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Aberdeen CEO talks technology and his paranoia

By NexChange

All asset management CEOs are worried about industry disruption, says Martin Gilbert, CEO of Aberdeen Asset Management.

"As a chief executive I’m paid to be paranoid!" Gilbert wrote in a recent blog for the Press and Journal. Asset managers are waiting for the financial equivalent of Uber or iTunes to completely rip apart their traditional business models, he says.

If Apple were to announce it was entering the money management world next year, it would strike terror in the hearts of Gilbert and his fellow CEOs. Apple isn't a financial company with the expertise of Aberdeen, Goldman Sachs, BlackRock, or others, but the company is such an innovative force that has shaken the world in less than a decade that any industry should be afraid of it, says Gilbert. "I’m not arrogant or complacent enough to think that we can rest on our laurels for a second," he writes. Even if a money manager is flexible and tries to keep up with the times, it will still be inhibited by its size and regulations.

Gilbert isn't waiting for technology to come to him. The CEO is visiting Silicon Valley himself to learn about new fintech and encourage Aberdeen's new "innovation committee"

"What is certain is the way we do business and interact with clients in ten-years’ time will be completely different to how we work today," Gilbert says.
Photo: Niall Kennedy 

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