Outsourcing will be key
2021 will be the year that tech acceleration finally transforms the City. Bespoke tech is no longer the priority or the attraction; we’ll begin to see the re-use of technology by financial institutions emerging. The trend in 2021 will be outsourcing to tech
platforms that have been widely adopted, especially in areas like securities processing, financial messaging, and payments, which are critical but non-differentiating for a financial institution. For example, only half of the post-trade activities that could
be outsourced has in fact been outsourced so far, but the pace is accelerating.
We’re also going to see significantly increased demand for solutions that provide firms with 360-degree voting platforms - from initial shareholder notification to vote collation and feedback.
Office life will change – but firms taking different approaches
Everyone talks about hybrid working. Certainly the reason for going into office has now changed for good, but I see is bar-bell pattern emerging: some firms want to go mostly back to office working, while others assume very few staff will go back to office
working. Those in each category are not always whom you’d expect – some small firms like hedge funds are keen on the human interaction, while some much bigger firms think more about the office estate they really want in future.
ESG will continue to dominate
Investors continue to show a sustained appetite for ESG funds that make a positive impact on society, whether this is in the form of increased diversity or climate risk and impact. The challenge for asset managers will be to provide easily-digestible communications
and gather as much data from their clients as possible. As such, we’ll begin to see more tech solutions with ESG built-in for asset managers, so they can more efficiently execute ESG governance as shareholders in an environment where there is increased demand
for heightened disclosure around ESG. This type of tech can help firms gain information on social media sentiment and gather granular insight into voting patterns for ESG within shareholder meetings.