29 June 2017
Reporter: Stephanie Palmer

Network Forum: Don’t fear disruption

Custodians should embrace innovation and collaboration in order to move forward, according to Markus Ruetimann, chief executive of advisory firm Hardy London.

Speaking at The Network Forum in Warsaw, Ruetimann suggested that it is surprising “our industry has really not changed”, and said it is the industry itself that has “introduced complexity” to its own clients.

“Our industry talks about disruption rather than about innovation and evolution,” he said.

Ruetimann named a number of “shared challenges” throughout financial services, including information security, reduction of profitability, emerging technologies, regulatory arbitrage and re-gaining client trust in.

He said the real test in addressing these challenges is not actually in innovation, but in the ability to deliver value for money, and encouraged global custodians to “be more creative” and to “re-invent” themselves.

He advised buy-side conference attendees to focus on simplification and automation, insight and immersion, talent, and culture in the business, in order to bring about digital change.

Safeguarding of client assets is a key point for success, and “protecting of data and client identity is very much back on the agenda”.

At the same time, the approach to leadership should be shaken up, and new technical talent should be encouraged into the industry.

Ruetimann concluded: “We should all work together to encourage the industry and regulators to progress and help with transparency, standards and shared data.”

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