Recently, I have witnessed a trend towards the globalisation of client reporting system procurement, where asset managers select one vendor then utilise that platform in different regions around the world. The purchase of such an enterprise software solution stems from organisations taking a look at their regional needs and seeking to centralise much of their reporting.
Even in situations where we start a conversation with an asset manager on a strictly regional basis, almost overnight it can become a global deal. We experience scenarios where, for example, the procurement process starts in the US, but the client quickly involves the French and the UK teams to see if the system can meet their needs also.
There are, of course, some small boutique firms that operate under their own brand but are part of a much bigger enterprise; such firms often maintain their own client reporting system. Increasingly, however, there is a shift in the market away from having multiple platforms within the same firm.
The message seems to be ‘think regional, buy global’. In other words, an asset manager may have regional requirements that are very specific to its market (be it the clients’ language, particular workflows or data handling idiosyncrasies), but there are solutions in the market that will solve those regional requirements whilst making a single global selection possible.
There will always be situations where, due to investment strategy, jurisdiction or asset class, a more bespoke platform will be needed by certain entities. By overcoming the silos that commonly exist in large investment management firms, however, it is often possible to utilise software that can adapt to the complex requirements of the business without compromise.
By Ben McCormack, Senior Vice President, Client Services, Vermilion Software Inc.