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APAC asset managers say better data management is key to success in challenging investing and regulatory environment

26 February 2020 Kiet Tran

Making investment decisions in Asia-Pacific is increasingly complex with the uncertain macro environment and the proliferation of financial regulations. We explored the role of data and data technologies for institutional investors in a cross-industry panel "What's New with Data in 2020?" at the recent Sydney Investment Operations Conference.

Five key takeaways:

  • Accelerating data access and integration are crucial in the race to unlock investment success. Investment flow between Asia and the rest of the world is increasingly a two-way street as investors diversify portfolios by geographies and asset classes to generate better returns. However, if it takes a long time for asset managers to integrate new datasets into their investment and product strategies, it creates opportunity cost. Speed to market in a data operation workflow is essential to outpace competitors in the race for alpha.
  • A holistic view of enterprise data management is the key to overcoming investment and regulatory challenges. Investment firms recognize that improving data quality and depth are needed to better support performance attribution and regulatory functions. Sensing that they were falling behind peers, some firms are putting a new focus on strategic roadmaps to improve data governance, stewardship and architecture. Realizing the need to modernize away from Excel, many buy-side firms are adopting modern data warehousing concepts and architecture for data cleansing, maintaining data integrity for regulatory compliance and enriching data for downstream systems.
  • Finding a system to bring data together at a group-level has proven to be complicated. Technology is rapidly evolving and what is currently modern could soon become stale or monolithic. Investment firms are looking for systems that can display their global multi-asset portfolio returns and exposures across public and private markets on a single platform, enabling them to stay on top of their portfolio strategies and performance, while optimizing data to generate insights for decision making. The focus is on flexibility and finding an enterprise data management system that connects all the data assets residing in multiple systems.
  • Perception of the cloud is shifting in the region. Cloud adoption remains challenging in some Asian jurisdictions due to regulations and security concerns, but that is gradually changing as people recognize the potential to streamline operations and reduce costs. Some investment firms have on-premise systems that are designed to be cloud-ready. Many are studying the risks, benefits and action steps of cloud migration to determine their optimal response to this trend.
  • Track record and experience are essential in choosing an enterprise data management system provider. There is no one-size-fits-all strategy, as each firm has its own data objectives. It is imperative that a firm finds a partner with a proven track record in delivering agile and flexible solutions and with the experience to fully understand its unique investment and business needs.

Food for thought:

Three key questions permeated the discussion:

  • What business challenges are you trying to solve with data?
  • Are your data and systems compatible with each other?
  • Who can you partner with on the enterprise data management journey?

Data is more than an intangible asset. More funds and asset managers are improving decision making by bringing data and analytics directly into the investment workflow. The key is setting up processes and systems that deliver timely data-driven insights and enable quick responses in our rapidly changing market environment. Of course, finding the right partner with a proven track record and experience is critical. IHS Markit has implemented over 250 successful enterprise data management projects across public and private markets, and we look forward to putting our expertise to work for you.

Posted 26 February 2020 by Kiet Tran, Managing Director, Asia Pacific Financial Services, IHS Markit

IHS Markit provides industry-leading data, software and technology platforms and managed services to tackle some of the most difficult challenges in financial markets. We help our customers better understand complicated markets, reduce risk, operate more efficiently and comply with financial regulation.


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