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Asset managers reveal gap between client reporting value and practice in latest SS&C survey

SS&C Technologies Holdings, Inc. a global provider of financial services software and software-enabled services, today released a study that reveals a client reporting climate with high expectations, yet outdated tools and strategies that do not meet modern business needs.

The results found that 100 percent of respondents agreed that client reporting is important, and the majority (75.5 percent) stressed that it was 'extremely important' to their firms' acquisition and retention strategy. Despite the impact of reporting's role on the business, the study also revealed that creating reports is primarily achieved via manual processes (31 percent), as opposed to a developed in-house system (28 percent), a vendor system (26 percent), line of business system (7 percent) or outsourcing to a third party (8 percent). The research was conducted by polling attendees of The Summit for Asset Management conferences held in New York and London.

"The survey results confirm that in this age of increased client demand for investment transparency and context, client communications have emerged as a critical function for investment management firms," said Christy Bremner, Senior Vice President, SS&C Institutional and Investment Management. "Despite this reality, many firms still follow a mostly manual process that results in outputs that aren't personalized to individual needs. Firms need to equip their advisors and customers with intelligent investment information to maintain and retain their client base."

When asked to rank communication objectives, survey respondents revealed that modernizing reporting is centered around client needs. Enabling faster response to ad hoc client requests, improving the quality of online and mobile communications, and meeting client expectations for more customized communications were the top three objectives ranked by importance. With client experiences shaped by daily interactions with digital platforms like Amazon, Facebook and Netflix, the old model of printed quarterly reports sent through the mail is not dynamic enough to meet the needs of today's digitally-native investors.

"Adox Research's upcoming 8x8 Survey on Client Communications starts from the reality that static quarterly reports are becoming obsolete, and more clients now prefer to access information through online portals that give them more flexibility and control," said Gert Raeves, Research Director at Adox Research. "Client communications that are built around a high-quality user experience are rapidly becoming the best-practice standard. Asset managers must focus on customer experience as well as UI if they want to provide a new generation of tech-savvy investors with more responsive, customizable, and dynamic reporting options."

As legacy systems and spreadsheet-based reporting models become outdated, new technological capabilities are emerging to support firms in their efforts to scale and grow. Investment firms are taking notice. The majority (85.5 percent) of those polled is already investing in client reporting solutions or has plans to invest within the next six to 12 months.

To learn more about choosing the right technology to modernize your client communications, download our whitepaper at

The survey was conducted among attendees at The Summit for Asset Management conferences held in New York and London. Results are based on a four-multiple-choice question poll of approximately 100 senior-level asset managers. Full survey results can be found here.