ENTREPRISES & STRATÉGIES — Technologies

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In the investment industry, cutting costs is often the first response to competitive pressures. But today’s asset managers and asset servicers must also simultaneously adapt to ever-intensifying regulations, on top of shifting their product ranges to the new green paradigm.

What is unified transversal data, and why does it matter?

In the investment industry, cutting costs is often the first response to competitive pressures. But today’s asset managers and asset servicers must also simultaneously adapt to ever-intensifying regulations, on top of shifting their product ranges to the new green paradigm. These complex regulatory demands have already raised the level of data management from a river to a flood, and the addition of ESG reporting will escalate the rush of data to a torrent. And if that weren’t enough, the increasingly interdependent global distribution chain is endlessly hungry for accurate information around the clock.

Despite the instinctive calls to cut costs, firms find themselves dedicating more resources, more staff and systems, to manage the rising data flows. Legacy systems can be propped up only so much, so Excel sheets are used as manual patches across operational gaps to validate and revalidate data from start to finish. And yet, even with these multiple gates and checkpoints, trust in the information is limited. Back- and middle-office employees consistently question the reliability of the data: What’s the source? When did it change? Who changed it? Why? Where?

Data or die?

While Peter Drucker’s adage “innovate or die” has been echoing through most industries and spotlighted on many board agendas, it appears that the lesser-known variant “data or die” might in fact be a truer determinant of meeting client expectations going forward. Conventional wisdom holds that firms must adapt and survive by transforming into “data-driven organisations”. But what does this mean? And can it be achieved just by decree? If we send a memo, saying “we are data-driven now,” does that make it so?

“In a truly data-driven company, data governance tasks and functions are pushed up as far as possible in the value chain,” explains Nicolas Buck, CEO of SEQVOIA. “This establishes a clean and reliable data set with minimal gaps and redundancies, very early in the relevant processes. The trusted data are then circulated downstream, feeding processes, and informing decisions.”

He continues: “In the asset management sector, establishment of a coherent data strategy must start in the product space. But this is one of the least-evolved functions in the industry, in terms of dedicated systems and formalised data management. Imagine the advantages that can be generated by truly embracing a data-centric view in this space.”

In the asset management sector, establishment of a coherent data strategy must start in the product space.
Nicolas Buck

Nicolas Buck,  CEO,  Seqvoia

Mr. Buck visualises a world where product teams define investment products quickly and efficiently, and disseminate clean, consistent information to all consumers. Leadership monitors product performance and company health with confidence, using status reports and dashboards accurately reflecting near-real-time conditions. Operational functions transform received data into disclosure documents, reports for clients and boards, and other outputs as a fast, cost-effective assembly line.

Vidi, intellexi, valui

“When we talk about implementing systems, we don’t just mean technology,” Mr. Buck says. “To succeed in data transformation, best-in-class software must be considered in combination with the human workflows that require data interaction. Only then will your organisation’s information become transparent, shareable, intuitive, and meaningful. It’s only when someone sees your data in context and adds meaning to it that it becomes valuable. That’s when you get knowledge!”  

To succeed in data transformation, best-in-class software must be considered in combination with the human workflows that require data interaction.
Nicolas Buck

Nicolas Buck,  CEO,  Seqvoia

With the goal of helping players in the financial industry acquire such knowledge, Seqvoia has developed a product management solution that enables asset management companies to begin the data transformation – digitalising manual processes, managing product life cycle, and integrating data into the product value chain. It bridges data silos, creates connectivity, and allows asset managers to turn data into knowledge. “You see, you understand, and you succeed.”

Specifically, Summit allows firms to operate from a single consolidated golden data source: unified transversality. This means that all authorised data consumers – people, applications, or processes – leverage one consistent pool of information across the enterprise. Summit employs state-of-the-art semantics in its data architecture, making it source-agnostic and thus rapidly expandable and scalable over time. The true added value of Summit is making the provenance and lineage of data fully transparent to users.

“That’s what I’m referring to when I talk about embracing opportunities that could change the competitive parameters of the entire industry,” Mr. Buck concludes. “Summit will free you from the burden of constant reactivity. You’ll win back precious time that you can spend on true value-adding activities to benefit your business – proactively embracing opportunities that will set you apart.”