We partnered with Imperial College Business School for a panel discussion about the Impacts of FinTech to careers in Investment Management. We were keen to marry up the collective experience of the panel, and their insights and views, with the audience. Equally we wanted to get a feel for what the next generation of Investment Management professionals should set in their sights.
Based on the findings from our soon to be published report The Disrupted Career - FinTech, Investment Management and future careers, we created a truly interactive debate as we put the questions we used in our survey to our audience, enabling to give real-time feedback via the AlgoMe Community mobile app.
The panel consisted of Rob Carter, CEO, AlgoMe and Ruben Lara, Chief Data Officer, Standard Life Aberdeen, and Henrik Grunditz, Co-Founder & Chief Revenue Officer, Hivemind, a FinTech that is helping companies create value from complex data sets. The Moderator was Anne-Louise Burnett, Centre Manager, Imperial College Business School Centre for Global Finance & Technology.
The key questions that were discussed were:
Do I understand typical career paths in Investment Management?
The combined experience of our panel is both lengthy and varied. For example, moving from working within an investment company, joining a consulting company and also joining other industries where core skills are transferable (eg. within data science), indicated that careers are fluid and certainly not predefined. The key trend however was all the panel members, throughout their careers. kept developing and adding to their skillsets.
Are career paths less well defined due to the changes happening in the industry?
There was a general view that indeed career paths are now less well defined than before, and technology and general innovation were changing these paths as existing positions in the industry will likely be displaced by other new ones. The new careers demand an understanding of data and how they can be leveraged to create efficiency, greater understanding of clients, investments and decision making. As the technology impact is just starting to hit the Investment Management industry, career paths will be impacted in the next 10 years to a great extent, beyond what we imagine today. Some research indicates that 90% of today’s jobs will not exist in 10-15 years.
What skills will be the most important to develop careers in Investment Management?
As already mentioned, skills linked to data science will be important. Along with this, the ability to interpret what it presents, to further support risk management, controls, understanding of clients and trends in the market as well as supporting (investment) decision making. These skills will be in demand for both junior and senior positions and given the technology developments ahead of us will likely change and become more complex.
What will, and what can, you do to progress your career?
The panel indicated that if they were looking at their 20-year younger self, they would not have seen themselves in the positions they are today. Nevertheless, a key ‘red line’ through their careers was the development of their main professional interest and continuously developing the associated skills, be it business management, data and analytics, or information systems engineering. All equally being influenced by the need of these aforementioned hard technology skills.
Rob Carter stressed the value of having mentors throughout your career, people that can guide you and hold a mirror up for you. Hendrik Grunditz mentioned the benefits of networking, staying in touch with people and create a reputation of being nice, delivering constant high quality and be committed. Ruben Lara added to this the need for the softer skills and ability to influence, manage stakeholders and communication.
We believe the Investment Management professional career is about to change direction, and for some this will be a radical change. It seems everyone is in agreement and there are very exciting times ahead, especially for those with a passion for technology and change.