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Rise Of The Machines – Is Your Business Ready?

The Asset Management industry is in the midst of significant changes being driven by a range of forces impacting the industry. In order to meet these new challenges, and leverage them to create competitive advantage, asset managers need to explore a range of new technologies which are quickly gaining a foothold in competing organisations.

We’re seeing a range of common issues across many asset managers in this region. Revenue and margin pressure, the need to keep up with ever changing regulatory requirements, the changing demographic effects on both the size of revenue pools and changing customer service/experience demands along with the technological initiatives which competitors are employing to differentiate their offerings.

In most cases the emerging technologies being employed by asset managers offer both competitive advantage and are also a solution to many other challenges. By way of example, artificial intelligence (AI), once the domain of science fiction, is now being practically applied across a wide range of industries. Today you will find IBM’s Watson (artificial intelligence combined with advanced analytics) in use by major financial institutions where it provides client insights to improve service, retention and profitability, through to Watson performing a range of regulatory oversight and reporting roles.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is another technology delivering step-change within financial services. Low cost and fast to deploy, RPA is replacing traditionally labour intensive transaction handling with processing ‘bots’ which literally take over and operate on the PC’s previously used by human labour. And again the benefits are not one dimensional. Unlike labour, RPA provides 24x7 processing which improves customer experience in addition to the more obvious operational cost savings.

Perhaps most exciting is the combination of technologies like AI with RPA to deliver ‘always-on’ automation of perceptual and judgement based tasks. Initiatives like this deliver agile and efficient operations, improved client servicing and risk/compliance monitoring and reporting.

The take-out messages are that these technologies are real and your competitors are at least thinking about them, if not actively implementing them right now. While there’s no need to commit to large scale technology initiatives in the immediate term, we do suggest that it’s time to review what these new technologies can do for your business. Then move swiftly to the proof of concept stage to build your in-house understanding of how these technologies will help you meet the challenges faced by the asset management industry.

Is your business positioned to take advantage of these new, emerging technologies?

John DiBiase  

Managing Director

16 Aug 2017