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CFSGAM boss sounds warning on fintech

By Tim Stewart and Taylee Lewis
2 minute read

The short-term and "transactional" nature of fintech is firmly at odds with more fundamental investing, warns Colonial First State Global Asset Management (CFSGAM) chief executive Mark Lazberger.

Speaking at the CFA Institute Australian Investment Conference in Sydney yesterday, Mr Lazberger said technology is “clearly a central strategic driver” in financial services at the moment.

“Across many supply chains and across many industries, [technology has] driven costs down. It’s made industries far more efficient,” Mr Lazberger said.

“It’s clearly going to have an impact on our activities as investors.”

But Mr Lazberger said he was “concerned” about investors having large amounts of information available on a handheld device “24 hours a day”.

“I think we’ve got to think very carefully about this,” Mr Lazberger said.

“Technically, potentially, it can be done – but particularly as it relates to thinking about investment decisions – I think probably a time-honoured and back to a more fundamental approach is something we should probably think about.

“Not having such an emphasis of just being purely transactional in the short term is something that we need to be mindful of,” Mr Lazberger said.

But the CFSGAM boss also acknowledged the rapid rise of fintech in the past year.

“Less than 12 months ago, I don’t know if anyone in this room was using the word fintech, let alone that other amalgam ‘robo-advice’,” Mr Lazberger said.

“My prediction is, and this again probably is going to be wrong, probably within the next 12 to 14 months I think one, if not both, of those words will probably appear in the Oxford Dictionary.”