Industry Leaders: Transformation in Next Five Years will Outpace the Last 50

Author: Allison Lovett, Vice President, Content Manager, NICSA

Last week, NICSA President Jim Fitzpatrick sat down with several industry senior executives from OppenheimerFunds, American Funds, Fidelity and MFS to discuss the rapid pace of change within financial services and how these asset managers are evolving in response. We heard how these leaders are preparing their teams and operating models for both disruption and opportunity. (Access the webinar replay here.)

“Today’s business landscape is testing the nimbleness of financial services firms.”

The ability to pivot quickly is becoming increasingly important for investment management firms– and is constantly being tested by changes in regulatory, technology, and distribution strategies. The interdependent nature of business functions requires not only forward-looking execution planning but real and meaningful collaboration among industry participants.

In an environment of technical sophistication—where new market entrants may have the ability to identify client needs and expectations quicker than ever before—the “know your customer” mantra should remain top of mind. Preparing your teams to grasp a complex breadth of information and effectively utilize it when working with clients is essential.

Acceleration of Technology
The webinar provided great insight into the technology focus of each of these firms and it seems that regulatory and risk management initiatives are dominating tech portfolios. RPA – robotic process automation with improved data accuracy – also made the short list. A collective view was that big data and prescriptive analytics are just scratching the surface. Many are re-assessing call center models with an eye toward self-service, aimed at a “next-gen” investor landscape.

“Are you training your associates to play checkers or chess?”

Even with a tech revolution that threatens to disrupt the industry as we know it, this panel largely agreed that success still comes down to “our people.” These industry leaders are constantly assessing and preparing their teams for the future operating environment. For many companies, this means creating a culture where experimentation (and potential failure) is encouraged.

Our thanks go out to Boston Financial and DST for hosting the webinar, and to our impressive line-up of panelists who engaged our listeners in a dynamic and informed discussion. We invite you to share this post and the webinar replay with a colleague who may have missed the event.

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