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Building digital capability to improve customer channels, ensure regulatory readiness and create operational efficiency


Resources


60 Second interview with:

JURGEN FRIETSCH,HEAD OF IT & PROCUREMENT,
GENERALI INVESTMENTS



1. What key pain points within investment management firms can most easily be solved by digital technology?
While technology is making customisation easier and cheaper each day, the path to digital transformation is not the same for every institution. Asset managers should look beyond the market noise and hype about what digital giants are doing, to see what fits with their specific strategic goals and objectives.

2. What are the key regulatory, economic or cultural hurdles to investment managers adopting digital technology?
Competition, cost and compliance are driving asset managers to create new holistic digital ecosystems that enable greater personalisation, automation and engagement to grow business and drive customer loyalty. One key to success is the development of an enterprise strategic plan for digital transformation. Each business unit, department and division within the company might be engaged in everything from mobile to cloud to creating a customer experience. However, if there isn’t an overarching governance framework tying those digital strategies with the organisation’s overall goals, they could have small short-term wins without meaningful long-term transformation. Reviewing team structure should, therefore, be part of digital transformation: from an ‘informal model’ – where most businesses start or started - or one lone voice spreading the digital word in the building! – to an ‘Hybrid’ one, where one team is in overall control (delivering training, and providing support and strategic guidance).

3. What types of products and services do investment managers most need from providers of digital technology?
With the right technology and processes, we could better understand who the customer is, what their specific needs are and when we need to present a particular message. This can vary, depending on the client we are targeting (e.g., retail vs. institutional).

4. Is it a given that investment managers will increasingly adopt digital technology, or is there still substantial resistance from the industry?
After 100 years of doing the same old thing, digital technology is starting to have a major impact on the asset management industry. The world’s biggest players are making significant investments in new technology (e.g. Bigdata, AI, Blockchain) and partnering with small, nimble startups as they embrace ‘fintech’. This is a heartening trend to see from companies whose size, history and conservative culture have traditionally conspired to stifle innovation.

5. Why will you be joining the Digital Transformation in Wealth & Asset Management Summit, and what do you hope to get out of the event? As Head of Technology, it’s critical to identify the opportunities that digital technology brings, and regularly challenge my own digital strategy through constructive discussions with peers.