We were honored to have Mr Yoshinori Nomura, an experienced Portfolio Manager at Simplex Asset Management to talk about “Challenge and vision in utilizing AI/ML in investment process and fund management” at our 3rd workshop.
He explained to us about the Technology Hype Cycle and that Japanese firms were unable to reap the benefits of some of the past hypes (eg HFT). However for the current excitement in AI/ML , there are views that it might have hit the “Peak of inflated expectations” phase , entering the “Trough of disillusionment”. The flipside of this is that it is not yet too late to invest to enjoy the later “slope of enlightenment”. So what are the challenges facing the Japanese asset management industry in winning the fruit? Mr Nomura stressed the need for transforming “people, IT and organization”. The people angle is particularly important and he alluded to the requirement by Singaporean fund management executives to complete Python courses and a well known global hedge fund having 800 Data Scientists.
This might sound threatening and worrying to Japanese asset management industry but he also mentioned that there are probably early career staff who can code but are simply not noticed by Top Management and that rather than fearing excessively about IT literary required to use AI/ML (it is possible to implement DL with 20 lines of coding) firms should start developing staff and capability.