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ESG and Culture Due Diligence Launch
Alpha FMC is delighted to announce the introduction of both ESG and Culture Due Diligence to the suite of pre-deal M&A services offered to our clients. Here we explore how we can optimize value in a transaction, highlighting the importance of identifying material ESG factors in business valuation and how culture can be the key to success in M&A integration.
Asset Management Digital Readiness Survey: Teenage Angst to Coming of Age
Alpha’s 5th Annual Asset Management Digital Readiness Survey provides unique insights into an industry that is ‘coming of age’ in its digital journey. Read on for our key findings from this year’s results.
Consumer Duty: Time to Act
The FCA has now published the final iteration of the Consumer Duty rules and guidance, forming part of the FCA’s transformation plans to become a more assertive and data-led regulator. Emily Stapleton considers the impact.
Is Your Firm Ready for Net Zero?
For asset managers who are not yet net zero signatories, the perception of non-commitment will soon become a real business risk: Brian Helmes and Rebecca Dunkelman of our ESG & RI practice unpick what it takes to be ready for a world where net zero is the expectation.
Consumer Duty – The Adviser Impacts
In this article we consider what the FCA’s new Consumer Duty rules will mean for advisers and advice firms, we also highlight particular areas of impact and key considerations during review and implementation.
Rising Priorities: Increasing Your Focus on the “S” in ESG
The impact of Covid-19 and the recent resurgence of D&I aspects has catapulted social issues to the forefront of the Responsible Investment agenda. Adapting product offerings and mindsets can help you capitalise on commercial advantages, as Yasmin Bye and Sarah Hedges discuss.
Alpha Data Solutions to Operate Under a New Name: Aiviq
Alpha Data Solutions (ADS), the leading data and analytic platform enabling investment managers to incentivises sales, analyse purchasing patterns, digitally service investors and meet financial reporting requirements, has today announced it will operate under the new name of Aiviq (pronunciation: ay-vik).
Consumer Duty – Where Do We Start?
The FCA has put the new Consumer Duty proposals at the heart of its new three year strategy and business plan. It expects to finalise the new rules by end of July 2022 but has already indicated firms should begin preparations and it will be engaging with firms during H2 2022 on their implementation plans and progress.
In this article we explore the key aspects of the new duty, potential key challenges and where firms should start with planning and implementation.
Wealth Management – Challenges and Priorities
Wealth Management assets and clients have grown resiliently through recent market and geo-political challenges due to structural reforms and new wealth creation in key markets and segments. But the increased assets firms are managing has attracted competitive and regulatory interest and shone a light on the barriers to unlocking scale benefits.
Data: The Hottest Asset for Institutional Investors in 2022
Alpha FMC and Northern Trust recently hosted a cross-industry roundtable to discuss key data themes with a number of asset owners, Alpha Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and Northern Trust’s experienced data solutions team:
Private Markets – a Viable Asset Class for High Net Worth and Affluent Investors?
Historically an option reserved for only the larger institutional investors, Private Markets in recent times have become a well-established part of the Ultra High Net Worth (UHNW) and Family Office portfolio. With increasing demand and a more readily available and more liquid supply, can Private Markets become a viable asset class for High Net Worth (HNW) and Affluent investors?
Last month the SEC proposed climate disclose rules; what does that mean and is your organization ready for what comes next?
Given the alignment of the proposed rules to other emerging standards and requirements, Asset Managers and Owners should be preparing for the impact that these additional disclosures will have both on their own businesses as well as the evolving expectations of investors.
Julie Miner and Naseem Wenzel join Lionpoint Real Estate Investment Management Consulting Team
ESG & RI in Switzerland: Alpha’s Insights & How We Can Support You
With Switzerland committing to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, it is paramount that financial institutions do the same. Cathrine Hansen and Nicolas Grangeon from our Swiss office summarise some of their key insights.
AML Back in the Spotlight
Since the start of 2021 UK and EU regulators have issued a record level of anti-money laundering fines. Combined with the various announcements and guidelines from regulators on their expectations for firm’s AML controls and it shows financial crime prevention remains at the top of the regulator’s priorities. Read our latest article by Chris Martin to find out what we recommend asset managers should be doing now!
Seeking Marginal Value in Wealth Management and Financial Planning M&A
With Wealth Management and Financial Planning M&A experiencing unprecedented levels of activity, marginal improvements can make all the difference to success. From doing cultural due diligence correctly, to a pragmatic approach to integration execution, we consider ways to avoid paying an irredeemable premium or losing out altogether.
Organization Design: A Tool to Rebuild Post-Pandemic
Coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, leaders will be faced with a challenging decision on how they want to rebuild an organization that has recently undergone a significant amount of change. In this article, Heather Lawton recommends using a simple approach that leverages organizational design tools to ensure that these decisions are thoughtful and deliver the greatest level of support for employee well-being and productivity.
Breaking Through the Chaos: Solving the ‘Content Challenge’
Chris Dunmire explores the future of content enablement and how we see firms rethinking the end-to-end production lifecycle, from ideation to distribution to better organize, share and automate enterprise content.
Build Your Own RFP: Vendor Assessment in the Wealth and Retail Investment Sector
Choosing the correct strategic partner is crucial to the success of achieving any large-scale change ambition. Alpha shares how firms can best tailor the vendor selection process to suit their objectives and drive the best possible outcomes.
Implementing an Oversight Model for Outsourced Middle and Back Offices
Outsourcing has gone through a myriad of trends over the last ten years. From focus on back office, then to middle office outsourcing, and to consolidation of providers – what has become apparent is the need for a strong, risk-based oversight model, especially as Asset Managers and Third Parties move to hybrid working patterns. People, Culture and Management Information are key to embedding a risk-based oversight model.
Developing the Digital Client Experience
Digital client experience has become an increasingly important focus area across the Asset Management sector, driven by the accelerant effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the shift from physical interactions to virtual interactions. Alpha’s approach to defining digital client experience strategy helps Managers respond to the constantly evolving landscape of their end-client’s digital expectations, leading to increased client satisfaction, in addition to improved commercial propositions and operational efficiencies.
Technology Change in Insurance: Evolution not Revolution
Rather than a complex and risky large-scale transformation, an ‘evolution not revolution’ approach can be effective for many Insurers in achieving business benefit more rapidly.
Partnerships As The Innovation Engine
Profoundly built partnerships play a fundamental role in accelerating innovation and unlocking growth opportunities. Therefore, managing these partnerships becomes a key enabler for asset and wealth managers to realize the value from such ventures and differentiate their market offerings.
The Alpha Outlook 2022
Our Outlook this year focuses on the personas that we work with on a day-to-day basis, and we highlight some of the priorities and challenges we expect them to face in 2022.
How Can Asset & Wealth Managers Translate the Hype and Promise of Automation, into Reality?
Automation is a subject which has been a hot topic of debate across many industries for a number of years. Many Asset Managers have numerous automation projects underway and significant budget spend; but the reality is that most firms may not be getting the value out of automation that they could.
How quickly are poor ESG Real Estate Assets and Managers becoming obsolete?
Against a backdrop of rising demand and expectations firms should be asking themselves: how will we raise capital if we are a laggard in Real Estate ESG?
Perspectives for Savings and Retirement in 2022
Alpha presents its second annual savings and retirement perspectives for the coming year.
Preparing for the “Uncomfortable”: ESG Horizon Scanning
As COP26 concludes, asset managers should be looking at the horizon to consider which disruptive ‘uncomfortable concepts’ could emerge. Troy Mortimer and Chloe Frampton summarise four key concepts.
Where’s the value in the value chain?
In a rush to capture the value chain, are firms losing sight of their core strategy and is it time to divest non-core assets? In this article, Alpha looks at the implications for asset and wealth managers and platforms.
Financial Advice Nirvana – Part 3: Technology
In the final article of our three-part series on financial advice, we discuss something at the top of most agendas right now – Technology. This continues to be a hot topic as we see the shift to technology being core to client engagement and business enablement rather than simply a facilitator. David Jenkins and Matt Jeffery explore this theme.
Alpha’s Next Generation Private Markets Survey
Alpha FMC’s inaugural Next Generation Private Markets Survey received a great response from the industry, with a wide number of leading Alternative Asset Managers spanning private markets asset classes, global regions and size.
Alpha FMC hires David Clarke as a Director in Insurance Consulting
Future Gazing in Asset Management – The Lead Up to COP26 and Beyond
As we approach COP26 and witness the crystallisation of a plethora of ESG risks such as global supply chain shocks, many asset managers are considering what further risks are on the horizon. In this article we explore five emerging (and potentially game changing) sustainability-related trends that could significantly disrupt the asset management industry, as well as what asset managers need to do now to successfully navigate the complexities of this future landscape.
Insurance Transforming Through Automation, AI, and Data: The Next Chapter
The Insurance industry is on the brink of a profound technological shift. Supplemented with key insights from Michael Bowker and the team at Roboyo, Sunil Kumar and Keith Aylwin take a look at the next chapter for Automation, AI & Data and what firms can do today to prepare for tomorrow’.
Alpha FMC appoints Lee Griggs to lead its Alpha Data Solutions business globally
Alpha hires Terry Flynn as Head of Axxsys in North America and Gaurav Jangid as Global Head of Data and Cloud Technology for Axxsys
Financial Advice Nirvana: Achieving Behavioural Alignment
Whilst the financial advice industry has come a long way over the last 20 years, inefficiency and poor customer engagement are still rife – we believe the market is ready for change. In our latest article (second in a three part series), Matt Jeffery and Phil Courtenay of Applied Emotional Finance explores how behaviour and emotional finance can have a material impact on how an advice proposition is received.
The 4th Annual Wealth Management Digital Readiness Survey: “Embracing a digital future… while you still can”
Alpha present the fourth year of the Wealth Management Digital Readiness Survey. Read on to understand how far the industry is progressing with its Digital Transformation journey.
Ethnic & Cultural Diversity: South Asian Heritage Month
Alpha’s Ethnic and Cultural Diversity committee have dedicated this past month to South Asian Heritage Month. In this article, Jasmin Jotangia and Tobi Adediran detail the ways in which we have marked this important topic and how they align to our proprietary C.A.R.E (Communicate, Action, Respect, Educate) framework, helping to spark meaningful conversations relating to racial, ethnic and cultural discrimination, and promote diversity.
Time for Reflection: What Are The Key Questions AFMs Should Be Asking Themselves?
Following the FCA’s recently published findings on its thematic review of the Host AFM sector, AFMs are under increased scrutiny to ensure that their governance & oversight processes and frameworks are up to scratch. Here are some key questions that may help AFM Boards, Risk & Compliance professionals focus their attention.
Wealth Management Client Portals: The Seven Keys to Create a Compelling Differentiated Client Experience
Is Your Digital Data Working Hard Enough For You?
In this article, Mark Webb and Kevin O’Shaughnessy assess the opportunity that Digital Data presents Asset Managers, the journey that the industry will be on in the near future and what Asset Managers should do now to capitalise on this key capability.
ESG: Are These Five Challenges Holding Back Your Client-Facing Teams?
Alpha FMC hires Miles Bishop as a Director
Alpha FMC further strengthens its Insurance practice with the hire of Miles Bishop as Director.
U.S. ESG Regulatory Update
Recent developments have further signaled congressional support for the financial materiality of ESG factors, indicating that ESG regulation and active ownership are needed to advance the U.S. economy towards sustainability. In this update we look at the amendments to the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 and the implications for institutional asset managers.
Leaving the Pit Lane: Reengineering Your Client Reporting Operating Model to Rejoin the Race
Tom Williams and Chyavan Rees delve into why the time is now for firms to invest in their client reporting operating model and how to get started on a journey to ensure maximum benefit is seen from existing or upgraded systems.
The 4th Annual Asset Management Digital Readiness Survey: “Necessity is the Mother of Digital Invention”
Alpha’s 2021 Asset Management Digital Readiness Survey provides unique insights into the progress the industry is making on its digital journey. It will be no surprise that the global pandemic has been a major theme this year, as Asset Managers have had to urgently shift to digital ways of working as restrictions were applied across countries. Read to find out how the industry has improved its digital capabilities and grown its maturity in this space during these extraordinary circumstances.
More Money, More Problems? The Changing Alternatives Landscape
Fundraising and managing investors is changing, and this poses potential challenges for Alternatives managers. Dominic Coyle explores.
Financial Advice Nirvana: Strategy
In many ways, financial advice has come a long way in the last 20 years, however we firmly believe that the advice market is at the forefront of some cutting-edge change. This is the first in a short series of articles on how advice firms can position themselves for success.
SFDR & EU Taxonomy: The 10 Key Challenges Facing Asset Managers Right Now
SFDR and the EU Taxonomy (EUT) represent a hallmark change to how asset managers interact with Responsible Investment (RI), with far-reaching impacts across their operating models. Sarah Hedges and Troy Mortimer explore the ten key challenges facing managers.
Data Capabilities Are Fast Becoming Table Stakes for the Asset Management Industry
Alpha FMC present the findings from our Data Operating Models 2021 research report.
SFDR: Transforming Data and Technology Requirements
In the latest of our SFDR insights series, we explore one of the most commonly cited challenges with the regulation: data and technology. What specifically are managers struggling with, and how are leaders responding?
Transaction Reporting for Wealth Managers: Data, Resourcing and Tech Present the Path to Success
75% of transaction reports submitted by Wealth Managers have one or more errors in them and, on average, each Wealth Manager has over 50 different errors to resolve. In our latest article, we look at the causes for these errors and the potential solutions.
Firing Up The Production Line: Optimising Product Governance and Assessment of Value Reporting
In this article, Andrew Glessing, Harry Shearer and Will Ayrton explore how UK Authorised Fund Managers (AFMs) are navigating their way through the second year of the Assessment of Value and how they can differentiate themselves from their competitors beyond that by enhancing their Product Governance and streamlining their processes using strategic technological solutions.
How to Prioritise Your Investment in Digital
In the second Digital Strategy article in the series, Kevin O’Shaughnessy, Joe Brown and Tom Goldwater look at where Digitisation can have the biggest commercial impact in the way firms operate by assessing how to effectively identify and measure opportunities.
Delivering a Successful Migration Event
This is the final article in a series of three in which we discuss the execution and delivery of a successful migration event. This concludes the series in which Alec Baillie, Duncan Ng’enda and Jenny Thorpe have taken us through a platform transformation journey.
ESG in Focus: Perspectives from the U.S.
In the build-up to the 2020 U.S. presidential election, the future of ESG investing as a driving force in asset management was questionable. Brian Helmes explores how the new administration took actions to signal that the global issues addressed by ESG initiatives would be a top priority in the first 100 days.
SFDR: What does it mean for Distribution teams?
Turning regulatory compliance into commercial opportunity.
Delivering a Successful Platform Transformation Programme
This is the second in a series of three articles in which we tackle the delivery stage of an Investment Platform transformation programme.
Data-Driven Sales: Using Data to Accelerate Your Advantage in the Sales Cycle
Data is more essential to Sales than ever, providing them with the F1 cockpit they need to accelerate themselves. Tom Parish shines a spotlight on next best actions.
Uncovering the Practices of High-Performing Client Service Functions
Alpha runs an annual Client Service benchmark into the practices of 30 of the largest global Asset Managers, collectively with £7 trillion AUM. Mike Smith, Divakar Padmanathan and Emma Haffenden synthesise some key findings.
Preparing for a Successful Platform Transformation Programme
This is the first in a series of three articles in which we tackle the first key area of focus for firms embarking on an Investment Platform transformation journey.
Five Must-Haves for Hedge Fund Automation
After overcoming a year of volatility and mixed returns in 2020, and a period under the spotlight in early 2021, hedge funds are as focused as ever on delivering outperformance. Matt Pratt and Mark Thomas discuss five must-haves for automation to deliver this.
CRM as a Competitive Tool: UK Investment Platforms
In this article, Emily Eleazar, Duncan Ng’enda and Tom Parish explore how UK investment platforms can actively leverage CRM to turbo-charge their distribution and front office functions.
Investment Platforms: Approaches & Challenges with Orphan Clients
Alpha are delighted to present the findings from our recent Orphan Clients Survey.
Client Service: The Seven Hallmarks of Leaders
In 2020, Alpha launched a Client Service Benchmark, establishing the first comprehensive set of multi-channel KPIs in the industry. An excellent peer group of 30 firms globally representing £7 trillion in AUM took part. Find out what sets leaders apart.
Canada Regional Outlook: A Place for Everything, and Everything in One Place
The year ahead promises modest growth in the Canadian Wealth Management space as the COVID-19 pandemic affects various customer groups differently. Mike Thomson discusses the trends and challenges in the industry for 2021.
Ethnic & Cultural Diversity: The C.A.R.E Framework & Alpha’s Journey
Alpha’s Ethnic & Cultural Diversity Committee have been working to develop a framework to address ethnic, racial and cultural discrimination in the workplace and to promote and enhance diversity at all levels.
UHNW and Family Offices: A rewarding challenge
An increasingly saturated and highly competitive market undergoing technology disruption is leaving Wealth Managers on the lookout for alternative markets. The growth and evolution of the UHNW and FO space has therefore attracted the attention of a broad range of market participants. Himal Patel and Adam Croutear discuss what challenges Wealth Managers need to overcome to succeed in this market.
ESG in Private Assets: The Contest for Leadership
With the continued growth in private assets ESG capabilities, we expect 2021 to be a hotly contested year for leadership in this space. Mark Thomas provides a summary of the key topics to bear in mind.
Enterprise Technology: Untangling the Spaghetti Junction of Data
With the demand for data increasing across the investment value chain, we investigate the role that Enterprise Technology can play in building a strong foundational data platform and reducing the burden of legacy point to point architectures of the past.
ESG Global Standards: The “Snowball” Effect
2020 saw public awareness of ESG issues soaring and regulators, policy makers and industry bodies raising the minimum standard for compliance. In 2021, we expect the winds of regulatory change to carry across the globe. Anna Skylakaki and Thomas Schär discuss the consistent themes across the incoming standards.
Agile Organisation Design: 3 Tips for Success
The Asset Management industry is experiencing an age of significant digital disruption. Adam Starkey-Smith shares three tips for Agile success.
ESG Regulation: 3 Ways To Ensure Success Beyond March 2021
With just over 4 weeks to go to the Level 1 SFDR deadline and with clarity on Level 2 now published, ESG regulatory momentum is not slowing down.
Asset Owners as Stewards of Capital
With stewardship high on the agenda for 2021, transparency and accountability throughout the investment chain is key to supporting your clients and beneficiaries. Katie Simm takes a look at the role asset owners have to play in this increasingly important area.
Collaboration Tools – The Bedrock of Effective Business Interaction
Remote working has emphasised the need for increased cross-workforce collaboration. As a result, asset managers have had to explore alternative ways to embed or retain a collaborative working culture in their organisations. In this article, Jamilla Adeline and Will Devine explore how collaboration tools can be used effectively to have both personal and professional impacts.
Alpha FMC hires Troy Mortimer as a Director
Alpha FMC further strengthens its ESG and Responsible Investments practice with the hire of Troy Mortimer as Director.
2021: The Year of the Bolt-On Acquisition
2021 will be the year where management teams focus their M&A efforts on identifying strategic “bolt-ons”. Rob Owen explores what that means for firms looking to be strong candidates for acquisition.
Race to the Bottom: How to protect your value proposition and capitalise on revenue growth opportunities
Wealth managers are faced with a difficult revenue environment and traditionally high cost bases. Simplifying the overall operating model and realigning services with client segments will generate opportunities for revenue growth.
What Will it Take to Be an ESG Leader in 2021?
With the market landscape shifting fast, the notion of what it means to be an ESG leader is also changing. Vanessa Bingle and Brian Helmes delve into what it means to be a leader in 2021.
Alpha FMC hires Keith Aylwin as a Director
Alpha FMC further strengthens its Pensions and Retail Investments practice with the hire of Keith Aylwin as Director.
Distribution Data: Here’s the Truth About Solving Your Distribution Data
Are data limitations blocking your growth? Nick Dekker and Will Basnett share three lessons to solving it, six key datasets asset managers are mastering, and the one truth about moving forward
The Next Era of Outsourcing
Outsourcing can still provide a silver bullet in improving the efficiency of asset manager operating models. Alexander Bowie explores the latest trends and why it should be on your transformation agenda for 2021.
The Alpha Outlook 2021
For Alpha’s 2021 Outlook, our experts present viewpoints on the key topics that we think will affect the industry in the year ahead.
Asset & Wealth Managers Should Stop Creating Digital Strategies
Do Investment firms need a Digital Strategy? In our view, the answer is ‘No’! Joe Brown and Tom Goldwater discuss how Asset & Wealth Managers can begin their journey towards becoming a ‘Digital First’ organisation.
Perspectives for Savings and Retirement in 2021
Alpha presents its first Savings and Retirement market specific perspectives for the coming year.
The Benefits of Gender Diversity: Can Women Improve Wealth Manager Returns?
Wealth managers have not historically prioritised female investors. However, this is rapidly changing, and wealth managers should start preparing to reflect the increasing importance of female clients. Emily Stapleton looks at the impacts of gender diversity on wealth managers’ returns.
ESG: Keeping Pace with Client Demands
The increase in expectations and requirements for asset owners has put pressure on the ESG-related services provided by asset managers. The question is: are you prepared to meet these growing demands?
Transitioning Operations Functions in a COVID World
If you get it right, running large-scale transition projects remotely can be very successful
ESG in Private Markets – it’s time to act
Alpha believes it would be a missed opportunity for firms to treat ESG as a cost or compliance issue. For Private Markets firms, embedding ESG risk factors into the decision-making and reporting processes can provide real competitive advantages at a time when investor expectations in this area are rising. As this article will explain, Private Markets industries also have their own intricacies which need to be managed in relation to ESG. Read on to find out more about responsible investing in Private Markets.
Investment Pathways – A gateway to strengthening relationships with your customer
People stick to what they know or are too scared to break the status quo. This is particularly the case when it comes to money. Despite the introduction of the Investment Pathways rules (coming into force from 1st February 2021), a significant number of clients may still miss out on investment growth due to their apprehension of getting a major life decision wrong and putting their savings at risk. Read on to find out more.
Delays to IFPR: Swings and Roundabouts
The FCA’s Investment Firm Prudential Regime will fundamentally change the way our industry manages risk. The recent 6-month delay of implementation makes what seemed an almost impossible implementation window, more achievable; Tom Williams examines some of the key challenges.
The Chancellor’s Statement: Raising the Bar on Sustainable Finance for Asset Managers
A positive development for the green finance industry, but it raises several ESG challenges for asset managers
Operational Resilience in Wealth: The Impact of COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has represented the ultimate Operational Resilience challenge for wealth manager systems and processes, and many firms faced the unprecedented challenge of transitioning to a fully remote working environment whilst trying to improve business resilience to meet the new regulatory requirements. Take a look at this placemat produced by our Wealth team to learn more.
Regulatory Reporting: Flying to the Moon and Back
Nearly three years have passed since MiFID II ‘go-live’, and with 88% of transaction reports still containing one or more errors Asset & Wealth Managers large and small are spending significant sums on remediation. The sector is on its way to ‘landing on the moon’: meeting error fixing and back reporting obligations. However, this is only half the job and firms should be wary of seeing this as success. Read more in our latest article by Bernardo Castel-Branco to find out what success truly looks like.
Alpha FMC launches dedicated Insurance Practice
Global leader in Asset and Wealth Management Consultancy, has recently launched a new Insurance practice in France that will focus initially on finance transformation.
Automation in the Asset Management Industry: Time for a Reboot
Automation is a hot topic within the asset management industry and has been for some time across the front, middle and back office. Anthony Boakye-Mensah and Darren Chim look at the state of the industry in 2020.
Alpha FMC launches dedicated ESG & Responsible Investment Practice
Global leader in asset and wealth management consulting formalises market offering with dedicated ESG & Responsible Investment practice in response to the growing demand for their consultancy services from clients across the industry.
ESG Transformational Change: From Theory To Practice
What was market leading two years ago is market baseline today. To remain relevant, organisations are investing in transforming across Corporate Strategy, Clients, Investments, Regulation, and their Foundations.
Evolving ESG Data & Technology
Case study on supporting an asset manager de-risk, streamline and scale their use of ESG data.
Developing an ESG Client Reporting Capability
Case study on supporting a global asset manager define and implement ESG client reporting.
ESG Investment Process Integration
Case study on supporting a global asset manager achieve alignment on their ESG approach and processes across investment desks.
Conducting an ESG Healthcheck
Case study on benchmarking a European asset manager on their ESG approach, and define their ambition.
Understanding the ESG Regulatory Landscape
Case study on supporting a global asset manager with immediate concerns in meeting regulatory standards
Exploring the ETF Opportunity for Active Managers
ETFs are perhaps one of the most significant financial innovations of the last 30 years, synonymous with the growth of passive fund management. As such, ETFs are often viewed exclusively as passive investment vehicles. However, dig a little deeper, and you will find that this is not the case. Marc Knowles investigates the opportunities for active managers
A Wave of Change: Alpha’s Partnership with Plastic Oceans UK
Each year over 350 million tonnes of plastic are produced globally – the equivalent weight of 28 million London double-decker busses. Cathrine Hansen explores Alpha’s partnership with Plastic Oceans
Client Reporting: The Next Generation
As the Investment Management industry continues to navigate a period of significant uncertainty, never has there been a more appropriate time for managers to provide reassurance to their clients through timely and accurate reporting. Read to find out more about client reporting in the new digital age.
Evolving the Role of Marketing within Asset & Wealth Management: How to Get Started
The role of Marketing within Asset and Wealth Managers is changing, driven by the increasing need to be truly client-focused. However, market drivers are pushing firms to revisit how they approach their marketing functions. Read our experts’ view on how firms should evolve the role of marketing within asset and wealth management
Digital Readiness in the Wealth Management & Financial Planning Sector 2020
The third year of Alpha’s Digital Readiness Survey provides a unique barometer of how far the industry is progressing with its Digital Transformation journey. Client expectations are still outpacing wealth firms’ digital capabilities, despite this being recognised as a top priority.
Founders Exiting & Succession Planning for Private Equity Firms
The prospect of founding partners in Private Equity firms moving on poses a number of potential challenges and firms will need to manage these through careful succession planning. Conversely, such a major transition also provides firms with a great opportunity to take stock, review their operating models, and re-evaluate their priorities going forward.
A Quick COVID Freeze Will Soon Thaw as the Underlying Drivers for M&A Persist in the Asset Management Industry
The 2020 rollercoaster rolls on for asset managers, with record highs and dramatic falls for financial markets; and we are now emerging from the crisis and firms are beginning to plan again for the long-term. As the world slowly returns to the “new normal”, these firms should do so with deal opportunities higher-up the agenda. Rob Owen discusses the post-COVID thaw in M&A.
Enterprise Technology: The silver bullet in a crisis?
Throughout the COVID crisis, Asset Managers have distinguished themselves by their readiness to adapt to unforeseen operating conditions. Alpha’s Investments practice asks whether the move to remote working has changed the industry’s views on Enterprise Technology.
The UK Stewardship Code 2020: Are you prepared for a major step up?
Alpha’s ESG SMEs discuss their key observations of the changes made in the UK Stewardship Code 2020, and what Managers should do to ensure they can meet these new and increased expectations
Client Portals: Are They Worth the Investment?
Are client portals worth it? In our view, this question is more nuanced than before and is no longer a binary ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. Sam Large and Mark Webb unpack the decisions facing asset managers.
Hybrid Advice: Risk & Compliance
The growing pressure on advice firms to consider how best to use digital within their operating models is not new. Efforts to attract the mass market, expectations of younger investors and the need to reduce costs have all formed pressures to date. This article is the final piece in a series of three articles on Hybrid Advice during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Alpha FMC hires Jill May as a Non-Executive Director
Alpha FMC is pleased to announce that Jill May will be appointed as an Independent Non-Executive Director of the Company with effect from 1 July 2020. On appointment, Jill will join the Nomination, Audit and Risk and Remuneration Committees.
Wealth CRM Technology: From Cost to Benefit
Every good wealth manager prides themselves on building proactive, trusted client relationships. But when fees are compressed, and prioritisation is required, advisors can often find themselves wondering: which are the relationships and conversations that will yield the greatest returns?
Transitioning to the New Norm
The current pandemic has revealed several weak points within the financial industry and has forced market leaders to revisit their top priorities. The financial sector may not operate the same as it did before COVID-19, and we should use this challenge to forge the new norm and set the course for the years to come.
The Leading Asset Managers are focusing on Strategic Scale ahead of Cost Reduction
Asset Managers are seeing their revenues tighten due to competition, market volatility, regulation and client demands; all of which erodes margin. To grow and achieve scale, many are now focusing on ways to maximise their unique selling point and leverage the value it brings to clients.
Hybrid Advice: Productivity
The growing pressure on advice firms to consider how best to use digital within their operating models is not new. Efforts to attract the mass market, expectations of younger investors and the need to reduce costs have all formed pressures to date. This article is the first in three on Hybrid Advice during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Future of Value Assessment and Product Governance
Many UK Authorised Fund Managers (AFMs) have now completed their first ever Assessments of Value (AoV). Asset managers are now considering how to streamline future work and efficiently integrate it with wider Product Governance. Speak to our experts here at Alpha to find out more.
Alpha Digital Readiness Survey 2020
Digital Transformation is a key theme which links various factors currently driving change in Asset Management. The third year of Alpha’s Digital Readiness Survey provides a unique barometer of how far the Asset Management industry is progressing with its Digital Transformation journey. Speak to our experts here at Alpha to find out more.
The ESG Regulatory Landscape: Are you ready to comply and are you prepared to compete?
Alpha’s ESG SMEs discuss the key themes of ESG regulation and ask if Asset Managers are ready to meet the new, elevated standards coming into place across the industry.
Hedge Funds See 300% Growth in Digital Client Engagement
The COVID-19-induced lockdown has been the catalyst for an unprecedented spike in the adoption of digital channels by investors, including fund subscription solutions and the use of investor portals. Hedge funds seeking ‘Operational Alpha’ will ride this wave to higher net flows and revenue.
Fund Ranges & Responsible Investing in 2020: What you need to know to stay ahead
The Responsible Investing product landscape is changing and firms should ensure they are well-prepared to tackle the challenges that this will bring. Alpha discuss four key facets of change within Responsible Investing revealed by the recently conducted 2020 Product Trends Survey
Product Trends in 2020
Alpha questioned 17 major asset management houses on what they believed the trends in Product would be in the coming year, our ‘Product Trends in 2020’ report details the findings.
Hybrid Advice: Operating Model
The growing pressure on advice firms to consider how best to use digital within their operating models is not new. Efforts to attract the mass market, expectations of younger investors and the need to reduce costs have all formed pressures to date. This article is the second in a series of three articles on Hybrid Advice during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Steps to Success: Embedding Agile Effectively in Investment Management
Alpha have developed a framework for the effective embedding of agile within the Investment Management industry. This ensures that the changes you want to make land well and are sustainable. One thing we have learnt is that “agile can be fragile”, so this approach is designed to deliver a transformation that can last and produce the right kind of benefits. Read on to learn more.
From Manufacturing to Mining: Asset Management Data Strategies Reach for ‘Knowledge Alpha’
Our Data Operations Survey explored how far asset managers have come in establishing foundations for data management, across both technology infrastructure and governance. In total, 33 asset managers participated from Europe and the US including 11 firms with headquarters in the UK. This article presents our key findings and the main themes from the research.
M&A in Unprecedented Times
Governments around the world are taking unprecedented emergency peacetime measures as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Whether bullish or bearish, the effect on mergers and acquisitions (M&A) is likely to be profound. Speak to our experts here at Alpha to find out more.
Scale Up or Sink Fast: Opportunities for European Fund Management Companies
The ManCo industry has real potential for M&A activity. Our Alpha M&A SMEs across London and Luxembourg offices have shared where we see these opportunities arising for the ManCo industry and step through some best practices for evaluating them. See our latest report for a full review or get in touch with our experts here at Alpha.
COVID-19: Embracing a new way of working and understanding the lasting impact
COVID-19 thrust the Asset & Wealth Management industry into working remotely more quickly, extremely and fully than many of us thought possible just a few months ago. After a stressful few weeks for both leaders and employees experimenting with how to balance the COVID-19-related impacts on their personal and professional lives whilst working from home, many organisations are now successfully bedded into a remote way of life. Get in touch with our experts at Alpha to find out more.
Calculating Operating Cost Synergies
Operating cost synergies are a common deal driver. Yet the availability of information can often make them complex to calculate. In this piece, Alpha’s M&A SMEs set out some pointers on how to best approach establishing the overall cost reduction.
Remote Wellbeing: From Surviving to Thriving
Remote working, virtual meetings, and social distancing have become our ‘new normal’ during the unprecedented times under COVID-19. This has brought with it a myriad of challenges that companies are now trying to navigate without experience or best practice to guide them. Speak to our experts here at Alpha to find out more.
Operational Resilience – Regulation, Risk, and Recovery
Operational Resilience is firmly at the top of the Asset and Wealth Management agenda following recent events; however, this has been a developing ‘hot topic’ for the FCA over the past few years.
ESG and Responsible Investing in UK Wealth Management: Extensive Thought, Limited Action
Due to increasing client demand and upcoming regulatory changes, Alpha engaged a small group of UK Wealth Managers during Q1 2020 to explore how these firms were progressing their Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) and RI efforts. The findings indicate a wide spread of activity, but with only a small number who could be classified as having made good progress.
Delivering Business Intelligence to Executive Stakeholders
Wealth and Asset Managers have made significant improvements to both core business systems and the management of data and are now looking at ways to surface data in a way that provides meaningful and actionable insights to senior executives.
Technology and Remote Working
Technology will have been top of mind for many organisations and employees over the last month, as we all find ourselves navigating a new remote-working reality. Now more than ever, technology is pivotal in keeping us all connected and keeping the show on the road.
Rebates: Getting it Right. On Time. Every Time.
Rebates and commissions are commonplace in the asset management industry, but many firms find them costly, complex, and time-consuming to manage. With distributors now ranking managers on rebate servicing quality, the cost of errors is high.
Remote Working – Example Best Practices
Alpha recently published an article discussing the ‘new normal’ for organisations brought about by the COVID-19 global pandemic and called out four key areas of challenge. In recent weeks, Alpha has been working with clients and has gained a unique view of the most effective practices that allow businesses to continue and develop in these unprecedented times.
Alpha FMC hires Nick Dekker as Director
Alpha FMC (“Alpha”), the global leader in asset and wealth management consulting, today announces the hire of Nick Dekker, a well-respected industry distribution and risk expert. Nick joins Alpha as a Director, to lead the Distribution Operations proposition in the UK. Nick joins from KPMG, where he has spent a decade working within their Asset Management Consulting team, focusing on efficiency savings and risk reduction in Distribution and Operations functions.
FinTech in Illiquid Alternatives: Now is the Time to End Reliance on Excel
Alternative Investment firms are looking to improve their end to end operating model efficiency by formalising succession plans, better-integrating analytics, and making use of digital and big data tools. Our Alts team tell us more.
Alpha FMC hires Claire Wallace as Director
Alpha FMC further strengthens its growing Regulatory Compliance practice with the hire of Claire Wallace as Director.
Optimising Product Launches
The need to maintain a relevant product range is increasing the pressure on asset managers to make new launches a success. Alpha outline five main reasons why challenges in launching new products and mandates continue to be an industry problem.
ESG Data: Are you set up for success?
The ESG performance of firms has been increasingly tracked in recent years. Alpha’s SMEs examine some of the barriers to effective ESG data integration and outline some key considerations for success.
Women in Business – Best Practice Heatmap
Alpha’s Gender Equality Committee has been working on our ‘Women in Business – Best Practice Heatmap’; a ‘toolkit’ of initiatives to promote gender equality and non-discrimination against women in the workplace.
COVID-19: Collaboration in Isolation
Over the last few weeks, we have witnessed the rapid development of the COVID-19 crisis across the world. Alpha looks at some of the themes emerging through the day-to-day shuffle towards a “New Normal”.
Leadership in Agile: 6 Things to Get Right
Agile has promised to make organisations better able to cope with a constantly changing environment, and transform employee engagement, financial results and organisational longevity – but like all change, it needs committed leadership to succeed.
ESG: 8 Tips for Effective Communication
The importance of integrating ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) has unquestionably grown for investors. Alpha’s SMEs share why it is essential for Asset Managers to effectively communicate their strategy.
Enterprise Agility: Delivering Change for Asset & Wealth Managers
Our 2019 Digital Readiness Survey revealed that 91% of firms are exploring agile initiatives, yet only 5% consider themselves mature Agile Leaders. But what conclusions can we draw from these statistics?
Enterprise Agility: State of Play for 2020
In recent years, changes have swept through the financial services industry, requiring firms to think about how they operate. To adapt, firms have had to become more responsive and ‘agile’.
The Alpha Outlook 2020
Our industry is facing significant changes: the need to digitise, the need to respond to fee and margin pressure, and the changing needs and expectations of customers.
Wealth Management Transformation: An Open-Ecosystem Approach
The challenge for Wealth Managers today? Balancing the exciting pursuit of front-facing opportunities to enhance the client experience, while simultaneously addressing core legacy systems, culture and talent gaps.
Accountability and Conduct: The End of the Beginning
The Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR) is now live for all FCA-regulated firms in the UK. Is this the end of the journey? We don’t think so.
Value Assessment: What Next?
As asset managers conclude their Value Assessment design phase and start to move into implementation, many are starting to ask, ‘what next?’. Alpha’s SMEs discuss how to take the approach defined on paper and translate it into practice.
Alpha Joins The Panel of The Sutton Trust Pathways to Banking and Finance Conference 2019
2019 marks the second year that Alpha has joined the panel of the Sutton Trust’s annual ‘Pathways to Banking and Finance’ conference to inspire high-achieving young people from less advantaged backgrounds.
Pre-Deal M&A: Reinventing Operations Due Diligence
Due diligence of a Target is often limited to revenue and assets, with the cost base treated to cursory year-on-year trend analysis. Even when Operations and IT due diligence is commissioned, we believe the current approach misses three key areas.
Alpha acquires leading cloud SAAS business Obsidian Solutions Limited
Alpha strengthens product offering with acquisition of Obsidian, a leading cloud-based SaaS business.
Pricing in Wealth Management
Wealth Managers are now increasing their focus on customer growth and the exploration of operational efficiencies. Intrinsically linked with these themes is the subject of pricing.
Pre-Deal to Post-Merger: Key Opportunities for The Front Office in M&A
Having led some of the most complex end-to-end integrations in the industry, Alpha has identified several considerations which will help contribute to successful integration.
Alpha FMC launches dedicated Pensions and Retail Investments Practice
Alpha announces the launch of a dedicated Pensions and Retail Investments Practice. Bruce Davies and Dan Mahony have joined as Directors.
Alpha FMC hires Arnaud de Batz as a Director in the Paris Office
Alpha announces the appointment of Arnaud de Batz as a Director in their Paris Office. Arnaud has 25 years of experience in financial markets.
Celebrating One Year On
It has been over a year since the partnership with The Lucy Faithfull Foundation (LFF) formally concluded in January 2018 and we have been thrilled to look back and consider all that has been achieved in that time.
Strong Foundations: The Rise of ESG and Responsibility in Investing
89% of firms say they will be devoting additional resources to sustainable investing in the next 1-2 years. Alpha has identified three broad investment approaches that incorporate ESG and/or sustainability factors.
Alpha FMC hires Paul Tan as a Director to strengthen its offering in Singapore
Alpha announces the appointment of Paul Tan as a Director for its Asia Pacific regional team. Paul brings 15 years of experience to Alpha, having served global, regional and domestic financial institutions across Asia.
Content Management: How to Avoid the Content ‘Cul-de-Sac’
By thinking about published content as the sum of its parts and looking at documents as blocks of data on the page, you can take steps to better navigate the path ahead.
Digital in Wealth Management – Cutting Through the Hype
We have ridden the wave of hype around digital and are beginning to better understand how new technology and ways of working can be introduced to augment and improve customer experience, increase efficiency and drive profitability.
The State of Digital Readiness of the Asset Management Industry 2019
Digital Transformation is a key theme which links various factors currently driving change in Asset Management. This survey is designed to be a barometer of how far the industry is progressing with its digital transformation journey.
Alpha FMC hires Emma Haffenden to strengthen its benchmarking practice
Alpha announces the hire of Emma Haffenden, a well-respected industry benchmarking expert. Emma has joined as a Senior Manager to broaden the types of benchmarking that Alpha currently undertakes.
Alpha FMC acquires specialist consultancy Axxsys
Alpha has acquired specialist consultancy Axxsys – recognised industry leaders in Simcorp-related implementation and advisory support.
The Next Generation Private Equity Investor
Alpha’s SMEs look at the impact and opportunities of the ‘Next Generation’ of Private Equity investors, which includes family offices, retail investors and pension funds, as well as how Alpha can help utilise this growing market.
MiFID II Research Unbundling: a few miles down the road
In almost every asset class investment research plays an important role as a source of intelligence and guidance for investing. Recently, new European regulations in the form of MiFID II have changed a lot in this field.
Alpha launches dedicated ETF & Indexing Practice
Alpha strengthens market offering with dedicated ETF & Indexing Practice to respond to the growing significance of index funds and ETFs, and demand for consulting support from clients.
Happy Birthday MiFID II
MiFID II came into force just over one year ago, bringing over 30,000 pages of regulation with it. While asset and wealth managers achieved a great deal in preparation for go-live and throughout the year, it is fair to say the journey has just begun.
Dutch asset managers still in early stages of digital transformation
Research from Alpha FMC shows that Dutch firms see the benefits of digital, but lag behind other European asset managers in allocating resources. Alpha investigates the main barriers to becoming a digital innovator.
Alpha continues global expansion with new hire: Bastiaan Aalders
Alpha has strengthened its offering in Europe with a new Director: Bastiaan Aalders, who has been appointed to extend Alpha’s consulting service offering to Asset and Wealth Managers across the region.
Alpha launches dedicated FinTech & Innovation Practice
Alpha announces the formal launch of its new dedicated FinTech & Innovation Practice. Led by Director Olivia Vinden, the Practice will initially focus on four key themes: Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Automation & Robotics, and FinTech Partnerships.
Buy-side Automation: Some Inspiration
Manual processing adds cost, risk and time. Not to mention it’s really boring – and your staff could be deployed to more high-value work. Here at Alpha we are helping clients with their automation objectives in a number of ways.
Make the Complex Simple: Performance Measurement, Attribution and Risk (PMAR)
The ability to understand the key drivers of performance and risk is fundamental to the investment management process – but calculating accurate value-add analytics can raise significant challenges for technology, data and process.
Client Experience and Digital Operating Model
A major global asset manager wanted to redesign their strategic governance and core Digital, Sales, Marketing & Client Services processes with the aim of improving the overall client experience, focusing sales & improving internal efficiencies.
Target Operating Model & Marketing Technology Assessment
Following merger activity, this global asset manager engaged Alpha to define the new target operating model for their Global Marketing function, focusing on becoming digital- and data-led.
Wealth Management: The Challenges of MiFID II Costs & Charges
For those firms that get it right, there is an opportunity to highlight competitive advantages, engage with your clients to discuss their other providers and possibilities for increased wallet share with new or further investment opportunities.
Client Data Maturity
Buzzwords such as AI, machine learning, blockchain and ‘big data’ are everywhere and are quickly attracting the attention of corporate investment. Data is transforming every industry and Asset Management is no different.
M&A: A Toolkit for Integration – Operations
Alpha have led some of the most complex operations integration programmes in the industry. Our experts share some of the essential toolkit that helps ensure that these programmes are run and completed successfully.
Technology and data are changing the Distribution organisation, giving Asset Managers valuable business awareness and client insight that is influencing Sales & Marketing activity and attributing to real growth in AUM.
Gender Equality in the Workplace
In May 2018, Alpha’s Gender Equality Committee ran a “Collaborating in the Workplace” survey designed by Dr Jill Armstrong, a Cambridge Fellow specialising in gender studies.
Wealth Management: Challenges Overview
Alpha’s Wealth Management experts summarise the key challenges Wealth Managers are currently facing, including pressured margins, regulations and changing clients. Find out how Alpha can help our Wealth Management clients.
Diversity & Inclusion Programme: Partnership with The Sutton Trust
Earlier this year, the Alpha Diversity & Inclusion programme formally launched its partnership with The Sutton Trust – a pioneering educational charity dedicated to improving social mobility and achieving equality of opportunity.
Advanced Business Intelligence in Asset Management Distribution
As the asset management industry faces tighter margins and an increasingly digital client landscape, effectively leveraging data has become crucial to remaining competitive.
System consolidation enables the asset manager of the future
Asset managers are increasingly seeking not just to reduce the cost of their systems, but also to maximise the value provided. Find out how effective system consolidation and intelligent op model design can enable the asset manager of the future.
Value for Money in Outsourcing
Ensuring value for money is an essential part of negotiating an outsourcing tariff. But how do you know if you are getting a ‘fair deal’, without going through a lengthy and labour-intensive RFP process?
The Problem with KPIs
Service KPIs form the basis of service reporting for most outsourced relationships. A good KPI set must be effective in identifying healthy (or unhealthy) functioning of the service – and this is sometimes trickier than it first appears.
Regulatory Reporting and Disclosures
Regulators across the globe expect increasing volumes of complex reporting to regulatory bodies and clients/investors. Find out how to achieve cost efficient compliance with strong governance and control.
Do you have a FinTech Strategy and is it any good?
There’s a lot in the news about fintech, but looking at the buy-side there’s not much evidence that it’s changing the way we work. Here at Alpha we have put together our ‘must haves’ of a good fintech strategy.
Fintech Strategy – laying the technology groundwork
Gone are the days of multi-year waterfall projects, overnight batch processing and on-prem customised installations. The technology stack of the modern firm will be based on cloud, APIs and microservices.
Senior Managers and Certification Regime
In October 2015, the government announced that its Senior Managers and Certification Regime would be extended to Investment Managers, Insurers and Consumer Credit firms. Alpha’s experts summarise the key considerations of SMCR.
Compliance Data Model: Asset Tree
The power of a structured compliance system data model design is often underestimated. Set-up correctly, it can be a source of quality and efficiency for Asset Managers Investment Compliance Monitoring and Coding programme.
Digital Transformation Top Priority for Asset Managers
The industry is shifting its focus to investing in customer experience via digital transformation, with 85% of surveyed Asset Managers saying that improved client engagement was a key benefit from digital transformation.