The poll cited a strong brand, followed by positive market prospects, among the several other reasons as the main drivers behind this optimism, while 22% of the respondents were concerned about their firms’ prospects in large part due to uncompetitive performance and a weak distribution strategy.

On being queries about the most significant challenge facing the industry in the near future, 37% cited the current and future regulatory requirements. The European clients expressed an even higher level of concern, with 42% of participants agreeing on the fact that current and future regulatory requirements pose the most significant challenge.

83% of the respondents stated that the volume and appropriateness of US and EU regulations were too draconian due to which the top area of investment in the next 12-18 months would most likely be in compliance and regulatory functions.

The managers also noted that their top challenge in satisfying investors was to get them comfortable with the firms’ operating infrastructure and 79% of managers indicated that investor confidence has improved since the aftermath of the financial crisis.

Meanwhile, no managers indicated that investor confidence was much worse, whereas 17% indicated so when asked last year.

"Based on the survey data, the regulatory outlook is overshadowing other concerns, even economic ones. Given the variety of challenges managers must contend with, it becomes even more important for them to work with outsourcing partners that can help them remain current with regulatory requirements and thrive in a fast-paced and rapidly-evolving industry," said Ross Ellis, vice president and managing director for SEI’s Investment Manager Services division.