The breakout sessions have started, and I’m sitting in on the financial services track for a couple of sessions, since my primary customer base is in financial services. Adam Sussman at TABB Group is discussing how search technology will change the relationship dynamics of the institutional brokerage industry, where there is a much different relationship between brokers and clients because of the size of the institutional investment portfolios.
The current problem is that even large customers are devaluing the service provided by high-touch (full-service) traders, choosing to make their own trades directly and purchasing research on an ad hoc basis. However, the type of research provided by high-touch firms is really driven by search, providing information about movement in companies that are held within a portfolio, as well as other market conditions that might influence future trades.
More importantly, however, and the focus of Sussman’s talk, is that by implementing sophisticated search technology, the sell side will be able to recognize opportunities to revive high-touch revenues. In other words, use search technology to identify which customers are most likely to be profitable, and focus efforts on those customers.
You can read a bit more about Sussman’s research in this area on their site.