Behind the scenes of today’s fund distribution transformation

At Fundsquare, it takes three to tango. Industry expertise plus new tech tools and analytical mindset are the keys to unlocking potential.

Working in a fund industry undergoing transformation means working with client-centric talents who know how to realise the potential of technology.

The driving aim of the various changes now happening in the European fund industry, in particular in fund distribution, is to create value along the entire chain, including the fund producer, the various intermediaries and the final investor. Fundsquare has been very active in this respect, rolling out innovative technologies and tools, but behind the scenes lies an interesting story about people and skills.

Julien Renkin

Head, Client Solutions & Project Management (Fundsquare)

A mix of tools and skills is  proving to be powerful and will help move the fund industry forward, enabling industry-wide value creation, process streamlining and innovation in products and services.

Fund operations in a new ecosystem

Rebuilding an ecosystem is not dependant entirely on tech and IT, this is just one part of the equation. To make possibilities real, it is best to have the right mix between this and two other elements: deep knowledge of the industry and the skillsets to use these tools effectively.

The fostering of these skills was, and is, part of a multi-year program aiming to provide an agile and client-focused organisational and operational framework that can benefit the fund industry. Previously, operations teams were running a service, while IT was delivering the final products and, to some extent, pushing the boundaries. Now, with the acquisition of new tools and solutions and with the entire fund industry moving in the same direction, change can come from any quarter.

Data is at the foundation of this and getting the most out of data requires the right mix of skillsets. Acquiring new tools and solutions has enabled employees to reap the benefits of advanced data analytics and machine learning. However, the reason behind our success rests largely on our people, both new joiners and existing staff, who were (and are) eager to explore the possibilities of the new tools.

As a result, the way of working is changing, as much of the effort today is based less on repetitive tasks and more and more focused on finding opportunities and problem solving. Above all, it is directed at delivering operational efficiency to all actors in the fund industry.  Employees, who are business experts, are now in a position to use investment fund data in real time and in ways that would have been difficult to imagine in the past.

Fund data and business experts serving the industry

In short, we have moved from a classic final product driven environment to one in which solutions are moved closer to independent end users. The change team concentrates on extending the toolbox while operations people, who have combined industry expertise with a data management mindset, are fully able to use the toolbox independently.  This enables us to focus clearly in three fundamental areas: continuous improvement of service levels, a faster time to market and, most importantly, the ability to offer custom solutions on an industrial scale.

Ultimately, this means the whole organisation is in a better position to serve clients. Furthermore, a holistic view of operational data management for the benefit of our clients has become a core skill at Fundsquare.

Internal transformation and reorganisation did not happen overnight. It was the result of listening to all actors, reflecting on the capabilities and skills that would be best adapted to serve the future needs of investment fund distribution, and then building them.

Combining a new tech toolbox with existing knowledge and then building skills to exploit both means that we can be very agile when market opportunities arise and can create, with a faster time to market, the solutions that the fund industry is looking for. This mix of tools and skills is proving to be powerful and will help move the fund industry forward, enabling industry-wide value creation, process streamlining and innovation in products and services.

Julien Renkin, Head, Client Solutions & Project Management

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