3 minute read 18 May 2021
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How Intelligent Workflow Automation can help Asset Managers in cost optimization and scale?

Authors
Laurent Moscetti

EY Luxembourg Partner, Financial Services Consulting Service Line Leader

Consulting professional with more 20 years of experience in transforming the Financial Services Industry. Focus on Wealth Management, leveraging the power of innovation and technology.

Ajay Bali

EY Luxembourg Technology Consulting Partner, Digital Emerging Technologies and Data Solutions Leader

Hands-on experience on Digital. Strategy, Cognitive automation, AI and Operational excellence and Innovation. Leading TMT Consulting in Luxembourg.

3 minute read 18 May 2021

The value of assets under management (AUM) globally has been increasing, by about 9% per annum over the past 5 years

However, the operating costs are at an all-time high due to multiple factors – including the regulatory burden, many manual processes, and the imperative to innovate to meet evolving customer needs. 

There is, therefore, a renewed imperative to implement a digital operating model that enables efficient and safe growth. This represents a major change for the industry, which has been relatively slow to embrace digital. Firms will need to apply multiple levers: large-scale technology changes and rationalization, developing next-generation data architectures, and changing business and operating models. 

Many Asset managers and Asset servicers continue to explore such options but can become frustrated or be held back by resource constraints, the time required, and the high costs associated with achieving desired benefits.

In that regard, Intelligent automation offers an attractive complementary response, a new strategic capability that augments more traditional levers. It can help firms move the operational efficiency dial quickly and deliver a good return on investment while freeing resources and capacity to embark on strategic programs. Leading Asset managers and Asset servicers are achieving multiple benefits – not just cost savings, but also capacity creation, risk reduction, improved client experience, and enhanced employee engagement, amongst others.

Intelligent automation is a multi-faceted concept and toolbox, which involves automating end-to-end processes intelligently using the right blend of automation technologies, such as robotic process automation (RPA), digital forms, optical character recognition (OCR) and intelligent character recognition (ICR), workflows, natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML) to achieve the desired organizational objectives.

Another key aspect of intelligent automation is that all these different automation tools are catalysts for standardization. They should be implemented with a “light touch” lean approach to optimize and streamline processes and gain simplification benefits.

In that regard, you don’t need heavy multi-year transformation to provide you the benefits and through automation, start getting these benefits within couple of weeks of investments.  Intelligent Automation can be applied to many processes and some of the most recent examples we have seen that Asset Managers and Servicers are leveraging include:

Leveraging the intelligent automation toolkit, some of the processes listed above got implemented within 8-12 weeks timeframe covering concept to full deployment and yielded benefits within 3-6 months of investment.

At EY, we capitalize on our expertise and framework to identify the most adequate use cases as listed above, followed by proper business case and optimization of the process before implementation and roll-out. Process standardization is the key and fundamental for Intelligent Automation to drive sustainable results.

One of the other critical aspects of scaling automation across the organization is to deploy Automation CoE (Center of Excellence) with clear roles across business and IT, where the business team is empowered to define automation needs and remain responsible for the operational process, while IT helps in setting up the right governance and infrastructure.

Our vision is to empower asset managers and asset servicers, by creating an environment where humans can work on high value add work and supported by Intelligent Automation in low-value-added work. So far, our experience has demonstrated that the benefits of Intelligent Automation for asset managers and asset servicers are immediate with a good return on investment, turning our contributions into probing success stories. 

Summary

The value of assets under management (AUM) globally has been increasing, by about 9% per annum over the past 5 years. However, the operating costs are at an all-time high due to multiple factors – including the regulatory burden, many manual processes, and the imperative to innovate to meet evolving customer needs. 

About this article

Authors
Laurent Moscetti

EY Luxembourg Partner, Financial Services Consulting Service Line Leader

Consulting professional with more 20 years of experience in transforming the Financial Services Industry. Focus on Wealth Management, leveraging the power of innovation and technology.

Ajay Bali

EY Luxembourg Technology Consulting Partner, Digital Emerging Technologies and Data Solutions Leader

Hands-on experience on Digital. Strategy, Cognitive automation, AI and Operational excellence and Innovation. Leading TMT Consulting in Luxembourg.