Ignites recently reported that the number of fund companies reporting net asset value errors increased by 29% in 2022 compared to 2021, with 129 of those funds requiring NAV restatements. Turnover and complexity were primarily pointed to as the causes, compounded by higher market volatility yielding errors more material than in times of lower volatility.But the lurking problem behind what the article raises is repeated failures of the NAV control environment.
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.
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?