By David Anderson – Program Director – FISD
Singapore, hot steamy and vibrant as ever, was a fitting stage for both FISD and Formula One this week. From the dizzy heights of the 50th floor of OCBC Centre the audience was propelled into a discussion on research in a post MiFID world. Change and innovation were the operative takeaways. The occasionally sleepy world of research has woken up with a bang. The ubiquitous concept of ‘platform’ came up – e.g. a ‘research platform’ – a way of leveraging numerous and eclectic independent research resources. Data plays a role but not on its own – human insight is the key. But would anyone pay $30K USD for an hour’s conversation with an analyst? That had been seriously suggested by a bank in recent times. There was an elegant segue into the second discussion on the role of Natural Language Processing which looks to provide a way of processing and analysing copious swathes of PDFs. There was a concept to raise the hackles – PDFs are obtuse and unhelpful as a research format – BUT the reality is that PDFs are by far the most prevalent format out there and like it or not PDF’s need to be read deciphered and insight gleaned. This was a thought provoking and innovation focussed FISD session but hats off to the panels and presenters, everything was explained in a way we could all engage with. Roll on the next FISD Singapore in March 2018.