Capital Markets Research Outlook 2021

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Celent offers clients insights based on proprietary market research. Our knowledge is delivered through a range of formats, including technology and market trend analyses, case studies, webinars and in-depth vendor evaluations.

By informing decisions around technology investment and strategy, we seek to advance our clients’ competitive positions. Celent is committed to helping our clients assess the technology implications across the financial system, from changes in business models to new strategies and technologies required to respond to this new reality and other changes. We’re in touch with financial institutions and their technology partners around the world and are developing a host of new perspectives, updated regularly, to help you make the right strategic technology choices in the medium- and longer term. Our clients have access to our insights through traditional ways – reports, blogs, Analyst Access – and new media, like interactive virtual roundtables and snap polls.

The world had a tough 2020 but unlike the 2008 financial markets crisis, this time capital markets emerged as a hero as governments worldwide looked to finanial institutions and market infrastructures to help stablize the economy and keep markets transacting in the wake of COVID-19. While the industry has done well, it has not been all plain sailing. Capital markets entities now need to rethink their technology strategies in 2021.

The industry realized that a step change in business model and delivery is possible and now the business of capital markets is entwined more closely with technology than ever before. Despite a volatile- and capital raising-induced revenue boost in 2020, the outlook for capital markets remains challenging with persisting structural headwinds, so making the right technology decisions and balancing innovation versus pragmatism will be more important than ever. Financial instiutions know they need to invest for the long term, but shareholders are demanding results in the shorter term. There will be hard decisions to make and a balancing act to get right when it comes to technology strategy around innovation and value generation, but opportunities to capture as well.

Throughout 2021 the Capital Markets team will be focused on a number of key technology trends such as next gen cloud adoption, rise of platforms, monetization 2.0, decentralized finance (DeFI), resolving technical debt, move to self-service and the increasing sophistication of the buy side. Regarding the solutions landscape, areas of keen interest will include front-to-back solutions, fixed income trading, data solutions and platforms, NAV tools and the emerging instiutiontal DeFI ecosystem. But like 2020, the one thing we can predict with confidence is that more change is coming – so please check back with us regularly for updates.


In 2021 we plan on offer a dual stream of technology research, with one stream focusing on enterprise themes while a second stream focuses on the competitive landscape of certain solutions in the market.

Industry Trends and Case Studies

  • The Future of the Front Office
  • Trends in Outsourcing
  • Next Gen Monetization
  • Focus on Buyside Technology and Trends
  • Institutional approaches to Decentralized Finance (DeFi)

ABCD Reports and Software Analyses

  • Front-to-Back Investment Management Systems
  • NAV Oversight and Contingency Solutions and Tools
  • Fixed Income Technology Solutions

Polls, Panels, and Primers

These and other annual benchmarking reports help executives prepare business plans and make strategic technology choices and investments.

  • Strategic Technology Priorities for Asset Managers: Interview-based Research
  • Head Trader Survey: Heads of Trading on Emerging Technology Adoption
  • The Digital Future of Market Infrastructures (MI): Interview-based Research

Contact us for more information about what we have planned in Q1.

If you are a client, please sign in to access a detailed view of our Q1 2021 agenda.