Operating in an environment where we are all expected to do more with less, asset managers increasingly rely on service providers. By constantly reinvesting in their businesses and infrastructure, established providers can easily scale and position asset managers for the future.

Combining the voice of the customer and robust internal knowledge resources into creative new tools, service providers are continuing in their evolution as solution providers.

Innovation through Data Analysis

Greater transparency helps asset managers improve decision making and better understand their business opportunities and risks. Outsource providers are ideally positioned to assist.

The ability to create actionable information--to harness raw data and then analyze it--improves transparency. Companies are learning that their fund-specific information on shareholder investment patterns can be used to reveal key trends. By unlocking the knowledge in data, firms can better understand--and act on--customer preferences, investment behaviors and more.

Delivering Insights & Best-Practices

Third-party providers have deep insights into the marketplace as they regularly witness the business trends across their large and sophisticated client base. Fund companies agree that being a part of this customer community is beneficial, as they gain a more complete view of industry best-practices. Service providers contribute important views to outside industry groups and associations, and effectively become a voice of the client, with their representative opinions helping to shape a wide array of policies and regulatory mandates. In an era of rapid technological changes, new regulatory reform and the rise of new players in the distribution chain, understanding the position of others in the industry is a decided benefit.

With the wave of new regulations and changes to existing regulation, asset managers continue to focus on compliance. Service providers are assisting by developing new solutions that automate some of the compliance burden, delivering capabilities to help manage and identify risks.

Evolution of Expectations

As the industry continues to change, expectations are shifting too. The right outsource partner invests in their core capabilities, helping fund companies streamline, gain efficiencies and grow. Service providers are also consulting on ways to implement regulations, respond to shareholder expectations and navigate new channels and new technologies, while continuing to deliver service excellence.

George Costas and Nicole DeBlois are Global Relationship Executives at Boston Financial Data Services, Inc.

To view the complete version of this Industry Commentary, visit the Mutual Fund Service Guide website at mmexecutive.com/mutual-fund-guide. Click on the Transfer Agent section.

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