#217 April 2019

Page 46

ASSET MANAGEMENT

AN OUTLOOK ON 2019 Christian Edelman, Head of Financial Services (EMEA) and Matthieu Vasseux, Head of Financial Services (MEA), both at Oliver Wyman, list out the ten top trends affecting the asset management industry this year (PHOTO CREDIT: ORIONTRAI/SHUTTERSTOCK)

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he year 2018 witnessed several industries adjust to the ‘new normal’, where unpredictability was rife, particularly for the asset management industry across the region. The three underlying themes that become predominantly prominent are technology, efficiency and doing the right thing. OUTSOURCING SHIFTS TO THE FRONT OFFICE The outsourcing conversation has tended to focus on cost reduction in the middle and back office processes. No more— it’s coming to the front as well. Open source analytical and code libraries are proliferating, and access to the massive amounts of data created by the online world is increasingly open.

This entails a declining dependence on armies of in-house coders and data scientists, and a greater use of readymade tools and external resources. This will have critical implications for portfolio managers who will have to become fluent in this world. It is early days, but some GCC asset managers are moving to algorithmic trading which requires advanced analytics, and a few pioneers are exploring artificial intelligence o r m a ch i n e l e a r n i n g t o i d e n t i f y investment opportunities. ACTIVE MANAGEMENT BECOMES ACTIVE OWNERSHIP As volatility reasserts itself and the 10 per cent annualised equity returns become a distant memory, managers will define themselves not just by


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