In a recent discussion with the Voices of Hult podcast, Professor Ahn, an expert in finance and a former top portfolio manager, explored the future of finance and the key factors shaping the industry. Professor Ahn brings a unique perspective, having worked in investment banking in South Korea for 15 years before transitioning to a career in education. He is currently a finance professor at Hult International Business School.

Watch the podcast in full or read on for a summary of Professor’s Ahn’s insights into the future of finance.

Industries Trending in Finance   

As we examine the future of finance, it is crucial to explore the industries that are currently trending in the field. According to Professor Ahn, two industries in particular are at the forefront: biotech/healthcare and technology. With an aging population, the demand for healthcare services and biotechnology advancements is on the rise. Simultaneously, the younger generations’ increased engagement in the virtual world and the metaverse has propelled technology companies forward. 


The Role of Finance in Digital Transformation 

To successfully navigate this changing landscape, every industry must adapt to new technologies. Professor Ahn emphasizes the need for companies to explore digital transformation, including the establishment of virtual stores and other innovative approaches. However, he also highlights the essential role of finance in funding these initiatives. Collaboration between industries and the finance sector is crucial for driving innovation and embracing the metaverse. 


The Impact of AI on the Investment Landscape 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been a game-changer in finance, particularly in leveling the playing field for investors. With equal access to information, individual investors can now compete with institutional investors on a more even footing. However, this also means that finance professionals need to bring their creativity and differentiate their strategies to remain relevant. The days of relying solely on insider information are long gone, and traders must adapt to this new reality. 


The Rise of Long-Term, Value-Based Investing 

Short-term trading patterns have dominated the finance landscape for many years, but Professor Ahn predicts a shift towards long-term, value-based investing. Looking ahead 5-10 years and focusing on fundamental projections will be paramount in making informed investment decisions. While AI can process vast amounts of data and generate insights, it still falls short in its ability to forecast long-term trends. Human professionals are still essential for providing the forecasting and strategic thinking that AI currently lacks. 


The Importance of ESG in Finance 

Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors are gaining increasing attention in the finance world. Investors and consumers alike are demanding more sustainable practices from companies. Professor Ahn emphasizes that all companies, regardless of profitability, will need to consider ESG standards to attract investment and customers. Even profitable firms are adapting their operations to align with ESG principles, recognizing the importance of sustainability in the long run. 


Adapting to the Changing Landscape 

In summary, the future of finance is being shaped by new technologies, generational shifts, and the growing focus on ESG. To thrive in this evolving landscape, industries across the board must adapt and embrace change. The collaboration between finance and other sectors is essential for driving innovation and funding digital transformation. While AI has leveled the playing field, finance professionals must differentiate themselves through creativity and strategic thinking. Long-term, value-based investing will gain prominence, and ESG considerations will be crucial for attracting investment and customers. 


Embracing a Future of Constant Self-Improvement 

As we look to the future of finance, uncertainty looms. However, Professor Ahn emphasizes the importance of focusing on constant self-improvement. By embracing a mindset of continuous learning and development, individuals can positively impact both the present and future of the finance industry. Adaptation, innovation, and collaboration will be the key drivers in navigating the complexities of the evolving financial landscape. 


The future of finance is a dynamic and ever-changing landscape. From embracing new technologies and catering to the needs of different generations to incorporating ESG principles, industries must adapt to remain relevant. Finance professionals must bring creativity and strategic thinking to differentiate themselves in the AI-driven investment landscape. Long-term, value-based investing will gain prominence, and sustainability will be a key consideration for both investors and consumers. By focusing on constant self-improvement, Professor Ahn says, individuals can navigate uncertainty and shape a positive future for the world of finance. 



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