Automation Will Replace Many Highly Paid Bankers: Fintech Execs

By Wack, Kevin | American Banker, May 3, 2016 | Go to article overview

Automation Will Replace Many Highly Paid Bankers: Fintech Execs


Wack, Kevin, American Banker


Byline: Kevin Wack

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- The newly minted titans of fintech are coming for your job. And they're not apologizing.

During a lively discussion Monday at the Milken Institute Global Conference, two young technology executives minced no words about their aims. They plan to bring about dramatic cuts in employment inside banks and other financial service companies.

"You have probably the most expensive utility infielders in the world in this industry, making low-to-mid six figures moving columns of data around from one spreadsheet to another," said Daniel Nadler, the chief executive of Kensho, making an analogy to the economics of baseball. "And that's what's going to get automated in the next five years."

Nadler, whose Cambridge, Mass.-based company works with Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase to automate tasks previously performed by people, took gleeful shots at the financial services industry and its employees.

He argued that the industry is highly inefficient because it pays big salaries to people whose jobs can be computerized. "And those inefficiencies arise with what are frankly really mediocre people feeling a sense of entitlement to six-figure jobs," Nadler said.

A Google executive who was speaking on the same panel made similar arguments, though he presented them in a less confrontational manner, suggesting that people who lose their jobs in finance will find more fulfillment in other careers.

"For anyone who's moving columns around from spreadsheet to spreadsheet, there's far better ways, more enjoyable ways to express yourself and build things," argued Corrie Elston, the chief technology officer for financial services, speaking about the Google Cloud Platform.

Elston said that the financial industry is in the process of evolving. "And evolution can be fairly brutal at times," he said.

The brash comments came at a conference that is bringing together boldface names from finance, government, entertainment and technology. …

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