Blockchain chronicle. Why should independent asset managers of all sizes go digital?
The fourth industrial revolution is under way with its main differentiating feature being its exponential speed of evolution. Technology is already everywhere and continues to grow, especially in the financial industry. According to a report published by McKinsey , the call for individuals and organisations to invest in learning and development has never been stronger. The World Economic Forum recently stated that there is an urgent need for retraining as the world faces more than a billion jobs transformed by technology. Having personally switched from the world of private banking to that of a blockbuster, I am firmly convinced that it is urgent for organisations to integrate digitalisation into our businesses, whatever the size of the organisation concerned. The blockchain in particular has been around for a few years now, so why should the financial industry start working on it now rather than waiting and seeing what happens?
With the increase in cybercrime, threats and hacking attempts against the financial sector are becoming more frequent and more sophisticated. According to a report published by the Boston Consulting Group, financial services companies are 300 times more likely than other businesses to be targeted by a cyber-attack and dealing with these attacks and their consequences has a higher cost for banks and asset managers than for any other sector. Blockchain technology is one of the most secure technologies in the world with its cryptographic hash system. It therefore meets the challenges of cybercrime regardless of the size of the structure concerned.
The second point, in my opinion, is that of data possession and transparency. There was a time when a certain amount of information remained hidden or omitted, but that time is past. Today we want to have easy access to and control over all kinds of data, i.e. to be able to control simply and efficiently to whom and how it is shared. Agility and efficiency in terms of data management should not be reserved only for larger structures. If they have more complex data mapping, a smaller structure has limited resources to devote to it. Technology can thus make it possible to concentrate human capital elsewhere, especially on tasks with higher added value.
Finally, I think the third issue is related to the ease of adoption and implementation of such technology, which is still obscure for some. Smaller structures are generally more reluctant to devote large budgets to the implementation of new solutions because of their means but also because of their internal constitution. Indeed, without an entity specifically dedicated to innovation, this aspect can sometimes be relegated to other priorities. However, the advancement of blockchain technology is becoming more and more mature with the end of the exploratory phase and with it its batch of “ready to use” solutions for the financial industry that is beginning to take shape.
Curiosity is our best ally. Small or large structures, it is wise to keep a watchful eye on continuous improvement. This is why, in my opinion, innovation and digitalisation must be on everyone’s mind today.
Written by Anna Waibel & Camille Ernoult, Wecan Group
Specialist in the transformation and optimisation of processes in the financial sector
Anna Waibel specialises in the transformation and optimisation of processes in the financial sector. She worked at swissnex Singapore and then at Union Bancaire Privée, UBP SA for more than 8 years before joining the blockbuster sector as Client Success Manager at Wecan Group.