Digitize or jeopardize: the stark choice facing investment managers


Digitize or jeopardize: the stark choice facing investment managers

iStock/ Olivier Le Moal

Digital disruption is changing industries, businesses and operating models driven by three intertwined forces: the falling cost of technology, the availability of data and cloud computing and the emergence of artificial intelligence.

That was the message from Anthony Cowell, partner, head of Asset Management, KPMG, speaking at the 2018 Cayman Alternative Investment Summit, the theme of which is: Wired: The rise of alternative investments in a digital age.

Cowell acknowledged that the world is still dealing with the consequences of the financial downturn with political upheaval and populism causing uncertainty on many fronts. But he said that despite this, there has never been a better time to be in the alternative investments industry.

He covered some of the findings of a recent report by KPMG and CREATE-Research based on a comprehensive survey of operatives in the space. Alternative Investments 3.0: Digitize or jeopardize found that only 2 percent of those surveyed believe it will be business as usual over the next ten years – because disruptive impact of new technology and digitisation in the space.

“Those operating in the industry will be forced to change in order to survive,” he said. “New technology such as AI and machine learning will transform the entire industry. In an increasingly digital world, hyper customisation will be ever more important.”

Cowell noted that blockchain in particular will mean massive changes for the structure of the industry and leaders will be needed who are able to set a vision that leverages such technology can also deliver on that. “The future will be about the interface between humans and machines,” he said.

He acknowledged that the bigger players will be better placed to invest in technology but he also said that companies not embracing technology and digitisation will be in jeopardy. “And the truth is that some of the most important products have not been invested yet. So it is never too late,” he said.

2018 Cayman Alternative Investment Summit, Anthony Cowell, KPMG, Digital disruption, Technology, Investment management, AI, Cayman Islands, Global

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