Business process

How asset management CFOs can win big with digital transformation

As an asset management CFO, one of your biggest challenges is managing the investments of your clients – making sure they grow while mitigating risk.

However, there are other challenges looming large in your industry.

Read this article to learn about the challenges CFOs like you are facing and how digital transformation can help you and your business solve them.

Four challenges facing asset management CFOs

As a CFO, you have to deal with significant economic, regulatory and client-related challenges common to many other financial services companies. Here’s more on those areas:

1. Regulatory complexity

You’re dealing with consistently evolving regulations, with investors and clients expecting transparency and confidence in the service you provide.

2. Global market volatility

Economic uncertainty and risk increase during periods of heightened market volatility and stress.

3. Business growth

It is becoming increasingly important to differentiate your service and create a sustainable competitive advantage.

In the past few years, a select group of asset management firms have invested in new digital capabilities and talent. According to banking software company Temenos, 93% of fund administrators see investment in operational systems as essential to enhance efficiency and reduce costs.

4. Increasing customer expectations

Competition creates pressure on the fees you can charge, with clients expecting better customer experiences and service.

Fortunately, you can face these and other fundamental shifts in the asset management industry through digital transformation.

Today’s financial management software can provide continuous consolidation and multi-dimensional, real-time reporting across multi-entity funds frees up time to focus on customer service and value-add tasks.

CFO 3.0 – Digital Transformation beyond Financial Management

Download our whitepaper to learn:

  • The key trends driving the digitalisation of the finance industry
  • How and why the role of the CFO is changing
  • Why the CFO is key to driving digital transformation
  • How Millennials are influencing adoption of new technology
  • What keeps CFOs up at night – the 5 roadblocks to digital transformation
Download Whitepaper

Digitising your asset management business

In the not too distant future, everything will be digital.

This will transform the workforce, job roles and the way we do business.

The asset management industry is one of many industries preparing for a new tomorrow where companies will be empowered to do business in a different way.

If you’re facing flat or declining profitability, you can now use innovative digital tools that can deliver the right products and new services at rapid speed.

When it comes to digitisation, you need to think about your clients, legacy technology and how digital will affect your business.

A leading client experience

What kind of customer experience do you need to provide to attract and retain clients in an increasingly competitive industry? And how can digital technology help?

Seamless, coordinated and real-time access to your services across any device, at any time, will become the norm.

Your clients will expect no less than the sophistication they experience with other digital services they use every day, both at work and at home.

They may expect timely, accurate and visually sophisticated reporting, with data analytics that provides real-time access to portfolio information. They may also expect interactive access to the advisers helping them make the most of their assets.

Where there are clients, there are always challenges.

Replacing legacy technology

To fully meet customer needs and support advisers, you need to look at digital technology built for the future – technology that provides superior performance and the ability to rapidly develop new products and services.

Future-proofing an asset management business could require technology innovation in the form of even more automation.

According to a Sage survey of over 200 Australian CFOs and financial decision makers, , businesses understand how modern financial management software can enhance productivity.

Nearly three quarters (72%) of those surveyed were already using cloud technology to improve their processes, and 64% agree that harnessing new technology will improve their business.

Business leaders like you are already aware of the benefits of cloud,  such as increased cost efficiencies, flexibility, integration and security. But now you should look at embracing cloud financial management technology to empower your business. Provide your teams with the tools to excel.

Beyond the benefits for the finance department, it could also help investors and advisers easily access and more effectively use critical data and insights.

Cloud technology can help create a nimbler and more cost-effective finance function. It minimises the need for hardware and storage, providing more scalable and easily automated processes.

How digital transformation will affect your business

What’s the role of digital and where do you see it being most effective? Where can you get quick wins? How will you fund and complete projects, while taking into account the needs of your people and culture?

One thing to consider is how cloud technology can fit within your existing business infrastructure. As a financial decision maker, cloud technology can enable a connected operating environment that provides greater automation and advances via real-time insights.

When applying digital transformation to risk and compliance processes, you could solve a core need. Automation, for example, could reduce the need for manual effort when it comes to compiling data, while having your technology on a cloud platform could reduce risk and increase control.

Of course, anything you implement to increase visibility will support better decision-making – data is one of your most valuable assets.

Any digital transformation requires a handle on the culture change brought about by new ways of working technology will enable and require.

Many financial services firms are looking at agile working, for example, which could involve:

  • Using minimum viable product approaches
  • Taking iterative approaches to prototyping
  • Having the means to scale up successful pilots and proof of concepts.

Remember that top finance employees are in high demand and difficult to find. And when you add digitisation into the mix, there’s a whole new set of skill requirements that come into play, with technological literacy topping the list.

You may need to rethink your mindset.

Rather than recruiting finance professionals and trying to upskill them with IT and data knowledge, you may need to look at non-traditional avenues. It may be easier to recruit data scientists and provide them with financial training.

Your role as an asset management CFO

Digitisation is a versatile tool. From what we’ve seen in asset management, it can provide advanced analytics to improve decision-making, automation to enhance processes, and metrics for improved real-time financial information.

Experts and analysts would advise you to look for accounting software that provides continuous consolidation and multi-dimensional, real-time reporting and dashboards across multi-entity funds. Why would this be helpful?

Firstly, it would reduce risk in planning for new investments. But ultimately, it can help you enable more investments and higher returns.

Increased efficiency provides valuable insight into business operations to uncover growth opportunities. But even with all the obvious benefits, some CFOs remain reluctant to own the digitisation journey.

However, for success, you need to accept your role as both the gatekeeper and leader of digital transformation.

You need to embrace your role as a captain of emerging technology. In the asset management industry, you could witness a surge in progression that reverberates across the business.

Fail to do this and you risk being left behind.

CFO 3.0 – Digital Transformation beyond Financial Management

Download our whitepaper to learn:

  • The key trends driving the digitalisation of the finance industry
  • How and why the role of the CFO is changing
  • Why the CFO is key to driving digital transformation
  • How Millennials are influencing adoption of new technology
  • What keeps CFOs up at night – the 5 roadblocks to digital transformation
Download Whitepaper