Bonaire, a Broadridge Financial Solutions has released the results of its client survey designed to determine which priorities and challenges are top of mind among US and global asset managers.
This year’s survey findings highlight the ongoing need for product innovation in a competitive landscape, the drive for automation to increase efficiency and accuracy in key operating areas, and the desire to implement a holistic enterprise-wide approach to data and analytics across all business functions.
Bonaire surveys its asset management clients annually to understand the objectives that executives are prioritizing, and to identify the challenges that are causing the most trepidation.
Christopher John, president, Bonaire, said: "The competitive industry environment and the need to deliver real-time business intelligence while meeting the increasing host of compliance regulations were identified as the top issues facing the industry. Leading asset managers remain focused on strengthening their competitive position by driving innovation, automating key business processes and improving overall efficiencies to enhance their financial performance."
Conducted during Bonaire’s annual client conferences in Boston and London, the survey looked at the top business objectives, individual objectives and challenges for the asset management industry.
The need for product innovation to differentiate in a crowded marketplace took the top spot among asset managers, with 34% of those surveyed noting this to be their biggest business objective.
Client retention, which has been at the top of the list for the past two years, was a close second with 32% of respondents indicating that as a priority. Compliance with new regulations was noted as a key challenge for the third year in a row as a result of the rapidly changing and increasing regulations, particularly in areas that require improved information management. Reducing costs and targeting new market segments also ranked high in importance.
When responding about their own individual team objectives, increased efficiency and accuracy was the clear winner with 62% of clients indicating it as their number one personal priority.
John added: "This is reflective of industry efforts to move away from error-prone manual and point solutions in key areas such as finance and operations, sales and marketing, and compliance. The move to automate manual processes also provides better transparency and intelligence in areas such as costs and sales trends."
The most difficult challenge noted by respondents was the need to bring together holistic data from all business units and provide cross-business reporting. With 37% of voters citing cross-business reporting, they noted that a lack of enterprise-wide data and analytics can turn everyday tasks into time consuming exercises.
Minimizing fee leakage and improving accuracy came in second with 31% noting that under- and/or over-charging of fees, inaccurate invoices and elongated billing cycles remain among the most important issues to address in order to improve the bottom line.
When looking at solutions to help meet objectives and solve challenges, 92% of executives said implementing revenue and expense management solutions resulted in improvements in process and efficiency, with approximately 25% drawn by audit and compliance benefits and the reduction of fee leakage.
John added: "Overall, leading asset managers are continuing to pursue opportunities to differentiate themselves, increase efficiency, and bring together the necessary enterprise-wide data and analytics – all while working to comply with an ever-changing regulatory environment. We anticipate these trends to continue well into the foreseeable future and to continue to innovate with our clients to enhance and develop new solutions to address their priorities and most difficult challenges."