Outlook 2019: Gary Casagrande, Confluence
Gary Casagrande is vice president of global market strategy at Confluence.
What was the most important lesson of 2018?
By learning how to accommodate the fundamental change to their processes represented by N-PORT and N-CEN, virtually every US asset management firm can now use their new thinking, technologies, and processes to handle any new regulations that come at them from anywhere around the world. These 2018 successes will play out in 2019 as repeatable processes of other new data delivery and management requirements.
How should this year be known?
The new year will be known as “The Year of the Investment Management Industry Going Digital.”
There is an awful lot of automation, data flow, responsive design, user experience and connectivity issues the industry will be sorting out this year.
In 2018, following the momentum built in reaction to SEC Modernization and the work done for the past two years to get ready for it, many firms and the industry at-large has made significant progress toward becoming more digital. In 2019, big questions will continue to surround this aspect of all investment management operations, back office included, especially as investment managers determine their approach to shareholder reporting and operations relative to Rule 30-e3’s paperless options.
That said, the overall, long-term vision is clear: provide instant access to real-time investment information anytime, anywhere and from any device for all industry participants (including front-, middle- and back-office staff, institutional and Main Street investors, and regulators).
Scalability, privacy, standards, and regulatory comfort remain the highest hurdles to adoption.
Staff buy-in is as important as the technology.
Big banks, not Robo-advisors, may pose the biggest threat to traditional financial advisors.
Many firm labor under outdated assumptions regarding clients' online appetite.
New regulations will push digitalization to the forefront.