Investit’s new benchmarking service aims to keep fund managers at the cutting edge

London - 6 July 2009

Investit, a leading investment management consultancy, is launching a new integrated benchmarking service which enables asset management groups to enhance their product offering and compete more effectively. Comprising four of Investit’s well established and highly regarded services, this new toolkit offers a single, cost effective solution for fund managers to compare their processes with peers as well as industry best practice. In today’s volatile environment, staying ahead of the curve has never been more important.

Peter Ellis, Managing Director at Investit, said, “The industry has become far more competitive over the last two years with different players coming onto the market. It is more important than ever for firms to implement a best practice framework. The challenge is how to do this in the current environment when the value of assets is being reduced and IT budgets are under pressure. Our new benchmarking service identifies a firm’s strengths and weaknesses across four different areas and shows them where they need to make the investment to not only keep their competitive advantage but also to improve the return on that investment.”

The Investit Benchmark service can also be used as a marketing tool to maintain existing and attract new pension funds who are increasingly paying greater attention to their fund managers’ overall infrastructure. Clare Vincent-Silk, Principal, Operations at Investit, said, “We have seen a great deal of interest from pension funds, for example, in our Operations Best Practice Benchmark. It gives them a better appreciation of what constitutes best practice in this area and helps them determine which of their fund managers are achieving the industry standard.” The Operations Best Practice Benchmark, which is one of the four services, provides a comprehensive dashboard that assesses the robustness and sophistication of a firm’s operational processes. Based on the self-assessment questionnaire developed as part of the January 2009 Intelligence research report 'Defining Operations Best Practice', the analysis covers process descriptions, key value statements and guidelines for best practice that have been endorsed by members of Investit’s Intelligence service. Currently, the benchmark, which also produces tailored reports for clients, has over 20 key investment managers and third party administrators but demand is growing globally.

The Operations Best Practice Benchmark was modelled on the IT Value Service, another component in the new integrated toolbox and an industry leader in providing insight into the value of IT investment. Launched eight years ago, this uniquely designed service collects key quantitative and qualitative data to assess the inner workings of a firm’s IT spend. It provides critical analyses and peer comparison of the performance of the organisation’s IT function. It targets the areas that are in need of improvement and recommends the most effective ways to direct IT spend. The third leg is the business process assessment (BPA), noteworthy as the first service developed to measure the quality and performance of investment management companies' business processes. Although fund managers tend to focus on cost and volume, using BPA clarifies the value each individual business segment delivers to the company and to the client as well as pinpoints where the weak spots are.

Last but equally as important is the Research and Execution Commission Analysis Service which is built upon Investit’s proven IT Value Service methodology. In this age of unbundling, investment managers need to measure the quantity of research they are consuming per head, the cost and what their peers are paying. The service sheds light into market rates for research, provides a basis of negotiation with providers and provides a clearer understanding of best execution.

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