Technology is a key component of asset management, integral to many aspects of the investment process including trading, risk management, operations and client service. Given today’s information-rich environment and the importance of technology in accessing markets, every organisation that manages assets – whether it’s an asset management company or an asset owner who manages its assets internally. Leaders in the space have more and more to contend with the challenges of today's markets. In the recent PwC publication on the top issues facing asset managers, Operations and Technology was placed fourth, after regulatory, risk of financial crisis and governance.
In a recent interview with Forbes, Peter Cherecwich (EVP and Head of Global Funds Services for Northern Trust) said that overall, this is an era of opportunity for the industry – "we’re in growth mode. But in terms of challenges, if I had to choose perhaps the top three, I’d say the most forceful is fee pressure, followed by complexity and then distribution. Then I’d add: regulatory issues play a role in all three."
Investment banks have been forced to do it and now so must asset managers - adapt to a new and challenging world. Liquidity and capital adequacy stress tests, fee pressure, rising costs, technology and regulation will all dictate their future, and will all require investment.
In this article, Ian Thompson, Head of Technology at Fidelity international, talks about his perspective on the pressure from regulatory influence, merging operations and technology and his desire to embrace the leadership demands in a company that now boasts global presence in 27 countries, managing $279 billion across asset classes.
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Many asset managers have found themselves at a crossroads of change in recent years, faced with tough decisions as to how to best adapt their businesses to leverage new technologies while complying with regulation and ultimately keeping end-investors happy