We’re using cookies, but you can turn them off in Privacy Settings.  Otherwise, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.  Accepting cookies does not mean that we are collecting personal data. Learn more in our Privacy Policy.

CFA Institute Launches Global Research and Policy Center

Inaugural flagship research report identifies four future-state scenarios for the investment industry

New York City, United States 06 Sep 2023

CFA Institute, the global association of investment professionals, announces the launch of its new Research and Policy Center to engage and convene thought leaders, policymakers, decision-makers, and a community of subject-matter experts on the most impactful themes facing the investment industry.


The Research and Policy Center is firmly anchored to the CFA Institute tenets of intellectual independence, impartiality, and technical rigor, and will drive engagement by transforming research insights into actions organized around four themes: Capital Markets, Technology,

the Future of the Industry, and Sustainability.


Today’s launch of the Research and Policy Center includes the release of new flagship research on the Future State of the Investment Industry, which draws on survey responses from 3,000 investment professionals globally to offer a macro perspective of the megatrends and scenarios shaping the future of the industry, and how current and aspiring investment professionals can best prepare for what is to come.


Paul Andrews, Managing Director for Research, Advocacy, and Standards at CFA Institute comments:

 The marketplace of ideas is all too often characterized by research or policy positions without practical value or skewed by bias or partiality. The CFA Institute Research and Policy Center offers a non-partisan forum for industry leaders, regulators, and subject-matter experts to address unprecedented and often systemic challenges and opportunities that are facing the investment industry. Our goal is for the Research and Policy Center to be a positive force for the industry, delivering and transforming research insights into actions and practical applications that strengthen markets, advance ethics, and improve investor outcomes for the ultimate benefit of society.”


New, Inaugural Flagship Research

New industry-leading research on the Future State of the Investment Industry, published today, is part of a new research series titled New Generation of Investors, New Ways of Investing that aims to help professionals, firms, and policymakers understand and react to the forces of change.


Through interviews and scenario modelling, the Future State of the Investment Industry presents four narratives to assist practitioners and the industry to anticipate, consider, and calibrate for the years ahead: Diverging Worlds, Sustainable Finance, Digital Transformation, and The End of Cheap Money. These scenarios illustrate potential development pathways for


the industry, bring forth new findings, and inform recommendations for investment organizations and investment professionals.


Rhodri Preece, CFA, Senior Head of Research, CFA Institute, comments:


“Our Future State of the Investment Industry survey findings show an investment industry at an inflexion point. Forces that have defined the sector for years, if not for the last five decades, have begun to shift or even reverse, with economies under strain as we enter a new, uncertain, and transformational era. Our analysis reveals several implications for firms, including opportunities for greater product personalization, AI-driven productivity gains, and industry conditions that are more conducive for successful active managers to demonstrate their value. The challenge to the industry and to investment professionals will be to adapt quickly and to create a better, more integrated, more sustainable, and more client-focused sector.”


Key findings:

Diverging Worlds

  • Deglobalization, geopolitical conflict, inequality, demographic disruptions, and technological innovation contribute to increasingly distinct and divided perspectives as targeted content and personalization create alternate realities.
    • 43% of respondents believe deglobalization will be most disruptive for emerging economies, while only 18% believe deglobalization will be most disruptive for traditional economic powers.
    • 63% of respondents believe aging populations will result in reduced global economic growth.

Sustainable Finance

  • Investors increasingly take environmental, social, and governance considerations into account in their decisions, particularly as they pertain to externalities. Much of the business sector and investment industry embraces a multi-stakeholder focus with an emphasis on long-term sustainable practices and climate change mitigation.
    • 77% of respondents believe investment management’s future impact on society will be more positive in the next 5-10 years than it is today.

Digital Transformation

  • Rapid technological innovation in the form of artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data, among other applications, leads to accelerating change in the investment industry. Those firms that best integrate these developments into their talent acquisition processes and investment teams, and best meet client demand for personalized and technology-driven products and securities, come to outperform.
    • The most commonly cited benefit of AI and big data is allowing staff to use their time more productively by automating repetitive activities, cited by 45% of survey respondents.

 The End of Cheap Money

  • Elusive economic growth, elevated inflation, and greater levels of debt combine to create higher and more volatile nominal interest rates. Central banks have abandoned their zero or near-zero interest rate policies but struggle to balance the need to manage inflation with that of promoting economic growth. The related turmoil in the economy and financial markets encourages the creation of new investment strategies and products to manage the effects of inflation and satisfy client expectations.
    • Adapting to the changing macro-economic environment is the most strategically important issue for organizations over the next 5-10 years.


To access the Future State of the Investment Industry report, visit  https://rpc.cfainstitute.org/en/research/reports/2023/future-state-of-the-investment-industry


To go to the Research and Policy Center, visit: http://rpc.cfainstitute.org

About the CFA Institute Research and Policy Center

The CFA Institute Research and Policy Center is a positive-influencing force in the global investment industry, transforming research insights into actions that strengthen markets, advance ethics, and improve investor outcomes for the ultimate benefit of society. It brings together CFA Institute expertise along with a diverse, cross-disciplinary community of subject matter experts working collaboratively to address complex problems. It is informed by the perspective of practitioners and the convening power, impartiality, and credibility of CFA Institute, whose mission is to lead the investment profession globally.


The Research and Policy Center is designed to enhance CFA Institute engagement with audiences including investment practitioners, policymakers, industry executives and researchers, by bringing together all CFA Institute research, policy, advocacy, and codes and standards content under one unified digital experience. Available content includes policy positions, practitioner tools, and industry-leading research, codes and standards. A range of content formats are available including new short-form In Practice papers accompanying in-depth research, new and enhanced newsletters to deliver personalized content directly to users, and videos, podcasts, and webinars. The Research and Policy Center also offers searchable access to the archives and current editions of the CFA Institute Financial Analysts Journal, Research Foundation publications, and Enterprise Investor blog.


Visit the Research and Policy Center at http://rpc.cfainstitute.org

About CFA Institute

CFA Institute is the global association of investment professionals that sets the standard for professional excellence and credentials. The organization is a champion of ethical behavior in investment markets and a respected source of knowledge in the global financial community. Our aim is to create an environment where investors’ interests come first, markets function at their best, and economies grow. There are nearly 200,000 CFA® charterholders worldwide in more than 160 markets. CFA Institute has ten offices worldwide and 160 local societies. For more information, visit www.cfainstitute.org or follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter at @CFAInstitute.




Share on Facebook Share on Weibo Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn