John Adams, CEO of PFSL Investments Canada and the new chairman of the Investment Funds Institute of Canada (IFIC), says three significant trends will transform the Canadian mutual fund industry.
Speaking at IFIC's 28th leadership conference in Toronto on Oct. 1, Adams warned the audience that demographics, technology, and regulations will have a profound impact on the industry in the years to come.
Adams believes that a profound change in the mutual fund business will take place as baby boomers transition into retirement and the Millennial generation comes of age. "Millennials are the first generation born into a digital world," he says. "They are connected with people across the globe through texting, social media and blogging. Just as they are changing everything from social interaction to car ownership, they are certain to create new approaches to how financial advice is given and received."
Next there is the question of how advisors can make the best use of technology to help their clients. Adams suggests that new devices and applications may free up advisors' time, allowing them to tackle more sophisticated activities or provide clients with tailored advice and other services.
Finally, Adams points to the important role that both domestic and international regulatory changes will play in the industry. In particular, he notes that Canadian financial regulators are now under pressure to comply with global standards that have been created abroad. "Importing specific regulatory approaches from one jurisdiction to another is not the right approach," he says. "Local rules need to reflect local history, legal structures and needs of stakeholders."