Innovation is everywhere in today’s fast-changing world. No longer confined to technology firms, start-ups or the pioneering few, innovation is now critical for businesses to remain relevant and ultimately survive. Historic surges in inflation and interest rates, geo-political instability and the threat of climate catastrophe are combining with expectations for digitisation, transparency and sustainability to raise the bar for value creation. Asset managers are increasingly aware that investment models which worked well in the past may not be fit for purpose in the future.

KPMG therefore decided to undertake a major research project on innovation in collaboration with Innovate Finance, based on interviews with executive leaders across a range of global asset managers. We intentionally sought out diverse perspectives across a variety of roles and functions, with an open canvas on what innovation might mean to different individuals, functions, firms and the industry as a collective.

Instead of seeking definitive answers, we asked contributors to discuss the core characteristics of innovation, to explore grey areas and to offer their views on achieving success.

This report sets out the key findings from our research. It seeks to unpick what innovation means in the asset management industry, why it matters, why it can be difficult and which ingredients are required for success.

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