Welcome to Cyberport
A A A
  • Cyberport Facebook Page
  • Cyberport Twitter Page
  • Cyberport LinkedIn Page


Tech News

15-09-2017
Innovation and Technology Venture Fund

The Government has launched the Innovation and Technology Venture Fund on 15-09-2017. It is now open for application by venture capital funds to become co-investment partners (Deadline: 15-01-2018). A briefing session will be held on 03-10-2017 at the Hong Kong Science Park. Interested venture capital funds are welcome to attend.

View More

 

News feed provided by SMBWorld.

 

24-11-2017
Johnson & Johnson announces digital startup challenge around skincare

Johnson & Johnson has announced the launch of the Digital Beauty QuickFire Challenge. The challenge will encourage start-up companies to create the most novel, future-forward digital beauty solutions in an effort to provide better skincare outcomes for consumers around the world. The winner(s) of the challenge will receive up to a total of $50,000 in funding to help advance their product prototype toward commercialization. In addition to funding, Johnson & Johnson Innovation will also provide the winner(s) with access to a network of experts, residency for up to one year at an available Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS (JLABS), and admission to a Johnson & Johnson Consumer Experience Center (CxC). At the CxC, the winner(s) will be able to custom design and execute one free research initiative."True innovation doesn't just elevate product experiences and outcomes -- it challenges the very definition of skin care itself," said Sebastien Guillon, President, Global Beauty, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. "The next beauty tech disrupters are out there, and this Challenge will help us identify the most promising potential partners in the co-creation of meaningful, future-forward skin solutions."The Digital Beauty QuickFire Challenge will focus on three innovation areas:Insights-Generating Tools that empower consumers to make better informed skincare choices, such as at-home skin assessments, coaching engines, and personalization tools to simplify product selection and build regimen. Impact Tracking Devices and Adherence Solutions that help improve consumers' skin health management by monitoring skin-impacting factors such as pollution, UV, and skin biomarkers. Digital Technologies or Devices that increase efficacy beyond traditional topical applications to progress skin health for consumers with hard to treat concerns such as acne, photoaging, and eczema."To achieve this, we are seeking innovative devices and digital technology solutions to make the invisible visible and tackle the toughest skincare challenges," said Naomi Furgiuele, Vice President, Global Face and Sun R&D, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. "By creating powerful connected experiences with those outside of our company walls, we are able to build consumer preference, loyalty, and unique personalization."

View More
24-11-2017
Blockchain-based personal healthcare record OS launched

Taipei Medical University Hospital and Digital Treasury Corporation (DTCO) have jointly unveiled blockchain-based personal healthcare record operating system (phrOS).phrOS will "enable the rise of patient-centric healthcare system, where an individual can carry their own medical information digitally," according to a press release by DTCO. This would not only secure the data from external hacking threats but also enable seamless cross-hospital treatment and hassle-free online insurance claims by the individual, without having to face complicated procedure of applying for personal medical records. Fubon Financial Holding is actively involved in sponsoring the platform and exploring the benefits of blockchain-based smart insurance claims. DTCO CEO Jacob Lee, in his speech at the Healthcare Blockchain Forum, emphasized the benefits of blockchain application in healthcare sector and introduced the basic functions of the account, such as: opening of phrOS account for an individual, my health records, intelligent insurance claims, amongst others. Dr. Same Lo, Chief Information Officer of Taipei Medical University, also shared  phrOS utilities, such as health checkreports, IoT of wearable devices and filing medical insurance claims.Lee talked about the underlying blockchain technology, the integrated identity authentication, online authorization, distributed storage technology, Ethereum permissioned blockchain and many other technology developments which this platform brings to the fore. Hospitals can either open phrOS accounts for newly registered patients or open a new phrOS account for their existing patients, following which they can gradually export health check reports and medical information to these accounts to enable the individual to keep and accumulate their own medical information. In future the individual can authorize the data by circulating it within their trust list, which includes other doctors, healthcare providers and insurance providers, for automated insurance claims. They can even link personal lifestyle information, environmental information, etc., to form a cohesive personal healthcare record.Ray Chen, Superintendent of the Taipei Medical University Hospital dedicated to promoting precision medicine said, "precision medicine is based on the circulation and accuracy of information. The current medical information of patients is kept by medical institutions so when it comes to exchange of medical data of patients a lot of factors influence the process which includes security, privacy and interoperability of different systems. Blockchain technology can significantly reduce the operational issues and enhance the transfer of personal medical data between cross-industrial platforms."Chen emphasized that the healthcare blockchain alliance is imperative for keeping up with the trends in digital medicine. In the future, the alliance aims to follows the government's policy to promote, formulate and standardize medical data transfer protocols and work to develop data-driven medical applications, and seek solutions to enhance the health and well-being of the general public. Fubon Financial Holdings is actively engaged in realising the goal of intelligent medical claims by partnering DTCO in the development of blockchain based solution, so that the "underlying process of filing of medical claims and claims handling procedures becomes smoother." It seeks to reduce the pain-points in medical insurance claims by reducing paperwork and employing a blockchain based-solution to achieve automated filing of insurance claim and automated review procedure. The automated process can significantly reduce the time and cost of review process along with elimination of fraud cases. Fubon Financial Holdings has joined the health care blockchain alliance to work together to standardize the process and create a benchmark for future reference.Jacob Lee said, "that the world is beginning to realize the applications of blockchain in healthcare sector. In the past, the medical profession in Taiwan has made considerable achievements in electronic medical records. It has taken the lead in the area of blockchain and can lead the development of a white paper on the global medical blockchain standard. At the same time, because of the open-source nature of the blockchain, it is possible to speed up the IoT of medical equipment and medical systems by establishing a blockchain alliance by leveraging digital medical innovations, including big data and artificial intelligence."DTCO also demonstrated the phrOS Super Node for large hospitals, the Light Node for clinics, and mini-nodes for wearables. Based on its capabilities and needs, the healthcare system can be connected to the phrOS blockchain network and set up a "people-centric personalized medical service with accurate, timely and secure healthcare." Caption: Image courtesy of DTCO

View More
24-11-2017
5 areas of focus in the healthcare wearables ecosystem

The proliferation of wearables for health and wellness, and the need for more data about the current and future condition of individuals and patients, are key factors propelling market growth. Future growth opportunities focus on the commercialization and embedding of wearables in skin patches, clothing, and electronic skins.Frost & Sullivan's research, "Future Wearables in Healthcare -- R&D Portfolio Areas and Technology Roadmapping," assessed market dynamics, research and development (R&D) opportunities, adoption drivers, technology trends, and challenges for healthcare wearable devices. It identified developers in diverse areas such as electronic skin, smart gloves, glucose sweat sensors, wearable stethoscopes, asthma monitoring patches, smart bandages, smart clothing, and electrocardiogram monitoring."To optimize opportunities in wearables for healthcare, technology developers or providers should focus on designing wearable products that are comfortable and convenient," said Frost & Sullivan TechVision Principal Analyst Peter Adrian. "The device should provide accurate, reliable, real-time data, and data transmission capabilities without requiring the user to have expertise in wearable sensing or communications technology. Soft, flexible, stretchable sensing materials will be comfortable for the user.To succeed in the healthcare wearables ecosystem, players need to:Provide data that is tightly integrated with the data management system used by healthcare professionals to give more information on the real-time condition of patients, which can be integrated into existing data to drive personalized healthcare and furnish a complete picture of the patient's current and future medical conditions; Ensure that medical-grade wearables can provide sufficient accuracy, sensitivity, and selectivity when monitoring key parameters; Use wearables to provide data-as-a-service; Focus on key applications such as the management and monitoring of diseases, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Parkinson's, asthma, and mental health; and Look toward high-growth markets such as the elderly."Wearables can provide healthcare professionals with insights into a patient's health. However, systems need to be developed that support the integration, adoption, privacy and security of data from wearables," noted Adrian. "It can take a significant effort for healthcare organizations to incorporate actionable data from wearables into the organization's data collection and storage systems."

View More
24-11-2017
MNX acquires Australia-/Asia-based specialty healthcare logistics provider LFS

MNX Global Logistics has acquired Australian logistics solutions provider Logical Freight Solutions (LFS).Founded in 1994 in Melbourne, Australia, LFS serves the healthcare industry, including life science, ag-bio, diagnostics, therapeutics, proteomics, medical devices, microbiology, genomics, chemicals, radiopharmaceuticals, instruments, spare parts and all consumables for these industries. LFS has locations in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the U.S."The pace of growth in patient-centric medicine, with its strict requirements for temperature-controlled transportation and time-definite delivery, underscores the role that specialty time-critical logistics providers will continue to play in the life sciences and healthcare industries," said MNX CEO Paul J. Martins. "LFS shares our customer-centric culture and geographic footprint. This combination allows our new and existing customers to experience an expanded suite of logistics services tailored specifically for the healthcare, life sciences, and medical device industries around the world."LFS CEO Steve Cheetham said that he "is enthusiastic about the potential for the combined business.""Since its inception, Logical Freight Solutions has steadily built an infrastructure and specialized expertise that provides our customers with true door-to-door service, from internal supplier to end-user," said Cheetham. "Joining MNX further propels the growth of our business and service offerings across new geographies, and gives our customers access to a diversified range of logistics services and new technologies."This acquisition is part of a series of strategic moves to drive global growth and provide exceptional service to healthcare and life sciences customers. With expanded capabilities, MNX is "positioned to support customers looking to grow throughout the entire Asia-Pacific region and the world," according to the press release.

View More
24-11-2017
Commercial Bank of Ceylon upgrades digital banking platform for better customer experience

Sri Lanka’s Commercial Bank of Ceylon (COMBANK) will replace its current digital platform with an integrated digital banking solution from Fiserv to speed the delivery of new capabilities that meet the needs of retail and corporate customers.  DigitalAccess will allow COMBANK to develop and deploy new banking capabilities and upgrades quickly and cost-effectively, improving speed to market while providing customers the flexibility and convenience they expect. The solution will also enable COMBANK to deliver digital banking services in local languages, Sinhala and Tamil for Sri Lanka, Bengali for Bangladesh, and Divehi for the Maldives, facilitating stronger customer engagement.A 20-year customer of Fiserv’s core banking technology, COMBANK’s Chief Operating Officer, S. Renganathan, commented that DigitalAccess will allow the bank to quickly deliver new features and functionality to its increasingly tech-savvy customers, in their respective languages, helping it connect and engage with them more effectively.DigitalAccess, which integrates with the bank’s core account processing platform, Signature® from Fiserv, enables digital onboarding to allow customers to open bank accounts and apply for credit cards, loans, and other banking products without having to visit a bank branch. Additional features include personal financial management tools, online mobile phone top-up capabilities, biometric authentication, actionable push notifications, and ATM and branch location searches.“Consumer expectations of their financial services providers have never been higher, and this is increasingly true in mobile-first markets, where many consumers have leapfrogged over traditional financial service models to engage digitally,” said Marc Mathenz, senior vice president and managing director, Asia Pacific, Fiserv. "Commercial Bank of Ceylon is putting technology in place to allow them to update their digital banking services quickly, so they can be responsive to customer needs and stand out in a competitive market.” 

View More
24-11-2017
INS project to use blockchain in grocery shopping

INS, a new global project by the founders of Instamart grocery delivery service, said it is going to build a decentralized grocery shopping ecosystem based on blockchain technology.INS is disrupting the largest consumer retail market in the world. According to Persistent Market Research, the global grocery market will grow to US$8.5 trillion in 2020. Online sales of groceries are expected to reach over US$300 billion by 2020."The grocery industry in its current shape is inefficient and controlled by retailers. For example, in the UK, there are over 7,000 manufacturers and 25 million households dependent on 4 key grocery retailers controlling 76% of the market. INS will adopt blockchain to cut the middleman – wholesalers and retail stores – to help consumers save up to 30% on grocery shopping," said Peter Fedchenkov, INS co-founder and CEO.INS proposes to build a scalable blockchain-based platform that enables consumers to buy groceries directly from manufacturers. Online decentralized platform powered by a self-regulated community of shoppers and suppliers eliminates the retailers from the purchase process. Smart contracts help both parts to facilitate trade and reduce risks and costs. Any manufacturer can list and sell products, gain customer feedback, and reward loyal shoppers. This gives manufacturers greater control of product pricing and listing, rather than the current model where distributors control how products are priced and distributed.Following the signing of a non-binding memoranda of understanding (MOU) with global FMCG brand Unilever INS plans to raise US$60 million. Caption: Image from iStockPhoto

View More
24-11-2017
VIMO to woe Chinese tourist by offering WeChat-based payment services in Vietnam

According to the Pacific Asia Travel Association, Chinese tourists visiting Vietnam grew over 63% in the first quarter of 2017, compared to the same quarter in 2016. About 2.7 million mainland tourist visited the country in 2016, up 51.4% from 2015 levels.With Chinese mainlanders accustomed to using ewallets to make payments, it is only natural for cash in on the opportunity.VIMO.vn E-Wallet claims to be the first [in Vietnam anyway] intermediary payment unit to allow Chinese travelers to use WeChat Pay (Weixin Pay) e-wallets to make payments in Vietnamese dong (VND) at VIMO accepting shops and stores when traveling to Vietnam.Stores in Vietnam can install the "VIMO Merchant" application from the phone or tablet download store and then register a bank account to receive sales revenue at https://merchant.vimo.vn. When Chinese tourists pay for the purchase, the merchant enters the order information and the payment amount in VND to generate a QR code. Then the tourists use the WeChat Pay e-wallet installed on their phone to scan the QR code of the merchant to complete the cashless payment transaction. The merchant will receive the payment amount into its bank account in Vietnam within 2 working days at the latest.As Chinese tourists roam the country, the WeChat Pay app on their phone will recommend shops and stores that accept VIMO Merchant Payments helping boost sales for local merchants. For Chinese travelers, this service can replace conveniently the use of bank cards with a mobile phone, allowing them to travel and shop cashless in Vietnam.With more than US$2 trillion in trading volume in 2016 and about 1 billion users, WeChat Pay and Alipay command a sizeable chunk of the e-payment market in China. The two competitors are both eyeing the international market, essentially following Chinese tourists as they roam the world, including Europe and Southeast Asia."Vietnam is one of the most attractive destinations to the Chinese tourists in the region. It is estimated that the influx of Chinese tourists will reach 3.5 million people and bring in revenue close to USD 3 billion in 2017. Therefore, after a period of inquiry and negotiation, in early June 2017, VIMO signed an e-payment agreement and connection with Tenpay Payment Technology - the owner unit of WeChat Pay with the aim of bringing convenience to Chinese tourists as well as increasing tourism revenue for Vietnam," sakd Do Cong Dien, General Director of VIMO.vn.He confirmed that the company is expanding its international cooperation with a number of overseas partners originating from countries which have a huge percentage of tourists coming to Vietnam every year, such as Korea.To date, VIMO.vn is accepted in nearly 500 shops accepting QR Code payments via WeChat Pay, of which more than 50 stores belong to 7 corporations in 5 international airports which have direct flights from China.  Caption: Image from iStockPhoto

View More
23-11-2017
Buying travel insurance just got easier with eKYC and AI

This December 2017, Hong Kong travelers will have another option when buying travel insurance.Insurtech startup Wesurance has partnered with Allied World Assurance Company and TransUnion to offer Hong Kong travelers access to travel insurance-on-the go. The company promises to let consumers buy policies and make claims conveniently and securely within minutes using their smartphones.The platform includes Amy, a digital personal assistant that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to guide customers through the claims process.According to Wesurance, Amy does away with traditional claim forms. Customer experience will be greatly enhanced with the simplified claim procedures. User verification is also quick and simple with electronic Know Your Customer technology (eKYC) and facial recognition technology. If it sounds too complicated, the startup claims that Amy will walk customers through the process.Eddie Chang (photo above), Chief Executive Officer of Wesurance, said the goal of the company is to use technology to develop the best digital insurance solutions which will allow customers to purchase insurance policies in a more enjoyable way, hence helping to increase the insurance penetration rate among the younger generation.“AI and cutting-edge identity verification solutions are major enablers of this goal, allowing us to create a service delivery channel at the consumer’s fingertips that is cost-effective and hassle free. With the expertise and support of our partners Allied World Assurance Company, Ltd and TransUnion we have been able to launch a comprehensive mobile travel insurance solution that ticks all the boxes for Hong Kong’s busy consumers,” he commented.When users make their claim, they just need to answer Amy’s questions and take photos of their supporting documents. Claims are processed quickly and users typically notified of the result within a few days. Thanks to the auto-fill function and optical character recognition (OCR) technology, users can fill in a lot less information when they purchase insurance policies on the platform. All they need is to insert their phone number and address.In addition, all charges are transparent, with no hidden fees or small print in the contract. eKYC will make it easier for users to purchase not only travel insurance but also other insurance products such as life insurance on the platform in the future.Amy uses a Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) database to enable it to deliver instant in-app responses to over 80% of customers’ queries. Unresolved questions are immediately directed to internal representatives to provide real-time support. Amy also sends reminders and notifications to create a seamless consumer journey from start to finish.Wesurance uses eKYC technology from TransUnion’s IDVision solution suite. It incorporates advanced technologies such as document forensic algorithms, device intelligence, facial recognition and data analytics to verify a user’s identity. Users simply need to take a photo of their HKID card and then a selfie. In just a few moments, IDVision eKYC can accurately verify the user’s identity.Lawrence Tsong, President, Asia Pacific of TransUnion commented that this is the first application of its eKYC solution in an insurance setting in Hong Kong.He believes that the IDVision eKYC solution will help transform the way financial institutions onboard new customers, providing a smooth customer experience in a secure manner while fulfilling KYC compliance processes.”Wesurance’s Chang predicted that more insurance products will be coming in the future. Caption: Image from iStockPhoto

View More
23-11-2017
TMG looks to blockchain to address ad fraud

Can blockchain turn the tide against ad fraud scourge? Global full-service marketing network TMG (The Marketing Group) thinks it is. And it is pouring investment into the technology.A blockchain is a continuously growing list of records which are linked and secured, using cryptography, to produce an immutable, distributed ledger. Because blockchains are transparent and secure by design, they are highly suitable for use in creating smart contracts, transferring funds and documenting the provenance of a supply chain.TMG recently launched what it reportedly claims as the first media agency in the world. Called TRUTH, it will use blockchain-based smart contracts.According to the press release, TRUTH was created in response to “the erosion of trust between advertisers, media agencies and media owners.” TMG believes that the industry is ready for innovation that allows for better transparency and reduces the need for “middlemen” and “layers”. The idea of TRUTH came about when it found that CMOs with programmatic ad budgets wanted a “honest agency model”.The move comes as the Europe region prepares for General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance that will also impact Asian marketers. Using blockchain immutability feature, the agency will meet the stringent GDPR requirements."By bringing blockchain technology into the media world we will build a cleaner media supply chain with 100% transparency. We want to put the client first and believe this is the best way to do that," Mary Keane Dawson, CEO of TRUTH said in a press release."We are entering a new dawn in data driven advertising and TRUTH will be at the heart of that. We know from our research that CMOs are demanding change. We will be that change," Adam Graham, CEO of parent company TMG added.TRUTH will operate offices in Auckland, London, San Francisco, Singapore and Sydney, to provide a global solution for brands that want more transparency and better value.TMG is building a global full-service marketing network, powered by technology. It hopes to be a fresh alternative for global brands looking for better ROI and value. With offices in America, Europe, Asia and Australasia, TMG's collaborative network of agencies provide a holistic service to deliver highly effective results.Further reading:IAB looking to blockchain for fraud detectionCan blockchain reinvent marketing?Ad fraud fight heats up with CAT, Indorse collaboration Caption: Image credit: iStockphoto by Getty Images

View More
23-11-2017
Survey: Data analytics, marketing automation will matter in 2018

Data analytics will play a bigger role in 2018. Meanwhile marketing automation will increasingly shape financial services marketing success in the new year. That was what financial services and communication leaders said in the Cognito Communications and Marketing Survey 2017/18. The report surveyed 165 marketers from US, EMEA and APAC from various parts of the financial services industry, including banking, asset management, wealth management, FinTech, insurance, technology and professional services."Much like other industries, marketing and communications is anticipating the potential impact of digital disruption, technology and automation. Adaption to this change relies on turning perceived challenges into opportunities for success. Our second annual survey therefore focuses on change, by informing the industry of the right tools, channels and technology to drive business growth and manage reputation," Tom Coombes, CEO and Founder of Cognito said.According to the September 2017 study, the top three marketing challenges were securing budget/investment (86%), adaption to disruption (83%) and adaption to technology (80%). To justify ROI, smart measurement and analysis is becoming important. Seventy-nine percent said data analytics will have the highest impact next year, followed by marketing automation (57%). AI and machine learning will also make huge impacts, although their effects will be “less immediate.”In terms of content marketing, marketers were largely unhappy with the quality. Only 18% were happy with their content, with 61% predicting that content creation will be a top budget winner for 2018. Digital marketing, social media and digital advertising were other areas that marketers said they will invest in the new year.However, a lot of marketing organizations are facing a severe skills gap. According to the survey, digital skills, from social media or marketing technology to digital marketing and advertising, are hard to find.The survey also highlighted the growing importance of LinkedIn among financial services marketing professionals.  Eighty-five per cent said that LinkedIn is becoming more important “due to the effectiveness of paid campaigns and targeting.” However, media is still preferred when communicating their message and position.In contrast, Facebook saw a decrease in importance with only 25% saying that it was important for their marketing needs. Instagram fared worse at 22%. According to the study, the low percentile figures showed that B2B financial services businesses have yet to embrace these social media fully.  Further reading:Top 6 predictions for data and analytics in 2018Hong Kong digital marketers are failing their consumersDentsu goes big on big data analytics  Caption: Image credit: iStockphoto by Getty Images

View More
23-11-2017
HK uni students bag HK$1.2 million to kickstart fintech ambitions

Cyberport has awarded 12 teams of university students HK$100,000 each in seed funding under the third year of the fintech-focused Cyberport University Partnership Program (CUPP).The 12 teams were selected from a pool of 21 teams comprising 59 students from six local universities following months of training, mentorship, a one-week boot camp at the Standard Graduate School of Business and the CUPP 2017 Demo Day finals.Winning teams included HKUST team LEVERUS with a centralized platform utilizing blockchain to deliver capital providers transparent, secured information.The University of Hong Kong's ALGO BORO has developed Theatre Entertainment, Asia's first crowdfunding platform for local performing artists, while another HKUST team ChipIn has developed crowdfunding service platform Partion.Other projects include EmotionX from PolyU's X-Change, which uses AI to provide personalized investment recommendations and CityU's Fund2Play's eponymous AI and digital chatbot platform.As well as the seed funding, the winning teams will receive a fast-track interview opportunity at the Cyberport Incubation Program.First published on Computerworld Hong Kong Caption: Image from Cyberport

View More
23-11-2017
EY says hedge fund managers to use innovation to drive operational efficiency

The EY “2017 Global Hedge Fund and Investor Survey: How will you embrace innovation to illuminate competitive advantages?” reveal that 57% of surveyed hedge fund managers are innovating to improve their operational efficiency in response to market disruptions and to avoid falling behind the industry.In addition, technology is anticipated to help grow asset base even as pressure on margins remain. Investors also said they recognize the need for managers to innovate, with 30% noting they want managers to do so in the front office.EY Asia-Pacific Wealth and Asset Management Leader, Elliott Shadforth said: “The pace at which the hedge fund industry is being disrupted continues to accelerate. Advances in technology are creating new threats, but also new opportunities. In this environment, hedge fund managers need to be more proactive in identifying novel solutions if they want to keep pace with investors’ appetite for innovative new product offerings, stand out and remain competitive in a crowded sector and, ultimately, drive sustainable growth.”Figure 1: Reasons for interest in innovationSource: EY, 2017Investors looking for front office innovationGiven the excitement around FinTech and the advancements in data set analytics, it’s no surprise almost one-third (30%) of investors said they would like to see hedge funds become more innovative within their front office operations. While investors say only 24% of the hedge funds they currently allocate to use non-traditional or next generational data and tools, they expect that number to rise to 38% in three years.Figure 2: Where Hedge Fund managers are investingSource: EY, 2017The landscape is quickly changing in response to investors’ demands, as managers are implementing innovative approaches to improve operational efficiency (57%), attract capital (36%), attract/retain talent (28%) and the front office (25%). The goal is to invest in cutting-edge technology to improve the speed and quality of data reporting.While, in 2016, only half of managers used or expected to use non-traditional data or tools in their investment processes, this year, more than three quarters indicate they currently use this technology (46%) or have future plans to do so (32%).Pressute to innovateUntil now, most managers have responded to added complexity, increased product offerings and reporting requirements by increasing headcount, which in turn drives margin pressure. Simultaneously, investors continue to place management fees under scrutiny, forcing managers to lower operating expense ratios. The average operating expense ratio is currently 1.75%, down from 1.95% in 2015.However, hedge funds are realizing the need to break the cycle and invest in operational efficiency. Fifty-seven percent of managers say their organization is investing, or will invest, in initiatives to improve their operating models. Half of managers surveyed plan to tackle margin pressures by investing in technology.Forty percent said they plan to invest in automating manual processes, and more than a quarter of managers (27%) have or will be making investments in artificial intelligence and robotics to strengthen their middle and back office.“Recent advances in technology provide creative solutions for hedge fund managers in supporting operating models that add to the bottom line, rather than reduce it,” said Shadforth.Shifting talent management priorities As the industry embraces innovation, the roles and responsibilities of traditional talent are shifting to account for technological and qualitative skills. The ability to compete for the right talent is a strategic imperative for hedge fund managers, particularly in the front office where more than half of those surveyed say they struggle to attract and retain executive investment professionals and more than a third express difficulty in attracting non-executive investment professionals.  Managers are also feeling pressure to provide competitive compensation and workplace culture. Nearly half of managers (45%) have taken steps such as formally surveying or employing consultants to understand what employees are looking for in the workplace. As a result, they have found that collaboration, compensation and work-life balance are key.“Competition for talent is fierce, as hedge funds compete with others in the space as well as in the growing FinTech community. Hedge fund managers must be attuned to the wants and needs of newer generations of talent in order to attract the right people and foster an unmatched work environment,” said Shadforth. Caption: Image from iStockPhoto

View More
23-11-2017
Asian retailers can benefit from 2017’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Black Friday and Cyber Monday may well be designed to attract mostly American consumers to part with their money to shop online, but the number of consumers in Asia Pacific joining the online shopping spree grew 29% in 2016.According to Worldpay Chinese consumers, not content with Singles' Day, are expected to make online purchases during Black Friday with overall spending on the day expected to go up by 37% compared to 2016. The event is also growing fast in Singapore and Hong Kong, at a rate of 21% and 32% respectively.While retailers are among the biggest Black Friday winners, internal data from Worldpay suggests that 2017 could also be an opportunity for savvy APAC businesses in the travel and digital sectors.In Singapore, spending with travel & airlines was up 20% compared to 2015. And in Hong Kong, travel and airlines saw a 30% surge, with eager travelers jumping online to search for great flight and hotel deals.RELATED: Chinese customers set the pace for global e-commerce – can you keep up?Shoppers are also increasingly seeking out bargains for digital content such as subscriptions, e-books, and on-demand box sets, with Black Friday spending in this sector experiencing year on year growth of 62% in Hong Kong and 14% in Singapore.Phil Pomford, General Manager for Asia Pacific at Worldpay said based on Worldpay data, 2017 seems set to be another solid year for the shopping event and a fantastic opportunity for a variety of e-commerce businesses, not just retailers.“While Black Friday and Cyber Monday have typically been the realm of retailers, a more diverse range of businesses are now recognizing that they too can take can take advantage of this unique online opportunity. Shoppers during this time are highly engaged, proactive, and looking for a wide range of online deals, so the potential to reach new customers and strengthen brand loyalty is huge, no matter what sector you operate in.“E-commerce businesses should ensure they set themselves up for success by making sure their websites are prepared for heavy traffic and offer simple payment options to drive shopping cart conversions online. They might also consider following the example of US retail giant Amazon and kickstart Black Friday deals a week early in order to generate excitement early on.” Caption: Image from iStockPhoto

View More
22-11-2017
BT and Huawei to base R&D group at the University of Cambridge

On 20 November 2017, BT and Huawei announced a new five-year initiative which aims to see the two companies establish a joint research and collaboration group at the University of Cambridge.The research project aims to bring together experts from the BT Labs, the Huawei R&D Team and academics from the University of Cambridge to explore new technologies which have the potential to unlock economic benefits for UK businesses and organizations, such as reducing the cost of network infrastructure and boosting operational performance.Backed by up to USD 33.1 million in funding and contributions over the next five years, the group is expected to focus on projects relating to photonics, digital and access network infrastructure and media technologies, alongside work aimed at enhancing the societal impact of communications technologies.The projects are also expected to focus on the critical role that new technologies can play in delivering positive impacts to society, such as those aimed at reducing inequality, particularly for those groups excluded from digital transformation and using ICT technologies to improve resilience of communities to climate change.Finally, the funding is also intended to support longer-term, ‘blue skies’ research projects being progressed by postgraduate students at the University which are focused on generating benefits for industry and society at large. All these projects will be assessed by an Academic Advisory Board to be made up of senior representatives from each of the parties.The new research and collaboration team – likely to be based at the University’s Maxwell Centre – is expected to kick off research activity in the first half of 2018 with five to ten researchers from BT and Huawei working alongside their University collaborators.Prof Stephen Toope, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Cambridge, said: “The world of telecommunications has advanced rapidly over the last two decades. However, there is still work to be done to improve the technologies we use on a daily basis and to ensure that they are long-lived. By working with BT and Huawei we will be able to demonstrate that the insights delivered through our research have a broad impact.” Gavin Patterson, BT Group Chief Executive said: “We believe the best way of ensuring this country remains at the forefront of innovation is by combining the expertise and commercial focus of industry with the fantastic intellectual capital found at our world-leading universities. Working together with Huawei and the University of Cambridge, we will discover the next generation of technologies which promise to deliver huge economic, social and cultural benefits for UK citizens.”Ken Hu Deputy Chairman and Rotating CEO, Huawei, said: “Technology is changing the world faster than we have ever seen. It will bring many benefits to mankind, and affect nearly every aspect of our lives. Huawei will continue to invest and form partnerships to build out future infrastructure. We have over 80,000 people in research and development globally, working with customers, universities and industry bodies.“No single organization has all the answers. Partnership is the only way forward in a complex digital age. We look forward to working with BT and the University of Cambridge. Together, we will explore future technologies and help ensure a positive social impact.”Both BT and Huawei have a long history of working with Cambridge on research projects. Researchers at the BT Labs in Adastral Park recently collaborated with the University’s Cavendish Lab on a project to assess the potential theoretical speeds that can be delivered over the UK’s access network infrastructure. Huawei and the University of Cambridge have been working together for seven years on range of research projects including media, communications and other technologies.

View More
22-11-2017
Study says insurtech to drive innovation in emerging Asia

Insurers in emerging markets are introducing innovative solutions faster than their peers in more developed insurance markets as advances in Insurtech make it easier, quicker and cheaper for them to accurately assess customer behavior, needs and risks, thereby opening the door to new business models.Developed in collaboration with CB Insights, the report revealed how China’ booming e-commerce is giving rise to new insurance products to meet demand for coverage on risks associated with online purchases.An example would be free-return insurance that helps retailers to increase sales by providing additional security to consumers via free shipping for product returns. Some even allow buyers with good credit to receive refunds immediately, instead of when returned items are received by merchants. This shows how data can transfer to credit, build trust, innovate insurance models and ultimately facilitate business.  The report also noted that technology-based new entrants to the insurance industry now compete with traditional players by offering a more tailored and comprehensive range of products from a variety of carriers to a larger target market than insurers distributing traditional products through captive agency and bancassurance channels.The report also noted how tech giants armed with big data capabilities are playing a growing role in the evolving insurance value chain. The drive to differentiate has led to different strategies to establish presence and penetrate the market including:Partnerships with multinational insurers to leverage global insurance capabilities and risk management expertise. Cases include Yunfeng Financial’s acquisition of MassMutual Asia and Tencent’s purchase of Aviva Hong Kong among others. Establishment of De Novo insurers by leveraging big data and technology capabilities. One such case is Alibaba-backed Zhong An, China's first online-only insurance company. Building technology-enabled distribution platforms to provide a “one-stop shop” for insurance products and services, including pricing and policy comparison tools, artificial intelligence-enabled consultation services and efficient online payment platforms. Cases include Taobao Insurance and JD Insurance. “Existing products in China are highly commoditized with limited variation. The market is dominated by leading insurers that have minimal incentive to innovate. Technology advancements now enable smaller players to compete with established ones by offering all kinds of new products through new distribution models,” said Selina Hu, Executive Director at Willis Towers Watson Securities. “Technology development has also enabled entrants outside of the insurance industry. As Internet giants join the sector, the market has become more diversified and efficient.”  Caption: Image from iStockPhoto

View More
CyberLink Vol.110 October 2017

Klook raised US$60M, the largest funding ever for in-destination service booking platform

Read More >
CyberLink Vol.109 September 2017

Cyberport FinTech Delegation to London lays important groundwork for future success

Read More >
CyberLink Vol.108 August 2017

GOGOVAN merges with 58 Suyun to become largest intra-city logistics platform in Asia

Read More >