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On Strategy and Investment Banking

The past 35 years have seen extraordinary changes within financial services. The advent of powerful, low-cost information and communication technologies has dramatically altered not only the means by which financial products and services are delivered and deployed, but the very nature of the products and services themselves. We are now witnessing a shift in the nature of financial innovation as we migrate from the "individualist" period characterized by retirement accounts, cash management, and discount/online brokerage services, to the "macrostrategic" period wherein financial innovation emphasizes institutional transformation and globalization.

While dealflow will continue to originate within the traded markets, increasingly deals will originate within the nexus between geostrategy and global finance. We believe that in this era of intense integration and hyperdependence opportunities currently exist and will continue to develop within this macrostrategic space. The global financial services industry is entering a period characterized by the need to control rather than simply mitigate risk, to foster growth through the production of a secure global economy. Opportunities in financial services will stem from the industry's tighter integration into the fabric of global affairs, whether through the development of the ailing markets and states of Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia, the modernization of emerging capital markets, or the establishment of radical new funding vehicles to foster global health, environmental protection, and the privatization of key government functions.

The financial landscape of 2017 will be radically different from that of 2007. An entirely different set of challenges will surely confront financial services over the coming decade. In order to position themselves for success in the future, investment banks and other financial institutions must understand the underlying driver of financial dynamics going forward. Whereas the past was characterized by the strategic capital deployment of nation states and multilateral institutions, the 21st century will be defined by the strategic capital of the non-state and the globally networked enterprise. Increasingly, financial institutions and in particular investment banks will need to devote themselves more fully to this change in the allocation of capital. By recognizing this shift now in its early stages investment banks will be poised to fully integrate themselves into the coming framework.


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