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CEO Insights

Confluence CEO and Chairman Mark Evans founded Confluence in 1991 with a vision of revolutionizing asset management through technology innovation and data management automation. Today, Evans forward-thinking vision is making a game-changing impact on the asset management industry.

Through his CEO Insights publications Evans shares his views on how leading asset managers should embrace technology and its impact on the future of the industry.

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Ditching the status quo

The more I watch the RegTech revolution take off, the more I’m convinced our industry is having its Travelocity watershed moment. Let me explain.

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Thank You RegTech for Triggering Change

It's about time. Our clients have been struggling to prioritize the merits of abandoning their macro-intensive spreadsheets in favor of automated solutions as far back as I can remember. 

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Turns Out Print Is Still Hanging on by A Thread

Let's call it now. The SEC cannot afford to get it wrong on Rule 30e-3, which will enable asset managers to make the default distribution method for investor reports electronic rather than printed and mailed.

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There Are No Quick Fixes for Foundational Issues with Asset Managers' Operating Models

(As published in Money Management Executive - August 1, 2016)

The asset management industry is caught between a rock and hard place. On one side, investors are clamoring for more transparency and access to data, which translates into increases in back-office technology investment. On the other side, new technologies such as robo-advisors and other forms of competition are negatively impacting commission revenue.

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The Art and Science of Data Curation

There's an interesting shift happening in the asset management industry. Five years ago managers were content to have a cluster of vendors that could each produce some data on how the manager ran its business. Each of these vendors held one chapter of the manager's complete book of knowledge. If the firm needed to find a piece of information, it knew which chapter to search. That style of data management is quickly disappearing.

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Time to Sink or Swim

Smarter data management is key for asset managers in the era of high-frequency regulation

For the capital markets, the financial crisis is in the distant past, but for the asset management industry its aftermath is here to stay. Investors and regulators alike are demanding unprecedented levels of transparency – increased breadth and depth of information with greater frequency.

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Regulatory Transparency: An Early Answer to a Higher Calling

Originally published in the March 25, 2015 issue of Money Management Executive

Imagine a future where investors have on-demand control over their investment decisions. Instead of calling an advisor to make adjustments to allocations, they will be able to open their personal investing app, see how their investments are doing, analyze risk profiles, compare returns, and make changes−-in real-time. The app could aggregate data across their entire investment portfolio and let them react to information anytime, anywhere.

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Reexamining Our Relationship With Regulatory Requirements

Ten years ago, I switched banks. I took all of my deposits out, filled out the necessary forms and ended the relationship because I couldn't download my data to Quicken. I'm quite sure my bank was thinking, "Who would switch? We have nice branches!"

But they never got ahead of my needs. The investment servicing industry faces the same threat, and it's missing a mighty opportunity to remedy it: Regulation.

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Print Is Dead

Let's admit it. Our industry is not very good at quickly and meaningfully communicating what we know to investors who need to know it. Sure, we engage in a lot of effort to offer "transparency," but when that information is slow to arrive and difficult to understand, doesn't that make our transparency rather opaque? And many fund managers and administrators still think it's acceptable to take over a month – sometimes two – to typeset, edit, print and snail mail information to investors.

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Your Technical Debt Clock is Ticking

Right now, technical debt is silently killing companies like yours. On the surface, everything appears fine, but cut corners, temporary fixes and antiquated technology beneath create a hazard that can paralyze operations. Is your company among those at risk?

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Lessons from the Corner Office with Mark Evans

As the founder and current Chairman, CEO and President of Confluence, Mark Evans has built a global technology company that is relied upon by some of the world's leading asset management enterprises. In this radio blog interview, Evans shares his philosophies on leadership and the lessons he has learned during his more than 20 years as the top executive at Confluence.

Listen to Evans as he discusses his views on leadership with Kira Copperman, President of KBC Consulting, a boutique management consulting firm.

Read the full article | Source: blogtalkradio.com

Renewed Focus on Customer Experience

After the crises of recent years, the financial services industry now faces a long-term future of increased regulation. Considering the costs that many will face in light of adapting and complying with these additional regulations, many financial services companies are also facing reduced profits. As the industry navigates this legislation and other new regulations, it's imperative that companies find other ways to keep profit margins strong; the cornerstone to that is a renewed focus on the customer and their experience.

Fund administrators have a unique opportunity to use interaction to create differentiation.

Download the article (PDF)

The Digital Truth

Meeting the realities of today's marketplace requires using the vast new technology available to distribute fund information more quickly, clearly, and accurately. Asset managers must exploit the potential of what I call "digital truth" - rapid, full information assembled by machines and systems with a minimum of human intervention, and human error.

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Following the Sun: In a World with No Boundaries, Data Control Is the Answer

In an age of largely free capital flows, it is true to say that the sun never sets on the financial markets. Starting in the Land of the Rising Sun itself in Tokyo, global capital follows the sun around the world in a long day that sees transactions in one market center cascading to the next.

For this reason, it is imperative for asset managers to be able to follow the sun, too.

Download the article (PDF)

Adapt or Die

Technology is changing everything. Fund administration is no exception. For industry leaders charged with keeping pace today and planning for tomorrow, the lesson of what happens to organizations that fail to embrace technological change is clear: adapt or die.

The speed at which changes occur in industry has grown exponentially, and is claiming victims among firms long considered leaders.

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