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Driving growth in asset management

A global survey of 300 investment managers reinforces the value of ‘whole office’ solutions for achieving greater efficiency and resiliency in investment operations.
Driving growth in asset management

Driving growth beyond 2020 requires more than finding new streams of revenue or reducing costs. In a contracting market, the most successful asset managers look at their operating models from the perspective of their whole office, seeking holistic changes that enable growth.

As these managers dedicate more of their resources to core investment activities, they have turned to outsourcing non-core activities. By choosing the best partners for their investment processes, they build an ecosystem that integrates technology and capabilities across the entire investment lifecycle.  

Increasing distribution

As firms increase their distribution, they must have a well-researched plan that considers investor preferences and their products’ suitability for each market.

It is more important than ever to integrate distribution into their operating model and to understand the needs of the target investor. It is also vital to have a global model that gives investors timely access to their data in their local time zone and language.

Managing regulatory change

Regulation continues to evolve, and asset managers must be able to adapt quickly. For example, after recent events, regulators are increasingly focusing on operational resilience and being able to maintain services during times of crisis and volatility.

Then there are the differences between markets. A global product increases the complexity of what needs to be done from a regulatory perspective. Work with a partner with global scale that can help meet those obligations while navigating the regulatory environment.


Asset managers are facing multiple cost pressures. Areas like data management, back- and middle-office operations, and reporting require investments in both technology and people and can are often done more efficiently through outsourcing.

Asset managers also seek outsourced providers to gain greater scale, flexibility and speed to market. Outsourced trading, for example, can help improve margins, streamline and future-proof operations and enhance governance and control.

Technology and data management

Technology is changing nearly every facet of our industry. The move toward a digital world will make processes faster and create better ways of doing things, but it can be resource intensive.

Firms should proactively think of how to streamline and future-proof their operations, and leverage technology to suit their business goals and objectives. Outsourced providers can give managers access to digital tools that automate workflow and provide information at their fingertips.


Asset managers will continue to face new challenges in growing their businesses in the coming years, particularly when facing existing margin pressures and a contracting market.

The managers that view their operations holistically as a whole office, rather than in silos of front, middle and back, have an advantage. They can more clearly see where it makes sense to outsource services that aren’t core to their investment processes and where leveraging next generation digital technology can boost automation and improve decision-making.

To learn more, read our full paper or contact your local Northern Trust representative.

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