There has been a building murmur of conversation of late in the asset management community about client service, specifically with regard to the impact of data management of all things on this. It is fair to say that given the regulators’ continued defence of the investor and their insistence on the fair treatment of customers that the necessity to communicate timely, accurate, and consistent information to existing and prospective clients is growing by the day. This combined with the increasing demands of the end investor for a more up-to-date and frequently updated, broader range of data means that today’s asset managers need to sort out their information “plumbing” or face being left behind by their competitors (and their customers).
Three years ago, buy-side firms were looking to embark on data management projects to improve efficiency and remove silos and manual processes. While these drivers are still valid, more and more data management projects today are driven by a desire to improve the quality of information delivered to the front-office. In fact, a recent asset management survey confirmed this as the number one operational focus for most buy-side firms. In addition to this, asset managers looking to achieve best in class client service or break into new customer segments and/or markets commonly recognise the value of a solid product master as the base platform that can be leveraged in order to achieve all of these strategic goals.
A product master puts an asset manager in control of the information about their funds and accounts. Once all of the data controls are in place to centralise and clean the product information, the product master can be leveraged across the enterprise to ensure that all consumers of the information (internal and external) can have full confidence in the timeliness, accuracy, and consistency of the data they are viewing. It also provides auditors and regulators with the evidence that the asset manager has recognised the importance of this data and has put systematic controls in place to address it.
While the concept of a product master may be relatively new… it is gaining momentum and we’re hearing more and more about it in the press, at events, and directly from the industry. Watch this space!