Abby Johnson – Future of Finance – [Invest Like the Best, EP.116]

Over the summer. I spent time with Abby Johnson, who is the chairman and CEO of Fidelity Investments and several other business leads at Fidelity to understand how a very large firm like theirs is navigating change in our industry. What follows is a condensed version of my various conversations with Abby and her team. We discuss the big buzzwords like blockchain and machine learning, but also thoughts on leadership, client centricity and measures of success.

Show Notes

1:16 – (First Question) – [Abby] A look at the early part of Abby’s career

2:45 – Analyzing the skill of capital allocators

3:27 – A look at the asset management world of today and what to focus on today

7:23 – A set of decision-making principles that guide Abby

12:55 – Their strategy around the digitization of the world

16:07 – Balance between robo-advisors and humans and the markers of a good relationship

18:24 – What is the future of the role of the human in these relationships

20:15 – Their interest in emerging technologies like Blockchain

24:50 – Will crypto be its own asset class in the future

25:58 – [TOM] State of the business and the most interesting points of change

28:14 – Who is winning the battle for the next generation of investors

29:24 – How much of the change in financial business is cyclical

30:17 – What are businesses doing right to bridge that generational gap

31:01 – What does the future of the asset management industry look like

32:13 – What technologies could impact the asset management business the most

33:44 – The difference between machine learning and AI in this format

35:26 – In what way will AI impact these processes and replace humans

36:41 – What has him most excited about the future

37:54 – Advice for people thinking about pursuing a career in financial services

39:20 – Markers of a business that would be attractive for the next generation to consider working for

40:33 – The importance of brand when thinking about their business and those they work with

41:57 – Ways of engendering trust from a branding prospective

43:20 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Tom

44:28 – [VIPIN] Building a team around AI

45:21 – Markers for a good data strategy

47:25 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Vipin

48:58 – [ABBY] – How Fidelity thinks about data as an investing initiative

50:24 – Differentiating attributes of good analysts and if they’ve changed

51:34 – Investor she has always enjoyed learning from

52:37 – Favorite Peter Lynch story

53:17 – Business lessons that people could take away from Abby

54:59 – The role of women in financial services and what can be done to improve the situation there

57:35 – Trends that Abby is most excited to explore

1:00:22 – Positives and negatives of being part of a family business

1:01:46 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Abby

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