Change is one of the few certainties in life – just ask any fund marketing professional at a hedge fund, wealth advisor, or other asset management company. From volatility in the markets and climates (political and otherwise) to increasingly complex regulations and investor needs, fund managers confront change on a daily basis. As a result, they often find themselves playing catch up when it comes to effectively adapting to new regulations and providing the transparency their investors demand.
Now more than ever, people expect access to information at their fingertips. The challenge many managers face is directly related to the fact that the financial services industry has traditionally lagged far behind other markets, who’ve not only adopted technology advancements but leverage it to drive customer experience and brand differentiation.
Without robust, flexible systems and processes in place, marketing and investor relations personnel are ill-equipped to handle the changing needs of their investors and regulators. Efficiency and automation are paramount to success in any industry - and the alternative and traditional asset management industries are not exceptions. However, despite their slower rate of change, this has not prevented the gradual migration toward third-party software and cloud-based solutions in this market.
At Imagineer, we still see many mature firms trying to leverage Microsoft Outlook® & Excel® or generic CRM solutions which are perceived to be more “cost-effective” than they actually are to manage client needs and meet regulatory requirements for data collection and monitoring.
Regarding regulatory changes, MiFID II (Jan 2018) (link) and the forthcoming GDPR (May 2018)are two examples of new regulations intended to protect the investor. Ultimately, more protection for investors means an increasing strain on both front and back office teams. MiFID requires more data collection; while GDPR requires greater control over the data post collection.
The process of tracking investor communications within your email inbox and spreadsheets is no longer feasible. This is especially true in today's environment where fund managers must ensure nothing is missed. Regulations require firms to track all communication, electronic and otherwise.
Employing CRMs, like Clienteer, which are explicitly designed to help alternative and traditional asset managers as well as advisors to automate the capture of all communication, documents and relevant investor and prospect data can help firms establish compliant processes around their daily activities.
Features native to Clienteer that drive automatic prompts to enter notes after calls with clients or prospects, power email and document tracking reports, and enable granular data access controls are all engineered to help firms address these new regulations.
The ever-evolving regulatory environment is not going away, but thoughtfully implemented software can ease the burden of adapting to changing policies and investor requests. Even with software in place, many hedge funds and wealth advisors still find themselves asking: How do I address all the requirements while maintaining profitability as a business?
The answer is complicated, ever-evolving, and generally opaque. People? Process? Systems? We believe the answer is a combination of the three.
Systems improve process while empowering people to focus on their skillset – effective client servicing. Imagineer has built a business around this philosophy, and our clients can leverage this without crippling their operational budgets.
While we will never be able to predict the future, we are continually evolving our products to enable our clients to stay ahead of demand and adapt to change quickly.
Interested in learning more about how our software addresses the needs of asset managers? Please stop by our Roundtable at ALTSLA to hear about IR Best Practices: Adapting to Regulations & Investor Demands hosted by our CEO, Jeremie Bacon.