I was having lunch the other day with a leader of a company that provides software to help financial institutions comply with various rules and regulations. The focus was around acquisition opportunities. A good discussion ensued, as there are lots of interesting, fast-growing companies in what we call the “GRC” space (Governance Risk and Compliance) that naturally lend themselves to being part of a larger organization. But the main takeaway of our discussion was the growing emphasis on cyber security as part of a GRC solution. “One can’t be all things to all people,” he said, but “we can’t go visit a company without a proposition for their cyber security needs.” This is telling, and fits with our sense of the world in which we live today.
Last Wednesday the US Department of Labor (DOL) released a several hundred page ruling that essentially requires investment advisors who advise people on investments for their retirement accounts (IRAs, 401(k) plans, etc.) act in the client’s best interest – or at least to disclose potential conflicts. (You wouldn’t think it would take them hundreds of pages.) The DOL has been working on this since 2010. They did so under their authority for enforcing the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) of 1974, although some believe they have overstepped their bounds and encroached on the SEC’s turf. Nevertheless, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved the rule and President Obama endorsed it.
There has been a lot of hype about the Internet of Things (IoT) as a big deal, and one should concluded that it is big, even bigger than the impact of the smartphone. It surprising, though, that an estimated 87% of the population has never heard of IoT. Makes me wonder, how can it be a big deal, with so few of us knowing about it?