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.
In a recent conversation with an executive from a leading client reporting provider, the discussion turned to Ed Bolles' latest blog on the subject "Data Tax." The executive revealed that they frequently experience a drag of at least 25% on their projects due to data issues. The conversation highlighted an interesting tension that every investment manager must face when embarking on client communications and sales enablement projects – how do you identify and address looming data pitfalls and sinkholes without overly delaying the delivery of business benefit?
An investment manager is a complex web of data. In a data-intensive industry, few firms have mastered their reference data to create a single view of their “data truth” and even fewer firms have solved the single data platform to meet the needs of front, middle, and back office, distribution, and corporate functions. With data science being added to the mix, the data landscape has become increasingly more complex and also exciting, elevating data from operational efficiency to alpha generation. With data at the heart of all investment business functions, an under-performing data platform impacts business results.
Olmstead Associates is happy to announce the addition of Edward Bolles to our leadership team as Managing Director, Data Management & Analytics to continue to strategically build out Olmstead’s data-centric consulting capabilities. Ed brings over 25 years’ experience and perspectives accumulated at Hartford Investment Management (HIMCO), Invesco, Time Square Capital Management, Cigna Investments, SS&C, and The Hartford.
In a quest for differentiation, investment managers are now more than ever focusing on sales, marketing and client servicing functions in hopes of enhancing sales results and elevating their clients’ experience. To enable and empower the market facing personnel, internal positions like Head of Distribution Intelligence are becoming commonplace, while the technology spend on solutions across the client engagement spectrum is amped up.
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.
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’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?
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.