UMB Fund Services’ Client Conference Focuses on Helping Clients Navigate Change
UMB Fund Services hosted its bi-annual Market Insight conference in Austin, Texas, to discuss hot topics across the alternative investment and registered fund industry.
UMB Fund Services recently welcomed more than 150 clients, partners and UMB associate to its bi-annual asset management conference. Over the course of the conference, more than 15 speakers led seven sessions that highlighted emerging trends and challenges facing the asset management industry with the ultimate goal of providing actionable takeaways for clients’ asset management businesses. For those who couldn’t attend, below are some of the key issues covered during the event.
The Hard Work of Big Change
Throughout the conference, the theme that kept coming to the surface was “change.” As noted by Jill Calton, senior vice president, director of alternative investment operations for UMB Fund Services, in her opening remarks, change is inevitable, but this industry is experiencing unprecedented, rapid evolution which has made the ability to adapt critical. This shifting landscape, and the challenges that come with it‡, is being exacerbated by trends such as industry consolidation and fee compression.
Founding editor of Fast Company‡ and best-selling author William Taylor‡ echoed that sentiment in his keynote presentation, which demonstrated how to embrace change to challenge yourself and keep your organization in a state of constant transformation.
In his keynote, William explained that when customers have higher expectations, and digital technologies and new business models create more choices than ever before, familiar strategies and established ways of working become less effective. Even the most successful companies need to rethink how they do business and deliver results. In the asset management industry, building on past successes requires creating a new perspective for the future.
Lifecycle Issues and Opportunities for Managers
The Money Management Institute‡, in conjunction with rpmAUM‡, a strategic asset management consulting firm, issued a new report which provides insights into how domestic asset management firms are managing challenges and opportunities throughout the four stages of their business lifecycle: development, introduction, growth and maturity.
This session explored key findings from the study with actionable insights for the pressing needs facing many asset management firms, from emerging to longstanding business status. Among those findings is that technology is the new necessity as companies face greater client scrutiny regarding cybersecurity issues and the need to remain competitive.
Emergence of Opportunity Zone Funds
A relative newcomer as an alternative investment, qualified opportunity zone funds have piqued the interest of investors thanks to their tax incentives. This panel, moderated by Spencer Erickson, vice president, tax managing director for UMB Fund Services, broke down the benefits of opportunity zone funds and how private equity and real estate funds are taking advantage of this new opportunity.
New Wave of Registered Fund Products
Leaders of three asset management companies joined Maureen Quill, executive vice president, executive director of registered funds for UMB Fund Services, to discuss how they deliver unique and diverse investment products to the market. Executives from Foothill Capital Management‡, Green Century Capital Management‡ and 361 Capital‡ shared how they manage their business in today’s environment, distribution strategies, and how to approach the unique challenges facing their particular investment focuses.
Rapid Technological Innovation and the Impact on Investor Expectations
Market conditions and investor preferences are changing, and this has created new challenges for alternative investment fund managers. Jill Calton and leaders from Kairos Ventures‡, iCapital Network‡ and InvestCloud‡ examined how digital transformation is impacting business models and how firms can benefit from embracing new technologies. The panel informed attendees on how managers can leverage technology to enhance operational efficiencies, differentiation and scalability.
Emerging Trends in Custody Servicing
Despite its perception, custody servicing has shed its old skin and is evolving into an entirely different industry. Comprehensive custody services now go far beyond safekeeping, trade settlement and cash management. This panel, moderated by Amy Small, senior vice president, executive director of institutional custody for UMB Bank, discussed the evolving technological requirements for custodians as automation and artificial intelligence drives demand for immediate results and high returns.
Panelists also provided insights on tailored securities lending offerings, the risk balance in global markets and operational hurdles asset managers need to overcome.
How to Win the Fight Against Phishers
Phishing and social engineering are more rampant than ever, and they are responsible for 70% to 90% of all malicious data breaches. No other computer hacking technique comes close to this success rate. Roger Grimes of KnowBe4, Inc.‡ hosted this session to educate attendees on the different types of social engineering and how to best fight them using a proven strategy. Thousands of organizations have successfully reduced their employees’ risk of being successfully phished from around 30% to 1% to 2% in less than a year using security awareness strategies and best practices.
Change is inevitable in the asset management industry, and today’s disruptive variations could be entirely different next year. UMB Fund Services continues to focus on being a resource to clients as they aim to meet the ever-evolving demands of the industry.
Visit UMB Fund Services’ website and follow them on LinkedIn‡ to stay informed of the latest trends in fund administration.
When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.