I am looking forward to my participation in the Performance Measurement Americas (PMA) 2018 panel discussion entitled “Time for Full Automation,” which will take place Friday, March 9, at 12:05 p.m. at The Westin New York at Times Square, 270 W 43rd St., New York, NY 10036.
Putting automation around the calculation of investment performance and related data is not a new concept.
Indeed, for years, investment management firms have committed IT resources toward the efficient flow of investment accounting and benchmark index inputs to the investment performance calculation process, in order to ensure accurate, compliant, and timely reporting of this information.
However, downstream processes that leverage such information, such as client reporting and marketing materials production processes, are still, surprisingly, very manually intensive in nature. Or they rely on less sophisticated reporting tools such as Microsoft’s Excel spreadsheet and PowerPoint presentation software.
This is particularly surprising, given that:
- Accurately reporting investment performance to clients and prospects is paramount; and
- Regulators are increasingly focused on ensuring that firms have efficient processes and controls around those efforts.
Upon further investigation, the reasons as to why this continues to occur are normally centered around two separate but related themes:
- Firms are slow to employ efficiently designed, database-driven processes (or any one of the many vendor-supplied client reporting and/or marketing materials production tools available on the market); and
- There tends to be a lack of direct involvement in these processes on the part of the performance measurement teams.
Tackling either of the two issues should improve the current state of affairs, but taking the more holistic approach and accomplishing both simultaneously can more profoundly improve a firm’s entire way of going about things.
I look forward to discussing the best way to embark on these endeavors with my esteemed business/practitioner colleagues, as well as highlighting the more common challenges to success.
John Matsikas, CFA, CIPM, is senior vice president, investment performance, for Voya Investment Management, based in Windsor, Conn. For PMA 2018, he is a panelist for the “Time for Full Automation,” and the “Can Performance Measurement Tell a Story” sessions. He will also take part in a video chat from the event.