Should you wonder what are the criteria to be called ‘the disruptor’ – there is no definition of whether it has to be an event, a person, or a trend. And as the year 2021 has been really ‘fruitful’ disruption-wise, although we’re still not halfway through it, we’ve decided to present the top seven biggest disruptors of the year.
To be specific – disruptors are preventing something – whether it’s the system, an event of some kind, or the process – from happening in the way it was supposed to. And as we’ve only recently entered the second year of the Covid-19 pandemic, could we expect some big changes on the list? Could it be possible that Covid-19 still overshadows every other disruptor?
1. The vaccine rollout and Covid-19
And the winner is… who would have guessed. The story continues throughout the first month of the year, as we’re all impatiently waiting for the Covid-19 exit day. The economies have so far suffered a lot, so it would be safe to say that the sooner all of this madness is over, the sooner we’ll be able to recover. Andy Haldane, who works as the Chief Economist in the Bank of England, has recently encouraged the population to spend some more money to help fight inflation.
But for the Investment Banking sector, the possible coming back to normality means predictability of the market coming back. But as we’re still fighting, Covid-19 will be the leader of the ranking.
2. ESG and SDG
That’s a lot of abbreviations. ESG stands for Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance – the new agenda that requires (and obliges) the institutions to take more responsibility for the most important cases right now. And the SDG means Sustainable Development Goals – with the name obviously speaking for itself. The recently appointed President of the United States has already committed to these ideas and has successfully brought his country back to the Paris Agreement’s conclusions.
In his annual letter, Larry Fink from BlackRock has stressed once again the need for global cooperation towards a better tomorrow. He also claimed that the sum needed to achieve the net-zero before 2050 will be $50 trillion.
Numerous banks and institutions have already committed to this new approach, taking important steps towards net-zero banking. But this may not be enough. And the colossal sum has already changed the perception of ESG.
Some experts (Mohammad Kamal Syed, the Head of Asset Management at Coutts Bank among them), have been trying to learn something from the GameStop story. It seems like their biggest discovery was the role of influencers, who managed to motivate big groups of Reddit users to buy stock and abuse the system’s weakness.
Reportedly, some hedge funds lost $19 billion on the stock of GameStop because of that. It showed the ‘blind spot’ in many professional traders’ strategies as well. Of course, the story started back in 2020, but it continued throughout the beginning of 2021 too.
The crazy things happened after Tesla decided to buy $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin in the first days of February. According to Citi, the crypto has shifted from being an endeavour focused on retail to something interesting and attractive for investors representing institutions.
In February, they reached the market value of $1 trillion and so far it grew by over $400 billion (only in 2021). It came right on time when the threat of inflation became inevitable. Could bitcoin become the safe haven for investors (like gold once was)?
London could become the biggest loser of the whole Brexit saga. It lost quite a big sum of money with Amsterdam trading the largest volumes in Europe (surpassing London), Dublin becoming the new home for the companies fleeing the capital of the United Kingdom, and banks shifting over €278 billion (with €675 billion planned) of balance sheets to Germany.
To find out more about the story of London, as well as get to know the two remaining disruptors, visit Disruption Banking piece: https://disruptionbanking.com/2021/04/03/the-seven-most-influential-disruptors-of-investment-banking-in-2021-so-far/.