My thanks to Bill Stephenson and all at Franklin Templeton for asking me to participate in their inaugural innovation summit in Fort Lauderdale this week. The idea was to bring together a bunch of cool technology vendors and allow them to present and discuss how their particular offering helps the buy-side generate alpha. This is no trivial problem as the buy-side is having to look further and further afield (both geographically and by asset class) if it is going to generate the returns it once did. At the same time, the overload of structured and unstructured information makes doing this harder and harder. As well as sentiment analytics I also saw some very cool visualisation tools, trade shaping software and lots of other products that certainly proved that innovation is alive and well within our industry. Most important of all, though, it showed that the buy-side (certainly Franklin Templeton) is empowering itself with these new technologies rather than taking a passive approach and just relying on its sell-side broker community.
It certainly gave me lots to think about on the flight home. Thanks again to Bill and his team for a unique and very informative event.