This post is part of our new Future of Finance series which interviews the leading founders and executives who are on the front lines of the industry to get a better understanding of what problems the industry is facing, what trends are taking place, and what the future looks like.
The following is an interview we recently had with Barry Mione, President of Kapitall.
1. What’s the history of Kapitall? Where and how did you begin?
BM: Kapitall began about seven years ago with a premise that a first-class user experience will transform the investing category the same way it has transformed communication, entertainment, and computing.
Kapitall was created utilizing game theory as a way to help guide new and intuitive investors with a new, fresh approach to understanding how to invest in the stock market. We make the world of investing fun, accessible, and rewarding!
2. What specific problem does Kapitall solve? How do you solve it?
BM: Millenials are overlooked by direct brokers, banks, and most online financial providers. They aren't interested in their parent's broker at Fidelity or Schwab, or even their banks- they find that all quite boring. These providers deliver intimidating, complex, and frankly aged user experience tailored to Boomers. Kapitall solves for these problems by offering a gamified platform and mobile/tablet design where anyone can learn, compete and engage with the stock market. It is a compelling alternative to the traditional brokerage experience, with a dynamic twist on strategy and simulation games.
3. What’s the future of finance?
Prediction #1: Hard currency will continue to see a dramatic decrease in usage- cryptocurrency usage will be a MUST for adaptation in financial services as a form of payment.
Prediction #2: Large banks will continue to lose assets of Millennials as they continue to grow in their careers unless they adapt approach and philosophy to pay attention to their needs that are NOT the same as Boomers.
Prediction #3: Millenials will continue to seek havens of “trusted advisors” that are vastly different from their parents- the boomers. They will thrive on trusted sources such as “wisdom of the crowd- their “peers”, rather than a traditional advisor.
4. What are the top 3 technology trends you’re seeing in finance?
Trend #1: Greater capabilities to tap into real-time sentiment of consumer base- as mentioned above, there is much research that is trending around immediate knowledge of wisdom of the current crowd.
Trend #2: AI and complex robotic processes will be at the forefront of disruption- from servicing customers to new portfolio creation.
Trend #3: We will have to continue to be creative and inventive in financial literacy and education. If you look at many websites in the industry, not much has changed in the past 20 years. Many nations throughout the world are moving forward with technologies to focus on this and the US must be at the forefront as well.
5. Why is the finance industry ripe for disruption?
BM: Great question! I wouldn't say no one, but let's say “not many” are focused on making investing a truly rewarding experience without a focus on the almighty bottom line. Millennials will inherit 30 trillion dollars over the next 15 years, but they are not favored by major institutions as they are not the profitable segment….yet. This will be the greatest generational wealth transfer in history- yet the “megabanks” still have yet to figure out how to cater to and delight this targeted segment.
About Barry Mione
Barry joined Kapitall’s executive leadership team in 2012 and has been President of New Kapitall Holdings since 2016. While with Kapitall, Barry created digitally-advised investment products that take a unique view of portfolio customization, with low investment entry into product. Over the past few years, Kapitall has received distinctive recognition awards- Forbes “Fintech 50” finalist, top ten “great investing sites” for Millennial by US News & World, and featured on CNBC “The Millennial Investor”. In 2018, Barry was chosen to represent Kapitall and participate as one of five nationally-chosen start-up participants in Fidelity’s newly launched Accelerator program
Prior to Kapitall, Barry held executive positions at BNY Mellon, E*Trade, Bank of Montreal, and Credit Suisse. He was also one of the original founders and Senior Executive of DLJdirect, a division of Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette Securities Corp., which went public in 1999.
Throughout his career, Mr. Mione has served on various executive guidance committees including Innovation, Product Strategy, and Risk Management. He has presented and paneled at various national Fintech conference, and completed the Securities Industry Institute® program, at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Mione obtained his degree in Organizational Psychology from Stony Brook University in Long Island, NY.