News

Technology a key theme at upcoming funds events

New technologies and geo-politics will be high on the agenda at key funds industry events in the coming weeks, including at the London conference of Jersey Finance and at the Sibos banking tech event.

The Jersey Finance Annual London Funds Conference takes place on September 10 while Sibos opens its doors for the first time in London on September 23.

Other upcoming funds industry events include Alfi’s Global Distribution Conference in Luxembourg, which will examine the changing face of distribution and have a specific focus on data and automation.

October sees the third ever GIIN Investor Forum take place. GIIN is the world’s largest gathering of impact investing professionals, according to the organisation. 

See our calendar of upcoming events across the European funds industry.

Jersey Finance Annual London Funds Conference

September 10, 2019 - Royal Lancaster Hotel, London, UK

The annual Jersey Finance conference will look at industry issues such as shifts in regulation and distribution, as well as rising trends in the alternatives sector. The current geo-political climate will be a hot topic, including ways in which fund professionals are future-proofing their funds. Funds Europe spoke with some of the speakers and delegates ahead of the event. This is what they had to say:

Elliot Refson, director of funds, Jersey Finance

How is the global political landscape affecting the funds industry?

From Brexit to wider market volatility and instability in developing regions, we are experiencing a period of considerable political flux across the globe which, undoubtedly, is translating to a degree of caution in the sector. However, this makes Jersey’s long time standing as a stable, well-regulated jurisdiction able to provide valuable services in terms of asset protection and secure and certain investment structuring, increasingly attractive.

What role will Jersey play after Brexit?

As far as Brexit is concerned, being outside of the UK and the EU but with strong ties to both, Jersey is able to bridge the gap between the UK and EU, regardless of the outcome of Brexit, and that is proving an attractive proposition among asset managers. In addition, for fund managers further afield, we anticipate Jersey will be able to act as a crucial hub for seamless access to both UK and EU investors.

Tim Morgan, Chairman, Jersey Funds Association; partner, Mourant

What are some of the trends you’re seeing at the moment?

First, we are seeing continued growth in private equity. As well as classic PE fundraising, this increasingly includes variants such as technology and life-science focused investments, specialist credit strategies relating to PE, private equity real estate (PERE) funds, and also a number of restructurings/successor funds, which benefit from Jersey's excellent transaction and M&A capabilities.

Secondly, real estate structuring has been encouraged by the validation of Jersey's model and experience in this area following the UK consultation process and new election regimes.

Finally, in relation to manager governance and structuring, there has been continuing growth in the establishment of Jersey management and governance vehicles.

OTHER UPCOMING EVENTS

Sibos

September 23 to 26, 2019 - ExCel Centre, London, UK

For the first time ever, Sibos will be held in London. This year’s main theme is “thriving in a hyper-connected world”. It will take a look at the challenges and opportunities presented by mass digitisation, as well as exploring the impact of new technologies on infrastructures, value propositions and business models.

Alfi Global Distribution Conference

September 24 to 25, 2019 - European Convention Centre, Luxembourg

With the onset of newer technologies, the face of distribution in the industry is changing. This year’s Alfi Global Distribution Conference explores data and automation in asset management, as well as how generational changes may impact distribution. Other themes include whether institutional managers hold the key to the future – or whether there will ever be a one-stop-shop app that helps users filter funds by social impact and price. The long and short of it, as the world continues to evolve, how will funds distribution evolve as well?

Gary Collins, head of distribution for Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America, Columbia Threadneedle

How has changing technology affected the distribution landscape?

Technology is having a fundamental impact in all areas of distribution and the broader supply chain.  For example, the ability to bring together client data allows firms to identify trends, powers them to build more targeted products and provides greater information and services to deliver a more precise client outcome. 

The ability to understand clients combined with web and automation technologies means we are able to enhance the client experience and make sure their needs are placed front and centre whilst being delivered consistently and at scale.

Do you think artificial intelligence will play more of a role in funds distribution in the future? If not, why?

AI is a pretty broad church and I do think it could be deployed to help identify client needs in a more structured way. I believe the enhanced use of AI will complement client service rather than replace the need for people and in turn lead to a more engaged and informed client experience. However, the immediacy of receiving information will place the asset management industry under much more scrutiny. This is a trust-based business and although the digitisation of the industry will change the way we engage with our intermediaries and end clients, we will be judged on our efficacy and client outcomes.  We can foresee an augmented selling approach using technology and data as an enabler to the current model. I can also see the consolidation of digital platforms as new tech entrants enter the market place as disruptors and bring with them volume driven solutions at lower prices. Whether this be Alibaba, Amazon or another platform, it is hard to predict.

Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) Investor Forum

October 2 to 3, 2019 - Beurs van Berlage, Amsterdam, Netherlands

This year’s five core themes are: integrating impact; product development; market development; climate and the environment; and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

MIPIM UK Summit

October 13 to 14, 2019 – Old Billingsgate, London, UK

Bringing together some of the head honchos in the UK real estate industry, including both private and public sector professionals, MIPIM UK is the country’s only real estate summit covering all asset classes, according to the organisation. As well as taking a look at some of the biggest issues affecting the industry today, it offers the chance to gain industry insights, covering themes such as infrastructure, environment, economics, society, and more. A networker’s paradise, the conference offers attendees access to development projects and sources of capital for UK projects, MIPIM UK said.

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