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Why Asset Management Companies Need a CRM Solution Built for Them

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By Pulak Sinha, CEO, Pepper and Romi Mahajan, President, Pepper

Companies have always connected to their customers. This statement is a truism but truisms are worth remembering, especially in this age of technology-driven speed. We tend to forget that the ideas we’ve made better with technology are not necessarily new; they’re just improved with the advent of innovation.

Customer-Relationship Management (CRM) is just such an idea. While it’s an age-old notion, the last two decades have seen the enshrinement of a large category of software solutions- deemed CRM solutions- that help companies keep track of, engage, and understand their customers and prospects. Currently, there are hundreds of CRM vendors, each of which has its place in the gallery. But, as with all such things, there are still gaps to fill.

Many technology companies appear to be solutions looking for problems. We believe that a CRM solution dedicated to the needs of Asset Management firms- especially in the Alternatives and Secondaries space- is actually a problem in need of a solution. We also believe we have built it.

But no reader wants a commercial so we will stop there and offer the logic behind the notion that Asset Management Companies need a CRM built for them.

There are four reasons for this-

1. Industry Size/Industry Importance: Worldwide, Asset Managers have $120 trillion Assets under Management (AUM). These numbers are staggering. The sheer size of this industry warrants solutions that are tailored precisely to its protean needs. Assuming that a company that manages, say, $500 billion should adopt a one-size-fits-all, horizontally-focused CRM is to take tech-hubris to a new level.

2. Industry Dynamics: The world of Asset Management is complex and is rapidly becoming even more. Asset Management firms are at the crossroads of business growth and regulation, security, and governance. These firms have front, middle, and back offices and typically have a large geographical footprint. In addition, they have a myriad of customer “types” that need to be understood as distinct. It’s not just a “nice to have”, it’s the law.

3. Regulation and Risk: Where there is money, there is regulation. Customer Relationship Management in a highly-regulated industry is not the same as it is in a free-flowing one without the yoke of regulation. As such, the industry requires a level of control and management others don’t.

4. Speed to Value: Verticalized CRM solutions require far less development and customization time and resources by the customer. Asset Management firms require lower time to value in order to optimize ROI and manage risk. As such, they need to invest in verticalized CRM and not their horizontal counterparts, even if the latter are powerful platforms.

Asset Management firms deserve their own “AssetTech”. They deserve solutions and platforms built with their needs in mind from day one. The industry needs to demand contextual technology and not after-the-fact-bolt-ons.

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