Improving operational efficiency while keeping operating costs down – these are two of the key issues that are likely to keep buy-side executives busy this year, according to the 2024 edition of the Global InvestOps report. Commissioned by investment management solutions provider SimCorp and published by Worldwide Business Research Insights (WBR Insights), the report also found that firms see AI, process automation, and strategic outsourcing as keys to accelerating growth in assets under management (AUM).

Insights for the report were provided by 200 operations executives from buy-side institutions including asset managers, pension funds, and insurance companies from across North America, EMEA, and APAC. A press release summarises its findings.

54 percent of the participants ranked improving operational efficiency as their top strategic priority, compared to 37 percent in last year’s report. Controlling operating costs came in as the second highest priority, up from seventh place last year.


Tough times

The shift in strategic focus was attributed to the substantial 10 percent decrease in global AUM that the industry experienced in 2022, which was compounded by challenging market conditions in 2023. This “impacted the revenue of asset managers, prompting a widespread recognition of the necessity to reduce operating costs and elevate investment performance,” wrote the report.

To meet these challenges, 43 percent of respondents intend to improve data and operations support for multi-asset investment strategies. Innovation in emerging technology, such as AI and process automation, as well as the outsourcing of standardised tasks to specialised service providers were cited as strategies in growing AUM, both garnering 59.5 percent of votes.