A months long innovation competition designed to improve wealth management in Canada has concluded. National Bank, in collaboration with Fintech Cadence, Flinks and the Osmo Foundation all worked together to manage the Innovation Competition which was announced back in October, during the Fintech Forum here in Montreal. Judges included executives from all participating organizations, as well as Portag3 ventures.
In a unanimous decision by the judges, the $100,000 prize was awarded to Aquantix, represented by CEO Toby Messier. The company’s mission is to organize information around risk to improve financial decision making. They have already been talking with heavyweights including CDPQ and Jarislowsky Fraser.
Tornados, landslides, volcanos, floods, fires… any disaster you can think of… the Aquantix model is to gather that data then organize it through the use of AI, to see what will affect their users and how. This is risk scoring based on environmental factors, which is an emerging field in fintech. The analysis can be done on everything from supply chains to real estate to any type of securities. The company tag line asks “Is your portfolio ok?”.
The other finalists included:
- Wealthica / Inovestor’s Pascal Lefrancois discussed his company’s Pace product, a simple and accurate retirement savings planner. He explains that most people don’t save enough because retirement is a thing where people pay now and enjoy much later, and so too often they put it off. There is stiff competition in this vertical. He says his company’s differentiation is its ability to access data through its partners and provide insight on that data, which they can then analyse and provide high quality insights on.
- Whatifi.io is an “if this, then that” financial planning tool. Through extensive data analysis the company offers its users decision trees to help make financial decisions that are difficult to plan for, like should I keep renting my home or should I try to buy, which makes more financial sense? Taxes, properties, salary, expenses, retirement etc. anything you can think of is taken into account. The product is meant to be used by financial advisors, small business and real estate managers.
- Mind the Gap’s Melanie Delgado let the judges know that over the coming years there will be a $1 trillion inheritance transfer in Canada alone. That number is far higher in the US. 50% of families have not discussed estate planning. Furthermore, it can take on average 16 months for this wealth transfer process to be completed if families are not organized.
Once that wealth transfer is done, in 90% of cases the heir changes the asset manager. That’s $70 billion in Canada this year alone. Mind the Gap helps build bridges to the heirs of asset managers’ existing clients, helping them to retain the management of these assets even when their customers pass. They also help keep all information in one place, listing what the assets are, who is holding them, how to claim them and so on.
- Walo CEO Rim Charkani explained that 25% of the population is now Gen Z (under 25). At the age of 12, 40% of kids have a smartphone but only 10% have a bank account. Walo teaches young people how to be financially responsible. Delivering learning with an emphasis on financial literacy, not just pushing them into buying banking products. Parent and child can coordinate together through the Walo app. This allows financial institutions to onboard the children of current clients, a great natural sales funnel.