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$650 billion asset manager Franklin Templeton is embedding data scientists in a key investment team, and it's a sign of how the industry is changing

Published by Business Insider on Thu, 21 Feb 2019


The boundaries between technology and business are already blurring. Soon, the two won't be separate, Joe Boerio, Franklin Templeton's chief technology officer, told Business Insider.In addition to embedding data scientists in investment teams, Boerio is training finance professionals to have some technology skills.It's easier to teach investing staff tech skills than vice versa, he said.The boundaries between technology and business are blurring more than ever in finance, said the longtime chief technology officer for a $650 billion firm."Longer-term, you wont have the separation of tech and business," Joe Boerio told Business Insider during a recent interview at Franklin Templeton's San Mateo headquarters.See more: The CTO at $55 billion asset manager Cohen & Steers explains why AI is 'in the middle of a hype cycle' and what he's investing in insteadBoerio, who has worked on technology at Franklin for more than 30 years, said the firm has adopted a "hub-and-spoke" model for integrating technology into its investment teams, with a central tech team serving various departments, and data scientists working with particular groups. For example, Franklin bought Random Forest Capital, a data science-focused investment team last year, then embedded the team in its fixed income group.That model helps with an asset management-wide issue: technologists' lack of investment-specific knowledge."Everyone across industries is facing the domain expertise problem, but its exacerbated in investments," Boerio said.Sign up herefor our weekly newsletter Wall Street Insider, a behind-the-scenes look at the stories dominating banking, business, and big deals.Because "its easier to teach someone with investment skills the technology than vice versa," Franklin Templeton is working on enhancing its investors' expertise."Well see more formal programs over the next few years with ways to measure levels of data science adoption and maturity of practices within teams," Boerio said. "It could be a combination of things that gets you to a desired state maturity level. The ongoing challenge with maturity is that it is a moving target with the advancements of technology and business the definition of maturity is always in motion."Read more:Artificial intelligence is transforming a $22.9 trillion investing strategybut the cutting-edge technology comes with a new set of problems JPMorgan's head of asset management explains how he's been able to poach workers from Silicon Valley BlackRock now has a higher percentage of technologists than JPMorgan, and it says a lot about the future of the money-management industry Investing startup Pagaya just raised $100 million in a bet that technology can reshape the consumer credit marketsJoin the conversation about this story
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