Category Archives: Disclosure Management

Build or Buy: How to Decide?

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Build vs. Buy for Financial Services: How to Decide When You're Considering Automation

By:  John Toepfer

When looking at content automation and sales enablement solutions, firms are often confronted with a tough decision: To build or buy? Over the past 20 years in this business, I’ve participated in many of these discussions and seen the decision go both ways. Sometimes the decision is successful and other times it ends up a costly mistake. On one hand, it isn’t always less expensive nor less risky to build software solutions in-house as opposed to buying commercial solutions. I’ve seen cases where application development projects were initiated with the intent of justifying and maintaining the technology team, but unfortunately never get off the ground because they can’t be supported technically or economically. What then ends up happening, after all the internal effort and expense, is a new commercial solution is procured to replace it. On the other hand, there are times when the technological or business needs are so pertinent to the company’s value or operations, that they cannot be outsourced. In these circumstances, if the project or platform has the board of directors’ approval and the IT organization is truly committed to the budget and vision, then there’s a good case for insourcing as opposed to outsourcing. At the end of the day, the success or failure of any development effort should be measured against the same criteria. When weighing the decision to build or buy, I recommend using these six criteria:

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The 3 Ways to Approach Content Automation

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3 ways to approach content automation

By Rachel Totten

Due to the competitive nature of the financial services industry, content automation has become a strategic priority for many.  With a finish line goal to improve scalability, risk management and brand compliance, the race is on to improve marketing and sales operations.  The challenge firms face is knowing how to approach content automation.  Is it better to build or buy?  What are the differences between the leading vendors, and their approaches?

In 2017, we commissioned some research on how asset managers are automating content production.  The research found 3 common models: Fully outsourced, DIY, and hybrid.  Here’s a brief description of each and the pros and cons.

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5 Mistakes Asset Managers Make When Managing Disclosures

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By Kaitlin McInerney

Five biggest disclosure management mistakes by asset managers

Managing disclosure language has been a critical element of Synthesis’ document automation approach for almost two decades. Even with modern technology and processes, disclosures continue to be a pain-point for most asset management firms. Recently, we’ve been doing research into the processes asset managers use to manage their disclosures. The goal of this research is to better-understand why disclosure management continues to be problematic. Through our discussions with marketing and compliance professionals at large and small investment management firms, we’ve been digging-into how firms create, edit, distribute, and retire disclosure language — and what the major issues are.Read More

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Asset Managers Describe Disclosure Management Processes as ‘Cumbersome’ and ‘Risky’

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By Emilie Totten

Global Disclosure Management for Asset Managers

With $79.4m levied in the first half of 2016, FINRA is on pace to shell-out a record number of fines this year. In an article published last week, Compliance Reporter announced that the regulator will surpass the previous record year by nearly 20% — potentially sending a clear message to firms that the regulator is in an enforcement frame of mind.

In addition, new SEC regulations like Form ADV and N-PORT are putting even more pressure on registered investment companies to examine their regulatory enterprise risk management practices. Fund Operations reported that “RICs need to embrace the mandate of the new regulatory initiatives and proactively develop, implement and maintain robust Regulatory ERM systems to comply with…reporting obligations.”

As regulators continue to amp-up their scrutiny, many asset managers are taking a hard look at how they’re managing disclosures. Read More

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