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The Investment Professional of the Future

How can investment professionals maintain relevance?

What will the investment industry look like in 5-10 years' time? And how can individuals and organisations best position themselves for what lies ahead?

Below, we list some of the best recent papers, which examine the structural changes in the industry and explore the actions that investment professionals and asset management firms might take now to prepare themselves for the future.

investment professional of the future

Investment Professional of the Future (CFA Institute, June 2019)

In the 40 page report, the CFA Institute examines the changing world of work for investment professionals, providing a roadmap to help both organizations and individuals navigate the challenges that lie ahead. The authors show that the investment professional of the future must keep learning and adapting, investing in new-era skills and harnessing new technology in order to succeed. The report has been built on the foundations of a global survey of over 3000 CFA Institute members, as well as induistry roundtables, interviews and expert analysis.

How can asset managers meet the needs of asset owners in the Great Acceleration? (Thinking Ahead Institute, June 2019)

The CFA Institute published ‘Investment Firm of the Future’ in May 2018. That report helped frame this report by the Thinking Ahead Institute. The publication discusses the investment challenge ahead and considers twelve different scenarios (first used in the CFA report) to explore possible futures industry outcomes.

Sustainability: The future of investing (BlackRock, May 2019)

For compliance reasons, this paper is only accessible in certain geographies

Sustainable investing was previously seen as purely as a moral choice, whereby investors sacrificed return in order to do the right thing. But this is no longer the case. The authors examine what has changed.

How Asset Managers Can Win in a Winner-Takes-All World (BCG, May 2019)

BCG examines the structural forces that are putting downward pressure on asset management profitability. They argue that a challenging period such as this will generate clear winners and losers, and the authors suggest two distinctive business strategies for getting ahead of the competition.

Persistence and Skill in the Performance of Mutual Fund Families (Amundi, 2019)

For compliance reasons, this paper is NOT accessible in the United States

Amundi examines the research surrounding investment performance at the "fund family" level and asks if the fund performance of selected fund "families" is persistently superior to that of their competitors. After controlling for noise, the authors find that very few fund families exhibit true skill.

Smart Beta Strategies: A Main Driver of ETF Demand (BlackRock, May 2019)

For compliance reasons, this paper is only accessible in the United States

As a part of its 9th annual US ETF Study, Greenwich Associates interviewed 181 institutional investors on the linkage between the utilisation of smart beta strategies and the demand for ETFs. Around one-third of investors surveyed plan on increasing allocations to factor-based or smart beta ETFs over the next year.

Structural Megatrends in Real Estate: Engaging the Future (Nuveen, June 2019)

This collaborative effort between Nuveen Real Estate and MIPIM examines the secular changes that are shaping the future of real estate investment.

The Asset Management Industry: Performance Magazine (Deloitte, May 2019)

This 29th edition of Deloitte's Performance Magazine continues its journey of crisscrossing the asset management industry, from a geographical, segment, and client perspective.

The Ubiquity of Data: Challenges and Opportunities for Asset Managers (Lazard)

Lazard argues that investment management firms with specialist expertise in "big data" processing stand at a competitive advantage in terms of extracting alpha, optimising portfolio structures and allocating capital.

Megatrends: The forces shaping our future (iShares, June 2019)

For compliance reasons, this paper is only accessible in certain geographies

This study examines the secular trends in the global economy and how they might impact investment decisions.

MFS® Institutional Investor Compass℠ - An Asset Owner Survey (May, 2019)

MFS surveyed over 540 asset owners, including DB and DC pension plans, endowments, foundations, and sovereign wealth funds, all of whom had a minimum of $100 million of institutional assets under management. Key themes of the survey include: the demise of the current US bull market, confidence in asset management, diversification into fixed income assets, and investment time horizons.

Smart Beta 2019 - Global Survey Findings from Asset Owners (FTSE Russell)

FTSE Russell's annual survey examines how institutional investors understand smart beta and how they implement smart beta decisions in their portfolios.

Trends in the European Investment Fund Industry 2019 (EFAMA)

EFAMA's quarterly release examines net flows in the European investment fund industry.

Pursuing cybersecurity maturity at financial institutions (Deloitte, May 2019)

This report highlights key traits amongst top cybersecurity programs and reinforces the need for financial institutions to focus on their security efforts.