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UK asset managers give insight into tech priorities

EU_GDPRUK asset managers have data security as a front-of-mind concern, including how they resource the latest piece of EU privacy regulation known as GDPR.

An EY survey showed that 97% of UK asset managers who responded cited data security as a key focus.

This not only covered defence against cyber attacks and cybercrime, but also complying with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

A majority of firms find it challenging to find budgets for GDPR programs, given the significant resources already attributed to the MiFID II capital markets reforms this year, EY said.

The survey, which focused on digital challenges and ambitions, also found out more about where asset management firms are taking their strategies. Over a third of firms were exploring new technologies to help drive efficiencies and manage regulatory requirements, with 39% of asset managers investigating smart contracts and blockchain.

Almost 40% were looking into artificial intelligence and machine learning – up from 26% the previous year.

And just over 30% said they were interested in providing robo-advice style services such as self-service investments and guided advice.

Dr Anthony Kirby, associate partner in EY’s wealth and asset management practice, said: “Brexit planning of course is a key consideration, especially with the beginning of the transition period drawing ever closer, but new technologies - along with the associated risks - as well as fees and charges and overall transparency will continue to demand close attention for the foreseeable future.”

EY’s ‘Risk and regulation in a digitalised world’ report found that 85% of the asset managers who responded were “ramping up” their preparations for Brexit, up from 71% last year.

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