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January 7, 2021

Major asset managers tie up with Microsoft to launch new asset management platform

By Amala Johney

Major asset managers, including State Street and Pimco, are set to collaborate with Microsoft to build a cloud-based operating platform in a bid to transform asset managers’ operations technology.

As part of the initiative, Pimco, Man Group, IHS Markit, State Street, Microsoft and McKinsey & Company plan to launch a new technology-led company, dubbed HUB.

According to IHS Markit CEO, HUB presents an opportunity for the asset management industry to reimagine its operating model.

Microsoft will offer its technology platform to help HUB to develop its asset management operating platform on Microsoft Azure cloud.

The greenfield platform of the new company will be developed by the asset managers to offer ‘flexible and modular solutions’ across middle and back-office functions.

This platform is expected to minimise costs associated with supporting numerous legacy systems and enhance efficiencies by connecting to third parties.

Moreover, it will spur the shift to a digital operating model by allowing asset managers to deliver their solutions to clients, at present and in the future.

Pimco CEO Emmanuel Roman said: “Through this partnership, HUB will combine modern technology and infrastructure to streamline our middle and back office functions and feed data to every part of our business including distribution and analytics.

“This technology platform forms a core component of our broader strategy which combines technology with portfolio management and client service excellence to provide investors with investment solutions.”

Microsoft Worldwide Commercial Business executive vice-president Judson Althoff added: “We are excited that HUB’s new asset management industry platform will be powered by Azure.

“By harnessing the Microsoft cloud with the HUB platform to deliver operational efficiencies to our clients, Microsoft continues to drive innovation in the broader capital markets industry ecosystem.”

Notably, last July, global index provider MSCI partnered with Microsoft to gain access to the latter’s cloud and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies with an aim to innovate the investment management space.

Earlier in 2020, BlackRock collaborated with Microsoft to host its risk management platform Aladdin on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform.

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