Connect with us

Markets

World’s Biggest Pension Fund Says AI Will Replace Asset Managers

Published

on

Hiromichi Mizuno
  • World’s Biggest Pension Fund Says AI Will Replace Asset Managers

Hiromichi Mizuno was named chief investment officer of Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund, the world’s biggest manager of retirement savings, in 2014. He has since led a push to increase equity holdings and advocated for incorporating ESG, or environmental, social and governance, factors into investing.

Question: What are the biggest changes in the investment world you see coming in the next five to 10 years?

Mizuno: Adoption of technology, including AI and ESG integration into all asset classes. I believe artificial intelligence will be able to either replace or enhance the asset managers’ work, particularly for short-term trading.

Question: What are the implications?

Mizuno: Asset managers have to adjust their conventional business model. Investors will be more focused on the long-term investment theme, as AI will take over the short-term trading. In other words, investors will shift their focus to the long-term sustainability of their portfolio, and more focus on their investment themes like ESG.

Question: Do you see a lot of jobs being cut as a result?

Mizuno: I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of people lose their jobs because AI replaced their routine. But I also believe in human wisdom. I think the long-term thinking and the ESG-like non-numerical, non-quantitative information will continue to require human interpretation. I believe AI will release the human resource to do something else.

Question: What’s the future of ESG investing?

Mizuno: In the long run, “ESG-themed investment” will be irrelevant, as the whole market starts to use it for pricing in their investments.

Question: What’s the biggest shock the industry doesn’t see coming?

Mizuno: I won’t be surprised if Google and Amazon become asset managers, but I think a lot of people in this industry will be. I take it for almost granted that they will come into this market because they have cutting-edge AI technology and they now capture all the big data of what’s happening in the market.

Question: Which will ultimately prevail, active or passive investing?

Mizuno: I’m hopeful for active managers, but they need to adjust their business model, including their cost structure. Passive investment will only remain efficient if active management continues to be the mainstream. Active managers failed to prove they’re worth investors’ faith because research shows that as an industry, they didn’t add the alpha net of fees.

Question: How can businesses cope with fee pressure from indexing and other trends?

Mizuno: Asset managers should adjust their fee structure to improve alignment with their clients, rather than simply reducing the fee level.

Question: What’s likely to cause the next global financial crisis?

Mizuno: Mishandling of the reverse QE. I think people are a bit too optimistic that central banks will be able to reverse their quantitative easings smoothly because nobody has done it before and this is going to be a big, big historical experiment.

Question: What’s the best opportunity the industry is overlooking?

Mizuno: AI and human intelligence working together. So far I haven’t heard from asset managers that they are using AI other than just replacing their analysts. That’s the whole purpose of the recent Sony Computer Science research partnership. We are trying to be ahead of the curve. When the asset-management industry starts adopting that, we just want to be there to understand what’s happening.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Comments

Crude Oil

Oil Dips Below $62 in New York Though Banks Say Rally Can Extend

Published

on

Oil

Oil Dips Below $62 in New York Though Banks Say Rally Can Extend

Oil retreated from an earlier rally with investment banks and traders predicting the market can go significantly higher in the months to come.

Futures in New York pared much of an earlier increase to $63 a barrel as the dollar climbed and equities slipped. Bank of America said prices could reach $70 at some point this year, while Socar Trading SA sees global benchmark Brent hitting $80 a barrel before the end of the year as the glut of inventories built up during the Covid-19 pandemic is drained by the summer.

The loss of oil output after the big freeze in the U.S. should help the market firm as much of the world emerges from lockdowns, according to Trafigura Group. Inventory data due later Tuesday from the American Petroleum Institute and more from the Energy Department on Wednesday will shed more light on how the Texas freeze disrupted U.S. oil supply last week.

Oil has surged this year after Saudi Arabia pledged to unilaterally cut 1 million barrels a day in February and March, with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. predicting the rally will accelerate as demand outpaces global supply. Russia and Riyadh, however, will next week once again head into an OPEC+ meeting with differing opinions about adding more crude to the market.

“The freeze in the U.S. has proved supportive as production was cut,” said Hans van Cleef, senior energy economist at ABN Amro. “We still expect that Russia will push for a significant rise in production,” which could soon weigh on prices, he said.

PRICES

  • West Texas Intermediate for April fell 27 cents to $61.43 a barrel at 9:20 a.m. New York time
  • Brent for April settlement fell 8 cents to $65.16

Brent’s prompt timespread firmed in a bullish backwardation structure to the widest in more than a year. The gap rose above $1 a barrel on Tuesday before easing to 87 cents. That compares with 25 cents at the start of the month.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. and oil trader Vitol Group shot down talk of a new oil supercycle, though they said a lack of supply response will keep prices for crude prices firm in the short term.

Continue Reading

Crude Oil

Oil Prices Rise With Storm-hit U.S. Output Set for Slow Return

Published

on

Crude oil

Oil Prices Rise With Storm-hit U.S. Output Set for Slow Return

Oil prices rose on Monday as the slow return of U.S. crude output cut by frigid conditions served as a reminder of the tight supply situation, just as demand recovers from the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brent crude was up $1.38, or 2.2%, at $64.29 per barrel. West Texas Intermediate gained $1.38, or 2.33%, to trade at $60.62 per barrel.

Abnormally cold weather in Texas and the Plains states forced the shutdown of up to 4 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude production along with 21 billion cubic feet of natural gas output, analysts estimated.

Shale oil producers in the region could take at least two weeks to restart the more than 2 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude output affected, sources said, as frozen pipes and power supply interruptions slow their recovery.

“With three-quarters of fracking crews standing down, the likelihood of a fast resumption is low,” ANZ Research said in a note.

For the first time since November, U.S. drilling companies cut the number of oil rigs operating due to the cold and snow enveloping Texas, New Mexico and other energy-producing centres.

OPEC+ oil producers are set to meet on March 4, with sources saying the group is likely to ease curbs on supply after April given a recovery in prices, although any increase in output will likely be modest given lingering uncertainty over the pandemic.

“Saudi Arabia is eager to pursue yet higher prices in order to cover its social break-even expenses at around $80 a barrel while Russia is strongly focused on unwinding current cuts and getting back to normal production,” said SEB chief commodity analyst Bjarne Schieldrop.

Continue Reading

Crude Oil

Crude Oil Rose Above $65 Per Barrel as US Production Drop Due to Texas Weather

Published

on

oil

Crude Oil Rose Above $65 Per Barrel as US Production Drop Due to Texas Weather

Oil prices rose to $65.47 per barrel on Thursday as crude oil production dropped in the US due to frigid Texas weather.

The unusual weather has left millions in the dark and forced oil producers to shut down production. According to reports, at least the winter blast has claimed 24 lives.

Brent crude oil gained $2 to $65.47 on Thursday morning before pulling back to $64.62 per barrel around 11:00 am Nigerian time.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 2.3 percent to settle at $61.74 per barrel.

“This has just sent us to the next level,” said Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho in New York. “Crude oil WTI will probably max out somewhere pretty close to $65.65, refinery utilization rate will probably slide to somewhere around 76%,” Yawger said.

However, the report that Saudi Arabia plans to increase production in the coming months weighed on crude oil as it can be seen in the chart below.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, Saudi Arabian Energy Minister, warned that it was too early to declare victory against the COVID-19 virus and that oil producers must remain “extremely cautious”.

“We are in a much better place than we were a year ago, but I must warn, once again, against complacency. The uncertainty is very high, and we have to be extremely cautious,” he told an energy industry event.

Continue Reading

Trending