In today’s highly competitive market, Fund Treasury departments are being asked to execute the seemingly impossible task of meaningfully bending the cost curve of their operations, while balancing ever-increasing regulatory requirements, business risks, and product complexities. To meet these challenges, Olmstead believes that fund oversight must transform from a traditional process-based operating environment to a data-centric, risk oriented control model.
When was the last time you thought about service provider oversight? If you’ve experienced a significant error event, noticed a decline in service quality, anticipated a cost-benefit that hasn’t materialized, or have existing SLAs and KPIs that could be more clearly defined, then you’re probably thinking about oversight, and you’re not alone.
Agility is a critical characteristic for asset management operations teams and is defined by their ability to adapt and flex their operating model to absorb change resulting from the following:
If you are like me, you have solicited multiple bids for a home improvement project where cost has often started out as the leading driver for selecting a contractor. However, as the project progresses you quickly realize there is more to a project than simply the price. As construction delays pile up, phone calls go unreturned and your frustration grows, buyer’s remorse may set in. While cost is important, there are other required attributes such as reliability, responsiveness, quality, creative solutioning, and meeting agreed upon deadlines when selecting the right partner. The same is true in selecting a custody and fund accounting business partner.
The multi-affiliate operating model is increasingly under review as asset managers seek synergies from their infrastructure to bolster their margins. Whether firms have intentionally structured a multi-affiliate business model or possibly find themselves running multiple platforms due to acquisitions, these redundant platforms are obvious targets to drive organizational agility while improving margins. Some of the initiatives intended to rationalize the models have been announced publicly and their stories highlight the need to have a clearly defined roadmap, buy-in across the impacted entities, and measurable goals defining success.
With the growing desire to simplify operating models and reduce technology footprints, asset managers are assessing multiple paths of transformation to enable profitable growth. As was noted in Single Platform: Next Logical Evolution for Asset Managers?, recent developments and acquisitions have promoted advanced capabilities and introduced various new forms of front-to-back, ‘single platform’ solutions to the market. As a result of these advancements, rather than addressing a singular point of failure or concern (such as a new IBOR or OMS consolidation), firms are considering broader evaluations of their operating environments with the hope of achieving greater scale, nimbleness and data empowerment across their enterprise.
Olmstead’s latest perspective “The Race is on: Acquisitions and the Evolving System and Service Landscape”, reviewed the recent press regarding single platform (front-to-back) solutions; some having been enabled via strategic acquisitions and others developed over time as an intentional build. As a result, asset managers have found themselves with more questions than answers, primarily – is the front-to-back single platform concept the next logical evolution?
Highlighted by the recent activity of acquisitions, service providers are investing significant resources in developing their capabilities to provide investment managers with an end-to-end platform to support their operating model. The goal being a comprehensive, integrated technology solution with a single version of the truth that can be leveraged to support a manager’s needs across the increasingly blurred lines of the front, middle, and back office. Assessing this evolving landscape is integral in establishing the operating model that will best support an investment manager’s growth strategies.
Olmstead Associates continues to strategically invest in operational transformation talent with the addition of Michael DiScipio to our leadership team. He brings over 25 years’ experience and perspectives accumulated at Accenture, Beacon Consulting Group, Eagle Investment Systems, and Brown Brothers Harriman.