Innovation Blog

Putnam Investments: FinTech Startup Challenges 2020 


Driven by commitment to our clients, Putnam has been embracing change and practicing 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 worldwide.

Hear Putnam Investments 2020 Challenges:


This heritage is one reason why we are thrilled to be in the second year of our founding partnership with the MassChallenge Fintech program.  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.


Putnam is seeking partnership with the startup community to explore five core themes.

1) Capturing Client Journey & Next Best Action

Putnam is seeking a master tool that can orchestrate our clients’ and prospects’ journeys and all of the supporting data.  How can we integrate the internal tools we already have allowing for the capture of our digital and human interactions, to ultimately provide our distribution teams with the next best action?  This will aid in the sales enablement process and reduce the friction of gathering internal data.

2) Alternative Data

In efforts to diversify our research methods, alternative data is actively used at Putnam, including qualitative and unstructured factors.  We would like to enhance these efforts with a tool that can provide additional, alternative data and also help to organize and catalog these data sources.  It is key that an alternative data repository is shareable across the organization and perhaps utilizes machine learning to find similarities across different datasets to provide data usage recommendations.

3) Material ESG Data & Nuanced Analysis

Sustainable investing is a key priority at Putnam and is increasingly integrated in our broader fundamental investing process. At Putnam and beyond, capturing material environmental, social, and governance data can present challenges and opportunities, similar to the capture of alternative data. Additionally, there is still room for debate regarding how to measure ESG information effectively. We would like to partner with startups who have an innovative and creative way of analyzing existing sustainability data as well as exploring new data sources and nascent vectors of analysis.

4) Financial Education

The need for financial and investment education is becoming more and more prevalent in rising demographics, particularly the millennial generation. Decisions on investment strategies between active and passive investing have been made without full transparency. We would like to learn from startups who have successfully contributed to the financial literacy of up and coming generations.

5) Fixed Income Transaction & Pricing Transparency

There is an information gap within fixed income markets due to companies issuing multiple bonds, bonds fulfilling different strategic objectives, and fixed income instruments having multiple attributes. We are looking for startups who can coalesce the vast and disparate sources of fixed income transaction data such as FINRA reports. The ideal partner could also propose advanced analytical solutions with this data.


All of us in financial services are on a journey of a Digital Transformation that will see a core of emerging technologies continue to change how we work. These include: Collaboration, Cloud, Data Analytics, Mobile and Search.  At Putnam, we hope to see FinTech partnerships evolve to 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.

Hear other FinTech Partner Challenges here!

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