Finance in Focus: Millennials managing money

Finance in Focus: Millennials managing money


Millennials—generally considered to be persons born in the latter two decades of the 20th century—number as many as 80 million people in the United States alone. The sheer size of this demographic makes millennials very important to the financial services industry, not least because millennials stand to inherit vast sums of money from their baby boomer parents. Indeed, this latter likelihood is making millennials a very hot topic among wealth advisors as they try to understand millennials in hopes of earning their trust and winning their business.

Millennials have earned a reputation for being constantly connected, digitally savvy, convenience-loving and price-sensitive—as well as sometimes lazy, narcissistic, energized and optimistic, even bent on saving the world. They are generally highly educated but are also debt-ridden, and they have made a name for themselves by putting off major life events and the decisions surrounding them, such as marriage and homeownership, until later in life than have earlier generations.

This week’s guests

Jon Stein is the founder and CEO of Betterment. Drawing on experience he acquired during a career advising banks and brokers about risk and products, he founded Betterment in 2008 to express his passion for making life better. Jon, a graduate of Harvard University and Columbia Business School, holds Series 7, 24 and 63 qualifications and is a chartered financial analyst. His interests lie at the intersection of behavior, psychology and economics. He seeks excitement in his work by seizing chances to make everyday activities and products efficient, accessible and easy to use.

Priya Malani is an entrepreneur and is cofounder of Stash Wealth, a financial planning firm for H.E.N.R.Ys (High Earners, Not Rich Yet). She left Wall Street to establish a new normal for those seeking to work with financial advisors—for Priya wants to change how millennials think about their money. Her clients are ambitious professionals who excel at work and want something to show for it—and Priya helps them make their money work as hard as they do. Priya began her career more than a decade ago at Merrill Lynch within the Wealth Management division, working with the firm’s high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth clientele.

Carolyn Heller Baird is a global research leader for the Institute for Business Value (IBV), IBM’s business strategy think tank, directing global studies on a variety of business strategy topics. Before joining the IBV, Carolyn served as the customer experience lead for customer relationship management strategy working with GBS Financial Services, in which role she helped design IBM customer experience strategy offerings. Even earlier, she served as an executive consultant, associate partner and manager and global lead for content strategy with the IBM Interactive Experience (IBMix), establishing global content strategy competency for IBM. Before joining IBM, Carolyn worked as a creative lead and managing editor for boutique communications firms. Moreover, Carolyn has published two important papers related to millennials:

This week’s hosts

Alex Baghdjian, a senior offering associate for financial markets and wealth management with IBM, brings deep knowledge of the financial services industry, particularly financial markets and wealth management. His professional experience revolves around digital wealth management, securities-based lending, mortgage processes, account opening and client segmentation strategy. In his role as a senior offering associate at IBM, he focuses on bringing IBM cognitive and analytics solutions to the financial services industry.

Rob Stanich, a global wealth management offering manager with IBM, brings extensive experience in financial markets and wealth management, having worked nearly two decades in the industry, including 19 years on Wall Street—13 of them as an IBM employee. Rob serves as the offering manager for IBM wealth management solutions.

Brian Walter, the global industry lead for Watson financial services, has been with IBM for more than 10 years and serves as the global industry leadership partner and wealth management lead for banking and financial services within the Watson Group. Brian brings extensive knowledge in the financial services industry, having founded, grown and sold three businesses that provided services in the financial markets area before he joined IBM.

If you’re on the hunt for ways that you can use analytics to transform financial markets and wealth management, find out how a demo or complimentary workshop can help you begin to use analytics to reimagine your wealth management practices.