Article

2021 investment management outlook

Transforming to thrive

In our 2021 investment management outlook, 200 industry leaders weighed in on their companies’ COVID-19 recovery efforts. How can the emerging lessons serve as a catalyst for business transformation?

Key messages:

  • According to the results of our proprietary survey conducted over the summer of 2020, most investment management firms indicate they have more to do in both the development of agile back-to-the-workplace plans and communication of their plans, to help employees feel more comfortable.
  • Our survey results indicate that firms are taking multiple approaches to managing workforce costs, and that most actions were taken by the summer of 2020. The incidence of furloughs at the same rate as layoffs indicates both optimism for a recovery on the part of leadership and creativity to deploy less-utilized approaches to manage the workforce through COVID-19.
  • Overall, most investment management firms seem to be changing approaches to digital transformation to support cost savings. The spending allocations by technology are also changing in ways that appear to support the security and efficiency of digital interaction. Some investment management firms are decreasing emphasis on digital transformation enabled through both vendor solutions and in-house build projects.
  • Digital transformation could become an element in many investment management firms’ brands. Like it or not, investors may judge investment management firms on the sophistication and elegance of their customer interactions.
  • The experience gained weathering the volatility and personal hardship, along with the industry’s commitment to both customers and employees, will likely lead to a stronger, more digitally capable investment management industry at the end of 2021.

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