There is no shortage of articles published relating to AI and Big Data and much of that is predicated on the idea that AI will replace the jobs of many professionals (recruiters seem to have a target on their back here too). It does seem a fully viable and end to end AI solution is far away. Fund and asset managers are however looking to ways that intelligent use of Data and Analytics can add value to the business, empowering firms to better deploy their resources.
Applications of data and decision science has been a feature of many fund and asset managers for building quantitative investment and risk models and the scope of its application is now changing beyond these departments. A growing number of firms have sought to invest in their data teams, working to enhance the capability of distribution teams by applying data science and advanced analytics to their distribution models. This has seen organizations shift to a more targeted engagement model for working with clients and coordinating sales visits. This has freed up much of the sales force to engage with higher priority and often more profitable opportunities.
After seeing real results from implementing data driven changes, demand for data skilled talent is growing along with its adoption. To roll out any such changes, companies need to review and enhance their Data Architecture, Data Governance and Data Quality Management processes. The last 12 months has seen considerable growth in opportunities and wages for Data Architects, Data Scientists, Data Engineers, Data Governance Managers as well as project services candidates with strong data migration and management backgrounds.
Beyond the distribution teams, data is being used to make enhancements to middle and back office operations, allowing some of our clients to reduce costs through the increased process automation, better administration efficiency and automated systems for monitoring of crime and trade surveillance. Accessing data and information has elevated in importance, as many legacy products do not provide the required capability to do advanced modelling.
Migration to new systems such as BlackRock’s Aladdin platform or SimCorp Dimension has been a feature over the last 12 months, with a number of other firms looking to make the transition over the next due to the better access to data and information. For a clearer indication on how we see the market salaries for Data skills, Data Science, Business Analysts, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Overall, the market is offering rates for candidates with certain skills in systems or product knowledge. Programs such as the CHESS Replacement program have attracted many Project Services BA’s and PM’s with knowledge of the equities trade life cycle. Systems migrations to Aladdin or Dimension have provided attractive rates for BA’s and PM’s with legacy or incumbent platform knowledge.
Beyond this area we are also seeing investment going into Data Product Creation, with firms looking to make the most of incoming data or historical data. Organizations with large amounts of unpublished data such as Stock Exchanges are rolling out data platforms known as a “Data Sandbox” allowing organizations to capture value in big data, and providing the opportunities for other organizations to run proprietary data into platforms to gather further insights.
All things considered, Fund and Asset Managers are ready to embark on the next stage of their journeys, with Data Driven changes enabling firms to realise efficiencies, savings and growing revenue, demand for data driven talent with knowledge of the buy side industry still valuable, however, relevant market knowledge may not be as mandatory to some other areas of the business such as sales, marketing and distribution.