Managing Risk in Asset Management

Romi Mahajan President Pepper
Pulak Sinha CEO Pepper

Well, that’s why we build warning systems and endow people with the intelligence to act on them. And that’s why we have regulations and ask organizations to comply. It is worthwhile pausing for a moment to consider what’s at stake. When we look at the Asset Management industry as a whole, we see that it manages in excess of $120 trillion world-wide. Such sums are staggering and remind us of the famous, though apocryphal Willie Sutton story- “that’s where the money is.” The largest individual firms manage $3+ trillion. Put simply, even small failures in this industry have cross-sectoral, and fundamental effects on the economy as a whole and, ultimately, lives. We cannot afford that. Ever.

This industry cannot afford to meet the challenges of complexity, growth, regulation, compliance, and risk management with technologies that are built for other industries and ported to Asset Management after-the-fact. This industry cannot afford to meet these challenges as a technology laggard, as one so occupied with costs that it loses sight of the big picture.

Whatever the difficulties and stresses of day-to-day life in the industry, we must reject the idea that “it’s good enough.” Firms that manage hundreds of billions of dollars and dazzle investors with talk of AI, modernity, and innovation that they turn around and manage assets, dollars, and decisions on Excel are on the precipice. It is not a matter of if but when. Even the most venerable names have their “Kodak” moments when they stop paying attention to systems and cultivate a culture of dismissal.

It’s not simply a matter of efficiency, security, error management, or expedience. It’s not simply a matter of maximizing ROI by a basis point or two. What’s at stake here are “company extinction” events.

Modern business and technology have converged into a singularity. The stakes to get it right are high. Therefore it is high-time the Asset Management industry faces reality squarely.

Let’s be smart. Don’t settle for “good enough” because one day it will fail. Invest in the right systems and don’t run your business on Excel. Think of reporting requirements not as onerous but as good gut-checks. Together, united, we can build a culture of success.

Written by Paul Dunay
Paul Dunay is an award-winning B2B marketing expert with more than 20 years’ success in generating demand and creating awareness for leading technology, consumer products, financial services and professional services organizations. Paul is the global vice president of marketing for Maxymiser a leading web optimization firm, and author of four “Dummies” books: Facebook Marketing for Dummies (Wiley 2009), Social Media and the Contact Center for Dummies (Wiley Custom Publishing 2010), Facebook Advertising for Dummies (Wiley 2010) and Facebook Marketing for Dummies 2nd Edition (Wiley 2011). His unique approach to marketing has led to recognition of Paul as a BtoB Magazine Top 25 B2B Marketer of the Year for 2010 and 2009 and winner of the DemandGen Award for Utilizing Marketing Automation to Fuel Corporate Growth in 2008. He is also a finalist for the last six years in a row in the Marketing Excellence Awards competition of the Information Technology Services Marketing Association (ITSMA), and is a 2010 and 2005 gold award winner in Driving Demand. Buzz Marketing for Technology, Paul’s blog, has been recognized as a Top 20 Marketing Blog for 2009 and 2008, a Top Blog to Watch for 2009 and 2008, and an Advertising Age Power 150 blog in the “Daily Ranking of Marketing Blogs.” Paul has shared his marketing thought leadership as a featured speaker for the American Marketing Association, BtoB Magazine, CMO Club, MarketingProfs, Marketing Sherpa, Marketing Executives Networking Group (MENG), and ITSMA. He has appeared on Fox News, and his articles have been featured in BusinessWeek, The New York Times, BtoB Magazine, MarketingProfs and MarketingSherpa. Paul holds an Executive Certificate in Strategy and Innovation from MIT’s Sloan School of Management and a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Computer Science from Ithaca College.