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2017 London conference highlights an evolving financial landscape

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This year, BlueMatrix’s London Roundtable gathered speakers from diverse professional backgrounds and addressed the fundamental changes occurring in the financial services industry as a result of new technologies and MiFID II coming into play.

Before afternoon tea in London, Simon Edwards, Head of Business Development at BlueMatrix sat down with the guest speakers for a conversation on regulation, technology and what it all means for the future of work.

To relate MiFID II with new technologies, Neil Shah, Director of Research at Edison Investment Research, gave some insight on the affect MiFID II is having on research firms: "with MiFID II, there is a dawning realization on the research side that the revenue will be cut significantly.

"So how do you recoup that and respond to that as someone who is running a research department. You look for anything that is more efficient, that differentiates yourself. And so, there is this drive of how do we make ourselves better, how do we survive when the top line is under pressure.

The panelists also shared similar sentiments when it came to the need for creating more engaging and personalized experiences.

Neil Shah, Director of Research at Edison Investment Research thinks that there is going to be a fundamental change in the way the research industry providing inputs to asset managers is going to evolve.

"With disruptive technologies, it’s always impacting how I look at the world from proprietary sources of data through to how do I make my analysts more efficient, my CRM systems more robust and my content more discoverable," he says.

"There’s some great, great tools available out there today and we’re always exploring them. HTML5 was a transformation for us in terms of engagement with our research content. I can tell you that we are getting 10 times more eyeballs on our research once we moved to HTML5. We’re now about to start embedding video into our HTML documents to create a much more engaging experience. So, there’s lots to cover in terms of how technology can disrupt a space."

Dr. Aida Mehonic, Principal at ASI Data Science elaborated on the consumer side and why it’s a great time to be a consumer: "Everything is personalized, granular and predictive. AI sort of anticipates what you as a consumer would like to purchase or consume at that moment. And there’s no reason why consumers of research can’t benefit from similar features to have a much smoother experience. Spend less time searching for the right content and in general engage better with your content."

With the industry constantly evolving, it’s imperative for research providers to equip themselves with the kind of technology that customizes and personalizes experiences, and at the same time helps to comply with MiFID II as it unravels.

Chris Stephen, a Freelance Journalist having worked in war zones and now investigating the likely effects of MiFID II on hydrocarbons investment research, joined the panel and described how “in a war zone, everything is influx and the challenge is to really find the essence from the noise, and that is basically the challenge in trying to report on MiFID II.”

Chris’ investigation on MiFID II led him to Brussels where he tried to find some answers. During the panel discussion, Chris shared a few of his discoveries with the audience and engaged them with his perspective on the complexities around MiFID II.

"It’s like everyone’s looking at a chess board thinking what’s the first move, well it’s not the first move that matters, it’s about how the game is going to develop and change the industry," he says.

With all the noise of MiFID II and disruptive technologies piercing through the financial services industry, a good takeaway from the panel to help drown out the noise a bit better, is to focus more on the human aspect of the work we do - the relationships. Leveraging the tools that disruptive technologies bring about to cultivate more meaningful human interactions.