A new 34-page whitepaper from Northern Trust – available here – suggests solutions to help asset managers move forward from 2020 with a clear strategic direction. The key lies in viewing the operations as a whole office rather than separated into front, middle and back. Here’s what it means.

By Clive Bellows, Ryan Burns and Caroline Higgins, Northern Trust.
The whitepaper “Driving Growth in Asset Management – Solutions for the Whole Office in 2020 and Beyond” can be downloaded here

2020 is a pivotal year for asset management firms as they set their goals for future success. In order to meet the demands that they face, forward-thinking asset managers must develop clear strategic priorities that include cost containment, distribution growth, efficient operating models, and a focus on technology and data.


The managers that view their operations holistically as a whole office, rather than in silos of front, middle and back, have an advantage. They can more clearly see inefficiencies, where it makes more sense to outsource services that aren’t core to their investment process, and where leveraging next generation digital technology can boost automation and improve decision-making.

As we look to the future of asset management, the firms that succeed will find ways to support their growth while also reducing costs. Many have turned to their operating models to find ways to be nimbler. Leveraging today’s innovative technology and scalable solutions can significantly reduce costs and enhance operational efficiencies.

In uncertain times, those who adapt first are often those who succeed. While there are significant challenges ahead, the asset management firms that view their operating models holistically across their whole office will be the ones that rise to the top in the search for alpha.

In partnership with WBR Insights, we surveyed 300 Heads of Investment Operations from global asset management firms to find out how they are evaluating growth opportunities in 2020. The most successful asset managers are rethinking their operating models from the perspective of their whole office, seeking holistic changes to enable future growth.

Download our latest whitepaper to learn more about how asset managers plan to grow their businesses in the next two years alongside the key strategic priorities to help drive this forward.

Clive Bellows is Head of Global Fund Services, EMEA. 
Ryan Burns is Head of Global Fund Services Americas. 
Caroline Higgins is Head of Global Fund Services, Asia.

Read other articles by Northern Trust here on PostTrade 360°.