For too long asset managers have been focusing on their data warehouse initiatives, often spending many years building them out, by which time the company in question has moved on and acquired other businesses with new data silos, warehouses, databases, data marts – you get the message – just as one data warehouse project finishes a new ‘enterprise data warehouse’ project is needed to bring the latest silos under the same umbrella. So the “information stores” which a business uses to deliver data to the external world are constantly changing – which leads to a lot of client and vendor related unhappiness.
At the same time the client reporting teams have been working away to build a client reporting infrastructure to deliver bespoke glossy reports, often without taking into account that a client report that is generated with poor quality data, is still a poor report, even if it is completely tailored to the client needs and is very flashy and glossy to the eye of the (be)holder. Client reporting vendors are left to carry the can to a large extent – the asset manager expects the client reporting vendor to clean the data up, while the client reporting vendor expects the asset manager to deliver clean data !
The marketing teams are busy to trying to automate the production of the product fact sheets – again the fact sheet automation vendor community place a strong reliance on good quality data being submitted to the process, while the asset managers to a large extent assume the data is good quality, why else would they allow it enter an automation process?
Micro-site content publication suffers from the same ills as the fact sheet automation process, except it is even more acute as the data is expected to be updated daily, and not monthly or quarterly.
The legal and compliance teams are at the same time busy working with their financial printers getting the simplified (or summary) prospectus, KID (if you’re in UCIT IV prep mode), annual/semi-annual reports and any other regulatory product documentation automated. Again though, the financial printers expect that they receive clean and timely data.
So what we have is an industry that unwittingly expects it’s vendors to work with poor quality data to generate high quality output – i.e. it is set up to fail miserably when it comes to getting good quality (= timely, consistent and accurate) data to the end investor, be that via a custom client report, a product fact sheet update, a web page view or a regulatory document.
If asset managers applied the same principles that network engineers apply to physical networks to protect the integrity of their inner network, by applying an “information firewall” that presented all client facing data to each of the vendors that required access to that data they would have; (a) a much happier vendor community and (b) superior content being presented to their end clients.
So an information firewall for investment product data should do some or all of the following; Read the rest of this entry »