2016年後半のカンファレンスを振り返る

カンファレンスは、いつも刺激に溢れています。2016年もアジアの各地で、パネルディスカッションやプレゼンテーションの機会に恵まれました。自らのプレゼンテーションを通じて、過去のリサーチ成果を発信するだけでなく、カンファレンス・チェアやパネル・モデレータの役割は、業界ソートリーダーとのインプロビゼーションであり、将来のリサーチトピックスやインサイトテーマを仕込む、貴重な瞬間です。人が出会い、意見を交換し、議論を深める。そのための準備と当日の緊張感は、アナリストの責務であり、醍醐味でもあります。 本稿では、2016年後半の5つのカンファレンスを振り返ります。銀行、保険、証券、ウェルスマネージメントの各業界の議論に共通したキーワードは、引き続き、フィンテック、デジタル、そしてモダナイゼーションでした。
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Insurance, Digitization and Bubbles(7月1日:東京)

保険業界は変革を迫られています。超低金利、新規事業参入者の増加、激化する価格競争、顧客との関り方の急激な変化が、保険会社の商品/ビジネスモデルを揺さぶっています。モノのインターネットやスマートロボットだけではなく、いまやブロックチェーンも保険業界に大きく影響しつつあります。 こうした新しいテクノロジーは、本当に業界を根底から変えてしまうのでしょうか? 仮に変化があるとするならば、いつ、どんな出来事が、どのような順序で起こるのでしょうか? セレント主催の本イベントでは、世界の保険業界におけるデジタル改革の最新トレンドを紹介し、お招きした日本の保険業界を代表するソートリーダーの皆様と、中長期的な視点での将来像を模索しました。
  • 世界の保険業界におけるデジタルトランスフォーメーションの最新トレンド
  • InsurTechが保険業界の未来、ビジネスモデル、事業運営に与える影響
  • 短期、中長期的な視点での展望、業界の未来図
  • 日本におけるInsurTechの現状と展望
Insurance, Digitization and Bubbles
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Asia Anti-Money Laundering Summit713-14日:シンガポール)

アジアにおいても欧米同様に、規制の継続的な改正、最大手の金融機関における規制違反事例など、AMLの運営管理全般を改善する必要性が高まっています。電子取引の爆発的な普及は新たな課題をもたらしており、金融機関が様々な事象をチェックする際に、もはや規制当局や政府公認のブラックリストだけでは不十分な状況にあります。 AMLはまた、海外業務を展開する大手銀行だけのテーマではなく、全金融機関において同様な備えとその効率化が問われる時代となっています。本イベントは、アジアの保険業界を中心としたコミュニティにおいて、AMLとKYCを真正面から討議する場となりました。 セレントからは当日、以下の既刊レポートを中心に、「ユーティリティモデルの隆盛とAI適用」に関する報告を行いました。 Asia Anti-Money Laundering Summit
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Asia Insurance Technology Awards95-6日:シンガポール)

2016年も引き続き、セレントは、AIR の主催する Asia Insurance Technology Awards (AITAs) の審査員を務めました。アジア各地の保険業界における、イノベーションと現代化に関する先進的な取り組みを表彰するこのイベントは、セレントの主催するアワード:セレントモデルインシュアラー と併せ、当社アジア保険部門の2大イベントとなります。 新たなテクノロジー、ビジネスモデルそして業界構造や組織変革への取り組みが、6つアワードカテゴリーにおいて表彰されました。中でも、Best Newcomerに輝いた Everledger(英国)、Digital Transformationを獲得した PetSure(オーストラリア)の両社は、InsureTech時代を象徴する取り組みと賞賛されました。
  • IT Leadership: Liberty Videocon General Insurance
  • Best Insurer, Technology: New China Life Insurance, Max Life Insurance
  • Digital Transformation: AXA Asia, PetSure (Australia)
  • Big Data and Analytics: AXA Hong Kong
  • Best Newcomer: Everledger
  • Innovation: IDBI Federal Life Insurance, Ping An Property & Casualty Insurance Company of China
Asia Insurance Technology Awards
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5th Asia Insurance CIO Technology Summit95-6日:シンガポール)

AITAと同時開催のアジア保険CIOサミットにおいて、キーノートスピーチ「InsurTech & Digital: A Global Round-Up 」を提供しました。 さて、保険会社の存在価値とは何でしょうか?
  • 安心、安全、健康な人生を支援する
  • 企業活動の全てのリスクを担保する
  • 人生の、企業活動の不安とリスクを軽減する仕組みの提供
様々な表現で語られますが、全てに共通することは、「顧客中心」主義。一方で、これまでの金融機関におけるテクノロジー活用の中心命題が、長らく
  • システム化による、人手から機械への代替による合理化、コスト削減 であったことは事実です。
しかし、テクノロジーの進化とその爆発的な普及は、こうして古典的な命題を激変させました。本キーノートでは、情報とテクノロジーを手にしたデジタルな顧客に対峙する現代の金融機関は、
  • 「デジタルな顧客中心」主義であるべき と提唱しました。
また、デジタル世紀の金融機関が遭遇している、急激な業界構造の変化に対して、
  • 「戦略自由度の担保」とそれを実現する「アーキテクチャ」 も提案しました。
5th Asia Insurance CIO Technology Summit
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TradeTech Asia 20161019-20日:シンガポール)

キャピタルマーケットとウェルスマネージメント業界の祭典 TradeTech Asiaは、今年もシンガポールで開催されました。セレントは長年、このイベントのカンファレンス・チェアやモデレータを務めてきました。ウェルスマネージメントにおけるロボアドバイザーの台頭、トレーディングデスクにおけるAlgoからAIへのシフトが鮮明だった2016年は、アジアの機関投資家の方々と、以下のパネルに参加しました。
All Star Panel: How can you use machine learning and artificial intelligence for predictive analysis and accurate analytics?
当日は、セレントのAIフレームワーク:人口知能モデルを披露し、資本市場、資産運用ビジネスにおける、AI活用の現状と展望に関して、以下の事柄に言及しました。
  • トレーディングライフサイクルの最適化におけるAIの役割
  • 投資分析の予測能力や正確性を向上させるAIの適用方法
  • リサーチ:投資分析やポートフォリオ分析におけるAI活用
  • AIとコンプライアンス:不正取引の監視におけるAIの活用
  • 購入か利用か、構築か?:AIにおけるフィンテック企業の可能性
TradeTech Asia 2016  

On Innovation

Celent held our most recent Innovation event in Singapore the last week of November, following similar events in New York, Boston, Toronto, Tokyo, London, and, most recently, San Francisco. Most of Celent’s work is focused on specific financial industry verticals, but Innovation is a topic that transcends industry barriers, and so—by design—do many of our Innovation events.

In Singapore we had representation from the entire financial services spectrum—banks, credit cards, insurers, capital markets firms and exchanges. We presented some of Celent’s recent thinking on innovation, much of it from our new innovation survey. But the main event was a peer discussion between the participants themselves.

It was one of the more lively discussions I’ve seen. We set aside two hours for the peer discussion, and it went by in a flash. Participants jostled to get their say in, and the session ended with the feeling that it could have gone several hours more. I think one of the keys was that there were a lot of different types in the room: the abovementioned full spectrum of FIs, from both the business and IT side, and even from compliance.

Everyone was naturally interested in how their “colleagues across the aisles” looked at innovation, how far each had come in achieving it, and what their technology, operational and cultural approaches were—or were not. Participants brimmed with on-the-spot case studies of initiatives at their firms. This was also refreshingly unusual, since firms are often reticent to divulge competitive information and “secret sauces.”

I think the reason for this relatively high level of enthusiasm lies in the industry’s realization that innovation is crucial to long-term success–and considering the rapidly expanding number of disintermediators, and the remarkable success of some of them, maybe even needed for short-term survival.

Shifting Focus of Hedge Funds: From West to East

Hedge funds in the US and UK have come under greater scrutiny from regulators in the aftermath of the financial crisis. New York currently accounts for about 45% of global hedge fund assets, while London accounts for about 15%. But recent proposals regarding hedge fund regulations have not only prompted fund managers to cancel or delay plans to set up new shops in London and New York, many are moving their offices to Asia, mainly to Hong Kong and Singapore. As a result more Asian hedge funds from Hong Kong and Singapore are gaining prominence and market share. The following can be attributed as drivers affecting this shift: • Stable economies, workforce, less stringent regulations favoring financial services, good financial infrastructure in Hong Kong and Singapore. • Tax incentives, licensing exemptions offered by Singapore and Hong Kong governments. • Extensive tax treaty network with other countries which reduces tax liability in treaty countries. • Easy access to Asia’s growing pool of investors whose risk appetite is also on the rise. • Market conditions and high economic growth potential (India and China) – managers who previously invested in Asia from offices in London or America now prefer to be located in the region within same time zone and with easier access to local information. • Investment firms have had to separate their prop desks from other activities – many ex prop traders are setting up their own shops in the region. As a result of these, assets managed by hedge funds in Hong Kong and Singapore has recovered fast post crisis. Though it hasn’t got back to pre crisis levels yet, these two countries have seen significant number of new hedge funds entering the market in the last 12 months. While the two countries look similar in many aspects with respect to the hedge fund industry, there are subtle differences. While Singapore’s policy framework is more relaxed, Hong Kong has stringent regulatory set up. Hong Kong is closer to mainland China and has better access to Chinese markets and investors. This factor coupled with the fact that Hong Kong had a year’s head start over Singapore regarding hedge fund entry has made Hong Kong the biggest centre for hedge funds in Asia – but Singapore is catching up fast. In both countries the industry is concentrated by top few players; in Hong Kong top 20 funds account for 56% of industry AuM while for Singapore top 7 firms account for 20% of total AuM. Singapore attracts a larger proportion of smaller funds (0-50m) while Hong Kong draws a larger proportion of bigger funds (100-500m funds); this is helped by a regulation by Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) which proposed managers with less than $183 million and serving less than 30 investors need not be licensed. This competition between the two countries to attract hedge funds is likely to continue in the future and the industry is expected to register high growth in AuM in the next 12 to 18 months.

UCITS: Knocking on Asia’s Doors !

Undertakings for Collective Investments in Transferable Securities (UCITS) are investment schemes that allow for free cross border sales of instruments with a single authorization from any one of the Euro-zone member states. They have become tremendously popular in Europe. Off late UCITS are gaining in popularity with international investors.Today, Asia has the lion’s share of all internationally distributed UCITS. Hongkong, Singapore and Taiwan are emerging as hubs for the distribution of UCITS to the wider East, South East and Central Asia Region. Bahrain has become a pivotal center for UCITS distribution in West Asia and Africa.

Majority of investments finding their way into UCITS in Asia are routed into Equity (39%) , Money Market (23%) and Bond (20%) Funds. Most UCITS promoters I spoke to believe that though Asia will continue to be the biggest overseas geography for UCITS sales, challenges remain. These include – taxation issues, distribution complexity because of non-standard platforms , fragmented market and low automation levels. Will be interesting to see how distributors in Asia respond to this opportunity and how newer markets in Asia react to the UCITS offerings. Celent has just released a report on the subject: UCITS IV Directive: Implications for the Asset Management Industry in Europe.

Bancassurance, Next Only to Agent Distribution Channel in Asian Insurance Market

While my earlier article discussed in general on how Bancassurance channel is shaping up in various regions in Asia Pacific. This write-up sheds some light in terms of market share and growth of Bancassurance in various regions in A Pac. It is evident that this channel is picking up in most of Asia Pacific region. However the channel is still next only to the dominent Agent channel. In Mainland China, Bancassurance accounted for 27 percent market share of total insurance sales, agent channel dominated the market (37 percent market share) in 2009. Insurance market in China is undergoing structural changes with in the market and this is expected to boost the premium income of insurers via banking channel. In Hong Kong, Banks have become an important distribution channel for life, health and mandatory provident funds, supplying up to 40 percent of the market’s new business. HSBC and Hang Seng Bank together held 40 percent of the Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) market. In Taiwan, the concept of “One Stop Shop” has become a common philosophy for banks. Premium income for individual life insurance new business from bancassurance accounted for 68 percent in 2009. Banks contributed 88 percent to new individual annuities, 66 percent to new investment-linked businesses, and 51 percent to new life insurance businesses. While P&C market is dominated by agents and brokers (67 percent of the market share). Personal accident/ health Insurance is mostly under taken by Insurance companies themselves, thus accounting for 91 percent of this line of business. In Singapore, insurance agents make up the main sales channel for life insurance. The market share however has declined from 66 percent from 2004 to 61 percent in 2009. Bancassurance accounted for 22 percent of the total weighted new business premium income Bancassurance market share in Malaysia has grown from 45 percent in 2005 to 51 percent in 2008. The agency network had traditionally been the main distribution method but has gradually lost some ground to bancassurance. Agency network accounted for 47 percent market share in 2004 which has come down to 44 percent in 2008. Domestic insurers account for over 80 percent of Bancassurance market. In South Korea, solicitors and internal employees make up the main sales channel for the life insurance industry. In 2008, the bank channel grew to 37 percent next only to solicitors and internal employees of the insurance companies with 54 percent. Indian life insurance market is dominated by tied agents, more so with the state owned Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC). Over 75 percent of new business premium is generated by individual agents. However, individual agents in private companies account for less than 50 percent of total sales, while more than 40 percent is attributed to the bank and direct selling channel. Banks and brokerage firms have 30 percent and 20 percent respectively of the P&C insurance market. Markets such as Thailand, Malaysia and China have better acceptance of bancassurance channel as opposed to India and Singapore as brokers and agents are still major insurance carriers in these region. It is also noteworthy that all developing and accelerating markets are evidencing high potential for growth in Bancassurance.

Accepting the need for Electronic Trading

In its recent history,the Asian market has been characterized by the adoption of technology in a much more compressed time-frame as compared to its counterparts in the western world. This has been true of the industrial as well as the services sector, where it is also holds true for electronic equity trading. Asia is well poised for a rise in the share of electronic trading in the next few years. Markets such as Japan, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong and India are seeing a lot of investment happening that is related to Direct Market Access (DMA), Smart Order Routing (SOR) and High Frequency Trading (HFT). The associated infrastructure such as market data services, co-location and so on are also being paid attention to, as is the requirement for helpful regulation. However, in some markets, the regulators are not very confident about and supportive of the needs of greater electronic trading. This is partly because of the financial crisis and rising requirements for risk management, and also due to the flash crashes that have occurred in the NYSE and OSE markets. We expect the regulatory framework to become more flexible in most markets, but there is still an important element that needs to be addressed across the board in the Asia-Pacific. That is the role of smaller brokerages and the buy-side. Unlike larger brokerages, these are still reluctant to adopt electronic trading and to make the investments required to have the same. While attitudes and capabilities do not change overnight, I believe that market investors in Asia need to be made aware of some harsh realities. To start with, the way HFT and algorithmic trading evolved in the US and European markets, there was very little time for market participants to react to and adopt such trading. The change happened so quickly that a number of brokerages and buy-side firms were unable to cope and had to operate in a more constrained fashion or even shut down. The incentive that HFT provides for those trading larger volumes means that the smaller players are at a relative disadvantage. This increases even more if they are slow to react and do not adopt electronic trading. So it is not just the speed of trading that is important to succeed, it is also the speed of thought. Hence, smaller brokerages and buy-side firms in Asia should be more positive and not be afraid of investing in DMA, SOR or HFT. The gains from these might not be apparent immediately, but if the lessons from the western markets teach us anything, it is that the quick and nimble-footed firms were the most successful during the rise of electronic trading. With the trading infrastructure in Asia changing so rapidly, there is little reason to believe things are going to be different here.

Welcome to Celent’s Asia Blog

Celent is continually looking for ways to better connect and interact with the financial and technology communities. Continuing in the tradition of Celent’s industry-specific banking and insurance blogs, we are now launching a blog focused on issues in business and technology strategy in the Asian financial services. Welcome to Celent’s new Asia blog. From the beginning, a differentiator at Celent has been our coverage of financial and technology issues from a global perspective. As part of this commitment, over the past few years, we have been ramping up our research on Asia and India. We have now built up quite a substantial library of research on these regions, which we think is pretty unique. Building on this, we have recently also launched two new research services, one focused on India, the other focused on the rest of Asia. These services essentially bundle reports from our banking, securities & investments, and insurance services into regionally-focused services aimed at firms seeking cross-vertical competitive information on Asia and India specifically. And now the Asia blog. We have a baker’s dozen of analysts ready to lob commentary on what we see developing in the region, as well as on Celent’s activities. We think you will find our essays informative and stimulating. And we encourage you our readers to participate in the feedback loop by sending us your comments and questions. The goal is to create an active dialogue on the evolving financial services and technology markets in India and Asia.