In its most ambitious research project yet, Funds Europe teamed up with Calastone to assess how automation in the funds management industry is progressing globally – and some of the results might surprise you.
One may think that fund management firms fall into one of two polarised camps when assessing levels of automation. They are either largely paper-based, stubbornly holding onto their fax machines and telephones, or they are fully automated. The reality is that the majority are somewhere in the middle.
Level of automation on a scale of 5
Respondents were asked to rate their firm’s level of automation on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being ‘fully’ automated (fig 1a). Unsurprisingly, the most common answer was ‘mostly automated’ (37%). However, an almost equal number (31%) of respondents describe their organisation as only ‘partially automated’, which is twice as much as the number of ‘fully automated’ organisations (15%).
This shows that there is still much to be done to improve automation across the board. While it is alarming that 9% of firms consider themselves to be ‘fully manual’, and while it may be a challenge for many organisations to achieve ‘full’ automation, there is clearly a great opportunity for organisations to strive for a more automated status. For example, if the mostly manual firms were to become mostly automated within the next two years, it would provide the industry with significant operational savings.
And while there may be certain functions that are more difficult to automate, it should be eminently achievable for those firms stuck somewhere in the middle of the spectrum to find processes that can be easily automated.