Outlook 2018: Bjørn Sibbern, Nasdaq


Bjørn Sibbern is the executive vice president for Global Information Services at Nasdaq.

Bjørn Sibbern, Nasdaq

What do you view as the most important lesson of 2017?
The need for continued innovation in financial technology has not stopped. Despite the great advancements made in fintech already, the movement from active to passive investing and the continued demand for more real-time analytics has created an incredibly strong demand for new products and services across the board. Market leaders need to continue to provide strong leadership in developing ways to use intelligent analytics to provide additional transparency and efficiency to financial markets.

What changes do you expect to see in regards to analytics in 2018?
Use of analytics will continue to increase across financial markets and there will be new developments in products that will help make once granular and opaque market segment analysis more easily accessible to wider classes of investors. Nasdaq’s acquisition of eVestment shows our thinking on this issue. Analytics will become an increasingly important part of all financial life, playing a larger role in asset classes previously unaccustomed to technology-driven analysis. And as more investment capital moves from an active to passive investment model, analytics in creating indexes and other passive products will be in even higher demand.

Why do you expect investments in fintech to rise, plateau, or trail off in 2018?
We expect investment in financial technology to increase in 2018. The market is still working on realizing what machine learning and other innovations can do and both the buy side and sell side will be under pressure to maximize their use of resources going forward. As financial organizations plan for the future, having a coherent financial technology strategy will be a must, and new advancements mean that more players across the spectrum will employ this in various ways over the next several years.

Will Wall Street return to focusing on innovation to drive alpha in 2018?
Wall Street has not stopped innovating and we expect this innovation to increase in 2018. Nasdaq has been fortunate to partner with many great financial firms in the launch of our Analytics Hub, which is advancing the use of alternative data in the search for alpha. The use of alternative data to make investment decisions will only intensify in the coming year. With the advance of technology and the migration from active to passive investing, Wall Street has a clear mandate to innovate.

What do you expect to be the skill sets most in demand in 2018?
The coming year will require a strong mastery of and belief in technology and analytics, guided by a passion for transparency and market efficiency. That is why Nasdaq has expanded and invested in its information services business. The focus of the markets is not on simply accessing large amounts of data, but in finding and analyzing the right data to meet client needs. The New Year will see a premium placed on the ability to deliver actionable intelligence.

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