From the Wires
Fund Administration Technology Comes of Age in 2013, Predicts Confluence
By: Business Wire
Jan. 9, 2013 08:08 AM
In 2013, global demands for instant access to customized data in an evolving asset management industry will further drive fund administrators’ growing need for cloud technologies and automated processes, according to Confluence, the industry’s leading provider of data management solutions. As asset managers face an increasing number of data-driven demands from regulators and investors, they will be compelled to adopt new technologies with enhanced speed and frequency in 2013. The result: a “coming-of-age” period for fund administrators.
“This year marks a pivotal time for the adoption of technology in the fund administration back office,” said Skip Smith, EVP of Product Development for Confluence. “Fund administration technology is coming of age and will provide forward-looking fund administrators with a strategic competitive edge.”
Confluence sees 2013 as pivotal year for fund administrators in three areas:
Industry to Close Technology Gap on Expense Processing for Greater Efficiency, Accuracy and Control
Fund boards and investors today require a microscopic view of fund expenses. With an intensified focus on expense analysis and cost control, fund administrators are challenged to provide increased transparency, precision, and efficiency, and fund boards are challenged to control expenses. These demands have rendered standard approaches to expense processing that rely on spreadsheets and manual processes obsolete.
Confluence predicts that 2013 will be a pivotal year in which fund administrators abandon outdated, error-prone manual processes and spreadsheets in favor of automated expense processing systems. In the new automated age of expense processing, fund administrators will be able to increase the levels of transparency, accuracy and responsiveness while significantly improving efficiency of their operations. While most large fund companies can manage expenses for 35-50 funds per person, expense automation has the potential to allow one person to process expenses for up to 100 funds.
Explosion in Financial Data and Demands for Data Access Presents Huge Challenge for Industry.
In recent years, the financial industry overall has needed to find ways to deal with the explosion of data in business and the world at large, as well as the requests often placed on that data. The amount of data available in the world is growing at a rate of about 50 percent a year, or more than doubling every two years, estimates IDC, a technology research firm. With so much growth in data, fund administrators specifically now find themselves overwhelmed not only by the incoming flow of information, but also the increasing demands that regulators and investors are placing on those streams. In response, the industry will need to abandon antiquated spreadsheet methods and adopt innovative technological solutions.
Cloud Technology Pushes Fund Administrators into the Future.
As asset management has evolved with an increasing focus on the investor and transparency, round-the-clock data availability and control are clearly key differentiators for remaining competitive. With the proliferation and improvement of cloud technologies – especially through the Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery model – fund administrators now have the tools they need to work smarter for their clients, and in turn, drive business objectives.
SaaS is a widely recognized core component of the future IT landscape and market share in enterprise applications and adoption is expected to grow significantly in the coming years. The overall SaaS market will increase three-fold to $92.8 billion by 2016, according to a 2011 study by independent research firm Forrester Research.
For fund administrators, the availability of cloud-based applications will allow for greater global scalability, accessibility and flexibility in their outsourcing options. With cloud-based applications, the job of deploying an application and keeping it running from day to day—managing upgrades, monitoring performance, ensuring high availability, and so forth. By relieving fund administrators of the IT burden they can focus on what matters most – their business.
“In past years, we’ve seen fund administration technology grow and change due to economic issues and regulatory needs. While these remain concerns for fund administrators, it’s clear that this year is really about how fund administrators can use technology to better prepare manage their data and prepare for the future,” said Smith.
Founded in 1991, Confluence is a global leader in fund administration automation. Confluence helps investment management companies gain unprecedented control by automating every step of the fund administration process—including the collection, creation, confirmation, and delivery of investment product data. Results are lower costs, reduced risk, decreased reporting turnaround times, and the scalability to automate more processes without additional resources. Confluence solutions are used by 40 percent of the leading global investment managers, and more than 60 percent of U.S. mutual funds. The Unity® platform from Confluence addresses a wide range of problems from performance measurement to customized reporting for a full array of domestic and international managed investment products, including mutual funds, funds of funds, collective funds, separate accounts, and variable products, as well as hedge funds and other alternative investments. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, Confluence serves the international fund industry with key locations in San Francisco, CA, London and Luxembourg. For more information, visit www.confluence.com.
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