Sameer Somal is the Chief Financial Officer at Blue Ocean Global Wealth and Blue Ocean Global Technology. Prior to co-founding Blue Ocean Global Wealth, he was a Senior Investment Analyst at The Bank of Nova Scotia and a Financial Advisor and Intermediary at Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch & Co. As part of the Investment Strategy Group at The Bank of Nova Scotia, Sameer actively contributed to the firm’s white paper and institutional business development efforts. He delivered keynote presentations and fostered education partnerships nationally. His fiduciary responsibility at Ernst & Young and Advisor Compliance Associates include helping asset management and alternative investment companies adapt to Sarbanes-Oxley.
Sameer is a CFA Charterholder, a CFP® professional, and a Chartered Alternative Investment AnalystSM. Sameer serves on the Financial Planning Association (FPA) National Diversity Committee and the Board of Directors of the Philadelphia/Tri-State FPA. A senior financial services leader on industry roundtable and panel discussions, Sameer serves on CFP Board’s Council on Education and is a Women’s Initiative (WIN) Advocate. He is an active member at CFA Institute, serves on the Advisory Executive Council of the Women Economic Forum (WEF), and is a Board Advisor at the iPlan Education Institute in New Delhi, India.
A member of the Speakers’ Series at the Johns Hopkins University Carey School of Business, Sameer is a frequent speaker on the digital revolution, reputation management, succession planning, technology, diversity, financial planning, entrepreneurship, and leadership. In May of 2017, he was named an Iconic Leader Creating a Better World for All by the All Ladies League & Women Economic Forum.
The New Networking: Building Relationship Capital
The Digital Revolution is accelerating our access to knowledge and revolutionized how we communicate. Finance is grounded on quantifiable metrics and knowledge gained through the rigors of academic & professional development programs. While a technical framework is required and fundamental to a successful career in finance, we overlook the importance of what we can only measure qualitatively, including networking. Success in life is a function of our interpersonal relationships.
Networking is a learned skill and does not require the personality of an extrovert. A memorable introductory conversation and exchange of business cards will increase relationship capital after applying a process for patient and purposeful follow-up. Creating a network of trusted friends and colleagues, who will provide information, introductions, mentoring and partnership, will expand your personal and professional opportunity set. Results follow planning, practice, and commitment.
An Entrepreneurial Mindset & The Intangibles of Success
An entrepreneurial mindset represents a truly unique opportunity for today’s students and tomorrow’s leaders. Flexibility, creativity, and intellectual freedom often catalyze an entrepreneur’s desire to start a business. Entrepreneurship, a fundamental driver of our global economy, is defined by French Economist, J. B. Say [1767–1832], as a shift of economic resources out of an area of lower productivity into an area of higher productivity and yield. This is also true of intrapreneurs, defined as those who apply an entrepreneurial to their employment culture. Intrapreneurs often become entrepreneurs.
The intangibles or “soft skills”, represent the tipping point between achieving great success and simply remaining average. These skills are rarely taught in college or graduate school. How does one quantify trust, relationships, communication and emotional intelligence? The interdependent of our global economy places a premium on these soft skills.
The Fintech Revolution
Every day people are empowered with unfiltered information and global communication access from a device that fits comfortably in our pocket. It took the Internet 12 years to gather its first billion users, and a third of that time to reach three billion.
The Digital FinTech Revolution is accelerating our access to knowledge, transforming how we communicate, and creating a wave of digital disruption that will reshape the financial services industry. As regulators and banks refocus on updating their policies and operating models, the next generation of Fintech platforms, including robo advisory, blockchain, digital payment, Bank in a box, security, and P2P lending, are already off to the races.
Global investment in financial technology rapidly increased by 3,770% from $930 million in 2008 to $36 billion in 2016. The opportunity to innovate for quantitative finance professionals has never been more compelling than it is today.
Digital Revolution & The Technology Planning Process
Technology pervades every aspect of an organization and must be coordinated with a strategic plan. The rate at which technology evolves creates choice, which can be overwhelming and confusing. Leaders require a transparent, accountable, and proactive technology partner.
A rapidly changing technology landscape necessitates technology planning and has never been more critical to the growth and sustainability of a business. The right technology decisions improve performance; the wrong technology decisions exacerbate challenges. Technology planning is the process of meeting your organizational goals with a prudent allocation of your technological resources. Efficient and effective technology planning integrates strategy, branding, and execution across an organization.
The Power of Social Media
By 2025, digital computing and communication technology will connect eight billion people to one online community.
Never before in history have consumers had so much influence and power at their fingertips; businesses large and small must learn how to adapt and embrace such change. Kodak and Blockbuster exemplify how quickly the average lifespan of a company listed in the S&P 500 significantly decreased from 67 years in the 1920’s to 15 years today.
Social media is a transformational platform for cultivating trust, increasing engagement, and expanding market share across both demographic and geographic boundaries. Social media is not about selling, it’s about developing connections and communicating effectively. Great content drives engagement and marketing.