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The shape of things to come

What will the investment management industry look like in the coming years? What are the forces and trends that will shape that future? State Street’s David Spina looks forward.

David Spina

John Kenneth Galbraith once said: "There are two classes of people who try to predict what is going to happen in the future: those who don't know, and those who know they don't know." I put myself firmly in the second group.

Bearing in mind that comprehensive proviso, I would argue that the fund management industry will soon have to face up to fundamental challenges. The structures of the industry will be significantly altered in the coming years as the art and science of investment undergoes an important rethink.

But the usual hazards of prediction are intensified by the fact that today's environment makes it a much more difficult and uncertain time for peering into the future than was the case, say, two or three years ago. Back then, for example, it was possible to single out globalization and consolidation as major themes being played out in the asset management industry.

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