Professor Ronnee Ades moderates a panel discussion hosted by the Finance Alumni Network.

Panel: In financial industry, there's room for AI and people

Rutgers Business School’s Financial Alumni Network invited a panel of speakers from the financial industry to discuss how artificial intelligence is changing jobs and expectations of employers.

The discussion – “AI vs Me: Am I Becoming Redundant?” – touched on the use of robotic automation to carry out processing work, the increasing amount of date businesses are collecting and who is best suited to sort through the information as well as the opportunities occurring as technology changes job responsibilities.

The panel was composed of Matt Aquino, Apollo Global Management’s director of change management; Milwood Hobbs Jr., Oaktree Capital Management’s managing director; Stacie Keslinger, Abacus Group’s executive recruiter for accounting and finance; and Danielle Krause, The Bachrach Group’s executive recruiter for financial services.

The use of automation “will produce a lot of information,” Aquino said, “but someone is going to have to make sense of it. That’s an area for future jobs.”

Across the finance and accounting industries, companies are embracing process automation and looking for workers who have programming skills or experience manipulating large sets of data. While workers are focused on learning new skills like Python programming, the recruiters on the panel emphasized that actual programming experience matters more than taking a course.

More than 100 people attended the discussion at the Wells Fargo building on E. 42nd Street in Manhattan. The audience was a mix of alumni, current students, RBS staff, and finance faculty members, including Ivan Brick, Fred Hoffman and Lisa Kaplowitz.

In response to questions about how job seekers and workers can prepare themselves better for the changes, panelists suggested that working professionals get involved with a group project at work that allows them to learn new skill sets from other workers. They also agreed that despite the focus on data and automation, people skills are still essential.

The panel was moderated by Ronnee Ades, a veteran of the financial industry who now teaches at Rutgers Business School.

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Alumni Finance

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