Globalisation, digitisation and "millennialisation" are big challenges: KPMG’s Cowell at CAIS 19


Globalisation, digitisation and "millennialisation" are three critical challenges facing the alternative investment industry Tony Cowell, partner KPMG and chairman of CAIS 19, stated in his opening remarks at the annual Cayman Alternative Investment Summit (CAIS), being held in Grand Cayman this week.

He offered a brief insight into what these represent and mean and how the conference would tackle them over the coming days.

On globalisation, he suggested that, despite the rise of populism and increased geopolitical tensions, he believed that in many ways the rise of technology will accelerate globalisation and will create more opportunities.

“Companies like Netflix increasingly understand that it is not about where you are but who you are that will determine the products you use and the investment products you might buy,” Cowell said.

Digitisation, he said, especially artificial intelligence and machine learning, would increasingly be the lifeblood of the industry in the future.

“Those companies that do not embrace data will face huge strategic risks. Digitisation will become the North Star of the industry and will make it unrecognisable ultimately," he added.

Millennialisation refers, he explained, to the challenges of catering for a generation that is the most connected ever and expects a friction-free client experience embedded in the digital world – and the next generation will be even more connected to the digital world. He noted that the millennial population of China is already bigger than the entire population of the US.

“But millennials also care about doing good – they are driven by purpose as well as profit and there is not a board room in the world where that is not a consideration,” he said. “Companies that succeed need to consider not what they do but also why they do it – they need that purpose.”

KPMG, CAIS 19, Cayman Alternative Investment Summit (CAIS), Netflix, Tony Cowell, Grand Cayman,

Cayman Funds