The leading knowledge platform for the financial technology industry
The leading knowledge platform for the financial technology industry

A-Team Insight Blogs

Fenergo Eyes Asset Managers with Buy-Side Push for Client Lifecycle Management

Share article

Client lifecycle management (CLM) solutions provider Fenergo is taking an ambitious jump into asset management with the launch of a strategic new buy-side division.

Headed up by Kevin O’Neill, formerly the head of the US asset manager segment for the Royal Bank of Canada’s Investor & Treasury Services, the new team will focus on leveraging the firm’s existing client base to expand to the buyside as part of its growth strategy.

Fenergo initially plans to build on its existing relationships with global financial institutions, many of which already incorporate asset and wealth management and/or fund administration entities. However, the firm is also in discussions with a number of larger European and US asset managers, and eventually expects a trickle-down effect into mid-size and boutique asset managers over the next few years as the digital agenda gains traction.

“What we are seeing to date is strong demand from our existing clients, and the feedback has been truly positive,” says O’Neill. “The buy-side represents a substantial opportunity for us.”

Fenergo believes that extending its onboarding and compliance capabilities to asset managers will enhance their end-client experience, reduce regulatory risk, and increase speed to market, making the buy-side more efficient.

But what new challenges will the buy-side represent, compared to the corporate and institutional base on which the firm has built its business? Apparently, surprisingly few. “Comparing the CLM demand aspect on both the buy-side and sell-side we in fact found many similarities, so extending our solutions to address onboarding and regulatory compliance requirements on the buy-side was a logical next step,” says O’Neill. “We don’t see a huge difference between the two sets of requirements, although there are of course some subtle distinctions, such as the need to meet different regulatory requirements.”

He identifies a number of key themes that Fenergo believes will be important for asset managers in the current environment: including continued market volatility, shifting centres of wealth towards emerging markets, and the importance of delivering high quality performance with the right risk levels at the right price. “Given the intense competition in the financial services marketplace, the customer experience has to be seamless right from the onboarding process through to the complete lifecycle; we feel we have the technology and functionality to completely transform that experience for buy-side managers today.”

In the asset management space there is an ongoing shift towards alternatives, with more and more asset managers today looking towards private equity, liquid alternatives, real estate and infrastructure offerings. In these alternative segments, the underlying investments and fund structures can typically be extremely complex, involving multiple legal entities across numerous jurisdictions.

Having the ability to deal with this complexity, both at an entity level and at an investor level, is one of the key elements that Fenergo is keen to address with its new platform. “The complexity involved in distributing financial products to multiple jurisdictions can generate numerous administrative and regulatory challenges. Buy-side firms are struggling with that administrative burden. We want to ensure that their regulatory journey is aligned to their distribution strategy, and we are exploring how we can digitalize that journey to give clients access to the information through a simplified front door,” says O’Neill.

Although the firm will initially provide the same suite of CLM, onboarding, due diligence and regulatory compliance solutions to its buy-side clients, there are also plans afoot to eventually develop tailored products based on customer need.

To achieve this, Fenergo hopes to leverage its Regulatory and Technology Forums, where existing and potential clients gather to develop best practices and create new processes around client onboarding. “From an investment management perspective, what we are seeing is that managers are more willing to collaborate around those areas and that is a key part of our initiative,” notes O’Neill.

Related content

WEBINAR

Upcoming Webinar: How to run effective client onboarding and KYC processes

Date: 22 October 2020 Time: 10:00am ET / 3:00pm London / 4:00pm CET Increasing cost, complexity and regulatory change continue to challenge firms implementing client onboarding and Know Your Customer (KYC) systems. With an effective strategy and a clearly defined pathway, it’s possible to gain a valuable competitive advantage whilst meeting those all-important compliance requirements....

BLOG

Ones and Zeros: How Asset Managers Can be Digital Transformation Heroes

By Phil Davies, CTO of Milestone Group. The pace of digital transformation in asset management has been referred to as glacial. However, this new decade comes at an inflection point – over the past couple of years, the discussion has picked up considerably with firms finally embracing the digital ecosystem. People have built up both confidence...

EVENT

TradingTech Summit London

The TradingTech Summit in London brings together European senior-level decision makers in trading technology, electronic execution and trading architecture to discuss how firms can use high performance technologies to optimise trading in the new regulatory environment.

GUIDE

Entity Data Management Handbook – Sixth Edition

High-profile and punitive penalties handed out to large financial institutions for non-compliance with Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations have catapulted entity data management up the business agenda. So, too, have industry and government reports on the staggering sums of money laundered on a global basis. Less apparent, but equally important, are...