Refinitiv hires digital head for wealth management

Refinitiv has appointed Charles Smith as head of digital solutions for wealth management.

In this role he will lead Refinitiv’s global digital wealth management solutions and will be responsible for its strategic direction. This will include building out digital and mobile distribution, advanced analytics and artificial intelligence capabilities to meet the needs of wealth management firms and their advisors.

Smith’s appointment comes at a time when wealth management firms and their advisors are forced to adjust to the global COVID-19 and the ensuing economic crisis that has seen the financial services industry depend more on digital solutions to enable engagement model that meets client needs.

“As the world around us shifts to remote work, Refinitiv remains evermore committed to providing customers with the transformative digital solutions and insight needed to succeed,” said Joseph Mrak, global head of wealth management for Refinitiv.

The company’s brokerage transactions and operations service, BETA Systems, has been processing record transactions per day: up 129 per cent on average for the month of March, surpassing February as the previously recorded highest month for BETA.

Mrak added: “We welcome Charles to Refinitiv during this unprecedented period of need – his industry experience will help us to provide our customers with the future-focused insight and solutions needed to navigate today’s rapidly changing wealth management industry.”

Refinitiv’s wealth management business supports many established and emerging wealth customers providing global, regional and emerging market wealth platforms across the Americas, Europe and Asia.

Smith’s team will be dedicated to helping customer segments tackle key digital challenges in order to thrive. A statement noted that the wealth management industry is one that has been impacted significantly, with many new FinTech firms brining a new perspective to providing advice and solutions to investors.

A recent FStech feature looked at how much like the moves being made by UK High Street banks to hold onto younger customers tempted away by mobile-only players in the new Open Banking environment, asset managers may have to update their propositions to survive the Baby Boomer intergenerational wealth transfer.

“As new technologies evolve to enhance the way wealth clients and financial advisors interact, we plan to be at the forefront of that change, and I am looking forward to assisting our wealth management customers in meeting the rapidly evolving digital needs of today and tomorrow,” stated Smith.

Prior to joining Refinitiv, he spent eight years as a managing director in EY’s wealth and asset management practice, and before that held senior leadership roles at Fiserv/CheckFree, Misys (now Finastra) and Thomson Financial (now Refinitiv).

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