Last month I had the pleasure of spending two full days with our clients in Pittsburgh, where the Penguins’ Stanley Cup win wasn’t the only buzz around the city. Clients were visiting our hometown city for Confluence Connect ‘17, a conference designed to bring industry colleagues together to discover a shared vision, network with peers, and attend sessions that offered product optimization tips and tricks, industry and regulatory updates, and roundtable discussion insights.
Gazing across the room at the opening session, it struck me that Confluence Connect ’17 wasn’t simply a client conference – it was a community event like no other. The attendees represented a cross section of fund administrators that included a large majority of U.S. asset managers and service providers, along with Canadian and European firms. All coming together as a unified community to engage, learn and share.
The sense of shared community that underscored the client conference was no doubt strengthened by fundamental changes our industry is undergoing. We have reached the tipping point for achieving back-office efficiency as cost pressures, regulatory changes, data integration and the need for transparency have placed significant pressure on the back office. Regulatory demands, in particular, have escalated the critical need for enterprise data management practices and automated solutions to meet condensed reporting cycles.
That said, fund administrators are at a strategic fork in the road— faced with the choice of continuing down a traditional path focused on document-centric processes or embracing the transformative path toward data-centric processes and disruptive technology. At Confluence, we believe that choosing the latter path will be the deciding factor that separates the winners from the losers.
For me personally — and for the 40-plus Confluence executives and team members participating in Confluence Connect ’17 — the event signified our continued commitment to the global fund administration community. For more than 25 years, Confluence has been all about the data. We’ve had an unwavering commitment to a singular vision of ‘instantaneously transforming asset managers’ data into information and delivering it to the world’. Now, at a time when data management is a top strategic concern for the industry, our vision has already put us on the path toward data-centric processes and we’ve been investing in technology that brings positive disruption to the industry for years.
We see “RegTech” as a fundamental and transformative force in the fund administration back office. Like Uber, Confluence is committed to delivering a self-driving experience by leveraging technology that incorporates exception-based review to replace risky and error-prone manual processes. We are investing in people too. Our talented team has grown by 75 percent in the past four years and averages 5 1/2 years of industry experience. And, with our strong market share in the fund administration industry, we hold a unique position to convene the client community to share insights and work together to solve the industry’s common problems. We’re strengthening this position even more to enable our clients to become more involved in their own community — beginning with the launch of our user forum later this year.
Confluence Connect ’17 was just one stop on the transformative journey being driven by RegTech. Join us – it’s going to be a great ride.