Four trends that will shape the sector in the next decade

16 December 2021

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Covid-19 and the economic recovery across the globe; sustainability and ESG (Environmental, Social, & Corporate Governance); automation and AI; and the longterm implications of Brexit on trade, will be the four trends to shape the sector over the nexrt decade, according to ‘When goalposts shift,’ a whitepaper by Reyl Group financial services company.

It claims Covid-19 is having a transformative effect on countless industries, fast-tracking new technologies that would not have been introduced for five to 10 years. and those businesses quick to adapt to new ways of working will emerge as the winners if the vaccine rollout is hampered. Sustainability and ESG is now an integral part of any sound investment strategy, driven by increasing regulatory focus, and investor demand.

“ESG has been an accelerator of change across the board since the beginning of the pandemic,” says Xavier Ledru, head of coporate adivsory, REYL. “Every single asset manager now has an ESG box to tick. This is partly incentivised by public policies recently put in place. Elsewhere, we’re seeing changes to energy consumption. While fossil fuels have not yet fully supplanted alternative energies, it’s clear that the rebalancing is well underway.”

“There is no question that there is greater interest by investors in ensuring companies comply with ESG requirements and national governments around the world are looking at this—we just had the G7 conference in Carbis Bay and COP 26 is in Glasgow this autumn and that’s something they will be looking to discuss,” said David Petrie, head, Corporate Finance, Institute of Chartered Accountants England & Wales (ICAEW).

Petrie believes the integrity of supply chains will be on the agenda as it’s increasingly important for goods sold to many countries worldwide that they are compliant.

Automation and AI will help reduce complexity in the business world. From blockchain to cloud technologies, the streamlining of information technology will drive significant investment in private markets.

“There are two things to watch out for when investing in AI,” says Nicolas Roth, head of alternative assets, On one hand, AI can be used as a buzzword to enhance the marketing pitch of an investment proposal but adds very little value. On the other hand, a number of businesses are using AI and machine learning in a constructive way. Lots of businesses are sitting on large untapped datasets that could unlock improved efficiency.

Brexit Britain will show strength in the years to come. From its competitive corporate tax regime to a collaborative startup environment, there are many reasons to think the UK will show resilience longterm.

At the end of 2020, the UK and EU signed a historic trade deal. While this provides some much-needed clarity for private markets, some uncertainty remains. For those wondering how the UK will shape private markets, there are several reasons to trust in the UK’s recovery, from its competitive corporate tax regime to greater flexibility in labour markets as a result of Brexit.

“Europe and the UK were very much integrated and it’s going to take time for us to adapt,” adds Ledru. “However, I think the UK will show a lot of resilience in the longterm. We’re already seeing this taking place. Certainly, there will be hurdles along the way, but there are many sectors that will remain attractive to those looking at private markets.”

In the United States, MHI, the US Material Handling, Logistics and Supply Chain industry, trade association, in collaboration with Deloitte Consulting, is launching its ninth MHI Annual Industry Report Survey – available in March 2022. The objective of this survey is to develop insights on the impact of emerging innovation in supply chains and what companies can do to remain competitive and resilient to global disruption in a rapidly evolving marketplace. The industry questionnaire is now open to individuals on its website. for people to take part and share their views.

Jennifer Eagle, editor

Jennifer Eagle