Author: Joanne Frearson
Professional Investor talks to Huy Nguyen Trieu, Co-Founder of the Centre for Finance, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CFTE), who was due to be a keynote speaker at our cancelled Fintech Forum, about technology and skills of the future
Now with the coronavirus pandemic, most employees no longer work in an office, but from home. Companies are adapting to this new way of working through technology, it has been keeping the workforce together and firms are finding to survive in this pandemic they need to transform.
Covid-19 accelerating the FinTech revolution
Nguyen Trieu thinks this could be a critical moment in the digital transformation of the industry.
“Every past crisis has been a turning point for change,” he says. “In the dot-com bubble and the financial crash of 2007-2008 there were a lot of innovations that started after this, 2008 was also the beginning of FinTech. A lot of the start-ups started at that time.
“In this crisis, we now realise the world is becoming more digital. This fintech revolution that we have witnessed will only accelerate.”
Finance professionals need an understanding of technology
The industry has already been transforming through technology and using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to make things faster and cheaper.
Both AI and ML are giving professionals in the industry insights by being able to analyse large data sets quickly.
“Today we have a huge amount of information, data, which is really difficult as a person to make sense out of it,” he says. “It is too much information, so we can’t really process it. AI manages to detect the signals, to create insights, which other people can use.”
To be able to do their job, financial professionals are finding they need to have a level of knowledge about these technologies.
“The finance industry is becoming a technology industry,” he says. “It is extremely difficult to be a trader, or it is extremely difficult to do research if you don’t understand what kind of technologies will be used and how you can use those tools.
“The most import thing is to have a good balance between the common knowledge and understanding of technology and how it can be applied on the job. They will not need to know how to create a programming pattern. But they would need to understand how research can leverage some of these new tools and extract some of these data from an annual report, for example.”
Soft skills and an entrepreneurial mindset will be highly valued
It is not just technology skills the workforce needs in order to do their jobs. “It is no longer the case that you can stay in the same job for fifteen years you need to reinvent yourself,” he says.
This also involves having good soft skills. Nguyen Trieu explains the way we work has become extremely different, people work in a much more collaborative way and have more agile ways of working.
He thinks the skills financial professionals will need for the future will change a lot and those who have flexibility and adaptability will be the ones who succeed.
“If there was one skill that is extremely important it is the entrepreneur mindset, not knowing what tomorrow will be,” he says.
“They know tomorrow will be challenging or different and they will have to adapt. That ability and that skill is the most important thing and making sure you are comfortable with change it is quite important.”
Huy Nguyen Trieu, Co-Founder of the Centre for Finance, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CFTE)