Steve Doran

With increased competition, shareholder expectations, and new technologies making traditional methods obsolete, the need for companies to focus on innovation in their asset management plans has never been higher. Here, Steve Doran, Director of Infrastream, and Chair of the Asset Management Council’s Sydney Chapter, explores what is holding the industry back from investing in innovation in their asset management.

Mr Doran says innovation in asset management plays an absolutely vital role in asset management today, but there are a number of factors that keep the industry doing things the same way, which can be categorised as historic, cultural, and psychological at the personal level.

“Historic approaches in engineering: hierarchical organisational structures, and education that has followed long held theories with one right answer and success from repetition (for example in the way we build roads), all have the heavy effect of keeping us in familiar and stable paradigms.

“Culturally, as asset managers we take the minimisation or elimination of risk as being a bestowed responsibility and typically respect logic, rationale and critique rather than ‘out of the box’ questioning as being our dominant guides.

“Psychologically, we not only tend to follow familiar thought and action patterns and are blind to unconscious assumptions, but we have an underlying awareness that pushing a different line may be a ‘bad career move’ and that the outcome with innovative efforts holds no guarantees, or worse, leads to a self-defining personal failure.”

Ahead of his keynote presentation, Leading innovation in asset management, at the Asset Management for Critical Infrastructure Conference, running from 16-17 August in Sydney, Mr Doran says that companies have the ability to overcome these factors.

“The good news is that the strengths that are common among asset managers, such as systematic thinking, turning principles into working realities and measuring success actually, enable us to be among the most effective innovators of all, if we are given an appropriate policy environment and adopt the right tools and frameworks,” Mr Doran says.

Are these issues holding your company back from innovating?

Hear more from Steve Doran about implementing innovation in asset management in his presentation ‘Leading innovation in asset management’ at the Asset Management for Critical Infrastructure Conference, running from 16-17 August at the Swissôtel in Sydney.

Early bird tickets are now available, offering savings of up to $700. Select utility companies and asset owners may also be eligible for $500 tickets. For more information or to register visit

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