Strategy

How Growth-Minded Investment Managers Can Thrive In New Landscape

Matt Caulfield, September 1, 2020

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The wealth and investment management sector has been heavily tested by the coronavirus. Markets have - thanks to large infusions of central bank money - recovered sharply from their sell-off, but the dislocations and changes to working practices have been dramatic, and not merely a passing phase. This article examines opportunities.

The following article explores how investment businesses that want to grow can use the changed environment to their advantage. The accelerated move toward digital workflows and communications is just one part of the jigsaw puzzle. To explore these and other ideas is Matt Caulfield, executive vice president of Archer, the US firm providing an investment management platform and outsourcing solutions. This is a valuable addition to the conversation on how the sector is evolving. The usual disclaimers apply to comments from outside contributors. Email tom.burroughes@wealthbriefing.com and jackie.bennion@clearviewpublishing.com

The first half of 2020 brought no shortage of challenges to the investment community. The stock market experienced incredible volatility, workforces decentralized, and countless business meetings were delayed or canceled.

But now that many are adapting to a new normal, investment managers are eager to come out energized and ready for growth.

As we look across the industry we see some investment management firms focused on reducing costs by defining a new target operating model by looking at their operating and service models while evaluating their infrastructure. Others are revving up new product development with new strategies to meet distributor demand and grow revenue.

A successful growth strategy will likely take a combination of both tactics. Doing so effectively will require investment managers to take a hard look at their middle- and back-office capabilities as well as adopt new mindsets and approaches. Here’s a closer look at three areas of focus for managers seeking growth:

Remain nimble to meet distributor and investor preferences
Distributors’ appetite for new investment strategies remains strong. But gone are the days where investment managers built products and delivered them to distributors in the vehicle of the manager’s choosing. Now more than ever, distributors are asking investment managers to package these strategies in the vehicles desired by advisors and end investors. However, many investment managers today are often met with operational constraints when attempting to do so. Keeping the integrity of a strategy intact while repackaging it in a vehicle chosen by distributors can create new layers of operational complexity.

Without the proper technology and service infrastructure, meeting these distributor and investor needs in a scalable, cost-effective way is a challenge for investment managers. New technologies exist that can ease the heavy manual lifting required to meet these distributor needs and can lower overall costs in the process.
 

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