As we settle into new working norms, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the financial services industry will forever look different than it did at the beginning of 2020. The future of work for financial institutions looks more virtual than ever, with subject matter experts and employees embracing new platforms, to better team and deliver solutions to solve complex problems. Hedge fund managers in Asia have been navigating significant spikes in transactions and work-from-home orders for several months longer than their counterparts in the Americas and EMEA, resulting in the acceleration of digital transformation initiatives. In a recent survey, we found that APAC is the region with the highest share of firms in the advanced stage of digital transformation implementation, ahead of peers in EMEA and North America. 53% of APAC firms surveyed are in the advanced stage of implementation, and these are most likely the ones to be accelerating transformation during the pandemic, potentially widening the gap on their competitors. For hedge funds, the pressure to mutualise processing functions to gain further efficiencies continues to be a strong trend. It’s been a busy period for Broadridge, with our clients leveraging the versatile, reliable and scalable technology that we provide to a greater extent than ever. Our solutions have proven indispensable in this volatile environment, with new fund managers coming to us as they look to upgrade from lower cost, inflexible providers that are inhibiting their change and growth potential. Of paramount importance is our ability to continue to support our clients through challenging times, and we have taken steps to minimise the risks to our people and clients by applying social-distancing measures and ensuring our employees are equipped to operate effectively from home.
The feedback from clients has been overwhelmingly positive on the maintenance of service and delivery standards. At Broadridge, like many other organisations, we have been asking ourselves what the future of work should look like now that we know we don’t need to be physically together to perform key functions – particularly, our ability to support clients. We recently announced that the majority of our 12,000+ employees globally may work at home until June 2021, and we’re using this opportunity to redesign our office spaces around the globe to be more collaborative – including in Hong Kong and Sydney where we’re working on new bespoke workspaces to open next year. The increasing trend of technology adoption in Asia has undoubtedly been accelerated due to COVID-19, impacting how and where we do business. As we look to the ‘new normal’ FinTech firms like Broadridge are increasingly becoming essential partners for financial services organisations as they look to the future. We are ready to help our clients be successful during these uncertain times and beyond.
Alastair Kelly is Head of International Operations for Broadridge Asset Management Solutions (BAMS). Based in Hong Kong, Alastair manages the BAMS Client Service and Operations teams in Europe and Asia Pacific.