Google has been researching how it can enter the financial industry and alarming the fund sector, according to recent reports.
Google commissioned a report on entering the asset management industry which apparently caused financial houses to panic, according to the Financial Times. The idea of Google, which already holds an enormous amount of power and technology, entering the financial sector should scare the heck out of fund managers. From the report:
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Google has commissioned research on how it could enter the asset management industry, adding weight to widespread fears in the fund sector that the world’s biggest internet companies could destroy the livelihoods of established fund houses.
Although Google hasn't made any move into the financial industry yet, it presents itself as a huge threat to the industry which hasn't kept up with technology. The report was conducted by an unnamed research firm.
According to the Times, "the likelihood of Google or Facebook entering the market was frequently discussed as a 'real threat' at a senior level within Barclays Wealth & Investment Management," and several other executives claimed it was alarming news.
Google has invested in several companies and alternative energy, so the tech company pursuing financial asset management isn't out of its abilities. Google has also dabbled in trading to manage its own cash.
“Entering a highly regulated industry is not something you do lightly. If Google wanted to do it, of course they could, but they have chosen not to so far," Catherine Tillotson, managing partner at Scorpio Partnership, told the Times. "There probably is a subsection of investors who would have confidence in Google, but I think the vast majority of investors want a relationship with an entity which can supply them with high quality information, market knowledge and a view on that market. I think it is unlikely they would turn to Google for those qualities.”
Others said that Google might have a lot more name recognition and loyalty for customers. Although Google declined to comment on the report, there's some truth in the idea that people would turn to Google just as they turn to it for information, email or maps.