Technology has empowered the investment management industry to grow exponentially over the last 30 years. But with that growth has come enormous complexity—a proliferation of instruments, 24-hour trading, accelerated settlement cycles, worldwide variations in accounting standards, tighter and often confusing regulations, security issues, more competition, and higher expectations among investors. On top of all that, the technology itself keeps changing, with ever increasing processing capacity and speeds. Given the pace of change, it is not surprising that some portfolio management systems simply can’t keep up. Firms might tweak them to extend their useful life by degrees, but they do so at their own peril. Lagging system performance can sharply undermine a firm’s ability to perform its fiduciary duties and may mean missed market opportunities. Firms that cannot manage increasing complexity face the risk, today more than ever, of falling behind before they know it.
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