Embracing emerging technology – asset management

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By FINTECH Books Contributor, Yannis Kalfoglou
Follow: @plakatech

Change is hard. As human beings, we get comfortable and feel secure, so when things change, it can be unsettling to say the least. Specifically, the asset management industry is going through a period of rapid digital transformation and change.

Impeding regulatory changes and accelerated technology developments change the landscape we see new entrants challenging incumbents, new business models emerge, regulatory reforms across the globe and socio-demographic changes driving the transformation agenda. We move toward a more agile, open, social and distributed personalized financial advice future.

For example, the era of empowered investor has started with the advent of automated investment advisory services (a.k.a. “robo-advisors”). Low cost, rapid enrolment process and appeal to gen X/Y and millennials promise to make automated advisory services a $260bn market by 2020, with a predicted global AUM of $2.2tn.

Another area of concentrated activity with anticipated profound impact for a number of background process for the entire financial services industry is blockchain. It promises to alter the transactions landscape across different domains, from reconciliations and settlements in post-trading to smart contracts and transfer of value to pre-trading. The era of dis-intermediation for financial services begins.

Also look at the impact of the ever so popular artificial intelligence (AI), especially the much referenced machine intelligence sub-field of AI. The huge leaps in performance and accuracy of machine learning algorithms (5 years ago the error rate of identifying correctly an object in an image was roughly 36% for a typical machine learning engine, today is less than 3%) and the abundance of cheap computing power and storage makes these technologies easier to apply and achieve ROI quickly. For example, back office automation using the latest chatbot and robotic process automation tools is becoming increasingly easy to apply and produce tangible results.