FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK
MOST THINK OF THE NEW YEAR AS THE BEST TIME TO REFLECT AND EVALUATE, but mid-year provides a unique opportunity to take a hard look at the fruits of the last six months, which can help you decide whether to stay the course or correct direction.
With that in mind, one of our exclusive roundtables features several bank executives who reflect on 2019 thus far and discuss how the year has played out compared to January’s forecasts. Keeping with the banking theme, we also present the annual Bank 50, a ranking of the top banks in equipment finance.
Technology is the second major theme of this issue. In our tech roundtable, six software executives share their take on current trends and provide insight into the next phase of industry innovations. Editorial Board Member Deborah Reuben reports on the 2019 CEMC Innovation Summit, and I interview BlocLedger’s Al Brandt, who explains the current state of blockchain.
Our guest editors have worked diligently on features for this issue: John Bober examines the ins and outs of professional services, and John Hurt interviews Dr. Sameer Maskey, founder of Fusemachines.
In our departments, Patricia Voorhees takes a closer look at fintech in Raising the Bar, Ken Weinberg examines cross-state usury laws in Tipping the Scales and Bob Bell offers advice on launching your own brokerage business in Brokers Bridging the Gap.
Don’t miss our next issue, which will feature our inaugural list of Industry Icons. See you then!
THE FINAL ELFA CONFERENCES OF THE YEAR ARE APPROACHING. During the 2017 ELFA Annual Convention, a poll during a lunch session contained the question, “What are the biggest concerns facing your organization in the next three years?” The poll answers included political uncertainty, weak economy, weak growth, and systems enhancement and integration. Systems enhancement and integration was selected two and a half times more than the next option.
Technology was front and center on the minds of executive leaders at that conference. The strategy selection, implementation and adoption of technology have moved beyond doing “what we have to do” to providing a strategic and economic advantage through using technology in transformative ways.
Delivery of services and technology has changed as well, offering companies options for transformation never available before. Various types of providers offer a range of services, allowing companies to ask, “Is this something we can do ourselves or is it something that would be better turned over in whole or in parts to others?” Also, what is on the minds of company leaders today as they think about engaging outside advisors? These questions are not unique to people involved in technology and may be applied more broadly to other business areas in companies seeking the best sources of outside knowledge, experience and know-how.
We are excited to have had the opportunity to work on this issue with the Monitor staff. We hope you find the articles compelling and useful as our industry moves forward into these exciting new areas.
John Bober & John Hurt
Monitor Guest Editors