Emerging resilient in the new normal  

The pandemic was a perfect storm for the global financial industry. At Acuity, we are steadfastly working alongside our global banking and financial services clients, helping them stay resilient and emerge stronger. I am delighted to share the latest and best of our research, analysis and trends, drawn from our deep domain expertise across banking and financial services, to help you meet current challenges and aid your planning for the future.

We hope you and your organisation successfully navigate these challenging times, and you, your family, and colleagues remain safe.

Gyanendra N Pati, Director, Global Head of Marketing

  Currently trending  
  Restructuring – a top priority for investment banks and consultants  
Investment banks see a surge in demand for restructuring and debt advisory   COVID-19 impact causing consultants to focus on restructuring and distressed assets
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The pandemic has accelerated restructuring- and debt advisory-related activity, and this is likely to remain high for the next few quarters. Learn how you can handle this peak better with Acuity.

  Consultants played a significant role amid the 2008 recession. We expect the restructuring and turnaround services they offer to be of great help to companies requiring right-sizing, cost optimisation and efficiency improvements.

Restructuring and turnaround consulting – respond, recover and rebuild   Oil and gas – corporate restructuring and distressed M&A are likely
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Consulting firms – with their expertise in varied aspects of business continuity, restructuring, capital advisory and transformation – have found a silver lining in the pandemic-induced cloud and are slated to play a pivotal role in helping struggling businesses formulate and implement successful revival strategies.

  We expect the oil and gas sector to enter an era defined by intense competition, technology-led rapid supply responses, tepid demand, and a high level of ESG scrutiny and energy transition.

  The post-COVID-19 world – financial advisors to help navigate the liquidity crisis  
  As companies face challenges in terms of incremental cash, working capital and liquidity, they are turning to specialist financial advisors to help them weather the crisis and keep their businesses viable. Restructuring advisors are supporting them to adopt effective liquidity management strategies to ease cash pressure – essential for long-term sustainability.  

  Uncovering new trends  
  ESG and sustainable finance  
  As the world recovers from the COVID-19 impact, our team sees a clear trend. Governments around the world are realigning their priorities and starting to commit portions of their stimulus packages to tackling climate change, making ESG a strong theme that many global companies are incorporating into their strategies. Read our in-depth analysis to understand this trend better.  
Resetting the stimulus: COVID-19 and climate change   Social bonds: a significant financing opportunity amid the pandemic
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Governments around the world have rolled out unprecedented stimulus packages. However, as business activity resumes, they appear to be realigning their priorities and starting to commit part of these packages to tackling climate change.

  Financing through social bonds is set to become the next growth frontier for investment banks. Understand why bond investors’ appetite for responsible investment options has increased.

An ESG perspective: Evaluating companies amid COVID-19   Renewable energy stimulating sustainable investing
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We showcase a framework that helps identify companies engaged in “social washing” and those failing to focus on “stakeholder capitalism”.

  The shift in investor interest from “just” maximising wealth to “responsibly” maximising wealth is clearly visible from the latest ESG data reported by Morningstar.

ESG investing in China – undeterred by the COVID-19 pandemic   Forbes: With green aluminum flowing, manufacturers struggle to make product ESG top priority
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Despite the pandemic, data from the green bond market suggests that green financing has recovered since the setback in March and is here to stay.

  With manufacturers slowly moving to using low-carbon aluminum in their products, reasons for holding back adoption of the green metal are quickly fading.

  Trends in structured finance  
Structured finance in an evolving market: the COVID-19 impact on the securitisation industry   The future of structured finance: trends and opportunities in a post-pandemic world
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The fast-changing credit landscape amid the coronavirus crisis is clogging the wheels of the well-oiled securitisation machinery. This paper explores how market participants can identify and potentially mitigate challenges that have emerged in the new normal.

  Securitisation markets have moved past the cliff, but the road ahead is bumpy. Moving forward in a post-COVID-19 environment and navigating an evolving landscape would require close monitoring and frequent rerouting. This paper covers the challenges and opportunities emerging in structured products as businesses and households adjust to the new normal.

  Fresh and unique  
  Handpicked content, carefully curated for you  
Insights: UK corporate broking: set to outperform amid surge in equity issuance due to the pandemic   COVID-19 impact on global M&A activity
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This insight paper highlights the uniqueness of corporate broking services in the UK and their evolution. It also aims to analyse demand for such services since the start of the pandemic and the outlook for the industry there.

  We review the impact of COVID-19 on the global M&A landscape. There is a dearth of large M&A deals. However, we have noticed an increase in the volume of smaller transactions.

Preparing for exits: an opportune time for PE?   Insights: Natural language processing (NLP) to generate truly unique insights from unstructured data
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Know how PE managers, given the current market volatility, are deferring their exits and using the extra time on their hands to prepare and plan for a future exit.

  Do you use NLP to extract insights from the vast universe of textual data? Explore how you can generate alpha using NLP.

Leveraged lending and CLOs – asset managers reduce riskier exposure and focus on safety   Oil price outlook: OPEC+ in a balancing act on a slippery road
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The COVID-19 crisis has presented opportunities for asset managers in the LL and CLO markets; investors can also derive higher alpha by identifying quality LLs on discounted terms.

  The COVID-19 pandemic has led to fluctuations in demand for crude oil in the global market since December 2019. OPEC+ is, therefore, trying to maintain market share and capitalise on any short-term spike in oil prices, as most countries are operating well short of their fiscal breakeven prices.

PE secondary market investing: trends visible post-pandemic   Implementing a Successful Offshoring Program for Private Equity and Venture Capital Firms
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Crisis or not, PE secondaries as an investing strategy have continued to generate interest and growth even during the COVID-19-led bloodbath in private markets. An impact assessment, coupled with distilling lessons from past “black swan” events, would augur well for a discerning market participant. The need to be nimble in responding to the challenges and emerging dynamics of these fast-evolving markets was never greater.

  In this whitepaper, we provide practical guidance on how PE and VC firms can leverage offshoring not only as a tactical measure to save costs, but also as a strategic partnership for future growth.

  Introducing The Great Indian Lockdown, a chartbook that uniquely represents comprehensive and ready-to-use datasets for a wide range of indicators to gauge economic uncertainty amid the COVID-19 crisis. It includes easy-to-read charts and a brief analysis of the evolving phases of lockdown and reopening. Our Macro team tracks developments in the Indian economy (covering the impact and recovery) in a series of fortnightly publications.  
  Trending products  
  for bankers, private equity firms and asset managers  
  Quickly automate processes or fast-track projects with the perfect blend of technology automation and subject-matter experts. Our BEAT suite (Business Excellence & Automation Tools) comprises numerous tools that can aid your analysts or product teams to drastically improve turnaround times without compromising on quality and accuracy.  
BEAT CovenantPulse | Lending Covenant Monitoring Solution   BEAT FolioSure | Automated Private Equity Portfolio Monitoring Solution   BEAT TombstoneHub | Automated Credential Builder
A platform that provides an in-depth understanding of covenant performance trends and early warning signals of deteriorating covenant quality via interactive dashboards and advanced covenant informatics.

  A fully customisable advanced analytics platform for PE/VC portfolio monitoring. Achieve 30-40% cost savings and 50% shorter turnaround time for portfolio monitoring and LP reporting.

  A SaaS-based solution that helps automate and create fully formatted credential slides in your PPT template instantly.

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BEAT Broker Vote and Scorecard Automation Tool   BEAT Edge | Consultant Database Update Platform   BEAT FilingsHub | Simplify Company Filing Downloads
A tool that provides the option of collating data from multiple sources and formats or rank analysts, or using quartiles based on the client's scoring methodology.

  A unique and flexible consultant database (CDB) updating solution that combines new technology and CDB specialists to streamline asset managers’ CDB updating processes.

  A cloud-based solution that centralises the sourcing of company filings.

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  New Video  
  Digitization of the Lending Process  
  Banks today are increasingly focusing on digitalisation to gain a competitive advantage, drive efficiencies, improve customer experience and build a robust risk management practice. Learn more about our bespoke technology platforms.  

  Webinars on demand  
Make every dollar count: Transform your consultant database process for exceptional outreach and deal conversion   Breaking barriers: How to maximise ROI in a digitisation-led lending transformation
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Dawn Perry (PineBridge Investments) and Beth Mosley (Principal Global Investors) share insights on the dynamic and changing investment consultant landscape and best practices to improve the overall efficiency of consultant database maintenance operations.

  Brian Johnson (Umpqua Bank), Nick Rusling (Investec) and Antoinette (Toni) Smith (KeyBank) cover all aspects related to the challenges faced during a digitisation-led transformation – why there is a need to build analytics over unified loan-management systems and how a digitised credit-analysis process can be adopted for faster and better lending decisions.


Acuity Knowledge Partners (Acuity), formerly part of Moody’s Corporation, is a leading provider of bespoke research, analytics, staffing and technology solutions to the financial services sector.

Headquartered in London, Acuity Knowledge Partners has nearly two decades of transformation experience in servicing over 300+ clients with over 3000 employees, including a specialist workforce of over 2500+ analysts and delivery experts across its global delivery network. We provide our clients with unique assistance not only to innovate, implement transformation programmes and increase operational efficiency, but also to manage costs and improve their top lines. These services are supported by our proprietary suite of Business Excellence and Automation Tools (BEAT) that offer domain-specific contextual technology. Acuity Knowledge Partners is backed by Equistone Partners Europe, a leading private equity organisation that backs specialist growth businesses and management teams.

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