March 2021


Fundamental changes in the asset management industry have been building for some time. In a new and wide-ranging BNY Mellon research study covering 200 asset managers around the globe, we show why such changes have reached a point of no return. The study also includes actionable insights to help asset managers thrive in this new world. 

Download overview report for insights into asset managers’ perspectives about their future ability to generate alpha and grow their investor base.  

Geopolitical and demographic shifts have redefined the market landscape.  With COVID-19, these pressures intensified. The industry is more focused than ever on the ability to operate digitally with resiliency.

Our survey participants told us again and again - there is no going back. The research uncovered five themes that illustrate their perceptions about the industry's future and what it will take to succeed. 


See below for a preview of these five themes. We will also be releasing in-depth chapters to explore the perceptions and concerns in each area.

“The pandemic has forced asset managers to rethink their operating model. Now more than ever, they recognize the need to digitize and automate as much as they can to reduce risk and improve efficiency.”  

— Irene Speridakos, Head of Investment Managers BNY Mellon, Asset Servicing & Digital

The five themes transforming the asset management industry:

  1. Data determines destiny: Asset managers are harnessing the tools, expertise, and infrastructure needed to turn data into actionable insights that can drive growth in investments and their investor base. 

  2. Digital imperatives dominate: Asset managers are trying to harness digital technologies to support a data-centric world while growing and serving their investors with agility.

  3. The product lineup is realigning: Asset managers know they need to stand out from the crowd and meet the shifting demographic preferences of an increasingly outcomes-focused investor base.

  4. The distribution game has new rules: Digital channels compel asset managers to root out inefficiencies and find innovative, customizable, and scalable solutions for greater reach in a competitive marketplace.

  5. Focus on the core is key: Asset managers see operational complexity and concerns as deciding factors in their ability to focus on generating value and to achieve growth in an already-complex world.
  • By the Numbers
  • #1
    strategic goal for 2021 – using data & analytics to drive investment performance*
  • 93%
    identified portfolio management as top area to deploy digital capabilities*
  • 67%
    plan to increase reliance on service providers to meet digital challenges*

* As identified by survey respondents

Discover more in the Asset Management: Transformation Is Already Here survey research series 

Chapter One – Data Determines Destiny 


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