In 2009, a bunch of industry participants got together and made a concerted effort to eliminate fax machines in the processing of customer fund orders. Their target was for an 80% automation rate, but the success of the project – which hinged on asset servicers working together in Ireland and Luxembourg – meant the target was revised upwards to 90%.
This effort to reduce manual processes and increase speed and efficiencies through greater standardisation is an example of successful industry co-operation. But is it the only one?
If blockchain is to truly work in the asset management sector to the vast advantage of firms and customers, it could signal a need for industry rivals to put aside their competitive spirits and cooperate once again. In our research, we found that firms would first and foremost opt to spend more money on technology if regulatory budgets magically disappeared. (See pages 16-21).
A key benefit of technology is in helping asset managers become more useful in people’s lives. But without cooperation, including the involvement of regulators, the industry may not be able to achieve this, leaving it open to disruption.
Nick Fitzpatrick is group editor at Funds Europe
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