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Asian Investor: COO Investment Forum 2022

Disruption on all fronts: Regulation, passive investment and margins

Buy-side firms have faced mounting challenges in recent years that affect operational performance. Margins are under pressure amid intense market competition, a regulatory deluge and fast-moving technological innovation. Legacy infrastructure built for the pre-internet era is increasingly inadequate to provide optimal client service. In this challenging business environment, the buy-side faces significant pressure to reduce costs for two main reasons. The first is that it is costly to comply with the growing regulatory burden. The second is that passive investment continues to gain popularity at the expense of actively managed funds, which is affecting the bottom lines of major active managers. By early 2021, there was roughly US$11 trillion invested in index funds. In the past decade US$2 trillion has flowed into passive equity funds, while US$1.5 trillion has exited active ones. BlackRock predicts that global ETF assets could reach US$12 trillion by the end of 2023.

This fireside chat discusses how investment managers should deploy technologies to respond to external disruptions on investment manager business models.