29 August 2017
Reporter: Stephanie Palmer

SS&C: manual processes still rife in client reporting

Asset managers consider client reporting important, but a significant number still tackle the issue using manual processes, according to research from SS&C.

The research, conducted at this year’s The Summit for Asset Management conferences in London and New York, found that 75.5 percent of respondents consider client reporting ‘extremely important’ to their firm’s acquisition and retention strategy.

The remaining 24.5 percent also said they consider it ‘somewhat important’.

However, when asked how they create client reports, responses varied significantly, and 31 percent said they still create client reports using “primarily a manual process”.

Almost a third, 28 percent, said they use a system that was developed in house, while 26 percent said they use a system provided by a vendor. Only 8 percent said they outsource client reporting to a third party, while 7 percent use a line-of-business system.

The survey revealed that the vast majority of respondents are either currently investing in client reporting, or plan to within the plan to invest in client reporting over the next 12 months.

Some 43.3 percent are currently investing, while a further 8.2 percent plan to invest in the next six months, and 34 percent plan to invest in the next 12 months. Only 14.4 percent said they have no plans to invest at all.

SS&C also found that the most important client communications objective is “enabling business users to respond faster to ad hoc client requests”, followed by improving the quality of online and mobile client communications and meeting expectations for personalised communication.

However, other objectives such as meeting expectations for more customised reporting and increasing control and auditability of reporting processes were also considered to be relatively important.

Christy Bremner, senior vice president of SS&C institutional and investment management, said: “The survey results confirm that in this age of increased client demand for investment transparency and context, client communications have emerged as a critical function for investment management firms.”

She added: “Despite this reality, many firms still follow a mostly manual process that results in outputs that aren’t personalised to individual needs. Firms need to equip their advisors and customers with intelligent investment information to maintain and retain their client base.”

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