On Thursday evening, UniCredit Bank Austria and Pioneer Investments Austria invited guests to the event entitled “The art of investing” at Ferstel Palace to listen to keynote speaker Harry Gatterer, the renowned trend researcher and CEO of the Zukunftsinstitut.
In his opening address, UniCredit Bank Austria CEO Robert Zadrazil remarked “We see digitalization as an enabler and driver for change in the banking business, however banking is and will always be a people business. UniCredit uses digitalization to support its business transformation and the Group is investing 1.6 billion euros in IT and digital innovations as part of its Transform 2019 plan. We have already developed innovative digital tools to help our customers to find the right investment mix. For example, our new financial maths-based risk-return analysis for securities depots and our 100 investment experts, who are able to offer advice either in the branches or via videoconference.”
Werner Kretschmer, CEO of Pioneer Investments Austria, a company in the Amundi Group, used his introduction to take up another megatrend, namely globalisation: “Amundi Asset Management is the largest investment trust in Europe, and the eighth largest in the world. As a company within this group, we can offer our investors access to all global opportunities and trends. And as a local investment company, we can be there for our customers at the same time.” Kretschmer referred in general to dealing with the future as an essential component in the investment business.
The future must not be a tunnel
In his keynote address, Harry Gatterer highlighted his view that the issue of digitalization is currently turning the future into a “semantic tunnel”. “The feeling often arises that there is only one future, namely digitalization”, said Gatterer. This generates a sense of unease, even though digitalization is a process which has actually been going on for decades, having taken hold of us long ago. Related to this, Gatterer broached the megatrend of connectivity, i.e. global networking. This networking changes our perception of the world, whereby we see that the “real world” is usually much closer to “desired reality” than to “perceived reality”. “In other words”, says Gatterer, “the world is better than we often believe, not least due to connectivity”.
The second important megatrend that Gatterer highlighted is the “Silver Society”. Human life expectancy has been increasing globally for decades. Those writing the history of our lives see a change, because the course of many people’s lives conforms less and less with earlier patterns – as regards retirement, for example. Gatterer finds talk of an “ageing society” completely inappropriate. The problem is not that there are more and more older people, but how society treats them. “We must and will adopt a new way of looking at age. Only then will we have vigorous “silver agers” instead of “silver zombies”, claims Gatterer.
The future began long ago
The final discussion again showed that the future began long ago, particularly in banking and asset management. Werner Kretschmer highlighted that one of the greatest challenges in investment (and therefore for all investors) is the changed environment. The times of (almost) risk-free yields are past. To protect the prospect of attractive yields, certain risks must be taken. Investors must completely reorientate themselves. Asset managers such as Amundi can therefore offer suitable products for the most varied investment targets and risk groups. This is precisely when the risk analysis offered by UniCredit Bank Austria to its customers applies – making use of the most up-to-date digital capabilities, of course.
Christian Noisternig, Area Head Private Customers, Small Business and Independent Professions at UniCredit Bank Austria, also underlined how important the co-existence of the most up-to-date digital services for daily banking needs and personal consultation and expertise is: “The investment experts at UniCredit Bank Austria use the most up-to-date analysis methods to provide the customer with a risk-return analysis for their securities depots. This analysis goes significantly beyond a conventional portfolio analysis. The aim is to study the portfolio’s potential yield and losses in detail and then optimise them. An analysis is carried out as to whether the investor can achieve a higher yield with the same level of risk, or maintain the existing yield with less risk.”
Ingried Brugger, Director of the Bank Austria Art Forum in Vienna, focused on the artistic part of the evening. Gerhard Rühm is one of the last universal artists. As a composer, pianist, performer, writer and visual artist, he was already hovering around the borders between individual artistic disciplines, long before terms such as “crossover” and “intermediality” became fashionable in artistic practice. After the presentations, guests at the event were able to enjoy an exclusive viewing of his exhibited works.
UniCredit Bank Austria Media Relations Pioneer Investments Austria GmbH, Amundi Group
Matthias Raftl, Tel. +43 (0) 50505-52809 Andreas Nurscher; Tel.+43 (0)1 33173-2202
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