There is consensus among the practitioners we interviewed and our survey respondents that technology will be the dominant driver for change in investment management and an increasingly essential element of work for almost all investment professionals. Barbara Petitt, CFA, head of curriculum and learning experience for CFA Institute, said, “As technology becomes the lingua franca, investment professionals must become literate in a language that is not their own and be able to ask the right questions. Asking the right questions is and remains a key competency for our profession.”
Portfolio or Fund Managers
Investment decision maker
Private wealth manager
Investment thinking and process innovator
As the industry moves to an AI+HI model, investment teams of the future will fulfill three main functions (investment, technology, and innovation) in eight types of roles, as shown in Exhibit 11, at the investment firms of the future (this discussion benefited from the future professional roles section in Susskind and Susskind).xiii
Investment decision-making roles are typically undertaken by chief investment officers and portfolio managers, depending on the size and structure of the firm. Investment research is predominantly provided by research analysts. Private wealth managers are generalists who also serve a relationship function with their clients. These roles exist today, but as seen in Exhibit 10, many investment professionals expect them to change significantly. Among wealth managers, 54% expect the role to be substantially different, compared with 45% of research analysts and 39% of portfolio managers.
Data scientist roles are increasingly present at investment organizations. These professionals are the architects and the applications engineers are the builders; they work together to develop and implement the technology components of the investment process.
Innovators focus on improving the existing investment process. A key role innovators play in the face of technology disruption is to facilitate the collaboration between investment and technology teams. One will find investment thinking and process innovators both among senior researchers in the industry and at leading research universities. Knowledge engineers are subject matter experts who identify key industry trends and emerging investment expertise. They focus on gathering insights from innovators and sharing it with other investment professionals. Innovation facilitators play a similar role to private wealth managers except that they operate in the innovation space.
CFA Institute has discussed the growing force of fintech in the financial services industry in recent years.xiv