Appetite for disruption?

RBC Wealth Management presented a fascinating roundtable this week on the pace of disruption made possible by technology.

Presenting at the roundtable event in London, Frédérique Carrier, managing director, head of investment strategy, said: “A new world order is upon us. We reiterate the importance of investing in the highest-quality companies, with agile, responsive management – open

to new ways of competing and prepared to evolve to remain dominant. Amongst an array of

challenges for investors, we see ways to protect portfolios and identify opportunities.”

 According to RBC Wealth Management, the first step in future-proofing a portfolio involves identifying the threat an industry faces, be it technological, regulatory or otherwise.

For example, as part of a paradigm shift due to clean air regulation, the automotive industry faces significant challenges with the advent of the electric vehicles.

Adopting this technology will require a total rethink of fundamental design and production processes.

Traditional retail also faces similar headwinds, with the food industry, which until now has been relatively shielded, finding itself in the crosshairs of disruptors.

Carrier added: “All too often, management feels inhibited by the burden of legacy businesses it feels it

has to protect – with leopards seldom succeeding in changing their spots. The developers of

technologies that prove to be truly disruptive will be aggressively sought out by investors.”

Speaking at the same event, David Storm, managing director, head of multi-asset portfolio strategy,

said: “As ever, diversification remains the first line of defence for the prudent investor and also the

best way to incorporate higher risk positions in a portfolio. It’s part of good risk control and an essential component of the investment analysis we conduct for clients.”

Storm continued: “Many of our clients are increasingly looking to incorporate things like blockchain

technologies and robotics into their portfolios. This is a real demonstration of the rising appetite for disruption.”