TGIF! Dan DeFrancesco in NYC for the final newsletter of 2022. What a long strange trip it’s been.
Quick programming note: We’ll be off on Monday, but I’m back in your inboxes on Tuesday to get you ready for the week.
Today, we’re going to recap all the great stories we’ve done this year on financial tech, whether it’s up-and-coming startups or the projects at the biggest banks and investment firms.
But first, as Huey Lewis and the News would say, Sports!
1. From Goldman to goal posts.
Wall Street and sports have a long history together.
For a time, sports served as the primary training ground for life on the Street. A college teammate was your best bet for getting a foot in the door at a firm.
These days jocks don’t completely run the trading floors and deal rooms, but Wall Street’s fascination with sports hasn’t tempered. Sports aren’t a pipeline for talent so much as they are one for deals.
One of the key players in the space is Gerry Cardinale, a former Goldman Sachs partner and the current founder and managing partner of $7.5 billion investment firm RedBird Capital.
Cardinale, who was profiled by Insider’s Hayley Cuccinello and Dakin Campbell, has invested in or with some of the biggest names in sports, including the New York Yankees, Dallas Cowboys, Boston Red Sox, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Liverpool Football Club.
And while RedBird has built a name for itself since its founding in 2014, it’s not alone. Private-equity firms are quickly catching on to the investment opportunities in sports.
Stakes in sports teams come with plenty of perks (who doesn’t want to sit in the owner’s suite?), but the return on investment is what has Wall Street really excited. One of RedBird’s funds has an internal rate of return of 34%, Hayley and Dakin report.
One of sports’ biggest assets is the live audience it commands, which translates into lucrative deals for streaming rights.
Here’s our top stories about fintech in 2022:
2. A Walmart-backed fintech’s future plans had some customers feeling left behind. When a Walmart-backed fintech venture acquired One at the beginning of the year there was plenty of talk about what the future would hold for the digital-only bank. But it wasn’t long before One started shutting down tools and features its longstanding customers had relied on. More on why One customers have been so frustrated in the wake of its acquisition by the retail giant’s fintech.
3. JPMorgan wants to run like a startup. The country’s largest bank by assets overhauled its tech org to be more nimble. Part of that switch included the appointment of 25 general managers who act as “mini-CEOs.” Here’s JPM’s new-look tech team.
4. These are the startups you should be keeping an eye on. We canvassed more than 40 top fintech investors to identify the most promising fintechs. These are the 61 startups that made the cut. Check out what the future of fintech looks like.
5. How top Wall Street firms are testing out cutting-edge tech. Everyone likes to credit startups with bringing innovative ideas to the finance industry, but big banks and investment firms do their fair share. From Goldman Sachs to Two Sigma and D.E. Shaw, here are 10 of the most innovative tech projects at top Wall Street firms.
6. What’s next for Betterment? The fintech established itself as a disruptor in wealth management when it launched more than a decade ago. But its core product, a so-called robo-advisor, was quickly replicated by larger players in the space, leaving it searching for a way to stay relevant. More on Betterment’s pivot from its robo-advice roots.
7. If you’re going to start your own business, these fintechs can help you get up and running. They might be small businesses, but there are plenty of opportunities for fintechs serving that clientele. We mapped out the 12 fintechs you should consider if you’re running a small business.
8. The leaders of the cloud revolution. When it comes to financial tech, it all starts with the public cloud, which serves as the backbone for any innovative plans a firm might have. We mapped out the 14 executives at finance firms leading cloud teams. And we also identified the top Big Tech executives who could get poached by Wall Street firms looking to do more in the cloud.
9. This is how employees at Robinhood reacted amid the GameStop meltdown. Congressional reports can sometimes be a bear to get through, but the US House Committee on Financial Services’ report on 2021’s meme-stock frenzy was a fun read. We pulled the best bits from the 140-page report, including some hilarious internal messages.
10. These pitch decks helped fintechs raise millions. If you’re looking to raise money for your own startup, or just curious how the competition pitches itself to investors, check out our library of pitch decks. We’ve got more than 50 decks from a variety of fintechs.
Curated by Dan DeFrancesco in New York. Feedback or tips? Email firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet @dandefrancesco, or connect on LinkedIn. Edited by Jeffrey Cane (tweet @jeffrey_cane) in New York and Hallam Bullock (tweet @hallam_bullock) in London.