Mass customization, industrial-strength technology, shifts in the workforce—welcome to the future of asset management. One of the big questions confronting investment firms today is: With so much change, how can you proactively assemble the right vision, strategy and capabilities needed to invent your company’s future?

Today’s evolving business and technology landscape requires investment firms to take a 360° approach to transformation, including reinventing the client experience, reimagining how data flows across the organization, and integrating technology into investment decision-making and product capabilities.

While it could be tempting for firms to retreat to what they know, the events of 2020 highlighted the need for a different path. If asset managers take a clear-eyed perspective and embed innovation into their organization’s DNA, they could emerge as winners in 2025.

Meet tomorrow’s asset management leader

Business savviness combined with the ability to forge trust, turbo charge technology and create hyper-relevant customer experiences at scale is a new key core competency. What do we think asset management will look like in 2025?

  • Asset managers will be more responsive to client needs on the digital level.
  • The personal relationship with an advisor will erode and investors will take charge.
  • Firms will be mostly cloud-based and AI-operated.
  • Corporate responsibility will become a global priority. New tools will empower millions globally to participate.
  • There will be much more active investing and customization, and AI will play a huge role in differentiation.

Accenture conducted field research across North America in late 2020 to better understand asset managers' priorities for today, tomorrow and into 2025. The survey included 250 senior executives at asset management firms—including institutional, retail, alternative and hedge funds. Responses were wide-ranging:

95%

of executives agree that an asset manager’s technology, data and digital capabilities will be differentiators in 2025.

80%

of executives state that “customization for the masses” as an investment strategy will define the next five years.

97%

of executives believe that brand and purpose are important differentiators in the asset management industry.

83%

of executives state that their firm is actively looking to expand into new investment products and strategies.

91%

of executives intend to transform their product distribution value chain within the next five years.

76%

of executives state that their investment capabilities will become more important than the products they offer.

A 360° look at asset management in 2025

To help support your decision making at this crucial juncture, we’ve created a future-oriented analysis that looks at six aspects of the asset management model: brand, products, sales and distribution, investment capabilities, investment operations and talent and culture. This analysis examines how these aspects stand on their own and also how they are interconnected.

Brand: You are who your customers think you are

Tell a compelling story about your brand that aligns with customer needs. Follow through on it by making it easy for customers to achieve their goals.

Products: Investor expectations are changing

Extend products and services beyond traditional boundaries. Know your customers and provide innovative offerings that meet their specific needs.

Distribution: Provide hyper-relevant experiences

Reimagine client interactions, create a seamless experience and build trust by breaking down organizational silos supported by data and technology.

Investment capabilities: New tech, new alpha

Pave a path toward better returns with AI, analytics and alternative data. Technology fuels the agility that could keep you ahead of the pack.

Investment operations: Operate intelligently

Build a best-in-breed, innovative technology engine capable of delivering value-generating, customer centric processes at scale.

Talent: Humans + machines work better together

Transform your workplace to deliver a superior, digital age employee and customer experience by blending the best mix of humans and technology.

View All

Don’t wait for change to come…invent it

Thriving in this moment and beyond requires ambitious asset management leaders who are not content with business as usual but who are willing to up-end convention and invent their future. Opportunities exist for those willing to break from the mentality of “that’s how we’ve always done things” and instead design what comes next.

About the Authors

Mike Kerrigan

Managing Director – Capital Markets, Asset Management Lead


Girard Healy

Managing Director – Asset Management


William Monaghan

Senior Manager – Asset Management


Caroline Chambers

Senior Manager – Asset Management​


Ross Tremblay

Senior Manager – Asset Management

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