Innovation Blog

Putnam Investments: FinTech Startup Challenges 2019 


Driven by commitment to our clients, Putnam Investments has embraced change and practiced an active, research-intensive approach to investing ever since we launched our first fund in 1937. We are a global asset manager serving individuals, institutions, and retirement plan sponsors, providing investment services across a range of equity, fixed income, absolute return, retirement, and sustainable strategies. Because we recognize and value financial advice, we distribute our services largely through intermediaries via offices and strategic alliances world-wide.

This heritage is one reason why we are thrilled to be a founding partner of MassChallenge Fintech. Technology is clearly driving – and re-shaping – the future of all financial services. Tech not only defines client interaction and influence, it enables continuous product and process innovation that keeps companies flexible and competitive. That’s why believe we can mutually benefit by partnering through MassChallenge with new startups to solve specific challenges – turning thought-leading visions into practical realities. 

Our challenges are:

Improving liquidity in the Fixed Income Market: There is an information gap in fixed income markets due to the fact that each company issues multiple bonds; bonds to fulfill different strategic objectives. These fixed income instruments have multiple attributes. The challenge is to use technology to find similarities and dissimilarities to help fill in this gap. The aim is not just to optimize investment strategies and cut costs, but to also enable better audit trails, reporting, and execution.

The evolving landscape for Sustainable Investing:  The current generation of investors have expressed a keen interest in areas of social impact (known broadly in the industry as Environmental Social Governance; ESG). We want to work with startups who can tune their data collection and analytics to identify companies and business lines that offer sustainable, responsible opportunities for ESG investing.

Insights driven advisor outcomes: How can Putnam Investments address the rapidly evolving needs of the advisor community? We are seeking insights that can make consultants become more effective in targeting specific advisor needs by analyzing and applying industry, public/social and proprietary data. This data would be used to help our consultants more effectively interact with financial advisors to help them pursue a winning approach to Wealth Management, Practice Management and Investment Management.

Next Generation Advisor Tools:  Putnam Investments seeks startups that have developed a systematic, compliance-sensitive approach to information discovery and can help us build a new tool that enables advisors to spot emerging customer needs for new products and/or better wealth management strategies in a timely way.

Back Office Data Management and Reconciliation:  Universally, Financial Services firms have deployed multiple, often laborious data management and reconciliation systems across front-to-back office functions. Putnam Investments will look to the FinTech community to help deploy smarter, simpler, and auditable solutions that draw on Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Natural Language Processing to improve data management and reconciliation. The goal: far more efficient operations for securities processing and decision making.

How will we help startups grow their businesses?

All of us in financial services are on a journey of a Digital Transformation that will see a core of emerging technologies radically change how we work. These include: Collaboration, Cloud, Data Analytics, Mobile and Search. At Putnam, we hope to see FinTech partnerships evolve that enable all of us to succeed by applying tech to deliver clearly better results for our clients.  We really are in this together. We welcome your unique talents and look forward to navigating the digital frontier – together.


Sumedh Mehta, Chief Innovation Office 

Want to partner with Putnam Investments during the 2019 MassChallenge FinTech program?

Apply at by October 12, 2018 at 12:00PM (noon) ET. 


Browse the list below to learn more about the challenges issued by MassChallenge FinTech partners for the 2019 program.



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