Managing Growth Without Adding Staff
For more than 30 years, a Manhattan-based investment management firm servicing institutional and high-net-worth clients enjoyed moderate account growth and a loyal, stable client base. After winning several large SMA (wrap) accounts over an 18-month period, the firm found itself growing beyond its capacity.
Manual processes not scalable and risky
The firmís back- and middle-office technology and support functions were becoming an obstacle to its ongoing success. Specifically:
- Lack of internal standardization
- Reliance on overly manual, undocumented processes
- Lack of automated technology
It required a solution that would:
- Scale to effectively manage rapid growth
- Establish formal, documented processes and controls and compliance protocols
- Reduce the potential for errors
- Improve data sharing and transparency to meet due diligence requirements
Increasing headcount was not a viable long-term solution, and enhancing its technological resources in-house was cost-prohibitive. The firm decided that outsourcing its back and middle office and administrative functions would ease its growing pains while enabling it to remain focused on managing investments and building client relationships.
The right fit
The firm chose SEIís separate account processing solution based on SEIís expertise in:
- Consolidating processes
- Making better use of systems already in place
- Implementing process improvements to accommodate current and future growth
In terms of technology, SEIís solution introduced the ability to:
- Index and distribute documents in real time, while creating an electronic audit trail
- Increase automation to aid in risk management
- Implement new quality control measures
- Aggregate data into a central location, eliminating manual data calculation and scrubbing
- Increase analysis production speed
- Turn data into actionable business intelligence
An enhanced business environment
†The operational efficiencies and access to reliable and extensive infrastructure to support its growing business helped the firm maximize productivity while reducing risk in the areas of:
- Account administration and maintenance Ė From account opening to closing, SEI manages the firmís entire account administration work stream through a fully integrated, standardized and automated process.
- Performance calculation and reporting Ė After calculating account performance, SEI automatically generates and distributes a variety of reports according to the clientís predetermined schedule. Data standardization has drastically improved reporting capabilities that the client now receives.
- Account and trade reconciliation Ė The firm was able to automate the processing of a large percentage of manual accounts. SEI also helped establish available interfaces and automated much of the reconciliation, as well as streamlined the firmís account coding to maximize efficiency and reduce trading risk.
- Workflow†and data management Ė SEI maintains and manages all the firmís files and records securely online. Audit trails and reports are stored and delivered in a secure, online environment, boosting transparency.
- Technology integration Ė SEIís technology expertise enhanced the automation and functionality of the firmís portfolio management system, which previously had not been used to its potential. In addition, the client gained the benefit of SEIís IT security infrastructure and capabilities, including 24-hour support, disaster recovery, and business continuity.
Results speak volumes
SEIís outsourced operational solution enabled the firm to:
- Manage rapid growth without adding staff Ė Assets under management doubled, without increasing headcount.
- Mitigate risk and enhance compliance Ė Regulators can temporarily, securely access the workflow system, making the process easier for the auditor and less disruptive for the firm.
- Greatly reduce the time required to produce quarterly client billing Ė This was achieved by streamlining the client invoicing process.
- Replace manual systems with automated technology Ė This frees staff to better serve the business, focus on higher value activities and reduce the risk of errors.
- Gain insight and transparency from its data Ė SEIís reporting capabilities give the client transparency across its business, such as identifying how many accounts were opened and closed, benchmarking individual security and sector exposures, and uncovering product and market trends.
To find out how SEIís SMA (wrap) solution can help your firm increase scalability and transparency, reduce risk and leverage best-in-class technology, please†contact us online, by phone +1 610.676.1270 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.