Investment Strategies

The Power of Information: Data and Investment Decisions

The ability to acquire, structure and use data is critical to making investment decisions and providing solutions for clients. In this video conversation with David Solomon, chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs, PIMCO CEO Manny Roman discusses the importance of information in the evolving world of investment management.

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Text on screen: An excerpt from Talks at GS on September 14, 2018

David Solomon, CEO Goldman Sachs: Talk a little bit about data in the asset management business. And also talk a little bit about the ability to use it.

Emmanuel Roman, CEO PIMCO: So there's three things. I think from the investment standpoint, the more data you have and the better you have in terms of making investment decision, the more you're gonna be able to try to handle macro data, micro data, and be able to make investment decision. And one easy way to think about it is prepayment model in mortgages. So we're all used to estimate prepayment based on econometric model, rates go down, mortgage prepay, and so on and so forth.

We now have loan by loan data on essentially five million mortgages in the US. And so instead of having parametric model in terms of prepayment, you have [unintelligible]

David: You have actual data, yeah.

Emmanuel: [unintelligible] models, which update themselves incredibly fast in terms of what happened out there. Now some of the things won't work, but a lot of them will work. And the ability to structure data, acquire them, and then use them as a complement to investment decision in a good way is incredibly powerful. And that's what we're doing.

We made a partnership with Cal Tech in machine learning for this exact reason. We're gonna make other partnership with other university to try to work on other things. But it's really important.

The second thing is data tells you about your competitors, and about what you're good at, and what you're not good at. And I think people don't spend enough time being introspective about what the edge is or not, and what they're good at versus other people. And I think you need to be very clear on this. So that's the second use of data.

And the third one is how you touch your clients. And it's the same thing you have with many of your businesses. And it's a real revolution in terms of what you can do. The digital solution for a private client, how we can touch people who bought an income suite of product, and all these things.

And I would say when you look at our headcount, I would say a quarter of the people are in tech one way or the other, when you add consultant and full time people. So it's a lot. And we're spending a very significant amount of money just like you on technology. And it feels like it's never enough.

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