Research management platforms poised for 100 per cent adoption among asset managers in next two years 

Asset managers are rapidly implementing dedicated research management platforms as the push to automate investment team workflows expands across the front-office, according to results from the 2020 Investor Survey: Modernising Research Management report, published by MackeyRMS.

Of the larger asset managers that participated in this survey, 39 per cent said that their firm implemented a third-party research management platform to enable their team to work from anywhere. Only improved workflow efficiency (50 per cent) and better data security (44 per cent) ranked higher. Similarly, 32 per cent of respondents from funds managing $20 billion or more said the need for full-featured mobile usability was a major trigger for implementing a third-party platform.

The 2020 Investor Survey was commissioned by MackeyRMS, the leading provider of research management technology for actively managed investment portfolios; and conducted by Market Measurement, an independent market research and consulting firm. A total of 100 interviews were conducted with investing, technology, operations and compliance professionals in the asset management industry to assess their views and plans for improving internal research management processes.
The majority of survey respondents (74 per cent) reported that their firm uses a dedicated research management application today. That group was divided between asset managers who have implemented a third-party solution (57 per cent) and those who have built one in-house (17 per cent).
Among the asset managers that don’t use a dedicated platform today, 96 per cent said their firm was likely to extremely likely to evaluate adopting a third-party system in the next 24 months. All respondents from asset managers who built an in-house system said the same.
“Our commissioned survey makes it clear that the asset management industry is serious about modernising the research management process,” says Chris Mackey, founder and CEO of MackeyRMS. “The drivers for this change — the need for accessibility, transparency and work-from-anywhere usability — are consistent with other front office modernisation initiatives undertaken across the investment enterprise in recent years.”
Survey results also underscored the usability benefits that SaaS-based research management platforms provide. Half (50 per cent) of the individuals whose firm implemented a SaaS-based platform said they use the system daily, compared to only 14 per cent of respondents whose firm implemented a desktop application model. Of respondents using a desktop application, 27 per cent said they only use the platform on a monthly basis, while 9 per cent said they log in once a quarter.
Other notable results from the survey:

• 33 per cent of asset managers using a third-party research management platform implemented it within the last two years.

• Only 18 per cent of firms using a third-party solution say that the platform was in place more than four years ago.

• 88 per cent of asset managers using a third-party research management system say it speeds up their response to regulatory inquiries.

• Only 59 per cent of asset managers using a proprietary research management tool say their platform speeds up their regulatory responsiveness.

• 27 per cent of asset managers not using any research management tools say responding can take up to or more than two weeks.

“The value that a modern, SaaS-based, full-featured mobile platform can deliver to investment organisations has rarely been as apparent as it has been during the last few weeks, with organisations having to quickly shift to working from home in the wake of recent market disruption,” Mackey adds. “Events like these underscore our value proposition, and we are proud of the manner in which our clients have transitioned during these events.”