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Investment Firm of the Future

Alternative Business Models and Strategies for a More Forward-Thinking Industry

Investment firms face a future in which change is accelerating. In this report, we set out the changing landscape for investment management and analyze how firms can adapt their models to succeed in this fast-changing environment.

Interactive Report

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In 2017, CFA Institute published Future State of the Investment Profession, which examined the investment industry as part of a wider ecosystem where participants’ actions and interactions are complex, culminating in four potential Scenarios: 

  • Fintech Disruption: New technologies promote new business models; disruption and creative destruction are endemic
  • Parallel Worlds: Engagement in society differs by geography, generation and social group; effects on financial services participation and preferences
  • Lower for Longer: Interest rates stay low, global growth disappoints, and political instability rises
  • Purposeful Capitalism: Investment industry becomes more professional, ethical, and client-centric

In this follow-on report, Investment Firm of the Future, we develop the context for the organizations in our industry, by again looking out over the next 5-10 years with the aim of helping firms better face realities, manage risks, and craft alternative pathways. From the scenarios developed in Future State, we construct various Narratives unpacked into five Models organized by their functional parts:

  • Business Model: Core attributes on value and competitive differentiation
  • Operating Model: How the organization manages its products and services
  • People Model: The staffing model and the attract-and-retain methods used
  • Investment Model: The component parts of the organization’s investment philosophy, beliefs, and capabilities
  • Distribution Model: The client relationship model

In summary, we suggest shifts, based upon the scenarios and narratives, that individual investment firms and the industry as a whole can take to adapt and prepare themselves to address challenges for the future.


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