’m personally optimistic. It’s easier, when you look to consumer industries, for example, Uber or WhatsApp, to disrupt a lightly regulated sector. But when you look at where we as banks are, you get into the highly regulated space immediately, when you talk about balance sheet and liquidity, and this makes this industry less easy to disrupt.
But no doubt, we still do have to be mindful that we’re not losing out on some of that less regulated space, particularly at the point of customer interaction.
BM: What's the most exciting technology on your radar?
AL: I truly believe that whole question of robotics and artificial intelligence over a time horizon of four to eight years will fundamentally change the banking business. As banks, we understand that our business is all about data. These technologies have the potential to really fundamentally change the way we operate in terms of getting smarter with the customer, understanding what kind of products we should offer and so on. That is definitely exciting.

Succesful entrepreneurs who combine their business with their travel

I dislike Chai tea usually. It has a taste that does not fit my taste expectations which lean towards a sharper  Kenyan black tea. Until I was made the perfect cup of Chai tea by Eamon Fitzgerald and Rebecca Moroney, founder of Chaiwala Chai, and they changed my tea tastes
Rebecca Moroney and Eamon Fitzgerald
for ever. They use the correct traditional method and the taste was heavenly. It truly is a cup of contemplation. Now I find myself heading to Balzac for one of these Chai teas which have the comfort of a hot chocolate, but the calories of a latte. 
I caught up with the couple in the Toronto Star. Becca and Eamon have bought a van and use it to travel across Canada as they run their business, as they are also seasoned travellers who have been in Africa, Europe and South America. They would make a great pair for a reality TV show. Here is an excerpt from the Toronto Star article.


The Toronto couple has been living in a converted cargo van since spring — travelling thousands of kilometres across Canada. Their view changes often, from the snow-topped mountains of Squamish, B.C., to the beaches of Prince Edward County.
“It’s like we have a $5 million cottage on the water,” says Moroney, of spending summer days parked along a County side street. “The best part of van life is you have your home with you everywhere you go.”
Moroney, 27, and Fitzgerald, 25 are among thousands who have taken up “van life.” With more than 2.1 million posts under the hashtag #vanlife on the photo-sharing app Instagram, it’s one of the most coveted lifestyles on social media.
Read the full article.

October 19, 2017

What's the most exciting technology on your radar?

It has been a week of technology here in Toronto with SIBOS, CIX and the UBS Future of Finance Awards Dinner.

One of the questions I got to ask our finalists of the UBS Future of Finance was their views on cryptocurrencies and banking fintechs impact on banks. Our UBS COO, Axel Lehmann, spoke about this topic too. Axel Lehmann said,
I truly believe that whole question of robotics and artificial intelligence over a time horizon of four to eight years will fundamentally change the banking business. As banks, we understand that our business is all about data. These technologies have the potential to really fundamentally change the way we operate in terms of getting smarter with the customer, understanding what kind of products we should offer and so on. That is definitely exciting.

I post on Twitter the question: What is the most exciting technology on your radar. One of the best answers came from Roman Monaenkov @roma_odin  who said his answer was Etherium - the cryptocurrency. Do I sense a little bias as Vitalik is also Russian and here in Toronto.

Here is the fantastic video sent by Roman which features Vitalik Buterin, one of the founders of Etherium.  Vitalik is speaking as the keynote speaker at MaRS explaining cryptocurrency in a thorough and understandable presentation.


Vitalak Buterin, speaking about Etherium and cryptocurrency at MaRS, Toronto.

Follow on Twitter @jacolineloewen

True change in Banking is really coming from outside the industry - Fintechs

Visiting Toronto for SIBOS, Axel Lehmann, chief operating officer of UBS, carved out time to speak at The National Club. During his talk, Mr. Lehmann delved into financial technology – or 'fintech' – and how UBS is engaging with this exciting technology.

Here is an excerpt from a recent interview between Business Insider and Mr. Lehmann which gives a summary of the topics Axel covered here in Toronto. Read full interview here. 
While no lender wants to become the next Nokia or Kodak, crushed by an innovation they failed to properly understand, it's not always clear how an organization with 100,000 employees should deal with the threats and opportunities posed by fintech.

Ben Moshinsky: Where are the main threats and opportunities to UBS from the fintech boom?

Axel Lehmann: True change is really coming from outside the industry. That is the key challenge we face as of today. The whole fintech discussion has changed, we have moved on from discussing whether a revolution is taking place, and how the banks will become redundant, to a place where most banks are looking at collaborative efforts with other firms. This is why most of what we do in terms of technological development we do in partnership with fintech companies.

It’s less the technology, as such, providing a transformative element in the banking industry. It’s really alternative business models that have the potential to shake up everything and eat into our cake.

We have a legacy infrastructure which can be regarded as a liability, but it’s also an asset

It is also full of opportunities. We, the banks, are operating from a position of strength from a customer perspective especially in terms of the amount of customer interaction, the know-how we can provide, and the services we can offer. You can’t create any of this overnight.

And secondly, we have a legacy infrastructure which can be regarded as a liability, but it’s also an asset. When the Trump election got through, for example, volatility was high. We have an infrastructure that can scale up in line with volatility, and that’s something you need to have.

So, in this regard, I’m personally optimistic. It’s easier, when you look to consumer industries, for example, Uber or WhatsApp, to disrupt a lightly regulated sector. But when you look at where we as banks are, you get into the highly regulated space immediately, when you talk about balance sheet and liquidity, and this makes this industry less easy to disrupt.
But no doubt, we still do have to be mindful that we’re not losing out on some of that less regulated space, particularly at the point of customer interaction.

BM: What's the most exciting technology on your radar?
AL: I truly believe that whole question of robotics and artificial intelligence over a time horizon of four to eight years will fundamentally change the banking business. As banks, we understand that our business is all about data. These technologies have the potential to really fundamentally change the way we operate in terms of getting smarter with the customer, understanding what kind of products we should offer and so on. That is definitely exciting.
Business Insider then asked about how UBS is interacting with fintech. Mr. Lehmann explains the Future of Finance Challenge which was run around the globe. Out of the 11 regional finalists in the Americas, Canada has 5 companies going to New York. It shows that Canada has a dynamic fintech industry.
Here is the article again:

BM: How does a bank, like UBS with tens of thousands of employees, interact with a fintech startup of just a few people? What kind of cultural changes need to happen
AL: Dealing with fintechs is a cultural shift that needs to take place and you want to have the local people to innovate. At UBS we have a systematic process on how we expose ourselves to fintech companies. For example, we have a series of initiatives that we’re driving, such as our Future of Finance Challenge. This competition, which is happening at the moment, provides a forum for start-ups and growing companies to come and present their ideas to compete for support from UBS to
Axel and Sophie Perceval, Wondereur, award for Future of Finance
accelerate their ideas. That’s the type of work we’re doing. We really want to take advantage of some of those fast-moving and smaller boats with great ideas and great software that we can scale up and use in our organisation.


BM: Is competition for those boats fierce? How do you make sure you invest enough time and money?
AL: UBS has a CHF2.1 billion net saving target, but nevertheless our IT spend is at a record level of more than 10% of revenues. We do not sacrifice mid-term and longer term development to make numbers for a quarter. Secondly, if you look to our overall positioning it is quite unique, and that gives me confidence. We’re the global leader in wealth management, which is one of the key areas to invest in digital. Every dollar we invest there, hopefully wisely, is helping us strengthen that franchise.

Jacoline Loewen, Future of Finance Awards Dinner
The Five Finalists for the Future of Finance from Canada are:

Global-Regulations
MindBridge
Overbond
Veriday
Wondereur

October 15, 2017

How to leave a legacy - Cathedral Approach

From the magazine Unlimited, they have a fascinating story on how to leave a great legacy and the lessons come from looking at how cathedrals were built in the middle ages. I also wrote an article for the Globe and Mail on Cathedral building and how similar it is to building a business in that each generation adds a wing or a tower and then passes it along to the next generation to continue the vision. Some cathedrals took hundreds of years to complete which is hard to imagine. I am complaining about Eglinton Avenue and the time to build the subway so it does make me realize that time is relative.


I will post my article below but here is the article from Unlimited and the link to the full article.
We are entering an era of Cathedral Wealth, where the most meaningful thing that you can hand down to the next generation is no longer a watch or family estate, but a grand challenge, a life’s work or a multi-generational task.
In the Middle Ages, building a cathedral to honour God was considered one of the greatest works that a community could undertake. Everyone from heads of state and religious leaders to architects, craftsmen and labourers joined together to create these monumental structures.
Building a cathedral was an endeavour of such scale that they would often take decades or even centuries to finish. The people that laid the foundations would do so in the almost certain knowledge that they would never live to see the finished product.
Today, at a time when the future of mankind has never looked more complex and uncertain, we are increasingly realising that our biggest questions may require multi-generational answers.
‘Modernity has pulled us into an era of short-termism and individualism,’ says Rachel Armstrong, senior TED fellow and founder of Black Sky Thinking.
‘However, the biggest issues facing humanity, such as climate change, over-population and energy and resource shortages, require us to think in terms of solutions that will span generations.’
Like the craftsmen that laid the first stones at St Paul’s, St Basil’s and Notre Dame, today’s leading scientists, business leaders and creative innovators are beginning to think in terms of a new kind of wealth – the handing down of purposeful and life-affirming projects that only their grandchildren, or even great-grandchildren, will see bear fruit.
‘In the past, your legacy would have been much more about handing down tangible assets, such as cash and bricks and mortar,’ says Ken Forster, angel investor and managing director of Internet of Things solutions company Momenta Partners.
‘Today, it’s about a more organic, more sustainable wealth transfer – leaving your life’s work, something you created, unfinished, and trusting those who follow you to see it through to completion.’
In this report, we examine how Cathedral Wealth and long-termism are beginning to emerge in society in three pivotal ways.
: Creative Cathedrals – the multi-generational projects that are shaping the future of science, technology and design
: Commercial Cathedrals – how the world of business is moving its sights from the next quarter to the next decade and even the next century
: Cultural Cathedrals  why our fascination with long-term cathedral wealth is driving the emergence of new forms of art and culture that will be enjoyed by future generations