A key challenge for asset managers is how to extract value from all of their asset management data. Many Asset Managers are large and globally dispersed organisations. This tends to lead lead to a lot of disparate data. All of that data generally leads to opportunity to convert that data into valuable business information, into actionable insights. However realising that opportunity can be complex.
The fragmented organisational / geographic structure is ideally suited to an element of data centralisation. For example data capture can be centralised by implementing global systems, such as a global CRM and a global PMS. A data hub or data lake can centralise data sourcing. Centralising the analytics & insights provided from that data creates a single source of the truth and prevents duplication of effort.
Often the journey to centralise can be difficult. However in the medium term it is less painful (and likely cheaper) than maintaining tactical sticking plasters.
One organisation I’m aware of has 7 different CRM systems across the globe. For them to produce a consolidated view of a client is very challenging. The same client can easily be in multiple CRMs. For data people trying to consolidate to one view of a client is a huge challenge. Matching on the text of the name is fraught with inaccuracy, both false positives and obvious (to the human eye) misses. Therefore centralising to one global CRM simplifies reporting at the client level.
Single source of the truth and common measure definition
Recently we completed a project to provide Client Insights to an asset manager looking to improve their client experience. We used Tableau to present the insights as it is very simple to embed within a CRM. Before starting on Tableau dashboard development it was important to have a clear definition for each measure. Centralising the data insights should help create a common language and framework to analyse the business. Within Asset Management firms a single source of the truth and common measure definitions are important.
Consider product performance, which is seemingly straightforward. The investment side of the asset manager are almost always going to view performance gross of fees. The clients will almost always view performance as net of fees…which is what the clients experience. Explicitly naming “performance” either Gross and Net both in text and in speech clears up confusion.
Even something as simple as a count of client meetings can demonstrate inconsistencies in business understanding. At one asset manager the Head of APAC did not include phone calls in the statistics around client meetings. However the other regions were including phone calls. Therefore consolidating these numbers with different measure definition for the Exco presented a false picture, with APAC seemingly lagging.
Once we started to analyse the different measures did the inconsistencies become apparent. Centralising data insights across the business largely enforces standard definitions and standard business rules.
Asset Management measures
Data driven asset managers aren’t only interested in the standard financial measures of revenue, AUM, inflows & outflows and performance. Internal data sources alone should provide enough data to look at:
- Pipeline tracking – how does the future look, how are we converting?
- In-depth monitoring of client interactions – are internal resources being deployed efficiently?
- Close tracking of marketing activity – who are the most engaged clients, where are our selling opportunities?
- RFPs – are there certain asset classes / products where we excel / have room for improvement?
External data opens up further areas of interest. For example you can compare your products with peers. You can understand what your clients think of your capabilities and compared to the capabilities of your peers.
Whether it’s within the core functions of Sales/Client Service or Investments, or if it is supporting functions such as Finance, HR and Reporting teams, there is often room for improvement.
Contact us to learn how we can support your asset management firm on your data journey.