New WBR Insights Report Finds European and North American Buy-Side Client Communications in Need of Overhaul

10 October 2018

SimCorp, a leading provider of investment management solutions and services to the global financial services industry, including SimCorp Coric, today announces the findings of a commissioned WBR Insights Report on the state of client communications in Europe and North America. The report comes at a time when investors are continuing to demand greater transparency, together with more frequent communication from their asset managers, but the majority of the 100 buy-side executives surveyed (66%) state data gathering as the most time-consuming hurdle to client communications and reporting, and 50% use systems that are over five years old.

To date, client communications has often been viewed as a burden by many firms, either as an imposition from the regulator or to meet a service level agreement, leading to years of under-investment. Budgets towards client communications have been particularly hit more recently, with front office and regulatory compliance dominating IT budgets. As a result, many asset managers have employed a makeshift approach to client communications, from a dependency on legacy technology solutions, to assigning costly headcount to solve inefficient workflows.

The report finds the vast majority of these firms are continuing to overlook client communications as a key differentiator, despite increasing competition in what is fast becoming a shrinking market. It holds, many asset managers are still grappling with disparate data, disproportionate headcounts, fragmented systems and inefficient processes.

• Over 30% of firms spend 250 days a year or more on producing investment reports for clients

The results strongly indicate the manual burden many firms operate under, and often with a detrimental effect to client experience. This is despite a wealth of technology and solutions available in the market, that automate and customize reporting for buy-side firms.

• 75% of firms use six or more systems for client communications and reporting

• 34% of firms dedicate at least 25-75 employees to client communications and reporting

In addition, firms continue to deal with spiraling costs from multiple license fees and are forced to maintain several interfaces and integration points. With years of under investment, the growing gaps between these systems have been traditionally plugged by manual processes, leading to high headcounts. From a cost perspective, this approach is unsustainable in today’s world, with many firms seeing cutbacks and leaner resources. This strategy also sees many firms bearing increased operational risks, from data duplication and inaccuracy, to significant time delays in report production.

Interestingly, the report does offer a positive perspective, with some forward thinkers in the industry expanding client communications beyond the back office. Many of these forward-looking firms are developing their client communications experience, to compete with peer organizations, moving from static periodic and often printed reports, to richer, more frequent and customized reporting across digital channels. The transition illustrates a clear response to changing client needs and enables a better understanding of a new generation of investors, who expect more content and choice from their fund manager.

• 68% of firms now use online portals alongside traditional methods to deliver client communications and reporting

• 66% use social media, 57% utilize video and 52% also cite messenger tools as part of their service delivery model

• 72% of those surveyed cited client communications and reporting as a board level responsibility with multiple members of the organization involved, indicating it is no longer a solely operational concern

Kiran Bharucha, Management Consultant, Wealth and Asset Management - Technology Enablement at KPMG comments: “Data has always been a differentiator in this business, it’s now paramount in terms of its importance to competing on a great client experience. Superior client reporting has become recognized as a key driver of competitive differentiation and a crucial component of customer loyalty. The race for the best customer experience within the sector is just starting and there’s still time to compete and even win, if sufficient focus and resources are allocated to innovation.”

Stuart Keeler, Managing Director, SimCorp Coric: “In the past, client communications and reporting was seen as a cost center, but the investor-manager relationship has changed significantly over the last decade. Firms that wish to thrive now not only need to re-think their operational approach to client communications, but also recognize its value to the bottom line. Those that move first will be best placed to compete effectively, tailoring client propositions and automating burdensome reporting efforts, to generate cost savings and revenue.”

Enquiries regarding this announcement should be addressed to:
Mittal Shah, SimCorp PR UK/North America +44 207 397 8072 mittal.shah@simcorp.com
Anders Crillesen, SimCorp Corporate Communications +45 3544 6474 anders.crillesen@simcorp.com

About SimCorp Coric
SimCorp Coric is a best-in-class enterprise client communications and reporting platform for private wealth and institutional asset management firms to automate their end-to-end reporting processes and enhance client service. The solution integrates with virtually any investment management solution, drawing data from any source into a consistent and transparent form across all client communications. SimCorp Coric is fully owned by SimCorp, a leading provider of integrated investment management solutions for the global financial services industry, listed on NASDAQ Copenhagen. For more information, please visit www.simcorpcoric.com.
 

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