Articles & White Papers

The Way to San Jose (May 2014)

Finovate Spring was recently held in San Jose, attracting 1,250 attendees to the premier US showcase for innovation in financial technology. Bluerock is a sponsor of Finovate Europe and in this summary we look at what San Jose had to offer, especially a resurgence of start-ups in savings, investments and consumer loans...and even the protection market. Click here to read more.

What part of Change are Financial Services firms not getting? (May 2014)

The financial services sector exhibits the classic innovator's dilemma. Disruptive forces threaten current business models and infrastructure but digital transformation in existing players tends to focus on sustaining technologies. What tools and techniques can help to bridge the divide and stay competitive? Click here to read more.

Omni-channel Banking - Beware building Pipework without Insight (April 2014)

Establishing a true omni- channel model is the target of many Financial Services organisations but simply focusing on the front end is not enough says Paul Martin. Click here to read more. 

Advice - Let's be honest, there's always been a gap (March 2014)

The extensive heat that is being generated around the advice gap is understandable in terms of a ‘told you so' riposte of the industry to the FSA/FCA following RDR. However is there any real substance to the outrage being expressed? To read more click here

Life without PowerPoint - does our favourite tool kill innovation? (March 2014)

PowerPoint has been an aid and a support for what seems the whole of our working lives but is it time to think the unthinkable and ban it from certain types of session? Paul Martin examines the message taking such a step would send and its potential impact.  To continue reading, please click here.

Does Content Marketing have any real potential for FS companies? (March 2014)

It’s one of those ideas often suggested for Financial Services but never truly adopted. Paul Martin looks at digital consumer engagement and its relevance for our industry. To continue reading, please click here.  

Are you just kettling Social Customer Servicing? (March 2014)

As the migration of customer services into the social channels begins to gain pace Paul Martin wonders if the mind-set to exploit this opportunity is in place in Financial Services. To continue reading, please click here. 

The Banking Reform Bill: What lies ahead for the banks? (August 2013)

The global credit crisis has thrown banks into the public spotlight, in a way never seen before by our current generation. Of particular interest to the general public, at a time when several of the big banks are receiving significant public bailout funding, have been the so-called "casino banking" activities carried out by the banks in the past, whereby the deposits from retail customers have been used by investment banking arms to generate significant returns, through risky investment elsewhere. The fall of several banks, much of which was caused by the widespread purchase of collateralised debt obligations,and many of which were in the form of sub-prime mortgages, ultimately led to the demise of many household name banks.To continue reading, please click here.

Crowdfunding (August 2013)

Since its inception in the 1990s, the crowdfunding industry has seen significant growth, driven by advancements in technology, the growth of online channels and increasing consumer dissatisfaction with traditional providers in the wake of the banking crisis. In this Bluerock whitepaper we explore the future for this nascent industry. To read the white paper in full, click here.

Community - Making Online work for Financial Services (August 2012)

The impending impact of RDR has led many organisations to re-consider their distribution strategies with an increasing number looking to de-risk the future by owning more of the chain themselves. This in turn has led to an uplift in assessment of the potential for new model Direct to Consumer offerings. The new model is based upon the belief that in some way the on-line channel will be made to function successfully bringing with it low costs and efficient self processing. To read the full version, please click here.

Strategic Partnerships and the move to Direct Marketing to Consumers (July 2012)

Bluerock Consulting have written a white paper on Strategic Partnerships and the move to Direct Marketing to Consumers, focusing on the issues confronting financial service providers and life and pension offices in developing seccessful direct to consumer propositions. Please click here to read more.

Business Case For Corporate Platforms (September 2011)

There has been a revolution in the pensions world; there are now more employees in DC pension schemes than DB schemes, it is no longer always best to remain in a company pension scheme and auto enrolment into pension schemes will start in 2012 with expected huge increase in costs for some companies. Most dramatically, compulsory retirement ages have been banned so employees can choose to carry on working for as long as they want. All of this is happening against a backdrop of major cost cutting exercises being carried out by almost every UK employer as a response to the current economic uncertainty. Click here to read more.

Financial Planning Tools For Employees (September 2011)

The transition from defined benefit to defined contribution pension schemes brought with it the realisation that employees were ill-prepared to make vital investment decisions affecting their retirement income. The US market was several years ahead of the UK in this respect and employers there felt both a moral and fiduciary responsibility to offer their workers some form of planning tools to assist them in making an informed choice especially within 401 (k) plans.
To read more, click here.

Are You Ready For The Revolution? (August 2011)

Are you prepared for the major changes in distributing financial services products that will occur over the next few years? Whilst the RDR provides a regulatory timeline for some of these changes, intermediaries and providers who are adjusting their proposition to become RDR compliant for 2012 could be making a huge mistake and missing out on a major opportunity. Michelle Cracknell looks at their options. To read this in full, please click here.

The FSA Platforms Paper  (August 2011)

The Highlights:

Bundled pricing is going - Payments by product providers to platforms will be banned but no implementation date has been set except that it will be after December 20012 and further analysis

Cash rebates from product providers to clients will be banned but no implementation date has been set except that it will be after December 20012 and further analysis

Execution-only platforms can continue to receive fees or commission from a third-party but will have to disclose them

IFAs can use one platform but have to be careful and need to look off platform.  To read more, please click here.

The Risk of Financial Planning Tools (June 2011)

The demand for Financial Planning Tools is increasing but so are the challenges. The market is awash with options of dizzying complexity so selecting the tool that is right for your organisation is not a task to be taken lightly. Vaughan Jenkins provides a beginners guide to some best practice and some of the leading tool providers. Click here to read more.

UCITS IV Survey - Executive Summary (December 2010)

The UCITS IV initiative was based upon the assumption that existing regulation is a barrier to increased concentration within the European asset management industry. For the full article, click here.