The More the Securities Industry Changes the More It Remains the Same

By G. Kevin Mathis, IAC Student Intern

When I was a kid my uncle gave me his sci-fi and superhero collection (DC, Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek). It was two boxes filled with books, comics, and movies.  I enjoyed the stories, so I spent hours reading the comics and re-watching the movies on VHS.  I would even dress up as the different heroes (even when it was not Halloween). I built themed Lego sets and collected action figures.  As Bob Dylan so elegantly croons the times changed, I matured into an adult.  I said goodbye to dressing in superhero costumes and playing with toys.  However, when I consider my relationship with sci-fi and superheroes an old maxim come to mind: the more things change the more they remain the same.  The way I celebrated the heroes I enjoyed as a kid evolved with my maturity and technology.  I spend my leisure time reading novels and watching the movies and shows on Blu-ray and digital streaming services.  I collect (and wear) character hats, shirts, stickers, and patches.  I named my office Kevin’s Fortress of Solitude because Movie posters, collectibles, and models decorate my office walls and bookshelves.

Last year I wrote a post explaining the meaning and implications of FinTech.  Even though FinTech means the innovation of financial technologies in the financial securities industry the more things change the more they remain the same.   Age and technology caused my relationship with sci-fi and superheroes to evolve FinTech so is the relationship between investors, FINRA, and firms.  In June 2017, FINRA established an Innovation Outreach Initiative (“IOI”) to track the rapidly developing FinTech supporting financial securities industry innovation while maintaining investor protection and market integrity.   The IOI established a website and identified three emerging areas in FinTech with a growing impact on the financial securities industry: (1) RegTech, (2) artificial intelligence, and (3)social media sentiment investing

For the next three posts, I will explain the advances in FinTech.  I will remain on the theme of sci-fi and superheroes as analogies that may better explain and detail the three important FinTech impact areas.  Then I will use a final post to further explain how these three important FinTech impact areas demonstrate that the more the financial securities industry changes the more the relationship between investors, FINRA, and firms the more it remains the same.