5 Solutions for Investment Management Operations Problems

Operational issues cost your firm dearly, and for the sake of the organization and your job, you should do something about them.

Don't accept poor reporting, excess headcount, bad hires, low ROI on technology, and high turnover as a natural course of business.

Fortunately, there are ways to solve these problems or at least mitigate the risk.

5 Ways to Resolve Operational Headaches

Quality Assurance and Control Systems

Inaccurate and missing data ruins everything. There will be cash and positions breaks, and almost any kind of report you run will be wrong.

Having a quality assurance system in place would help detect errors before you send out the reports.

Whether you develop the QA and QC system in-house or find quality management software,  you can expect the reconciliation and performance reporting quality to be much improved.

Time Tracking Software

Having quality reporting is important, but so is getting the work done in a timely manner.

Having a time tracking system lets you monitor how long it takes your team to finish an assignment. The system tracks the time for each day, and you'll get time averages, means, medians, and outliers.

With enough data, you can conclude roughly how long it should take to a complete a task. In turn, your holding your middle- and back-office operations team accountable. They can't just stretch out a task twice as long without you knowing about it.

Capterra has compiled a list of time tracking software that may be worth looking at.

Testing Your Operations Hires

Some of your hires did a great job BS'ing their way into your organization, much to your regret.

They don't know as much as they said they knew in the interview, and once on the job, you find out they're not processing corporate actions correctly, and they don't know the difference between internal rate of return (IRR) and net present value (NPV).

Testing the candidates before hiring is a good idea. As an example, you can create a test on the basics of portfolio accounting and how to use your portfolio accounting system.

You'll be able to weed out the bad candidates better, and of those you select, you have a more accurate gauge of what they're capable of.

Leveraging Third Party Specialists

You know what the solutions are, but often times you don't have the time or the resources to implement them.

For example, your organization may have purchased new technology because you were told it would increase operational efficiency. The only problem is you're not fully utilizing the technology, because you don't know all of the features or you don't know how to use them.

Third party IT and operational managed services providers could help you get the most out of your technology. They can help automate routine tasks and set up QA systems.

In addition, you could outsource middle-office and back-office operational functions, and there are companies that specialize in fund administration and accounting on the software you use.

Improving Your Hiring IQ 

You not only want to hire the right person, but you also want to make sure they don't leave you.

Employees need to be fully engaged and incentivized, and if they aren't, you'll likely suffer from high turnover.

Find out how suitable someone is for the job. Get a feel for their skill sets, personality, goals, interests, and what motivates them to work hard.

You can find out these things by having them take personality and aptitude tests. Industrial psychologists can help you administer these tests, and they'll present you the results and offer professional advice on which candidates to consider. In turn, you'll hire a candidate who will stick around longer.

If you're looking for literature on improving your hiring skills, read Boost Your Hiring IQ.

Don't Settle For Less When It Comes to Your Investment Operations

Operational woes kill efficiency, profits, and in some cases, the organization itself!

You shouldn't tolerate these headaches because if you don't something about them, your superiors won't tolerate you.

The good thing is you know what the solutions are.

Now it's just a matter of implementation.

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