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Asset management sector must wake up to platform benefits

Ed Gouldstone, Chief Operating Officer for Europe, Asset Management, Linedata

Asset management firms must establish partnerships with technology players that are able to apply a modern platform-based approach to their sometimes overly manual processes, a senior tech exec has claimed.

“Fintechs are naturally used to working with many clients,” said Ed Gouldstone, Chief Operating Officer for Europe, Asset Management at transformation specialist Linedata. “They’re skilled at finding the right common approach to delivering systems, the blend between what is common to all and what is particular to a firm or type of investment offering.

This can be very important when it comes to evolving products and building on an existing base layer.”

Much of what is happening with firms in the asset management world relates to taking the professional level investment process employed by large firms and institutions and looking for ways to lower the complexity of delivery so products can be offered to a broader market with a lower overall cost.

He said: “This invariably means finding ways to employ technology to attain scale and efficiency, but also to standardise between different interaction points in the process to allow them to be chopped and changed around as customer need dictates,” added Gouldstone. “As an example, automated model-driven trading strategies employed by sophisticated asset management firms for individual funds need low touch ways to process post-trade and settlements on listed securities, as do wealth managers, who may be acting for thousands of clients.

“The way those forms ‘plug in’ to that capability may be very different, but at the lowest level, it is the same. The idea of building a platform is that you offer those foundational building block capabilities, but with APIs and applications that can interact in different ways. Anything a platform can then offer to facilitate the process is an added benefit, such as data, analytics or access to business services: trade execution, valuations, accounting, custody.”

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