9 market trends for 2022

From technology, to chemical innovation, volunteering, legal advice or insurance business... Get to know the main trends for this year.

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A tough year for cybersecurity

Dashlane - boosted by FES Agency

A word from Mafalda Garcês, Country Leader & People Director

After another rough year, many of our hopes have been placed in 2022. But when it comes to cybersecurity, the predictions are not very encouraging. With cyberattacks continuing to become increasingly diverse and sophisticated, I identify five main predictions for this year that has just begun.

First, the exposure of weaknesses in systemic dependencies – Facebook’s outage in 2021 has reminded us of the many systemic dependencies that exist and that I believe will be more and more exposed. 

On the other hand, cyberattacks related to social engineering will become more sophisticated, and this technique will continue to be used to obtain permissions and access sensitive data.

The year 2022 will also be the one where we are likely to see malicious actors exploiting IoT device vulnerabilities in general (the rising use of IoT devices will contribute to malicious groups increasingly specializing in this type of ransomware), and where we will see an increment in attacks by hackers aiming to steal bitcoins and altcoins (with cryptocurrencies and digital assets seeing strong growth recently, this would be almost inevitable).

Last but not least, I believe that in this new year we may see those who fail to meet security requirements being held accountable, creating a sense of individual and collective responsibility for protecting the larger ecosystem that is the interdependent digital world.

A revolution in private markets

Hack & Hustle - FES Agency - 9 market trends 2022

A word from David Cruz e Silva, Co-Founder

“If you can’t invent the future, the next best thing is to fund it”

– John Doerr (world-renowned VC investor)

Then how come the general public is prohibited from investing in venture capital?! The retailisation (or democratisation) of investing into venture capital as an asset class is one of the key trends in Europe that I am personally excited for in 2022.

I believe we’re bound for a revolution of the private markets. Just like the one we saw for public stocks in the late 1900s. And it’s only fair; for decades private markets have outperformed the public markets. As the world transitions to an evermore tech-based economy, venture capital stands to reap the lion’s share, with the best fund managers showering investors with double digit returns.

But for the vast majority, people like you and me, the model has been broken. Outdated regulations throughout Europe still require the net worth of investors to be well above average; what’s more managers of VC funds must not market their funds publicly. This results in an – at best – opaque market. Luckily bold “VC entrepreneurs” are moving the needle on this, coming up with new ways of democratising access to the asset class. I believe the 2020s will be the years when capitalising on the future stops being reserved only for the wealthy.

A constant evolution of insurance companies

Coverflex - FES Agency - 9 market trends 2022

A word from Luís Teixeira, Insurance Business Lead

Insurance is one of the sectors that has evolved the most in recent years, following the profound transformation of society. Thus, there are four fundamental axes to consider when thinking about insurance trends. 

First of all, Technology: it is expected that digitalisation will continue to be a strong investment by insurance companies, especially in the areas of internal operational efficiency and the digital and remote experience of customers. The way the clients buy and use their health insurance, for example, is expected to improve by providing more autonomy to clients. 

Number 2, Underserved Clients: the salary alone is not enough to attract and retain talent and people today value the benefits more than they did before the pandemic, and the SME segment is the one that has the greatest margin of penetration for fringe benefits, including health insurance and retirement products, among others. 

Third, New Products: it is expected that new products more adjusted to the post-pandemic reality will appear, such as health insurance and travel insurance associated with vaccination passports and travel restrictions. Telemedicine, well-being and mental health will increasingly appear as widespread health insurance offerings.

Finally, M&A: in recent years, new insurtechs have appeared and have found their way. Many of these companies are now at a stage where they can invest in growth by acquiring other smaller companies, or they may be a target for large traditional insurers as a way of accelerating their digitization and technology expertise rather than producing in-house.

Chemical innovation

Chemitek - FES Agency

A word from César Martins, CEO

The increase in consumption worldwide has grown significantly over time and there is still a large part of this consumption that is made through resources that are not infinite, the so-called fossil fuels, which are extremely harmful to the environment.

Chemical innovation in the coming years will be dedicated to creating cleaner processes, biodegradable, recyclable, reusable products. We live in a world of buying, throwing away, and buying new, it can’t go on like this! Everything we buy on a daily basis is made up of chemicals, plastics are chemicals, electronics contain chemicals, everything is chemicals.

And I think a large part of the world has already realized that we have achieved fantastic things with chemicals, from solar energy, electric cars, medicines, etc., they are all chemical compounds, and the next few years will be completely disruptive in terms of the advances that will be made!

Finally, we must not only look at what we eat, but also ask and demand what manufacturing practices are made in production and materials used in our daily lives! Are recyclable, environmentally friendly?

We all know that the world is changing and that’s why we must all do what we can to make the world a better place for generations to come!

Cities taking the leadership on economic development

InvestAmarante - FES Agency

A word from Tiago Ferreira, Executive Director

In Portugal, we are in the process of realizing that as a country we are structurally not being successful in the process of economic development. National policies have generated results that globally are inferior to our competitor countries, and mostly benefit only a small part of our territory and population.

Cities (municipalities) and their respective inter-municipal communities have increasingly awakened to the need to create structures and projects that transform their economic realities. This happens because, they can see the impacts of stagnation that delegating economic development in national policies brings, and because designing projects tailored to their realities, they are thus better prepared to take advantage of existing opportunities in national public policy.

I firmly believe in the innovation and economic development agenda that we are developing at InvestAmarante, with programs such as the Amarante Tech Hub, but I am also inspired by projects such as Move to Fundão, or Start Esposende, in which cities, even the small and medium ones, assume the leadership of being responsible for its future economic success, doing it with ambition and boldness. I believe that, by their example, many others will be inspired and will also make their way forward.

So, for me, the year 2022 will be a year in which cities will increasingly take the lead in their own project to promote economic development.

More pressure for companies on a legal perspective

Areias Advogados - FES Agency

A word from David Areias, Managing Partner

The year 2022 will not be the year that will see the end of the pandemic, although I sincerely hope to be wrong. We should therefore expect that the accelerating effect of transformation that this phenomenon is having, particularly in the digital transition and the ways of organizing work, will continue.

We should expect continued growth in remote work and remote companies, which have been leading the path to an increasingly integrated global market for talent, especially in the tech industries. This is changing how companies compete for talent and how they organize their workforce and their way of doing business. It is also changing how cities and countries compete, not only for companies but also for remote workers and digital nomads: it’s not about competing for the head office of a company anymore, it’s about competing for people.

For companies and workers, this brings in the complexity associated with multijurisdictional situations: double taxation of income; social security contributions and protection; insurance; payment of benefits; visas and residence permits, among other challenges.

The legal function of companies will be under more pressure to keep up with this increased complexity and uncertainty. Legal departments and law firms must be ready to support their companies and clients in this context, by building strong legal operations. This is also an opportunity for legal departments and law firms to rise to the challenge and show they can add value to the business. Legal project management and legal tech will provide important tools to this mission.

AI for good

Viz.ai - FES Agency

A word from Mafalda Pinheiro, Senior Talent Acquisition Specialist

Tech for good / health-oriented companies are the future! These technologies allow, not only an improvement in the hospital management processes but also the accessibility/rapidity in the access to health (just look at the purpose of Viz.ai). Using innovative technologies and AI processes, they will bring greater automation in what concerns medicine logistics, diagnosis, and patient follow-up, as well as more efficient management of consultations and exams.

I believe, therefore, that health techs have come to revolutionize the business model of companies in the health area, inevitably bringing with them an improvement in the quality of life of more people. It has made it possible for the general public to access health and wellness resources without necessarily relying only on conventional methods – public health system, health plans, etc.

More environmental causes participation and intervention

Movimento Transformers - FES Agency

A word from Joana Moreira, CEO

For the past year and a half, we have lived on the fringes of collaboration. However, this time was fundamental for people to understand the importance of community power. Informal groups secured isolated seniors access to food, big corporations managed to build, in record time, vaccination centres that were later managed by volunteers, small and large entrepreneurs, through collaborative action, guaranteed both accommodation to health care professionals and essential goods to families in need.

In 2022, also as a result of an empathy crisis, I believe people will seek to become more actively engaged in their communities, contributing with their skills (more than with their time) to social transformation. Therefore, skills-based volunteering consistent with one’s purpose (identification with causes) will be the trend, with participation in environmental causes and intervention with the senior population being those with greater expression. The first because it reminds us of the individual role we can play in combating the climate crisis, the latter because it connects us with our future reality.

Communicating with Strategy and Metrics

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A word from Liliana Castro, CEO

If in the past communication was an add-on, communication – in its numerous variants – is increasingly seen as an integral and essential part of a visibility and sales strategy. If you want awareness, you have to know what to communicate, to whom, at what time, through which channels… 

This reality shows us that the trend will be to be intelligent in the strategy to be set up and prepare it with time while understanding that a well-designed strategy is synonymous with success. If the strategy is the first station of communication action, metrics are the final station of that same line.

The future of communication is words, but also numbers, numbers and more numbers. Measuring – strategically – is the watchword. Strategy is the trend.

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