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.
Why is this?
Well-documented external pressures like fee compression, the rise of passive and regulatory demands, product innovation, and the virtual implications of the global pandemic are as relevant to a $50B manager as they are to a $10T manager. Thus, asset managers of all sizes must respond to the accelerated rate of change. As smaller asset managers typically cannot invest in additional staff to adequately deal with these pressures, we are increasingly helping them leverage data and technology to engineer in scale and agility.
Fueling this is the availability of enabling technologies that have emerged over the past 3-5 years. The adoption of the cloud, and the emergence of cloud databases like Snowflake, cloud-based pay-as-you-go data engineering platforms, data visualization tools like Power BI and Tableau, and data virtualization tools like Denodo, offer an attractive entry price point, quicker time to market, simpler support demands, and high ROI when compared to classic technologies like Oracle, Informatica, and Cognos. Many cloud-based solutions need little to no up-front investment to get started and business value can be realized in a matter of months, not years.
Furthermore, business end-users now increasingly carry advanced BI and even Python programming skills in their toolbox making data empowerment a reality and democratized, trusted, and accessible data a necessity.
Procrastinators Rejoice: The good news for those that have not yet tackled their data platform and data culture is that there has never been a more exciting time to move the needle by leveraging the tech at their disposal. The business imperative is there, and, happily, the technology is readily available to enable transformation.