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PE HUB Wire Highlights, 6.21.18

Cushman & Wakefield files to go public; Ex-TractManager execs launch healthcare IT investment vehicle; Oregon Investment Council exec scolds TPG

Is it Thursday, already? Next week, I’ll be in Chicago for PartnerConnect Midwest at the Intercontinental Hotel. Stop by and say “howdy” if you can.

Yesterday, I listened to Catherine Bessant, chief operations and technology officer at Bank of America, talk about several issues facing the financial technology landscape at CB Insights Future of Fintech conference.

When asked about competition with fintechs, Bessant said competition is good for innovation and good for BofA’s clients. “We are buyers and users of fintech but we are not fintech,” Bessant said during an interview. “We are regulated….it would be wrong for us to think of ourselves as fintech.”

Bessant said she loves the concept of bitcoin and said it represents a tremendous opportunity. “As an asset class, every investor needs to make a decision,” she said.

Crypto, however, represents a tremendous amount of risk. BofA is required to know the senders and receivers of every transaction it processes. Kidnappers, she said, use crypto for a reason. “They don’t want to be known,” Bessant said.

The topic then turned to cybersecurity, which is one area of the BofA budget where Bessant is not constrained. The bank has spent $680 million on cybersecurity, she said. “We encourage all of our customers to protect themselves,” she said. When asked about AI and robotics, Bessant said such technology will change human tasks but it will “not necessarily be the decimation of jobs” that’s expected. Automation will “free up humans where [they] can be really value-added,” she said.

AI will make banks better, Bessant said, but they will change things. She predicted that ATMs will continue to exist for “decades to come,” because people still use “cash in the billions of dollars every day.” Bessant admitted that her daughter has no idea how to write a check. “Large parts of the economy still use them,” she said. “Large banks will still do them.”

FundsCarlyle Group’s most recent Asia fund closed on $6.5 billion. Carlyle Asia Partners V (CAP V) focuses on buyout and strategic investments across a wide range of sectors in Asia Pacific. See our brief here.
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