The ontology project - KiteEdge

The ontology project is a community committed to educating professionals and helping them to improve ontology within the field of financial asset management.

What is knowledge management?

Knowledge management (KM) is something that many financial organizations talk about doing, but that few actually do well. This gap between ambition and execution in KM is unfortunate: effective KM can drive significant outperformance - by improving opportunity identification, risk management, operating efficiency, and various other critical functions.

What needs to change?

A key reason that KM efforts are not more successful is lack of coherent 'language' for KM. That is, different bodies of knowledge in an organization often remain unconnected, not only because they reside in seperate parts of the organization, but also because their shared concepts are never explicitly linked. A well-designed ontology can solve this problem. Ontologies are networks of key terms, ideas, and relationships within a domain. Thus, a financial ontology could serve as the underlying language for more effective KM.

Benefit from a collaborative ontology

The Ontology Project is a collaborative effort among members of the financial community to build such a language for KM. Much like Wikipedia, The Ontology Project aims to be a participatory endeavor - wherein each member contributes some of its own expertise and understanding in exchange for access to other's perspectives. In this way, The Ontology Project aims to create a common framework for investors to navigate not only their own organizational knowledge, but also to explore their partner's knowledge. This framework allows adopters to better assess and utilise available knowledge resources to drive strategies and competitive advantages.

Join the ontology project

We invite all asset managers and asset owners to participate in The Ontology Project. Involvement requires no monetary commitment, and entails as much or little time as your organization wishes to commit. Being a partner in the Project grants the opportunity to more deeply understand how your and other organizations are approaching knowledge management, and to stay at the forefront of thinking on this rapidly evolving area.


As part of their fiduciary responsibilities, asset owners should be concerned with not only how well they manage their own knowledge, but also how their external asset managers are handling knowledge (as the latter reflects whether they are genuinely 'earning their fees', along with how well their execution of strategies can match their stated mandates). Participating in the 'Ontology Project' gives asset owners insight into how asset managers are now conceptualizing and performing KM, as well as helps asset owners to take an active role in setting norms and best-practices. Further, asset owners' participation in the 'Ontology Project' will put pressure upon their asset managers to be actively engaged and informed on the topic.
Early participation means greater influence over adressing specific topics or knowledge areas that are priority concerns for your organization. Those joining first will have the most sway over the Project's trajectory, and realize earlier benefits to their own KM capabilities.
A comprehensive financial ontology (like human language itself) is too complex and rich for any one organization to construct on its own. Coordinated collaboration is required to build one, and the benefits to KM from having it should outweigh concerns on competition.
A core principle of the 'Ontology Project' is fair access to the ontology: access should be proportional to contribution to it. KiteEdge is planned to serve as a gatekeeper/steward in this regard.
No. It is an active-learning community and will host many other educational opportunities.