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Benzinga Founder Jason Raznick Discusses How Fintech Is Changing The Markets For Consumers

Benzinga Founder Jason Raznick Discusses How Fintech Is Changing The Markets For Consumers

Financial expert and media personality Jeff Macke was the fireside chat host at the 2015 Benzinga Fintech Awards gala in New York on April 8.

Below is the video and full transcript of his talk with Benzinga CEO & Founder Jason Raznick.

Jeff Macke: Alright, here we go. Jason Raznick- he's of course, the man himself. Talk to me about the conference. How's it going? Why are you having these awards?

Jason Raznick: Yeah, we wanted to have these awards because fintech is such a much bigger industry now. The volume of capital invested is up 10x from four years ago. And there was no one honoring these fintech companies. There was no one giving awards or doing anything to honor it. So, Benzinga, being this 21st century media company, thought we had a perfect angle to celebrate these companies, give out awards, and celebrate news, celebrate what we're doing here. Instead of all these Uber-type companies, we are fintech. And the reason why fintech is so important is because we solve problems for investors.

Jeff Macke: We're fintech, dammit. But, now to paraphrase Don Draper though, the money is really the honor here. Do these guys really need an honorarium in these markets as they are?

Jason Raznick: When you're doing a startup, it's a depressing mode. You're behind closed doors and you're trying to figure out how to build your startup, you're trying to figure out how to get through obstacles, and sometimes you're behind closed- you don't see the impact you make. Benzinga's whole mission is to solve problems for users, to lower costs, to give access. And that's what we try to do, because consumers don't have it. And it's always been Wall Street versus the consumers. And you're starting to see the playing field get leveled, but there's a lot more to do, and by honoring it, it keeps the momentum going.

Jeff Macke: So what are the remaining hurdles? We've seen commissions kind of go away, pretty much, we're seeing a rotation into ETFs, they're not charging any fees, financial media is being disruptive like crazy, they're not going to escape this carnage that we're seeing in cable. What does this industry look like, and who's going to be making money?

Jason Raznick: So, the industry looks like whoever's going to provide value. So there's companies like TipRanks here, there's companies like LikeFolio who look at the social graph. TipRanks rates analysts. Benzinga rates earnings data, you're not going to find a better earnings feed. It's the companies that can give accurate, real info versus the old line companies depending on, “Hey, this is how we've done it in the past.” If these new companies that we're creating today can add value for the consumer, you're going to see the consumer more empowered, you're gonna see not just commissions get lowered, but also strategies. There's HedgeCoVest. A lot of rich guys that I know can invest in hedge funds. The average person cannot invest in hedge funds. HedgeCoVest lets you. I'm not saying it's great for everyone, but it gives you the options. What we're trying to celebrate, the Benzinga fintech gala, is options, access, accessibility, lower costs, and that’s what we’re here for.

Jeff Macke: Alright. That’s outstanding. I’m gonna let you close on that, my man. Alright. He’s Jason Raznick, of course. He’s the CEO and founder of Benzinga. It’s a huge honorary ceremony, what would you call it? A shindig? A soiree?

Jason Raznick: Shindig, gala, and it couldn’t be done without Jeff Macke here. Jeff Macke is one of those guys that tells it like it is. And that’s very rare in media and any industry.

Jeff Macke: He makes an outstanding point, folks. I’ll let him close on that. Thanks so much, let us know what you think. Comment down below, check out the stream, we’re here all night.


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Posted-In: Benzinga Benzinga Fintech Awards Jason Raznick Jeff MackeOpinion Exclusives Interview Best of Benzinga