Perspectives

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QuickLook is a blog discussing issues facing financial services leaders today, with research and financial services industry insights provided by the Deloitte Center for Financial Services. The QuickLook financial services blog is written by Jim Eckenrode, executive director of the Deloitte Center for Financial Services and the research team for banking and securities, insurance, investment management and real estate.

Latest Posts

Creating an immersive tenant/buyer experience

January 17, 2018

A blog post by Surabhi Kejriwal, Real Estate research leader, Deloitte Support Services India Pvt. Ltd.

In the real estate and construction (RE&C) industry, companies have to consider different approaches to catch the attention of the overwhelmed customers, both individual and institutional. Although one may argue that there is limited scope for personalized and customized experiences...Continue reading

Technology takes the lead in 2018

January 10, 2018

A blog post by Jim Eckenrode, executive director, Deloitte Services LP.

Threaded throughout our outlooks on banking, insurance, investment management, and real estate are topics related to organizational restructuring to drive efficiency in low-margin environments, using technology to better engage with customers, and driving greater agility and innovation throughout. Some things never change...Continue reading

Navigating 2018

January 3, 2017

A blog post by Patrick Henry, Investment Management practice leader, Deloitte & Touche LLP.

At Deloitte, we continue to collaborate with clients so that they can thrive in any environment. Three key questions kept cropping up among clients across scale, geographies, and product categories:

  1. How do we continue to grow our business?
  2. How do we run our business more efficiently?
  3. What changes could we incorporate to service our clients better?

Let’s look at how investment managers can address these areas for 2018...Continue reading

Zooming into the future

December 13, 2017

A blog post by Richa Wadhwani, assistant manager, Deloitte Support Services India Pvt. Ltd.

Return on average assets improved alongside a growing loan portfolio in the last three quarters; net interest margins increased in the backdrop on rising rates; and efficiency ratios improved as banks continued their cost rationalization strategies...Continue reading

Accelerating the evolution of insurance

December 13, 2017

A blog post by Sam Friedman, insurance research leader, Deloitte Services LP and Michelle Canaan, insurance research manager, Deloitte Services LP.

Deloitte’s 2018 Insurance Outlook posits that in the year ahead, insurers will be challenged to effectively anticipate, prepare for, and adapt to these rapidly shifting circumstances, both strategically and operationally. They will also be looking to differentiate their products, services, and distribution platforms for a digital age...Continue reading

How can the real estate sector triumph in 2018?

December 6, 2017

A blog post by Surabhi Kejriwal, Real Estate research leader, Deloitte Support Services India Pvt. Ltd.

The first theme is that of technological change, which is occurring at a faster pace than productivity across all industries. The second is the huge amount of structured and unstructured data that is being generated through the use of a variety of technologies, especially sensors...Continue reading

Insurers and InsurTechs

November 15, 2017

A blog post by Sam Friedman, Insurance research leader, Deloitte Services LP.

The print journalism landscape is littered with the skeletons of dinosaurs who wouldn’t or couldn’t evolve to keep up with the digital demands of web-centric consumers...Continue reading

Resetting risk oversight expectations of bank boards

November 15, 2017

A blog post by Val Srinivas, Banking & Securities research leader, Deloitte Services LP.

But the regulatory recalibration happening now, especially in the United States, is also reshaping expectations of bank boards. This is particularly evident from the recent proposal on board effectiveness by the Federal Reserve, with a view to "refocus...Continue reading

Complying with the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive

November 8, 2017

A blog post by Doug Dannemiller, Investment Management research leader, Deloitte Services LP.

Much of this buzz concerns the new requirements around research payment transparency, which the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) clarified recently through the issuance of three no-action letters...Continue reading

Real estate funds

November 1, 2017

A blog post by Surabhi Kejriwal, Real Estate research leader, Deloitte Services LP.

The global private equity real estate (PERE) market tells a tale of heightened real estate valuations and competition:1

At the beginning of the fourth quarter, there were 569 PERE funds in the market and 181 funds reached a final close...Continue reading

Agility in financial services

October 23, 2017

A blog post by Jim Eckenrode, executive director, Deloitte Services LP.

Among them was the concept of the age at which individuals become “commercially empowered,” which according to the presenter is age 17. In this case, “empowerment” is defined as the point when people start make deliberate brand choices when spending their own money...Continue reading

InsurTech sets the stage for ‘Great Expectations’

October 18, 2017

A blog post by Sam Friedman, Insurance Research leader, Deloitte Services LP.

Echoing the opening of Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities,” it can indeed be the best of times for companies with a well-formulated and executed InsurTech strategy, but could also turn out to be the worst of times for those that hesitate, stumble, and fall behind the pack...Continue reading

Improving the account opening experience

October 10, 2017

A blog post by Val Srinivas, Banking & Securities research leader, Deloitte Services LP.

Our everyday experiences suggest that with other products—such as online commerce, ride-sharing services, or even person-to-person payments and online lending—account open ing is generally smoother and quicker. Based on experiences in other domains, consumers, especially Millennials, want more from banks...Continue reading

How can mutual funds manage fair valuation complications?

October 4, 2017

A blog post by Paul Kraft, Audit & Assurance partner, Deloitte & Touche LLP.

The first step to fair valuation is to anticipate the potential problems by cataloging them and developing valuation policies and procedures in the event that problems occur. The more comprehensive the coverage of these policies, the better; most importantly, however, these policies have...Continue reading

Adaptive reuse of commercial real estate

September 27, 2017

A blog post by Saurabh Mahajan, Real Estate manager, Deloitte Support Services India Pvt. Ltd.

Vacant real estate is growing. From the increased closure of retail stores and malls to the pruning of physical office space, commercial real estate (CRE) owners find themselves holding more and more vacant...Continue reading

Banking after Harvey and Irma

September 13, 2017

A blog post by Jim Eckenrode, executive director, Deloitte Services LP.

Certainly, with the horrible devastation wrought by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, these predictions seem on point, if understated. And as I got real-time text updates from my brother and his family in Fort Myers, Florida over the past weekend, I was personally connected to the implications of these forecasts. Our thoughts and best wishes are with all those...Continue reading

Insurers and environmentalists

September 13, 2017

A blog post by Sam Friedman, Insurance research leader, Deloitte Services, LP.

When a handful of protestors rallying for sustainable energy development popped up to make their case during the opening breakfast of the recent Global Insurance Forum in London, they likely had no idea they might be preaching to the choir.

A polite, well-dressed trio unfurled a banner asking insurers to stop being “enablers” by covering or investing in coal operations...Continue reading

Winning the competition for bank deposits

September 6, 2017

A blog post by Richa Wadhwani, assistant manager at Deloitte Center for Financial Services, Deloitte Services LP.

Following the deposit theme all this while, it has been interesting to see how banks have maintained low deposit costs so far in this rate tightening cycle (December 2015-ongoing). Deposit beta, a measure of how much of the change in interest rates banks pass on to their depositors...Continue reading

IPOs, meet ICOs

August 16, 2017

A blog post by Ankur Gajjaria, senior analyst at the Deloitte Center for Financial Services, Deloitte Services India

Everyone, including investors, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists (VCs), and regulators, seems to be taking note of this new phenomenon, which, as of end July 2017, has helped blockchain projects raise nearly $1.3 billion since the beginning of 2017.2

Digging deeper, I came across articles pronouncing these tokens in a divergent manner, from the “future of finance” on the one hand...Continue reading

Brexit offers opportunity for insurers to reinvent themselves

August 9, 2017

A blog post by Sam Friedman, Insurance Research leader, Deloitte Services LP

Brexit and its potential impact on the industry was top of mind for many of those attending the International Insurance Society (IIS) annual Global Insurance Forum last month, particularly since this year’s event was held in London. That’s ground zero for companies that must transform their operations to remain competitive within the lucrative EU market once the UK’s exit is completed, one way or the other, in less than two years...Continue reading

coin

Hiring the next generation of financial services talent

August 2, 2017

A blog post by Jim Eckenrode, executive director, Deloitte Services LP

One interesting takeaway from the survey was that some executives do not seem to be quite as consumed by risk and compliance issues as they had been in the past. This may be particularly true in North America, where more than 25 percent of senior executives we recently surveyed were expecting that the regulatory burden they are facing will be reduced in the next two years...Continue reading

The CRE financing squeeze

July 26, 2017

A blog post by Surabhi Kejriwal, Real Estate research leader, Deloitte Services LP

Property prices have started to contract due to the slow transaction market as investors express skepticism about the strength of the pricing environment. This is evident in the consistent marginal decline in the Index value over the last four months ended June 1st. In fact, the index value remained flat for the prior four months ended February 1st...Continue reading

The future of automation in the banking industry

July 19, 2017

A blog post by Val Srinivas, Banking & Securities research leader, Deloitte Services LP

It is only natural, I presume, to feel somewhat anxious when you hear prognostications about automation’s impact on jobs.1 As a parent worried about my kids’ future, I can’t help but wonder how work as we know it, and, as a result, society itself, will be radically transformed by machines in the decades ahead.2

Will advances in robotics, artificial intelligence, and quantum computing make machines so smart and efficient that they can replace humans in many roles...Continue reading

The new balancing act in investment management

July 17, 2017

A blog post by Doug Dannemiller, Investment Management research leader, Deloitte Services LP

These changes are taking place on the backdrop of increasing household penetration of retail investment products and a significant bull run in many markets. Let's look at the balancing act that the IM industry faces as it adapts to changing customer demand while working to meet financial performance expectations.

Cost appears to be a growing component of the investor decision process across the board. Investors are choosing lower-cost investment vehicles in both mutual fund and exchange-traded fund (ETF) markets, with exceptions for strong performance...Continue reading

InsurTechs are disrupting the insurance industry

July 5, 2017

A blog post by Sam Friedman, Insurance Research leader, Deloitte Services LP

That doesn’t mean insurers can afford to rest on their laurels, as major changes in business models, operating procedures, and corporate culture may be necessary to develop and integrate InsurTech before the competition—legacy and emerging—beats them to the punch.

Those were among the key takeaways from a recent InsurTech symposium hosted by the Peter J. Tobin College of Business at St. John’s University, which brought together insurers, technology pioneers...Continue reading

Cash vs. cashless: A question of liberty?

June 28, 2017

A blog post by Margaret Doyle, partner, Deloitte UK

In one corner was David Wolman, a contributor to Wired magazine, who was so disgusted by cash that he wrote a book with the apocalyptic title The End of Money, about “the coming cashless society.”

In the other corner was Brett Scott, a self-styled “economic activist,” who argues that a society without cash (i.e., notes/bills and coins) is a society...Continue reading

Tower real estate investment trusts

June 21, 2017

A blog post by Saurabh Mahajan, Real Estate manager, Deloitte Services LP

Among the many discussions, my key takeaway was the rapid expansion of diversified real estate property types. In fact, the one subject that intrigued me the most was the growth of tower REITs, which are essentially nontraditional REITs that own wireless communication infrastructure.

Over the past decade, tower REITs have increased their ownership of wireless communication towers in the United States.1 A large part of this can be attributed to telecom companies monetizing...Continue reading

Mobile wallets are a growing destination for digital “default” payments

June 14, 2017

A blog post by Val Srinivas, Banking & Securities research leader, Deloitte Services LP

Our research results, based on a proprietary mobile diary and online survey, indicate that mobile wallets (an application that stores multiple credit cards, debit cards, and bank account information to enable payments with a smartphone) are expected to increase default payments...Continue reading

Is this the year for investment companies to look inward?

June 14, 2017

A blog post by Doug Dannemiller, Investment Management research leader, Deloitte Services LP

Rather than much of the discussion focusing on a single theme (last year the theme was innovation), this year participants addressed a range of ideas. There was an even mix of discussions on technology, regulatory issues, growth, and organizational culture. This variety made identifying the one big takeaway from the GMM more difficult.

After reflection, I think I found it. Without an overriding external issue dominating investment management (IM) firms’ time and resources, perhaps it is the time...Continue reading

Formative experiences and their impact on financial behavior

June 14, 2017

A blog post by Urval Goradia, Senior market insights analyst, Deloitte Services, LP.

As you probably recall, a decade ago, the first flickers of the financial crisis became visible to the world. And, a year later, the global financial system teetered on the brink, with dire consequences for average Americans. Almost one in six American workers lost jobs during the 2007-09 Great Recession.1 Over a third of workers reported anxiety over layoffs, wage cuts, shorter hours, and trouble finding work applicable to their skill levels.2 Also, a vast majority of investors lost money due to the precipitous decline...Continue reading

What can investing in Detroit tell us about the banking industry’s reputation?

May 31, 2017

A blog post by Jim Eckenrode, Executive Director, Deloitte Services LP

My parents both grew up there, and lived with my brothers in one of tens of thousands of starter homes that were built in the Motor City in the postwar years before moving to the suburbs. I, too, was born in Detroit, and, like most of my friends’ dads, my father worked in the auto industry for his entire career.

The city’s decline has been well-covered, as has the beginnings of what I hope will be a true renaissance, led by a few early investors, like the late Mike Ilitch, founder of Little Caesar’s Pizza, and Dan Gilbert, CEO of Quicken Loans and Rock Ventures. These two individuals are often credited with starting Detroit’s redevelopment by buying and redeveloping a large number of properties...Continue reading

Blockchain in commercial real estate

May 24, 2017

A blog post by Surabhi Kejriwal, Real Estate research leader, Deloitte Services LP

This quote is relevant in today’s world, when every new technology comes with a promise to improve the speed of doing business and, eventually, profitability. As we try and keep pace with the technology advancements, more often than not, the first reaction tends to be: ‘is this technology a hype?’ And this was my initial reaction to blockchain, a technology that is at a nascent stage, but is expected to revolutionize the world as the internet first did.

To determine whether blockchain is truly revolutionary, or just hype, I began by studying the technology. Simply put, blockchain is a digitized, distributed ledger that immutably records and shares information. The technology comes with features such as near real-time...Continue reading

As cyber threats increase, cyber insurance ‘trapdoors’ could scare off buyers in need of coverage

May 15, 2017

A blog post by Sam Friedman, Insurance Research Leader, Deloitte Services LP

Indeed, caveat emptor—let the buyer beware—seemed to be the unofficial theme of the numerous cyber seminars taking up a large portion of the event’s extensive educational program. During one heavily attended session after another, risk managers, attorneys, brokers, and consultants warned how challenging it would likely be to secure sufficient and reliable cyber coverage...Continue reading

Changes in US banks’ country exposure over the last decade

May 10, 2017

A blog post by Val Srinivas, Banking & Securities research leader, Deloitte Services LP

But before I get into the details, please indulge me in a brief history of country risk analysis in banking. Up until the 1980s or so, this field was not well-established at all, with neither banks nor regulators having sufficient expertise to assess and manage country...Continue reading

Securities lending: Addressing default and collateral risks with blockchain

May 3, 2017

A blog post by Rohit Kataria, Investment management senior analyst

In 2016, global securities lending revenue amounted to $9.16 billion, and North America accounted for the largest share, at 51 percent.1 Securities lending may seem like a straightforward practice, but it’s actually fairly complex. A typical securities lending transaction involves multiple entities: borrower, lender, lending agent, prime broker, and clearinghouse. Lenders typically include various investment firms, as noted above, whereas, broker/dealers and hedge funds make up the bulk of the borrower group. Lending agents, on the other hand, are broker-dealers, custodial banks, and some large asset management firms...Continue reading

Compliance should be a strategic asset, not simply a “cost”

April 26, 2017

A blog post by Andrew N. Mais Senior manager, Deloitte Services LP

However, the risk is that compliance becomes an end in itself, rather than a means to an end. Indeed, compliance is often perceived as a burden and cost to the business, so it might be tempting to do just what is required by law rather than to use compliance as a mechanism to strengthen risk management. Compliance in that sense would really be no more than a “spend,” not necessarily adding value to the business, and now—with what many foresee as a lessening of regulatory pressure ahead—to a certain extent perhaps becoming...Continue reading

Global innovation in fintech

April 19, 2017

A blog post by Jim Eckenrode, executive director, Deloitte Services LP

My visit was to a place that some call “Silicon Wadi”: Tel Aviv, Israel. I was there with a group of my Deloitte colleagues to learn more about “Startup Nation,” so dubbed by the authors of a recent book of the same name.

That Israel has grown as a technology development center is being recognized by many. Seven years ago, Tel Aviv was recognized by Wired as a hot spot for technology incubation.1 More recently, Fast Company listed Tel Aviv as one of the top global cities to work in technology, where it is ranked sixth, just behind San Francisco and Boston. The ranking includes quality-of-life issues (cost of living, average commute, etc.) as well as investment and growth measures (time to start business, seed funding available, and startup output).2...Continue reading

Clearing cyber risk speed bumps

March 22, 2017

A blog post by Sam Friedman, Insurance Research leader, Deloitte Services LP

Growth projections are bullish, with some predicting US sales to double or even triple over the next few years.1 Yet such optimistic prognostications could turn out to be irrational exuberance, considering the speedbumps keeping most insurers from stepping on the accelerator and prompting many buyers to hit the brakes.

While more players are entering the field and premiums written are on the rise, cyber insurance remains a relatively small niche market, its growth hindered by a variety of obstacles confronting both sellers and buyers. Despite all the publicity over the past few years about the threat cyber intrusions pose...Continue reading

Millennial banking

March 8, 2017

A blog post by Val Srinivas, Banking & Securities research leader, Deloitte Services LP

A simple web search will confirm this claim: there are close to a million results that come up when you look for Millennials and banks/banking.

As an American Banker article last year said, “you're forgiven if you're a little confused on what to do with millennials given the seemingly endless—and often conflicting—research released about the younger generation's attitude toward financial institutions.”1

On the one side, there are many studies that suggest Millennials, compared with other generations, are more skeptical of and less loyal to banks. This research obviously gets a lot of press and serves as endless fodder for debate at industry conferences, as you can imagine. And on the other side, there is empirical research that shows Millennials might not be that different after all. Unfortunately, this doesn’t get as much attention as it deserves...Continue reading

Senior housing: Are your properties Boomer-ready?

March 1, 2017

A blog post by Saurabh Mahajan, Real Estate manager, Deloitte Services LP

Health care RE is receiving increased interest from institutional investors, including foreign private equity and insurance players that are looking for long-term and above-average returns.1 Broadly, health care RE includes four types of properties: senior housing, medical office buildings, hospitals, and life sciences buildings. For purposes of this blog, I will focus on senior housing.

As figure 1 shows, senior housing properties have consistently outperformed other comparative property types over the last five years. Also, the fundamentals in this market continue to remain strong...Continue reading

Imagining advanced analytics and robo-advice

February 22, 2017

A blog post by Doug Dannemiller, Investment Management research leader, Deloitte Services LP

Science fact. Some leading robo-advisers are beginning to leverage advanced analytics to build retirement plans that inform clients about how much they will need to save to retire according to their target retirement age and lifestyle. These advanced plans can also budget clients’ monthly saving and discretionary spending amounts. These leading robo-advisers are linking a full spectrum of client financial accounts to capture, track, and classify historical financial transactions to make the budget and retirement recommendations. This is a good initial step for utilization of this client data, but it pales in comparison to the services that can be imagined with these real-time records of finances and transactions...Continue reading

The ongoing transformation in student housing

February 1, 2017

A blog post by Surabhi Kejriwal, Real Estate research leader, Deloitte Services LP

According to Real Capital Analytics, in Q4 2016 alone, transaction volumes increased a substantial 40 percent year over year to approximately $2.0 billion and prices rose 74 percent during the comparable period. Overall, on a rolling 12-month basis, student housing transactions grew 53 percent to $9.1 billion and prices increased 16.1 percent in Q4 2016. Surprisingly, domestic institutional and international investors accounted for 40 percent and 22 percent of the transactions, respectively, in 2016 year to date (as of December 21), which are again higher than their respective shares...Continue reading

Financial Services outlook for 2017

January 4, 2017

A blog post by Jim Eckenrode, Executive Director, Deloitte Services LP

Happy New Year! I’m pleased to share that our industry outlook publications on the coming year in financial services are available for your review here. We hope you take the time to read our take on what 2017 holds for banks, insurers, investment managers, and commercial real estate companies. And, since the quotable Irish playwright Oscar Wilde said, “There is only one thing worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about,” we would like to think that you’ll also share them with your colleagues and discuss the implications...Continue reading

Can Pokémon Go and augmented reality improve customer experience in banking?

July 20, 2016

A blog post by Val Srinivas, Banking & Securities research leader, Deloitte Services LP

Ever since Niantic, Inc. launched the Pokémon Go mobile game on July 6, augmented reality (AR) has taken over the lives of millions of people (including my kids’). Many have become obsessed with capturing Pokémon—like Squirtle, Charmander, and the adorable Pikachu. Some of you (or your kids) may have collected Pokéballs at Pokéstops, and joined other teams to wage battles at “gyms.” It is also possible that with your valuable Pokémon loot, you have reached a higher...Continue reading

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