2015 GLOBAL ASSET MANAGEMENT SURVEY

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1 2015 GLOBAL ASSET MANAGEMENT SURVEY It's not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters." -Epictetus A survey carried out globally by Linedata.

2 INTRODUCTION It's not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters." -Epictetus Epictetus, a Greek Stoic philosopher, is attributed with speaking these words. Twenty centuries later, these words resonate for the asset management industry today. The industry continues to face challenges associated with regulation, optimizing business models and cutting costs. Firms must first interpret these, and other challenges, and react to them accordingly. When in a situation that cannot be changed, firms that change themselves to adapt will shape their future and influence the way they position themselves. Improving existing systems, data management and risk management are the top IT priorities for firms that participated in the study. If critical operations are being realized by incumbent systems, an upgrade, rather than a replacement, can minimize costs and allow firms to take advantage of new features and benefits of updated technology. The buy-side continues to address numerous regulation and with it comes operational and reputational risk that must be addressed as well. Weighing the balance of the levels of risk a firm is willing to accept will be a focus for firms in 2015 and beyond. Evaluating how to manage risk across the entire organization, including strategic, cybersecurity, compliance, technology and reputational risk, is vital for helping firms avoid issues escalating into a major crisis. One notable trends include security jumping into the foreground as a concern. As incidents continue to rise, so does the cost of managing these intrusions. Firms will direct resources to building security management and capabilities to lessen the risk and protect against being compromised. Predictions for what to expect in 2015 include continued volatility in the markets, steady slow growth and enforcement of regulations. Firms that plan ahead and anticipate events that may arise can proactively prepare to react when the situation presents itself. In a tight competitive landscape, determining the proper balance of proactive planning and effective execution to react, will position a firm for continued success in the future. 2

3 METHODOLOGY The survey was deployed during the second half of A total of 177 respondents were surveyed during Linedata Exchange Paris, London and New York, as well as through an online survey. The respondents included asset managers, hedge funds, fund administrators and other stakeholders in the asset management industry including custodians, prime brokers, consultants and advisory firms. In terms of geography, 41% were North American based, 36% United Kingdom, 19% mainland Europe and 4% across the remainder of the globe. 3

4 1. MAIN CHALLENGES We first asked survey respondents "What are the Main Challenges to your Firm Right Now?" and, similar to years past, 48% chose deploying regulation as their main challenge. As seen in Chart 1, while 40% cited optimizing operating models a main priority, 32% felt cutting costs was their primary challenge. Other top priorities were investment performance with 29% and speed to market with new products at 25%. Investor/client demands, distribution channel challenges and investor/client confidence were other challenges faced by firms during the past year. As the compliance function evolves and compliance staffing levels increase, financial services organizations continue to address the volume of regulation and the risk it poses for the business. The industry continues to realize clarity around regulators' expectations regarding Basel III, Solvency II, Dodd-Frank, FATCA, AIFMD etc. We can expect to see firms further analyze and implement regulations during Additionally, firms must take a close look at their business strategy and review their operating models to gain efficiencies, reduce costs, enhance client relationships, gain competitive advantages and respond faster to changing market and client demands. Investor demand for higher and consistent returns, better transparency, broadened diversification and protection against risk require firms to review their investment vehicles and portfolio construction. Chart 1: Current Challenges Deploying Regulation Optimizing Operating Models Cutting Costs Investment Performance Speed to Market with New Products Investor/Client Demands Distribution Channel Challenges Investor/Client Confidence Trading Volatility and Fragmentation 7% 14% 12% 32% 29% 25% 21% 40% 48% 4

5 Further looking at key challenges by market segment - asset managers, alternatives and fund administrators - deploying regulation is a concern for all, as shown in Chart 2. Although the regulatory landscape has advanced in the past year, the entire asset management industry continues to feel the impact. With many rules not yet implemented and reforms continuing to emerge, firms must still focus on navigating this complex environment. Alternatives firms identified optimizing operating models as their main challenge. As they face pressure to meet compliance needs and deliver investment performance, they must improve operational efficiencies to meet those demands, while identifying opportunities to scale costs in line with their business growth. Chart 2: Main Challenges by Market Segment 80% Investment Managers Alternatives TPAs 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Investment Investor/ Performance Client Confidence Investor/ Client Demands Deploying Regulations Cutting Costs Distribution Channel Challenges Optimizing Speed to Operating Market with Models New Products 2. FUTURE CHALLENGES When respondents were asked, "What are the greatest challenges you face in the next 12 months?", adapting to new regulatory regimes was the key concern, with 53% selecting this as a high priority. Chart 3 shows risk management was the second most frequently selected concern at 39% and maintaining investment performance also scored highly, with 37% selecting it as a key challenge for the next 12 months. With the uncertain nature of the regulatory landscape still at the forefront of concerns, firms must continue to make fundamental changes to their compliance programs. Many regulatory requirements have been clarified, but during 2015, firms will further address emerging and evolving regulations. Firms that are formulating growth plans must review the associated risks. With the fear of costly fines coming into play for non-compliance, it is important to have a risk management strategy in place to avoid damage to reputation, which needs to be managed as an asset. 5

6 Chart 3: Future Challenges 53% 39% 37% 26% 19% 18% 15% 15% Adapting to New Regulatory Regimes Risk Management Maintaining Investment Performance Market Finding New Conditions Investment Opportunities Staff Investor/ Retention Client Confidence Branding and Reputation Though adapting to new regulatory regimes continues to be of great importance to buy side firms, there has been increased focus on risk management as we look at the three year trend shown below in Chart 4. As firms look ahead and formulate growth plans, it is key to review the associated risks. Evaluating how to manage risk across the entire organization, including strategic, operational, cybersecurity, compliance, technology and reputational risk, is vital for helping firms avoid issues escalating into a major crisis. Chart 4: Future Challenges: 3 Year Trend 60% 50% % 30% 20% 10% 0% Maintaining Investment Performance Investor/ Client Confidence Finding New Investment Opportunities Adapting to New Regulatory Regimes Risk Management Market Conditions Staff Retention 6

7 3. IT PRIORITIES When asked to name the key IT priorities at present, it appears that everything is a priority; though improving existing systems and data management came out on top by a small margin. Existing systems for critical operations that still serve and support the business can be upgraded rather than replaced. With cutting costs still a focus, it is clear that firms will update their platforms rather than replace them. This allows them to take advantage of new technology, features and benefits while minimizing the cost and risk associated with replacing them. Data continues to be a key focus for firms in addressing how to access, analyze and integrate data across multiple sources. Firms continue to advance their big data initiatives and will begin to convert plans into projects to further transform their business. Security has jumped into the foreground as incidents continue to rise, as does the cost of managing these intrusions. With threats stemming from external network attacks to negligence to intentional theft, firms must build in security management and capabilities to lessen the risk and protect against being compromised. Chart 5: Top IT Priorities 60% 50% 58% 57% 55% 51% 50% 47% 40% 41% 38% 35% 30% 20% 10% 22% 19% 0% Improve Data Risk Security Existing Management Management Systems Reporting Solutions Compliance Solutions Consolidation Middle Office Apps Trading/ Other Front Office Apps Adding Alternative Strategies Outsourcing 4. SYSTEMS IMPORTANCE We asked our respondents the level of importance they placed on systems for various factors that influence their business. Looking at last year in comparison, it is not surprising that we see increases in adapting to new regulation, risk management and investor/ client confidence. With the continued spotlight on regulation, it is clear that firms must have solutions in place to address the associated complexities. 7

8 Investors requirements are moving away from performance towards security and their expectations for risk controls have increased. As a result, they demand that their asset managers demonstrate that associated controls are in place to meet those needs. Chart 6: Systems Importance 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 49% 64% 44% 63% 42% 54% 43% 48% 37% % 24% 25% 29% 20% 10% 0% Risk Management Adapting to New Regulatory Regimes Investor/ Client Confidence Maintaining Investment Performance Market Conditions Finding New Investment Opportunities 5. REGULATORY FOCUS As noted throughout the survey findings, regulation continues to be a top priority for buy side firms. Although the impact of regulation and their requirements have been clarified, firms will continue to be diligent in assessing adherence to regulations during Given the various states of maturity for Dodd-Frank, AIFMD, EMIR and FATCA, there are still many pieces to the puzzle that firms must address. With less than 60% of the rules finalized, Dodd-Frank continues to be a main focus for firms and on-going support has been higher than many firms expected. This concern is likely to lead to the industry becoming more concerned over the current implementation of EMIR. Although a lot of the Dodd-Frank implementation was expected to be directly ported over to ensure EMIR compliance, the continuing small changes being made to the Dodd-Frank solutions have created an added doubt over how much work will be required. Effective compliance programs that address developments across all of these regulations will aid firms in coping with the increasing burden of compliance and the ongoing regulatory focus. 8

9 Chart 7: Which regulation do you consider to be biggest concerns? 50% 45% 40% 30% 31% 30% 29% 20% 22% 20% 19% 10% 0% Dodd-Frank Act EMIR FATCA AIFMD MiFID2 Solvency II KYC In addition to asking which regulations are their biggest concerns, participants were also asked how they are deploying regulation. Just over half of all respondents are using an internal compliance group while 40% are using third party software to manage this process. The nature of the regulatory changes - and the short time allowance to make those changes - has resulted in internal compliance teams being favored rather than relying on external services to deliver. Internal teams can focus on their specific requirements, data points and systems without considering a larger client base, as would be the case for an external provider. This enables them to implement and deploy in much shorter timeframes to meet regulatory deadlines. However, as the industry becomes more stable, firms look to third party software to provide industry wide solutions that provide the reduced cost of maintenance with the benefits of multiple client input. Chart 8: Which do you use to deploy regulation? InternalCompliance Group: 53.6% Third Party Software: 40.7% External Compliance Service: 24.5% Proprietary Compliance Systems: 21.9% 9

10 6. TO CLOUD OR NOT TO CLOUD When we asked "what, if any, business processes firms are currently running or planning to run in the cloud or as a hosted solution", there was no real consensus across respondents, as shown below. There was a fairly equal distribution among those who feel they would run their critical asset management (accounting, compliance, custody, portfolio management, trading etc.) systems and processes in the cloud or hosted solution. Firms must weigh a variety of factors when considering moving applications into the cloud or hosted solution. There are benefits associated with both and firms should consider their individual needs and projects when making the decision. At the highest level, firms can expect to be more efficient and effective, while often reducing costs when choosing a cloud or hosted solution. Chart 1: Current Challenges None 26% Back Office CRM 23% 23% Middle Office Not Sure 21% 21% Front Office 17% 15% All 5% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 7. IS IT POSSIBLE TO DIFFERENTIATE FROM YOUR COMPETITION? This year we asked respondents "how they feel their firm distinguishes itself from the competition in a crowded market." Responses ranged from strategic to the tactical. One firm felt they "don t need to" while another stated "being true to our investment ideals. "Generally speaking, client service, performance and brand were key to competitive differentiation. 10

11 8. MOBILE APPS For the fourth year since Linedata introduced this Global Asset Management survey, there is still no consensus from the respondents after the use of mobile apps to run their business. An overwhelming majority would not use mobile apps to run their core business. Firms are more apt to use mobile apps for client interaction, though it is a small group that is currently doing so. When probed on specific uses for mobile apps within their organization, it is clear that firms believe that mobile strategies promise great things, but there remains concern with compliance and security. Chart 9: Do you use mobile apps to: 100% Yes No Plan to in the future 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Run your core business? Interact with clients? Enhance distribution channels? Other 11

12 9. A PREDICTION FOR 2015 We asked our participants to name one prediction for Since the survey was introduced in 2012, volatility has been the most predicted outcome year over year and continues the trend for what to expect in As seen throughout the report, regulation was also top of mind for a market prediction with some even saying enforcement. 12

13 CONCLUSION Regulation continues to be a major focus for the industry and buy side firms will continue to be diligent in assessing adherence to regulations during the coming year. With various states of maturity for so many of the regulations, effective compliance programs to address the developments will position firms to manage the burden of compliance. In addition to managing compliance, firms are embedding their appetite for risk into business decisions. Understanding and defining the appropriate levels of risk will better align decision-making and incorporate effective monitoring and governance. As firms look ahead to 2015, with the continued focus on regulation, data and risk management, it is key is to remember that these circumstances have presented themselves. They have not been chosen; what is chosen is how to respond. How those experiences are interpreted and reacted to are what matters, because those reactions will shape the future and influence your future achievements. 13

14 ABOUT LINEDATA Linedata is a global solutions provider dedicated to the Investment Management and Credit communities. For the investment management community we provide front, middle and back office solutions from trading through to fund, investor and shareholder accounting and transfer agency systems. All our investment management solutions are available either hosted or deployed to suit your requirements. All charts within this report were powered by Linedata Reporting, a robust reporting package seamlessly integrated with every component in Linedata s comprehensive solutions. Linedata Reporting, available through deployed installation or web-based Application Service Provider (ASP) or hosted models, makes it easy to create sophisticated reports for both internal and external reporting. To learn more about Linedata services and solutions please visit or 14

15 LINEDATA SERVING THE INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT COMMUNITY Linedata supports its investment management clients throughout the investment cycle with: An integrated series of products A choice of deployed or hosted solution in every case Deep industry expertise On-going product investment LINEDATA ASSET MANAGEMENT PLATFORM Financial intermediaries Administrators Custodians Prime brokers Record keepers Transfer agents MIDDLE OFFICE Position Keeping Investment Book of Records Post-trade Compliance FUND SERVICING Fund Accounting Transfer Agency NAV and Unit Pricing Reporting PROFESSIONAL SERVICES AND ADVISORY Deployed or hosted IMPLEMENTATION SERVICES Advanced vizualisation capabilities SERVICE FOLLOW THE SUN SUPPORT CLIENT Scalable modular technology PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT BUY-SIDE MANAGED SERVICES ORDER AND TRANSACTION MANAGEMENT PRE-TRADE COMPLIANCE TRAINING TRADING BROKER NEUTRAL PARTNERS Connectivity Brokers markets, ECNs, ATS, Stock exchanges, Dark pools, algos, etc. 15

16 ABOUT LINEDATA Linedata is a global solutions provider dedicated to the investment management and credit community, with close to 1000 employees in 16 offices across the globe. Linedata has been at the service of the financial industry from day one, and applies its market and client insight to provide innovative and flexible missioncritical software and services that help its clients grow in over 50 countries. As a pioneer for over 15 years with the set-up of SaaS infrastructure for the financial industry, Linedata remains committed to this model throughout the global financial community and for its full range of products. Headquartered in France, Linedata achieved revenues of EUR million in This company is listed on Euronext Paris compartment B FR LIN Reuters LDSV.LN Bloomberg LIN:FP. LINEDATA Paris: +33 (0) London: +44 (0) Boston: New York: Hong Kong: or visit:

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