Olmstead Blog

Embarking on operational transformation…wait, how’s your data?

Posted by Ed Selker

Data qualityand data capabilities within an asset management organization is vital when addressing operational transformationOften,data practices are an afterthought when attempting to engage in an operational transformation initiative. The reality is that organizations lacking good, clean data and solid data practices will find implementing the future state model challenging, longer than necessary and more costly to deploy. 

2023 Planning - Key Distribution Intelligence Considerations

Posted by Stephen Alepa

Olmstead recently conducted a study on the state of Distribution Intelligence (DI) across asset managers.  A key takeawaywhile DI has established itself as a mainstream function, ROI is largely anecdotal, and the best-in-class only recently, after significant investments (in data, tools, and talent), have positioned themselves to increase sales adoption andimpact.

Small Asset Managers Can Now Do Big Things with Data

An interesting trend we have seen is the growing appetite for transformation services from smaller asset managers. In the past, the mid to large to mega asset managers were the primary users of our consulting services. While that demand persists, we see the asset managers on the lower end of the AUM spectrum increasingly revisiting their operating models, modernizing their data platforms, and upgrading their digital capabilities on the manufacturing and distribution sides of the house. 

Chicken or the Egg? Sequencing Front-to-Back Transformation to Maximize Value

Posted by Dawn Pischetola

The ever-changing landscape of the financial markets continues to influence how investment managers evolve to keep pace. Increasingly, firms are shifting from a bottom-up, siloed approach to a top-down, orchestrated effort to holistically transform the investment lifecycle, “front-to-back.”

Given the magnitude of change and the critical importance to the firm’s success, these large-scale transformations will no doubt feel daunting. You may ask yourself, where should I begin? At the front of the investment cycle? The middle and back? Or at the foundation, the data strategy? As the adage goes, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?”

To better contemplate this question, let us take a closer look at each option.

Distribution Architecture – Beware of the CRM-Centric Approach

Posted by Stephen Alepa



Asset managers spent decades implementing portfolio accounting systems, making them the center of their systems architecture by integrating numerous other applications into it. We call this an app-centric architecture. Fast forward, the industry has been unwinding this and moving towards a data-centric architecture. Why the shift? To engineer in essential business agility required to respond to opportunities and threats, allowing for timely insights, innovation, and transformation. Such nimbleness simply wasn’t possible with the monolithic accounting platform as the beating heart in the middle and data trapped in various pockets throughout the architecture.

Leveraging IUM to Foster a Data-centric Distribution Function

Posted by Scott Kasper

What does it mean to be information-centric? We’ve explored the definition and uses of your information under management(IUM), and talked about information management ideals, but now let’s explore if your firm is truly information-centric.

Where is your Data Housed?

Posted by Scott Kasper

We’ve defined Distribution IUM and explored why you should seek to manage the internal and third-party data. The next step is to look at where all that information is stored. Firms have found errant data in their CRM, expense solutions, website, marketing, sales, and email systems. Some firms find them in Excel! While the data may live in various sources or applications, there is one key question that needs to be answered:

What is your Information Under Management?

Posted by Scott Kasper

This blog is the first in a series where we explore how your firm can make the transformation to a data-centric firm.

Aging Op Models: Don’t Let Yours Become Obsolete

Posted by Sara Cheng

An operating model that once worked brilliantly ten or even five years ago may no longer be producing the best results for your organization today. As the asset management environment changes over time -- more complexity in asset and transaction types, cost pressures, regulatory changes -- the op model must continue to evolve. Moreover, the pandemic underscored that change doesn’t always come with an advance warning. The status quo can shift in an instant, and last year served as a test of the vitality of firms’ op models, exposing and exacerbating preexisting weaknesses.

It may seem that it’s never the right time for a review; firms today are knee-deep in the daily grind. But now that the pandemic’s dust has finally begun settling, it’s time to dig out in order to spend some time today to benefit tomorrow…and prepare for whatever may be next. So here we’re exploring 4 key triggers to initiate an operating model review.

Client Interaction Models Have Changed. Is Your Distribution Architecture an Enabler or Inhibitor?

Posted by Stephen Alepa

Accelerated by the pandemic, the way your clients and intermediaries wish to interact, partner, and buy has digitally changed.  Asset Managers have responded by re-imagining their organizational selling models.  The evolving external, internal, hybrid wholesaler strategy is a prime example.  It is imperative that the Asset Manager’s distribution architecture – the underlying technology, data, and analytics – helps to fuel that change.  To do so, our industry needs to overcome its historical ROI challenges when it comes to its distribution architecture spend.  

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