Why this fund management boss is eyeing Google

The fund management industry is facing "massive disruption" from technology giants like Google, the chief executive and co-founder of Aberdeen Asset Management told CNBC on Tuesday.

"There's massive disruption coming in our industry over the next 10 years and unless we in the long-only world innovate, we're going to be disrupted as a business, so we've got to really look to the future," Martin Gilbert told CNBC.



Martin Gilbert, Chief Executive of Aberdeen Asset Management.
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Martin Gilbert, Chief Executive of Aberdeen Asset Management.

The tech world's major players likes of Google and Facebook have been looking at ways to jump into the fund management sector.

In 2014, Google commissioned a study into how it could enter the industry and Facebook launched a service earlier this year that lets people send money to each other using its Messenger app—marking its first foray into the financial services sector.

At the same time, start-ups are popping up offering services such as banking, stock trading and money transfers, in a bid to displace major players in those spaces.

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Global investment in financial technology – or fintech – tripled to $12.21 billion in 2014 from $4.05 billion the year before, according to Accenture.

Gilbert's concerns over the role of technology was echoed in a PwC survey of asset management CEOs earlier this year. The survey concluded that the chief executives see their future competition coming from the technology sector.

"Already 'robo adviser' business models are appearing to threaten to disrupt wealth management through automating asset allocation," PwC's report stated.

Gilbert said Google was likely to dive into the asset management industry, but that the role the technology giant would play was unknown.

"Whether it's as an asset manager or distributor is going to be the big question. I think they would probably like to work with the whole industry, would be my instinct. But only Google knows," he told CNBC.

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