Summer Reading: 5 Industry Pieces to Put on Your List

Reading tablet at the lake

I don’t read many books these days. If I’m being honest, during my free time I’m usually mentally drained and prefer to do something mindless like binge watching (I just finished the second season of The Politician last night, highly recommend!). What I do spend a lot of time reading is industry news and thought leadership. In the current remote working environment, you might relate to finding more time to read thought leadership, articles, attend webinars, and training. There is a lot out there so if you don’t have time to sift through it all, read on for a few timely pieces that I recommend putting on your pandemic summer reading list.

5. Surf’s Up Bro: Catch the “Third Wave of Outsourcing” While this definitely is a shameless plug of my own blog, the beach-related theme comes into play but more importantly the topic is more timely now than it was when it was published the first week of March. Spoiler alert! The topic is outsourced trading, a service that we see has gained some additional interest during the pandemic.

4. Northern Trust has an excellent thought leadership program, offering global perspectives from their leadership team. A good follow up to my “Surf’s Up” blog for those interested in exploring outsourced trading is Northern Trust’s whitepaper “The Third Wave: A Tipping Point for Outsourced Execution Services in the U.S.” The paper covers the trends in outsourcing over the years, and the benefits outsourced trading can bring to an asset manager. I also recommend their recent Driving Growth in Asset Management survey results, compiling insights on priorities, challenges, trends and more from 300 Heads of Investment Operations from asset management firms across the globe.

3. Outsourced trading is not the only service that has seen an uptick in interest during COVID-19. We see that asset managers are having more conversations about outsourcing operations in general. Although SEI’s paper Practical Tips to Help Navigate the Middle Office Outsourcing Transition was published in collaboration with Citisoft almost three years ago, the content is still very relevant today. I share this paper any time we have a client or prospect considering middle office outsourcing for the first time or are ready to embark on a transition program.

2. Vidrio published a thoughtful e-book at the start of 2020 covering the different options for investment allocators to consider when evaluating new technology and service providers. While there is possibly some subjectivity and bias towards Vidrio’s solution (who can blame them, it’s their literature?), An Investment Allocator’s Guide to Portfolio Management Solutions does a really nice job breaking down the different option types, specific vendor and service provider solutions, as well as their opinion on the advantages and disadvantages of each.

1. Finally, for many firms, the turbulence of COVID-19 has pushed legacy operating models to their limits. Rounding out the list is Citisoft’s most recent thought leadership piece “Operations and Technology in a Post-Pandemic World”. In this paper we discuss the COVID-19 impact on technology and operations in asset management including how asset managers, vendors, and service providers dealt with the immediate aftermath of the shutdowns, lessons learned from past recessions, and how operating model optimization can help weather the storm of an economic downturn.

My final recommendation, whether you enjoy reading these over your morning coffee, or with a cocktail in hand at the beach, please consider the environment and read these on your tablet or phone. Happy summer!