The Great Transformation in Capital Markets: Revolution to Evolution

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13 December 2017

We review the successes, failures, roadblocks, and lessons learnt from the capital market transformation journey so far, and discuss how banks are planning for the future.

Key research questions

  • What are the drivers of change in capital markets?
  • How are capital market participants responding to the drivers of change?
  • How will technology evolve in capital markets?


Regulations and macroeconomic evolution are influencing profitability and return on capital altering traditional capital markets business models, while technology advancement is enabling new models and players to emerge.

In this report, we review the history but also look at the future outlook of capital markets trading technology transformation efforts by banks and brokers.

The world’s leading capital markets firms have embarked on a transformation journey since the financial crises. The magnitude of the crises required large-scale changes, and we have seen most banks undertaking big bang transformation initiatives since 2011–2012. As banks embark on their next generation of transformation, the drivers and levers of change are also evolving. The obvious underperformers have been identified and dealt with; major improvements will now come from innovative thinking and agile execution. In that pursuit banks are looking to adopt an evolutionary and flexible approach.