As VP - Product Management, Martijn Groot steering Asset Control's strategy for innovation and directs product investment and communications. Martijn has unrivalled financial and risk data experience, as well as extensive knowledge of our customers, having held Market Strategy and Business Development roles here prior to rejoining the company in 2015. A published author, with an MBA from INSEAD and an MSc from VU University Amsterdam, Martijn's career history spans a variety of areas, including software development, financial analytics, risk, product and consultancy, at firms such as ABN AMRO, Euroclear and IGATE.
With the end of the first half of 2018 in sight, the beginning of summer presents a good opportunity to take stock of the key themes and trends we see in our sector. Key channels for this kind of insight and learning are our customers and partners, as well as the industry events that we participate in. As an organization, we at Asset Control are present when the innovations, regulations and associated challenges to the market are discussed.
A lot of recurring strands run through some of the common themes such as technology, regulatory pressures and challenges around operational effectiveness. In terms of technology we continue to hear more buzz about AI, Cloud Technology and Data Lakes; these were key themes at FIMA Boston this year and also at the buy-side focused InvestOps event.
The scaling requirements many organizations are experiencing due to operational efficiency (as well as associated costs and the need to remain competitive) were themes throughout FIMA, InvestOps and the 2018 DACH Congress for Financial Information. Regulation continues to be a driver as well, with FRTB and the resulting increase in market data needs and calculation requirements looming on the horizon.
Many of the challenges and requirements we have been feeding into our product roadmap have come to the forefront of thoughtful debate and industry conversation.
Ensuring cost effectiveness and operational efficiency is vital to remain competitive in an increasingly level playing field. Cloud technologies are fantastic tools for ensuring scalability, without having the same major investment and cost of ownership as an on-site/physical implementation. Similarly, the enablement of business users to have access to the tools and information they need, anywhere and at any time via easy integration, visualization and search options is of critical importance to ensure business agility and workflow optimization.
This latter point signposts an overarching theme that we see heavily influencing many, if not all, of the challenges and business priorities – the rise of the business user. With the huge increases in data volumes, sources and applications we have seen already in recent years set to continue, connecting these users at the forefront of a firm’s operations can become the bottleneck that many IT teams dread. The negative effects on productivity, efficiency and business agility will have an increasingly critical impact on any institution not facing forward and embracing the technology and solutions addressing these challenges early on. The challenge will not be getting data so much as putting relevant, trusted data at the disposal of business users quickly. As market data is central to a financial institution, these users span operations, risk, finance, product control and front office groups requiring validated data.
Asset Control has a strong track record in data mastering and ensuring that downstream systems and business users have the best quality financial data available, but now, through close cooperation with customers and new development, is extending capabilities into data exploration and data distribution to business users and systems. This investment for both our existing and future customers is driven by those very same personas, in direct conversation and through the events mentioned above.