It’s getting tougher and tougher for investment firms. Whether it’s fee pressures, volatile markets, or the ongoing regulatory deluge, many businesses are having to rethink their operational models.
At small to midsize alternative funds, senior members – particularly COOs – are wearing more hats and doing more than ever before – including fund reporting. But is this the right approach? And should they partner with a third-party technology specialist for regulatory reporting and filing?
For many firms, at least, the temptation to self-file is somewhat understandable. You know the funds and numbers well, there may be financial savings to be had if there’s a small number of funds, and there is no lengthy due diligence process.
Yet despite this, boutique firms are finding the benefits of partnering with a specialist firm greatly outweigh the perceived advantages of doing their filing in-house. Let’s take a closer look.
Saving time and resources
The most obvious advantage of partnering with a third party technology firm is the time you save with automation. While the filing frequency for alternative funds depends on their size, with firms over €500m AUM having to file quarterly, the administrative burden associated with a manual production process is still likely to be significant. Even smaller one-fund shops might spend days getting their filing data in order.
As the COO of a mid-sized London-based quant fund recently told AQMetrics: ‘There are three main benefits to using a technology partner. First, regulatory reporting is not our core expertise, we don’t have sufficient scale to automate reporting in-house. Each reporting season was taking three to four days to complete manually. With automation, it’s closer now to one day’s effort for the end to end process.’
‘Second, outsourcing the reporting to a technology partner removes distractions. With the COO role expanding across operational and compliance functions, a third-party reduces that pressure and allows me to focus on core business.’
‘And lastly,’ he said, ‘a partner can provide another view which is in line with the regulators’ expectations. Third-parties see reporting at scale. Ultimately the goal is to be in line with the industry.’
Best practice and peace of mind
As well as relieving some of the administrative burden, partnering with a specialist ensures you’re always adhering to best practice and acting within the spirit, not just the letter, of the law. This is important, since failings can lead to reputational damage. And they can also cost time and money, particularly if you have to re-file, answer regulator queries, or incur a fine.
Not only that, but a partner with a regulatory reporting platform, as well as a specialist regulatory reporting team, will make sure that your firm is always one step ahead of any regulatory changes or reporting rules, like the introduction of new Liquidity Stress Test guidelines at the end of September 2020.
This helps to minimise key person operational risk – if a COO or other senior member is unavailable for any reason during reporting season, the firm will still be able to complete all regulatory reporting on time and with high quality.
All of this gives AQMetrics customers peace of mind: not only are they acting according to best practice, but they are always making sure any regulatory updates are instantly applied.
To see how you can gain this for yourself download our Regulatory Reporting Datasheet here or contact firstname.lastname@example.org