Welcome to our final blog of the year. As 2020 draws to a close we thought it would be useful to look back over our year of publications, e-book and blogs and seek to highlight and link the key points made, summarise the messages and draw some conclusions.

2020 Year in Review LinkedIn

The year started with the publication of our Untrue Efficiency e-book. Many investment firms believe they are efficient, but they are not. Two key areas we examined in this book were Organisational Efficiency and Operational Efficiency. Simply put, Organisational efficiency – doing the right things and Operational Efficiency – doing the right things right. Easily said but not so easily measured or put right.

Another key observation within the e-book was that employees, departments, functions and entire organisations are constantly asked to deliver more, more detail, more data, more analysis, more timely. The time released through previous technology improvements is now absorbed by the increased depth of information required and so investment firms need to make use of further technological advances to find the right blend of people and machine and eliminate wastage.

Also, the e-book identifies and describes the “complexity trap”. As a business grows, meetings, metrics, red-tape and so forth increase, creating inefficiency in processes once designed to be exactly the opposite. Complexity is the ultimate enemy of efficiency. By removing complexity, firms can perform better and more efficiently. It frees up time and resource which can be used to increase profit or to develop and grow the business through the provision of deeper and better-quality work or increased client service.

In April we published an efficiency infographic, as a picture is often said to be worth a thousand words. This infographic outlined key steps and activities to identify inefficient practices within an investment firm, and how to set about addressing them. We have already identified the close linkage between business efficiency and operational simplicity and published a further infographic to reinforce this key message. We followed with a 90 second video, which further explained the many causes of complexity within client and fund reporting and how Reporting as a Service simplifies all investment reporting.

We all want to improve efficiency, but where to start? May’s blog highlighted a number of common areas where inefficiency thrives, and what to look for. Remember, improving efficiency is not a one-off exercise but an on-going activity and process.

We had already noted that high levels of automation improve operational efficiency and the automation infographic we produced in July clearly represented the 6 key steps in automated investment reporting.

Necessity is the mother of invention. September’s blog recognised the huge steps some investment firms had taken in a relatively short time to address the pressures brought on by the global pandemic and the enforced home working. However, the blog also recognised that many investment firms were still struggling to cope with the new normal, and this was particularly damaging as accurate and timely reporting to investors and clients was of paramount importance at this time.

Our closest shave yet, could equally have been washing whiter than ever before. This phrase was chosen to describe improvements to our user interface. Whilst the original interface was good, we practice what we preach and redeveloped the user interface to bring greater speed, flexibility, productivity and efficiency to the user.

We were massively proud to have been nominated for the FundTech Awards 2020, and even more proud to be commended for the Best Client Reporting Solution. We were pitched against 2 of the largest and long-standing providers in the industry. But as we’ve been saying all year, the old established models simply can’t cope with the current and future challenges.

ROI and TCO. Return on Investment and Total Cost of Ownership – very closely linked and were the subject of 2 blogs. To make an informed decision you need to understand all the costs.

Our final blog referenced the terms commonly used to describe old and inflexible systems… legacy, heritage, traditional, inherited and I’m sure many more too. Whatever the name used to describe the old systems, the issues are similar to classic cars, where owners spend lots of time, effort and cash to maintain them to perform as they did. Which is often a far cry from the modern, new and flexible equivalent which is required today.

Conclusions

The themes explored throughout our 2020 papers applied to all investment firms and to all their operational departments and activities. However, they were written with investment reporting and client communications firmly in the front of our minds. The requirement for informative, accurate and timely investment reporting and client communications has never been as important as it is today. It is often the most frequent and the main contact point between an investment firm and their clients. Clients are wanting more depth, more relevance, more personalisation and more timely reporting and communications, whilst investment firms struggle to achieve this with older systems, inefficient processes and whilst wanting to reduce their costs. As we have shown over the year, the answer to this seemingly impossible conundrum is to do more with less which was a white paper we first published in March 2017.

Reporting as a Service is a world-class Client, Fund and Regulatory Reporting solution for the investment management industry. We believe it is the only cloud-based, as a service reporting solution currently available, and represents the new benchmark for investment reporting.

Reporting as a Service brings efficiency and productivity to reporting teams so that personalised client reports and fund reports can be produced, accurately, timely and at any scale required. The pay-per-use model means that the total cost of ownership and return on investment calculations are simple and transparent and the costs overall are reduced.

As recognised by the FundTech Awards the cloud-based as a service model represents the new benchmark for the industry as the costs, risks, time and effort required for the older reporting models simply don’t add up anymore.

To find out more about Reporting as a Service and how it improves your reporting, increases your efficiency and brings scale and future-proofs your operating model, please contact demo@opus-nebula.com and we can set up a meeting and a demonstration of the solution.

Andrew Sherlock
Opus Nebula