Alloq’s founder Kees de Koning leads insightful AI discussion at PGIM’s EMEA investor forum

Kees de Koning at EMEA

PGIM, a global investment management firm, held its fourth annual EMEA Investor Forum in London on November 7, 2023. This event gathered CIOs and senior investment professionals to delve into critical investment themes and ideas for the coming year. One of the sessions was a panel discussion titled “Who Will Be the Winners and Losers in the AI Wave?”, moderated by Kees de Koning, founder of VI Company. This session was focusing on the rapid proliferation of AI in the investment landscape. The panel delved into AI’s largely unexplored implications and potential. It aimed to demystify AI’s real-world investment implications, providing insights for today’s investors. 


AI’s Transformative Role and Investment Perspectives
Raj Shant, a global equity client portfolio manager at Jennison Associates, highlighted AI’s emergence as a transformative force in computing technology. He drew parallels between AI’s impact and the smartphone revolution, suggesting its potential to fundamentally alter daily life and business operations. Shant mentions investors to focus on companies actively making AI a reality, rather than speculative future applications. He cited examples from sectors like healthcare and finance, where AI is already making significant inroads. 


Real Estate and Technology Innovation
Jonathan Hannam, co-founder of Taronga Ventures, addressed the real estate sector’s innovation challenges. He underscored the need for investment in emerging technologies, such as AI and climate tech, to propel the industry forward. Hannam pointed out opportunities for growth and transformation in real estate, particularly in enhancing sustainability and addressing climate change. He referenced specific case studies where AI has enabled more efficient building management and energy conservation. 

Kees de Koning at EMEA

The Concept of AI Washing and Due Diligence in Investments
The session also touched upon “AI washing,” akin to greenwashing, where firms might exaggerate their AI capabilities. Hannam emphasized the importance of rigorous due diligence in evaluating such claims, ensuring that companies’ AI applications are genuine and operationally effective. He shared insights on identifying genuine AI innovation versus superficial claims, highlighting the importance of technological substance over marketing hype. 


AI in the Context of ESG Goals
The role of AI in achieving Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) goals was a significant topic. Speakers acknowledged challenges like increased energy demands for AI infrastructure but also noted the potential benefits, such as more efficient and sustainable processes. The discussion emphasized the necessity of human oversight in AI’s application, particularly in complex areas requiring nuanced judgments. 

Kees de Koning

Closing Thoughts and Future of AI
The forum concluded with a discussion on the potential risks of AI development monopolization and the benefits of open-source AI models. The panel argued that open-source models could encourage more innovation and broader application due to their appeal to a wider developer community. The session ended with a consensus on AI’s significant yet navigable impact across various industries. 

As PGIM’s EMEA Investor Forum concluded, attendees left with deeper insights into AI’s evolving role in investment strategies and the broader economic landscape. The forum set the stage for continued exploration and adaptation in the dynamic world of AI and investing.