09.26.2016
By Rob Daly

Buy-Side Goal: Back-Office Automation

Achieving back-office automation over the next two years remains the top priority for 61% of the buy-side participants in the fourth bi-annual client survey conducted by investment data management platform provider Confluence.

Todd Moyer, executive vice president, global business development at Confluence, found it interesting that over the past eight years that buy-side firms have not solved their self-identified top priority.

Todd Moyer, Confluence

Todd Moyer, Confluence

“As we dug further into the responses we received, we saw that they were taking a more data-focused approach,” he said. “They are looking to get their data right before evaluating and consolidating their fragmented infrastructure.”

According to the 2016 survey results, 71% of those polled state that it was important to consolidate fund data into a common database, which is up from 50% in the original 2008 survey. Approximately two-thirds, 69%, of the respondents also stated that they had started moving fund data onto such a database, which again is up 50% from 2008.

In fact, 44% of those polled listed data consolidation as their top priority, which is up from 24% in 2014.

“Looking at the data and the percent of the increase, it was just overwhelming,” said Moyer.

Any advancement in back-office automate likely will be the result of the work firms do around data and technology consolidation, he added.

Although many of those polled cited controlling costs as the major driver for their priorities; Moyer thinks that the concerns probably bleeds more over into creating better efficiency within the back office.

“It’s a desire to handle the concerns that stem from manual procedures, especially spreadsheets and other things outside of the automated systems,” he said. “Of those who responded, 91% indicated that it affected their ability to control errors and 81% indicated that the manual processes also affect their ability to control costs.”

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