SS&C recently hosted an "Investment Operations Managed Services: Client Perspectives" webinar during which clients discussed the workings and benefits of investment operations managed services. In this post, we share some notable takeaways from the session.
Many asset managers are revisiting the option to have third-party experts manage some or all of their investment operations through outsourced or co-sourced managed services. Yes, in part to address new operating models and financial uncertainties brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, but other factors contribute to the interest in managed services today, such as rising labor costs, digital aspirations and aging system infrastructure.
During the webinar, we polled the audience on a number of topics. First, we asked attendees what drives their interest in managed services. “Reducing costs” and “focusing on core competencies” tied for the top spot, with “gaining scale” the runner-up. Webinar panelists highlighted how the technology behind managed services supports these goals: managing data integrations by proxy, for example, brings savings and scalability and frees up valuable resources that would otherwise be consumed with the work. Panelists also pointed to significant time savings and risk mitigation through automation as positive outcomes from the managed services relationship.
Webinar attendees later voted on the strategic benefits they’d like to achieve through the use of managed services (outside of solid performance on day-to-day activities) and the top vote-getter by a wide margin was “leveraging expertise.” One client in the discussion commented that she views SS&C as a “thought partner”—not only to help her firm get the most out of the software and services they use but also in navigating challenges facing the industry. Another described SS&C as an extension of his business, with the experience, oversight, and forethought to keep operations running smoothly and all parties on the same page.
The panel discussed how managed services work well—thanks in part to frequent check-ins and communication—and how clients can maintain visibility into, and control of, the processes through platform user-profiles and permissioning.
Operational managed services can “tie everything together; put a nice bow on it,” said one panelist, whether across the spectrum of investment operations or just a piece of it.
As for moving to a managed services model, one client suggested starting with a good understanding of your firm’s business needs and end-state goals and then communicating it so SS&C can tailor the proper plan to suit your needs. Another panelist suggested that determining what stays in-house and what a managed service provider like SS&C takes on should be guided by a focus on “what makes you money or what saves you money,” and if an activity does neither, outsourcing may be a good option.
Watch the complete, informative "Investment Operations Managed Services: Client Perspectives" webinar for more insights and client perspectives.
Written by David LaMonica
Vice President, SS&C Institutional & Investment Management