In the first half of 2018, two major data-related EU regulations—the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (MiFID II), which went into effect in January, and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which will be implemented on May 25th—are changing how financial services firms manage data. Although legislated in the EU, these two regulations apply to organizations that conduct business in Europe, requiring global firms to come up to speed on compliance.
Meanwhile, other countries face their own regulatory changes and proposals, such as:
The shifting landscape of global wealth: Future-proofing prosperity in a ti...
In some instances the impact of this shift will be shaped by local factors, such as demographic changes. In other instances this shift will reflect shared characteristics, as demonstrated by the greater popularity of overseas investing among younger high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) brought up in an era of globalisation. Whatever the drivers, the landscape of wealth is changing—from local to global, and from one focused on returns to one founded on personal values.
Despite rising economic concerns and a tradition of investor home bias in large parts of the world, the new landscape of wealth appears less interested in borders. According to a survey commissioned by RBC Wealth Management and conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), younger HNWIs are substantially more enthusiastic about foreign investing. The U.S. is a particularly high-profile example of a country where a long-standing preference for investments in local markets appears set to be transformed.
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Read additional articles from The EIU with detail on the shifting landscape of global wealth in Asia, Canada, the U.S. and UK on RBC's website.
Fintech in ASEAN
To better understand the opportunities and challenges in developing a fintech business in seven ASEAN markets, The Economist Intelligence Unit conducted wide-ranging desk research supplemented by seven in-depth interviews with executives in Australia and ASEAN.
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Risks and opportunities in a changing world
Read our Taxing digital services, U.S. tax reform: The global dimension, & Planning for life after NAFTA articles by clicking the thumbnails below.
Compliance and regulatory disruption: The interplay of regulatory trends and strategic priorities was written by The Economist Intelligence Unit and sponsored by OpenText. The research is based on a survey of 307 business executives from enterprises across industries located in the US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Australia and Japan. All survey respondents are familiar with compliance and regulatory requirements as they relate to information governance and security in their respective industry.
Steering through collaboration: CFOs driving new priorities for the future
It is well established that the modern CFO has a more strategic role to play in a business, but a clear action plan to achieve this is lacking. A key element of this is helping the business to deal with change. Some changes are planned: launching a new product or service, setting up operations in a new region or acquiring a competitor. Others may be unexpected: a major disruption to supply-chain operations, the emergence of new regulation and legal reporting requirements or the unpredictable impacts of global economic uncertainty.
Either way, when asked about the biggest challenges they face in executing their day-to-day activities, change is a recurring theme, according to a new survey of 800 CFOs and senior finance executives, conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit. Managing unexpected changes to financial forecasts and adapting finance processes to rapidly evolving business models are top of mind.
Managing unexpected changes to financial forecasts and adapting finance processes to rapidly evolving business models are top challenges finance executives face in executing their day to-day activities.
Finance executives are also concerned with identifying how to align strategic, financial and operational plans towards common objectives and meaningfully analysing data across business units and regions. “All functions are working to meet these challenges and, as a finance head, we have to have visibility across all functions, how they are progressing [towards meeting goals] and ensuring that their direction is in line with overall strategic goals,” says Lalit Malik, CFO of Dabur, an Indian consumer goods manufacturer. It is incumbent upon CFOs therefore to be prepared not only to help their own function navigate uncharted territory, but the rest of the business too. That means breaking down the silos that commonly exist in organisations, in order to collaborate closely across functions, sharing information and data in the pursuit of common objectives.
All functions are working to meet these challenges and, as a finance head, we have to have visibility across all functions, how they are progressing [towards meeting goals] and ensuring that their direction is in line with overall strategic goals - Lalit Malik, CFO of Dabur, an Indian consumer goods manufacturer.
The clear custodian of collaboration
There are a number of reasons why the role of leading cross-company collaboration around steering should fall to the CFO and their team. First, through the activities of budgeting, the finance function is the custodian of the clear, quantitative expression of management expectations and determines how resources such as cash and people will be allocated in order to achieve them. In our survey, 90% of respondents say that finance should facilitate collaborative enterprise planning to ensure that operational plans are aligned with financial and strategic plans.
Second, through performance management, the finance function is the gatekeeper for critical data that illustrate how well—or otherwise—the company is rising to the challenge of change. That includes data relating to sales, supply chain and delivery, which need to be reported back to the business in ways that help drive improved decisionmaking. Our survey reveals that companies in which finance executives feel empowered to drive strategic decisions across business functions are more likely to report a higher financial performance in fiscal year 2016/17 and 2017/18 and anticipate higher growth rates for 2019/20.
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Transforming data into action
As businesses generate and manage vast amounts of data, companies have more opportunities to gather data, incorporate insights into business strategy and continuously expand access to data across the organisation. Doing so effectively—leveraging data for strategic objectives—is often easier said than done, however. This report, Transforming data into action: the business outlook for data governance, explores the business contributions of data governance at organisations globally and across industries, the challenges faced in creating useful data governance policies and the opportunities to improve such programmes. Learn more by downloading our whitepaper below.