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BEworks: Applying Behavioral Economics to Financial Services

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395 Hudson St

395 Hudson Street

New York, NY 10014

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Join us for an evening of light refreshments and engaging conversations on Behavioral Economics in Finance.

About this Event

Increasingly longer life spans, a decade of low interest rates following the global financial crisis of 2008, coupled with the increase in substitutions of defined benefit pensions with defined contribution pension plans in the workplace, and government claw-backs of public pensions given fiscal deficit struggles; is resulting in increased personal accountability to make choices. Consumers are being forced in many cases to take increasing responsibility for proactively managing their financial futures.

These choices can be risky and have long term and consequences - whether to save more, retire later, reduce their quality of life in retirement, or earn more on their investments. These choices are also increasingly complex due to a proliferation of innovative investment products and channels. An increasingly complex choice architecture encourages investors to simplify their decisions through the use of mental short-cuts and rules of thumb. This means they are at risk of biased decision-making that leads to suboptimal outcomes.

While many organizations have attempted to solve the problem of irrational investment decision-making, they have relied on traditional, but limited solutions such as providing consumers with more information and education. Educating investors by increasing their financial literacy has not been proven to be effective since it may change intentions, making consumers intendedly rational, but due to heuristics and biases, their subsequent behaviour does not change. They intend to make optimal decisions but still behave irrationally.

A behavioural economics lens reveals that, in addition to having a poor understanding of financial matters, even experienced and well-educated financial consumers make sub-optimal financial decisions due to mental rules of thumb that guide their choices. These heuristics help with decision-making under some circumstances, but often mean people make poor choices and suffer the outcomes. These cognitive limitations, heuristics, and biases are so pervasive that Dan Ariely, Professor of Behavioural Economics at Duke University, describes human decision-making as being “predictably irrational”.

By identifying the predictable irrationalities of consumer behaviour, financial institutions can set themselves up to facilitate consumer outcomes and be adaptive and successful despite the changing landscape.

BEworks, a leading management consulting firm and research institute dedicated to the application of behavioral economics to business challenges. Since 2010, we have been working with financial institutions around the world to bring scientific-thinking and behavioral economics to develop better products and experiences for consumers using what we know about human decision-making.

This session is intended to introduce New York’s financial services community to Behavioral Economics using proprietary cases from BEwork’s portfolio.

Schedule:

5:30-6:00: Doors Open for Registration and Networking

6:00 - 6:15: TALK 1: The role of BE in business - Kelly Peters, CEO BEworks

6:15 - 6:30: Q & A

6:30 - 6:45: TALK 2: BEworks Case Study in Financial Services - Michelle Hilscher, PhD, Director of Discovery and Behavioural Diagnostics

6:45 - 7:00: Q & A with speakers

7:00 - 7:30: Interactive Networking

ABOUT THE SPEAKERS:

Kelly Peters is the CEO and Co-Founder of BEworks. She is passionate about bringing scientific thinking to business strategy, marketing, and operations.

Kelly has overseen the launch of several new business ventures that capitalized on insights into consumer behavior. Her interest in behavioral science stems back to the late 90s when working on behavioral scoring models in credit risk and online distribution models, evolved through behavioral finance, and finally culminated in 2008 when she embraced behavioral economics as the most reliable approach to executing strategy. She launched what might be the world’s first commercial application of behavioral field experiments while at RBC to help drive adoption of online service channels. Among the first to see the commercial potential of the Web in 1993, Kelly spent several years in the dot-com industry before focusing on financial services, where she spent 12 years leading complex innovation projects providing her with a rich background in innovation, technology, and human behavior. Kelly is a Faculty Lecturer of Applied Behavioral Science at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, and regularly lectures at Cornell, Harvard, and other academies. She is a sought-after keynote speaker, has conducted three TEDx talks, and has been featured in the New York Times & Forbes. After studying philosophy and technology, Kelly earned an MBA from Dalhousie University and is a Fellow of the Institute of Canadian Bankers.

Michelle Hilscher is the Director of Discovery and Behavioural Diagnostics at BEworks, the world’s leading Behavioural Economics firm and one of the largest employers of psychologists in the private sector.

She is deeply passionate about tackling real-world challenges while using science every step of the way.

As a seasoned science practitioner, Michelle has a stellar track record of applying Behavioural Science to solving challenges in a variety of sectors, particularly financial services. She’s a high-level strategic thinker who has developed innovative behavioural alternatives to traditional policy, compliance, and regulatory frameworks. She has led numerous complex and impactful behaviour change initiatives in financial services and beyond.

Before joining BEworks, Michelle worked as a Research Associate at Cortex, a governance consulting firm which provides advisory services to institutional investors. There, she supported a number of Canadian and US public pension funds and investment boards, completing projects related to board governance, group decision-making, and strategic planning.

Michelle holds a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Toronto, where she also spent a few years teaching Psychology of Emotions, Cross-Cultural Psychology, and History of Psychology.

A speaker par excellence, Michelle has presented at numerous events in different countries on topics such as investment disclosures, corporate disclosure, and investor risk tolerance.

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395 Hudson St

395 Hudson Street

New York, NY 10014

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Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

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