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Issues Archive » FundsTech Summer 2021

Roundtable: New age thinking

FundsTech – Should the industry look beyond traditional thinking to encourage more innovation?

Hornett – We have to look at the younger generation. We have to make them part of the process so that they feel the funds industry is part of their important life decisions, like long-term retirement and health planning. If we can get them to understand and appreciate the industry early on in their lives, it would be a quantum leap forward.

Bernstein – It’s all about the marketplace and building an ecosystem based on an open architecture that allows for new entrants, breaks down barriers for investors and service providers and focuses on disintermediation. If you combine all of those things, you create a model that will break down costs for the end investor and enable success for all participants.

Aerts – Because of pressure on margins everywhere, we’ve seen a lot of process automation to increase efficiency and reduce costs. The biggest innovation comes from changing the model, not adjusting the processes. The direct-to-consumer (D2C) model is the next step in the industry thanks to blockchain and real-time access to data, but it is a challenge to deploy as it might render activities completely obsolete. The D2C model also means that the rules need to change.

Lorenc – This industry really does not cooperate very well on a large scale. We have the technologies and the tools. But we need to listen to each other and to embrace change and risk, otherwise innovation stays in the lab.

Glyn – All the ingredients for success are there to reduce friction and make the client service and experience better/more compelling. The technology is there, the business case is there and the pandemic has provided us a platform to really encourage change. We have now a once-in-a-generation opportunity to really make things happen, and shame on us as an industry if we don’t take advantage of that.

Ruetimann – The industry needs to look further afield for talent. The future CEOs of asset managers may well have experience in running a non-financial services firm. Enriching your talent pool with people from engineering, high-performance sports or various social sciences has already proven successful for some. True innovation derives from people from different personal and professional backgrounds, operating in a culture that encourages and rewards different thinking and unconditional collaboration.

Andemeskel – We should never forget two things. Firstly, it is not just about our current clients but also the clients that we are not serving right now, such as the millennials. We have to find lighter and more digital solutions to cater for them. Secondly, we need to move into a connected, decentralised, holistic and marketplace-driven ecosystem rather than a market where everyone has their own environment and no one is sharing because of competitive advantages.

Clarkson – We have to improve our use of data and the ability to supply data across multiple providers. To have eight or nine TA systems is not efficient. If we look to the future, you cannot adopt open architecture with seven TA systems and a data mesh on top to hide it all. As a TA, you need to have a single solution with global capabilities that can work with APIs and microservices, so that your asset manager clients don’t move on to another provider with better solutions.

© 2021 fundsTech

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