A decade after the financial crisis, the buyside (asset managers, hedge funds, institutional investors and large corporates) have changed at least as much as the investments banks that serve them.
Over the past decade, both the environment in which CIBs operate and the rules that they need to abide by have drastically changed.
What originally started as ‘electronification’ – the automation of external-facing, front-office processes and workflows – has become much more pervasive, and it now encompasses the entire value-chain.
The so-called digital transformation of the ways in which investment banks operate as businesses overall began more than one decade ago. However, not all of the technology that banks needed in order to fully realise this transformation has always been readily available, and the last five-to-10 years have seen a significant rate of growth in the data processing and analytics needed to realise ideas that have been gestating for some time.
Investment banks have traditionally structured their operational activities along discrete business lines, which were traditionally split up by asset class and geography.
The so-called digitalisation of the capital markets arena – in which an increasingly larger number of previously manual processes within investment banks gradually become automated – is an on-going process that traces its roots to the late 1980s, when e-trading was originally pioneered.
Fintech mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity within the investment banking industry is set to increase in 2017, according to a survey of the financial markets industry published by law firm White & Case in November 2016.