Library picture: Serge Weyland is seen during the ALFI Roadshow to Frankfurt, 21 June 2017. The CEO of Rothschild Asset Management gives a fintech presentation during the Alfi European Asset Management Conference on 7 March 2018. Photo credit: ALFI
In advance of the event, Delano spoke with Serge Weyland of Edmond de Rothschild Asset Management. He moderates the “Fintech – Facts, Fiction and the Future” panel, on the second day of the conference, at 4:30pm.
Aaron Grunwald: What do you want the audience to get most out of the fintech talk?
Serge Weyland: In fintech we’ve gone from “What does that mean?!” a few years back to hype. In the meantime, despite a lot of hot air, a lot has been achieved including in Luxembourg. During our panel we plan to share our thoughts and practical experience on how fintech is and will be impacting the whole asset management value chain from product design to asset allocation and distribution.
Is fintech an opportunity to help grow social/impact investing?
Technology certainly is a catalyst for impact investing. At Edmond de Rothschild Asset Management, for example, we are able to compute the carbon footprint of our funds versus benchmarks. Such metrics will gradually become industry standard. Fintech supported peer to peer lending and equity crowd funding as well as initial coin offerings (ICOs) can also be great tools for social/impact investing.
What’s on your “risk radar” for the asset management sector this year?
2018 might be a test year for passive strategies if market turbulence persists. The tremendous growth of assets invested in passive strategies fuelled by an unusually long bull market cycle has created a situation never seen before where correlation and resulting snow ball effects could be a real threat. The other risk you will expect me to mention is cyber. The asset management industry heavily relies on a limited number of infrastructure components who concentrate a very large number of transactions. This risk should not be underestimated.
Aside from your own talk at the ALFI event, which speech or panel are you most looking forward to hearing, and why?
Jacques Elvinger’s interview of Steven Maijoor of Esma and Peter de Proft from Efama will certainly be a highlight [editor’s note: 6 March, 11:20am]. Indeed, further developing and promoting an open, transparent and efficient European market (including the UK) for asset management is key for growth prospects across Europe and for addressing the challenges of an aging population. Let us hope that our institutions will continue to put long term interests of European citizens on top of their agenda. Besides, let us not forget that 30 years ago Europe created what has become the best know global brand for investment products: Ucits.