global growth

2015 started with considerable market uncertainty caused in part by falling oil prices, instability in the euro zone and reduced growth forecasts for key economies such as China. Jittery investors are taking a far greater interest in their investments, and regulatory pressure continues to pile on buy-side firms. Here are three operational tips that we believe will help the buy-side respond to external demand for transparency and build on successful gains achieved in 2014.

  1. Make data a strategic tool.  Employ strategies that protect the integrity and harness the value of investment data. In many financial organizations, data is scattered in fragmented systems.  As a result, bringing the data together to acquire a complete understanding of a client’s portfolio is a giant production.  A robust approach to unifying disparate streams of data will enable faster, better decisions which produce better outcomes.
  2. Put performance measurement and attribution in context. External investors and regulators want to extract insight. Internal investment managers need to understand which strategies are working – and – more importantly why they are working to secure future returns.    Leveraging performance analytics can turn data into knowledge so that investment managers can understand and communicate sources of risk and return.
  3. Prepare to make data available anytime, anywhere and on any device. Investors expect to be able to see and understand the real-time details of their holdings anytime they want.  To meet this demand, investment management firms need to ensure data integrity and to prepare the data for transport to online portals and mobile devices.  This allows stakeholders to view complex real-time data, provided with the necessary context, whenever they wish.

This year buy-side firms will not only need strong investment strategies that hedge against market uncertainty and exploit opportunity, but also the operational infrastructure to respond instantly to market forces and meet investor demand for transparency.  For those who align their operations around preserving and harnessing the value of their data, 2015 could be a watershed year.

By Julian Webb