Digitising investment management processes for smarter decision-making


The topic ‘Digitising investment management processes for smarter decision making’ made for an interesting discussion at the Invest Tribe at Space UK’s London BWT event on Wednesday 29 June.

Fay Chester, international solutions consulting regional director for Yardi, hosted the discussion along with co-hosts, Rachel McIssac, managing director at AEW Investment Management LLP and Jonathan Avery, head of platform technology and change at LGIM.

With extensive experience in implementing digital investment management processes for their respective businesses, they were joined by a diverse group of event attendees that led to a lively discussion.

McIssac started by outlining that AEW is driven by providing returns for investors to pay for their pensions so having systems in place to communicate efficiently was critical to keeping them engaged and ultimately happy.

“Investors need accurate and timely data. Digitalisation gives speed for REIT reporting and helps us stay ahead of our competitors.”

Avery explained how he had played a crucial role in replacing the many tech systems at Savills before joining LGIM to focus on replacing investment systems to deliver a different operating model. He expanded that by giving people tools to help do their jobs better provides better governance for the business.

Both co-hosts stressed the importance of delivering quality data for asset managers so they can be thinkers rather than information gathers. The discussion highlights included:

  • The skills asset managers now need to interpret and use both qualitative and quantitative data in their roles.
  • The pros and cons of being an early adopter of technology, the cost benefits of taking the time to test and then implement, but the danger of being out of date before it has been fully implemented.
  • New technology helping the industry such as video valuations and automated meter readings.
  • The challenges of providing occupiers with information, such as who is going to be in the office, easy access to a desk and the IT infrastructure they need to do their job.
  • Data challenges, such as legacy data, to ensure it is accurate and in a format people can digest.
  • Gamification of data to encourage healthy competition between asset managers.

Chester summed up the varied discussion by stating that user cases are more important for seeking new technology – rather than the money value – as sometimes technology is used in different ways by the user than expected.

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