The consultant database industry
Consultant databses (CDBs) are becoming increasingly important for asset managers, as most institutional and retail investors seek consultant recommendations as the first step for shortlisting from available managers. CDBs help in the asset manager search and selection process; hence, timely and accurate maintenance of CDBs is crucial for efficient investor outreach and business growth for the Asset Management industry.
The challenge lies in managing the moving pieces: innumerable data sources and file formats and differing data classification and alignment requirements. Moreover, information has to be updated on a number of consultant databases, making this process cumbersome for asset managers to manage without professional help. This is where Acuity has made a significant difference in operational excellence, by introducing EDGE, our proprietary tool, for efificiently managing CDBs.
Recognising the challenges At Acuity, we invest in solving critical business problems for our clients. Through our relationships with asset managers, we have identified the following universal and primary concerns faced by them in making CDB updates:
inconsistent data reporting
dated information for product/firm narratives
lack of support for new product registration
coverage of only a few databases with less to no support on narratives, personnel, product addition, historical uploads, and restatements
time-consuming process: signifncant work required by clients to source input data and convert it into the consultant’s predefined templates, and then perform data quality checks
Available solutions, whether in-house or third-party, were unable to completely address all issues. At the same time, some of the solutions did not provide asset-manager-specific customisation options and required specific data formats, resulting in increased process complexity, thus increasing the workload for asset managers.
How does EDGE help the Asset Management industry?
Keeping in mind the above concerns, we combined our rich experience of managing CDB updates over many years with our in-house Business Excellence Automation Tools (“BEAT”) technology team. True to Acuity’s mantra, EDGE brought in the right mix of people, process and technology to offer a holistically managed solution, compared to a mere product-only model. Together, we have created an accurate, efficient, easy-to-use, customizable, and scalable service to support asset managers.
Our proprietary tool, EDGE, can be used for overall database management, data uploads, quality checking and maintenance. EDGE helps automate CDB and consultant narrative updates, reduces turnaround time, increases efficiency and delivers significant cost savings.
What makes EDGE an award-winning solution?
Our clients using EDGE have documented significant improvements to the existing processes and achieved 30% to 40% cost savings. Some of our biggest clients achieved major improvemments in data quality from 85% to 98%, in less than a year of using EDGE.
We were not only able to cover 100% of the consultant databases but also extend end-to-end process support, enabling managed services to free up over 70% of onshore bandwidth for some of our larger asset manager(s) clients. This service is both flexible and scalable to expand support to additional databases, as and when asset managers increase their coverage.
EDGE also supports over 60 consultant websites and is easily scalable to add new websites. It accepts data in multiple formats, maintains an efficient workflow to help track the status, provides the option to preview data points and approve any changes. Additionally, our end-to-end support brings process enhancement ideas and domain expertise to increase overall value.
Our success stories
For one of our clients--an EUR 1.5 trillion European asset manager—the time-to-market was long due to issues with unavailability of timely data. As part of our managed service, our specialists revamped data sourcing methods to cut turnaround time by 60%. The manager was also able to make 40% additional savings compared to the solution being used earlier.
Another client, a USD 620 billion US-based asset manager, reported an 87% to 99% improvement in consultant database quality over just three quarters after implementing EDGE, ensuring a feature in applicable consultant searches.
Each year, several asset managers—both large firms as well as boutiques from across the US, the UK, Europe and the Middle East—choose to streamline their CDB process with our EDGE solution and reap the benefits. Over the past five years, we have seen a ~51% CAGR in our EDGE client growth
EDGE was awarded Best New Product – Back/Middle Office in the Fund Intelligence Operations and Services Awards 2021. The Fund Intelligence Operations and Services Awards have been presented for the past 20 years. Each year, the awards recognise and reward excellence and outstanding contributions made by business, operations and technology leaders for Asset Management and service provider firms over the past year.
This industry recognition, coupled with our growing list of global financial services clients, demonstrates the demand for a high-quality and innovative solution like EDGE.
We continue to update our EDGE offering and add new features for our customers. EDGE 2.0 is a major step in that direction; we are moving EDGE to a web-based portal that acts as an interface between customers and our analysts. It will allow transparency, real-time-progress tracking, a secure file transfer module, a live dashboard to track product listings across CDBs, a repository to access historical files, email notifications and much more. With EDGE 2.0, we aim to give more control and visibility to our customers.
To learn more about our consultant database platform, EDGE, email email@example.com to speak to one of our experts.
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About the Authors
Pranay is a fund marketing professional with over 8 years of experience in the capital markets services industry. At Acuity Knowledge Partners, he supervises functional teams supporting RFP/RFI/DDQ and consultant database processes at the keystroke level, and is engaged in implementing efficiency improvements and mentoring. Prior to this, he worked in S&P Global Market Intelligence’s research division, analysing real-time market data on ownership of globally listed companies.
Pranay holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Gujarat University, India, and a Master of Business Administration with a specialisation in Finance from Christ University, India.
Abhijeet is a fund marketing professional with 18 years of experience in KPOs as well as Capital Markets Services Industry. At Acuity Knowledge Partners, he manages functional teams supporting RFPs, RFIs, CDB, Database Management, and, Client Reporting. He is also engaged with onshore partners | clients and internal stakeholders to implement the strategic business initiatives.
Prior to this, Abhijeet worked with the Bank of New York Mellon (BNY Mellon), India Operations in Pre-Sales working closely with onshore partners to respond to financial documents like pitch books, DDQs, RFIs and RFPs. Abhijeet holds both a diploma in Hotel Management as well as Degree in English (Honors | Graduation).
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