As quarter 1 draws to a close, we have compiled a selection of notable pieces written by well-known industry observers and advocates of change. All the links provided herewith are well worth a click and download – the material will help all of you who are interested in the industry and are looking to confirm your own thoughts on what is in store for us all as we execute our plans over the next few years.
We have found all the articles referenced in this blog to be informative, thought provoking and outright useful as we ourselves think about how we continue to contribute to the industry with our digital investor communications vision. If you have produced any material recently that you feel is worth adding, please let us know and we will gladly consider including your report in future updates.
Our brief distillation:
Without exception, digital transformation continues to be the phrase of the year. Most consultancies are obviously proponents of some form of digital transformation. Our overall summary of what the key focus areas are / will be:
- AI / machine learning especially around the investments process
- Blockchain, specifically outside of the US and aimed at execution, settlement and record keeping
- Client communications and distribution enablement
Interestingly, natural language processing including automated translations and commentary writing, seems to have largely disappeared from the primary agenda of Digital Transformation. This is not to say these are no longer agenda items, but we have noticed a de-escalation of these technologies in terms of priority.
Private Markets: The entire industry is embracing private market investing. The notion of “alternatives” is being blended into private market investing and this is redefining strategies and extends speculation around M&A activity which continues to be a theme that is mentioned. Passive v Active is an old hat. Private Markets is the new new.
ESG and Sustainability: Mmmm, yes, absolutely. But the dialogue and emphasis are now visibly broadening (and quite rightly so). The “S” and “G” are percolating up the agenda more prominently. Also, asset managers are being encouraged to “look at themselves” as well as their investments when it comes to issues of equality and staff well-being.
Regulation: Unsurprisingly, regulation is still a key theme in every report. Our observation – aside from the ongoing topics of PRIIP, KIDS, MiFiD, SFDR and the EU taxonomy – is that there is an added focus on retail markets due, in part, to the continued growth of direct to market propositions. The authors warn of further regulatory measures especially around extended sustainability disclosure, fee transparency and point-of-sale education.
Most of the papers also mention cost-cutting and efficiency, but noticeably lighter than from previous years. This is either because the subject has already been drummed into the industry, or that until recently, the market has performed very well, leading to improved reporting numbers for most managers.
We hope you take the opportunity to download some of the above-mentioned materials. We thank all the publishers for their continued commitment to the industry.
Below are the direct links to the reports we have reviewed and note that some links will take you to the landing pages so you may need to fill in the form to get the download of the report. Also, some of the reports were written as far back as mid-year 2021 but still worthy of inclusion. Confirming our observation that not much has changed since then other than the small details of the beginning of the pandemic. Of course, it is too soon to reflect on the impact of atrocities that are unfolding in Ukraine at this very moment.
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