Investment Operations

Institutional Investors Say Asset Managers Failing to Deliver on Technology

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More than half of institutional investors in North America and Europe believe their asset managers are falling short in terms of technology.

A new report from Greenwich Associates, Reimagined Client Experience – Leveraging Technology to Deepen Institutional Relationships, provides asset managers with a roadmap to meet the tech expectations of their institutional clients.

According to the report, decision-makers at institutions in North America and Europe know that effective digital tools can improve the client experience: They interact with them every day when they buy from Amazon, book an Uber ride or even do business with their own retail banks. But a majority of asset managers have, at this point, failed to deliver innovative technology beyond research and reporting.

“This is a critical issue for asset managers, given that technology is playing a bigger role in institutions’ expectations about client service and its impact on managers’ key business metrics like cross-selling rates,” says Susan Gould, Greenwich Associates consultant and author of the new report.

It All Starts with Onboarding
Some of the pessimism regarding asset manager technology can be attributed to broader issues in the industry—specifically, enhanced KYC requirements that have placed a bigger documentation burden on clients during the onboarding process. “Best-in-class asset managers are deploying digital solutions that minimize the work and headaches associated with onboarding documentation,” says Gould. “Institutions see this as a huge value and something that can really differentiate a manager.”

What do Institutional Investors Want from Their Asset Managers?

  • Best-in-class managers offer simple, safe and seamless electronic interfaces, supported by dedicated personnel. A completely paperless process is preferred.
  • Investors want customizable reports, immediate answers and frequent updates—and they want it all in their own preferred format. They want a client portal that is a one-stop shop, offering easy access to pertinent information and eliminating the wait time required for a sales rep to respond.​

“Clients are raising the technology table stakes,” added Gould. “They expect information to be instantaneous and customized. Asset managers that proactively embrace new engagement models and leverage the power of technology will come out ahead.”