Asset managers are prioritising operational efficiency via automation above all, Linedata survey reveals

In the UK, almost half of respondents are prioritising investment in automation to drive business results, according to survey findings.

Linedata’s 2023 global asset management survey has found the main focus globally is on future cost saving and automation.

The biennial survey from Linedata included responses from 265 firms in the Americas, Europe, and APAC and includes comparative findings which pinpoint key variances between regions.

In the drive towards more efficient operations, 57% of respondents are betting on automation, the survey revealed – naming it “a top strategic priority for the next 12 months,” closely followed by cost-cutting initiatives at 55%.

On the other end of the spectrum, “increasing presence in cryptocurrencies and digital assets” was the least popular focus amongst survey participants with only 8% highlighting it as a top priority.

In the UK specifically, the top two short-term priorities were the same; however, here cost-cutting initiatives (54%) was top, closely followed by “deeper automation to drive business results” (49%).

The survey also found that AI adoption appeared more prominent in the front-office, while middle- and back-office functions lagged behind, with only 22% of AI deployment in trade execution.

Overall, the area where AI has been most deployed across the industry globally is in investment research at 32%, revealed the survey, closely followed by portfolio analytics and risk management at 30%.

The survey also delved into another of the current hot topics – outsourcing. Looking at the numbers, there was not a huge divergence between regions in the approach to outsourcing trading and execution operations. Compared globally: North America led the way with 44% of respondents already outsourcing. The figure was 10% lower in Europe at 34%, with APAC closely behind at 33%.

The report explained: “Against a backdrop of accelerated digital transformation, rising cyber threats and ever-growing compliance demands, we see that outsourcing strategy is moving beyond a cost and resourcing play.”