The best view to take in from the summit of a mountain is that of the next, taller mountain that you hope to climb in the future. 2017 provided quite a summit for private equity — awash with record amounts of dry powder and many lucrative deals — but taking stock of the successes and challenges of the past year will offer an ideal roadmap for how the industry can continue to prosper in 2018. …


I’m always reluctant to comment on articles that may be construed as advertisement for one particular firm. However, when I encounter an investment philosophy that matches my own — such as that of Bienville Capital, which was recently profiled in the article “Financial Engineers Killed the Art of Investing” by Institutional Investor — I can’t help but acknowledge how it resonates. Bienville’s philosophy is as close to my own as I’ve found, and I believe that there is as much art as science in investing.

In contrast to the endowment model of investing pioneered at Yale University and which is…


Although making predictions about the future is never a simple task, it can become complicated even further during periods when disruption and transformative change are the norm. This has been the case for the asset and wealth management (AWM) industry for the past decade; after the upheaval of the 2008 global financial crisis, regulatory pressures, new technology, and calls for greater transparency have led to revolutionary changes in the field.

Despite the difficulties in making these predictions, PwC recently released a report — “Asset & Wealth Management Revolution: Embracing Exponential Change” — in which they discuss how the AWM industry…


Evolution and the capacity for innovation on a large scale are cornerstones of the CFA Institute’s Future of Finance report. Throughout the four possible scenarios that it envisions on the horizon for the worlds of finance and investment, the CFA predicts revolutionary developments in market forces, communication, social organization, and other areas. These themes of innovation and transformation reappear in the CFA’s fourth and final proposed outcome in which the rise of a new, purposeful capitalism reshapes finance along moral, ethical, and more client-centric lines.

As I discuss more thoroughly in a previous blog post, the CFA analyzes a series…


Although interest rates in the United States inched higher earlier this summer, around the world, rates remain low as countries try to spur economic growth. The strategy of keeping rates low in order to encourage growth is not new, but according to the CFA Institute, it may typify the future of the financial industry as continued low interest rates lead to low returns, anemic growth, and a climate of political and social instability.

In a previous blog post, I profile the CFA Institute’s Future of Finance report and it’s four prognoses of how the financial sector may evolve in the…


Imitation has been called the sincerest form of flattery, and if so, pension funds around the world are beginning to show admiration for the private equity funds they have so often invested in. As a recent article from Bloomberg Businessweek explains, in the face of sluggish returns and increased operating costs, pension funds have started acquiring companies and investing in private debt themselves, bypassing the private equity funds and alternative asset managers to whom they typically outsource these investments.

Pension funds, particularly in Canada — such as the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan…


In many ways, the world is more connected today than it has ever been. The flow of ideas and information across the globe takes only seconds thanks to the proliferation of internet-enabled devices, while people and goods can quickly and easily traverse the world thanks to free trade and open border agreements. However, despite these contemporary trends, the CFA Institute forecasts that the near future may be characterized less by an interconnected world and more by parallel worlds as fissures open up across our society and our institutions rush to adapt.

The CFA’s Future of Finance report, which I discuss…


From media to retail to healthcare, new technologies have triggered a wave of disruption across dozens of established industries. Taxi operators, for example, must contend with digital upstarts like Uber and Lyft that have made it possible for passengers to call a car and driver at the push of a button, and some industries — such as travel and photography — have been rendered all but obsolete by new technologies. …


Today’s private equity sector is thriving, but that doesn’t mean that firms have stopped working to develop new competitive advantages. Many such efforts focus on how firms can cut costs or enhance returns, but another avenue firms should consider involves taking advantage of the breadth of raw data available online to strengthen and streamline their due diligence processes. As a recent Forbes article points out, this data can help private equity firms “increase the speed and reliability of insights” that shape their decision making and make it easy to determine prices for various assets.

Incorporating digital data mining into due…


While many predictions about the future of the financial industry focus on the potential behavior of markets or specific investments, far fewer estimates consider the evolution of market forces and how they will shape the industry. Of course, it can be difficult to identify the specific forces that will leave a lasting impact on the financial world, but understanding those trends in advance can help investors and managers to properly prepare for the future. …

Raudline Etienne

Raudline Etienne is a strategic advisor. Former CIO of York State Common Retirement Fund (CRF). Consultant. Toigo supporter. http://raudlineetienne.net

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store