Portfolio Design and Blueprinting Tech Part 2: Solutioning Strategies to Win in the Front Office

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7 July 2022


Profound shifts born from the wave of regulatory, capital, passive investing, and fee compression trends are continuing to alter the investment industry’s economics, with the rise of technology having the greatest long-term impact.

Digitization themes are enabling forward-looking investment managers to sharpen client centricity, customization, and solutions-oriented propositions; at the same time, stay operationally lean and tactically nimble. Consequently, asset managers and asset owners are evolving and innovating towards an integrated front office, in particular to enable differentiated, fit-for-purpose portfolio design and blueprinting capabilities. A growing emphasis on the design aspects of the front office is also evident based on Celent’s recent proprietary surveys of buyside firms, where, enterprise data enablement functions are now tasked with front office, business and client-aligned outcomes, rather merely a cost-rationalization emphasis.

Through internal in-house efforts and the wide availability of vendor solutions across the investment ecosystem firms which are leading in the pursuit of stronger portfolio design capabilities are rethinking/ remapping what they need "from the front first"; which subsequently enables them to be tactically precise when provisioning information delivery using dynamic APIs from core transactional systems.

Conventionally, top-down oriented portfolio design tools, data and consulting-led offerings are typically distinct/separate from bottoms-up portfolio management and portfolio implementation systems. However, as trends towards digitalization and industrial-strength customization of investment portfolios gain further traction, Celent anticipates more crossovers across portfolio design and implementation functions.

In a previous instalment of this market study, we highlighted salient industry examples of investment firms and financial institutions employing modern technology paradigms and tools to streamline, innovate, and differentiate their portfolio design, planning, and blueprinting capabilities (e.g., risk profiling, strategic asset allocation, interactive modelling/analysis, and digital client collaboration and engagement).

In this instalment, Celent highlights solutioning strategies and examples of how forward-thinking investment firms are building effective strategic technology underpinnings to create differentiated capabilities, and to enable stronger front office design and blueprinting functions with a deliberate emphasis on rich information and agility to drive alpha generation.

This report presents a compendium of insights, guiding principles and tactical steps for firms to craft solution strategies that achieve optimal outcomes around functional design, architectural strategies, and integration approches for the next generation front office.

To learn more about how investment management firms are upgrading their operations and technologies, please contact Celent for more information on our latest reports on these topics (subscribers can link through to the full reports):