As the provider of Reporting as a Service (RaaS) a cloud-based client and fund reporting solution, we meet and talk to a lot of investment firms about their reporting and broader client communications. Always on the agenda is: what they’re doing now and what they aspire to do in the future. Because of this we obtain a good sense of the current reporting trends and it’s always interesting to step back occasionally and consider the effect of these current reporting trends. The purpose of this blog is to provide a high-level view of the trends that we see.
Fund reporting – “standardise and industrialise”. Many firms we speak with are struggling to produce even a fraction of the fund reports that their business and clients want and need. For example, the sales teams expect a factsheet for every shareclass, produced in every language for every region the fund is registered in. Clients and/or investors want the same – a single factsheet that is entirely relevant to them in the appropriate language and for the shareclass/es they are invested in.
Typically, we observe, investment firms that struggle to produce the full complement of required factsheets, also struggle with consistency and timeliness for the subset of factsheets they are able to produce each month. This, most commonly, is because the production process is flawed and it’s the same constraints and issues that prevent them from producing volume that also limits consistency and timeliness. Similarly, we see firms producing factsheets on a quarterly basis, rather than the industry standard of monthly. Again, this limitation is generally caused by a weak and labour-intensive production process, that hinders frequency and scale.
So, to conclude for fund reporting, we believe this trend can be summarised as a desire and need to standardise and industrialise. Standardise in terms of ensuring that each variation of factsheet is consistent in terms of branding, layout, terms used and the production and sign off process. Industrialise in terms of having a volume insensitive and highly automated process for the preparation, production, review, sign off and distribution process of all the required factsheets.
Client reporting – “personalise and optimise”. Firms we meet aspire to produce personalised client reports that both describe and explain their investment process while also being tailored to provide the client with the information they require, in precisely the way the client wants to receive and view it. So, the personalisation has two dimensions, personalised to the investment firm and their investment process, their messaging and of course, their branding, and also personalised to the client – so that the report exactly matches their investments, expectations and requirements.
The optimise element refers to the report production process – the levels of personalisation described above can often be complex and demanding, and if undertaken manually, very difficult to achieve reliably, accurately and in a timely manner to meet or beat report despatch deadlines. The optimise element can only reliably be achieved if the two personalisation elements are highly or entirely automated. Only through the deployment of a flexible and configurable solution offering highly detailed levels of personalisation, both for the investment firm and their clients, can the production process be considered reliable, accurate and timely.
It is simply not possible to achieve the desired levels of standardisation and production industrialisation that fund reports such as factsheets demand, combined with the flexibility and efficiency that supports the personalisation and optimisation that client reports demand with manual and/or legacy processes and inflexible reporting systems. Reporting as a Service (RaaS) from Opus Nebula addresses these trends and more. If you are struggling with any of the current reporting trends noted above, please contact us and we can explain how quick and straight-forward it is to move to a cloud based, modern, flexible reporting solution.