Kirby talks to us about the digital direction of her career, what it takes to be successful in the industry and what role she expects AI to play in its future.

What attracted you to a career in the finance industry?
My first real job was as an analyst in a brokerage firm in my early 20s, during that time I got an MBA at night. I did not really know if working in finance would be for me, but I loved the complexity, optionality and diversity of the work. Fast forward 20+ years, having worked for an RIA (Registered Investment Advisor) for a decade and now advising the top 1% of wealthy, I hardly can believe 1) I am so old 2) How fast the world changes and 3) How much my career has evolved!

What impact has digital had on shaping the finance industry so far?
This one is obvious… speed, speed, speed and access, access, access! When I learned to trade we punched, literally, a ticket to register the trade. Now much of trading is automated, so gone are most of the traders and trade tickets. Today investors have so much more access to information and specifically timely information. Then you consider the incredible tech advancements and platforms like the Bloomberg Terminal, robust data has never been more available for a price, that said bad data floods the web too so browser beware!

What do you see as the biggest challenges for financial firms to overcome in the next decade?
Changing legislation coupled with compliance requirements. Also those who need to comply with the fiduciary standard. 

What do you think the financial future will look like?
One hopefully with more executive women in leadership roles and on boards.

What does it take to be successful in the finance industry?
Drive, determination, thirst for knowledge, ability to build strong relationships, always maintaining your integrity and being creative!

AI… Will it replace or support human processes in the finance industry?
Good question, AI will be able to compute and abbreviate much of the number crunching historically done by analysts in an investment shops “war room”, for example. But what AI cannot do is truly anticipate randomness like acts of terror, or political coups or exactly the timing of our first private, commercial flight to space. AI will never be able to replace human desire, agape or human selfless love, and human’s creative genius. That is why I believe AI will propel the industry to be more efficient, streamlined and accurate, but will replace the people who make the financial industry tick. 

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