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Fund Management in the 21st Century - Enhancing Processes Through Technology Case Study

In the era of digital transformation, the fund management industry - also referred to as asset management - like most industries, is facing a fundamental shift in the way they operate.

Making up a large section of the financial services sector, this highly competitive industry is made up of firms ranging from “pure-play” independent asset managers to diversified commercial banks, insurance companies and brokerages offering asset management services in addition to core business activities.

With rising regulation costs across territories and the necessity for full transparency over investment activities and products, investment in technology will play a critical role in how companies manage their businesses moving forward.

However, financial companies operating across the UK and Europe are facing an uncertain future. As the geopolitical landscape experiences its biggest challenge in decades, financial institutions need to have contingency plans in place and map out a strategy to tackle the potential issues head-on.

At the centre of this strategy, investment in technology will need to play a prominent role. 

Sticking Your Head In The Sand?

The last two years have seen a monumental political upheaval across Europe and the US. With rising tensions due to Brexit, a rise in the populist movement across Europe and the US and increases in regulation and compliance costs - now is not the time to rest on your laurels.

Brexit

Looking at Brexit and how it will affect fund management firms is still difficult to predict. The transition period details and final decisions are still hanging in the balance while we wait for negotiations and agreements to be finalised. We know that time is closing in for Brexit. By analysing all potential outcomes and formalising contingent plans, firms can be prepared for the challenges and the potential outcome of Brexit.

Client Behavioural Shifts

Customer choice, needs and wants are changing and heading in different directions. We covered this area in our recent Customer Service blog post. There has never been so much option and competition for customers as there is today. It’s imperative that firms continue to put customer experience at every touchpoint at the forefront of their operational goals.

Skill Shortage

The skill shortage in the financial services sector is real. According to a report by Contino “Only 16% of Funds Industry are able to attract the right talent easily”. Without the right skills, any digital transformation will fall flat. Your people are the fulcrum of any innovation push so it is crucial to hire the right people.  

The report from Contino also states “In the face of the skills shortage, organisations are attacking the problem from both ends to acquire the skills they need, be it by purchasing contractors or training on-site teams.”

It’s Not All Plain Sailing When It Comes To Digital Transformation

Kevin O'Shaughnessy head of digital at Alpha FMC sums up the situation expertly:

The asset management industry is at a key juncture, facing a mix of technological, regulatory and client behavioural shifts. Digital transformation is seen as essential to future success. Firms know the commercial benefits to be derived from digital investment, covering both the ability to acquire and retain clients but also the impact of improved client satisfaction, both of which lead to increased AUM and revenue….however, the industry is still experiencing growing pains in its digital journey.

There is an ongoing question of where digital should sit in an organisation. A recent survey by Alpha FMC showed that when asked, most Digital Directors, CMO’s and technology leaders agreed that legacy systems are a fundamental obstacle.

A shift in the market has begun. Firms are moving away from traditional product-focused perspective to putting the spotlight on the client. Putting an emphasis on Customer Experience, these firms are formulating to prepare for future changes.

As a result, these firms are decreasing spending on things like regulatory technology and increasing spend on customer experience and design. This shift indicates firms are putting an increased effort to ‘future-proof’ in preparation of broader industry changes.

While some firms are looking towards digital transformation and progression, quite a few are not embracing this change. Surprisingly, a lack of investment is listed by many as an obstacle holding back digital innovation and transformation.

This can seem startling as many from other industries are looking towards the Financial Services Sector to lead the way in this digital transformation.

All Is Not Lost - Embracing Digital Transformation.

In the report by Alpha FMC, they state that around 80% of Fund Management firms are prioritising digital transformation.

From this survey, around 85% of firms stated that they find improved client experience to be a crucial asset to digital transformation. They also declared that improving customer experience is associated with increased revenue and contributing to the success and winning business.

From recent studies, it is clear that over the next few years, the Fund Management Industry will be focusing its efforts on new technology, such as AI and machine learning and moving away from more traditional technologies.

When it comes to streamlining processes, one thing that should be noted is that current information is extremely important. An up-to-date, all-in-one system can help members of staff access have a 360-degree view of their customer. With a fully functioning CRM system, errors will be eliminated and improve performance and efficiencies.

Utilising a CRM system, firms can easily streamline fund requests, claims, create budgets and allocate funds and assets better.

Case Study - dopay

A Fund Management company that is embracing digital change is our client, dopay. dopay realises that digital changes are inevitable to the success of not only Fund Management but for any firms within the financial industry. So, dopay enlisted Pexlify to assist them in their Digital Transformation. The Outcome? dopay decreased their processing time from 7-8 days down to minutes and have now improved their customer experience. 

About dopay

dopay is a trusted cloud-based payroll service that operates in countries with a limited supply of banks and high bank expense cost. They allow companies to handle their money, calculate salaries and make payments electronically to employees on their own dopay ATM/visa cards. dopay have over 60 employees and is based out of London, UK.

The Challenge

dopay needed a platform that would allow seamless integration to their pay-engine platform. Specifically, dopay faced challenges with updating records. What they wanted was to upload and update employee records on a front-end community for their clients.

The Solution

Pexlify built an all-encompassing complex data model with components that enabled the upload/update functionality required while simultaneously mimicking the look and feel of the dopay website. This complex data model aids the omnidirectional data transfer between dopay’s payment-engine and Salesforce. This solution also incorporates an API logger. The API Logger tracks every API call between both systems.

Outcome / Results

  • Simplified process
  • Savings in time-management and processing time
  • Ability to handle data in a unified security system.

Example of How dopay have benefited from the results.

One territory in which dopay operates in is Egypt. Before implementing Salesforce, it could take up to 8 days to process a new employee in their system. Pexlify implemented a custom Salesforce solution with integrations to reduce this process down to as little as 5-10 minutes.

This leads back to data silos and collection. By implementing Salesforce, dopay now has all their information in one system where sales and service can see a 360 degree of the customer.

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