The reason the banking sector came under much criticism from regulators and politicians post-2008, according to Rainer Michael Preiss, executive director, client investments at Taurus Family Office, was due to the industry’s infrastructure and apparent conflicts of interest.
“I think we have become more customer centric,” he explains. “We now think of the customer first rather than at last. As an industry, we are slowly coming to terms with the fact that we ultimately work for our clients.”
More and more independent asset managers and family offices are therefore in growth mode, because people want more bespoke and personalised offerings.
At the same time, the industry is increasingly moving towards a model where players look to co-operate with third parties because nobody can do everything, say Preiss. Going forward, practitioners will need to find good partners in terms of products and other services to work with, creating a much more collaborative business model.
As a result, where a firm might be a competitor in one area, it might need to collaborate in another. “The industry is heading towards a sourcing model instead of a distribution one,” he adds.
Technology is likely to be the area which sees most collaboration, says Preiss. But the biggest focus – and challenge – will be to understand where the disruption is coming from.
He believes that the onset of technology in the banking industry is similar to how the internet disrupted the industry in 1994; there is a lot of talk about it, but nobody really knows how it will work out. “Businesses have not found the time nor the expertise to position themselves for the future,” he adds.