Cutter Associates Study Sheds Light on Investment Operations Organization and Staffing

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Operations professionals are assuming more responsibilities as firms try to control costs while growing assets

Cutter Associates, a leading provider of operations and technology research and expertise to the investment management industry, recently completed a benchmarking study on the ways investment management firms organize and staff their operations function.

The study found an average across all participating firms of 46 full-time employees (FTEs) in the operations function. Comparing the number of operations employees to staffing in other areas, the study found that for every 10 operations FTEs, the firms have an average of nine front office FTEs. The study also compared the number of operations employees to trading volume, revealing that on average the firms had one operations FTE to a monthly trading volume of 140 trades. Cutter compared the study’s results to a study they conducted in 2011 and found that the average number of operations FTEs has increased across firms of all sizes.

The new study also reveals that operations professionals are taking on some traditional IT responsibilities, such as supporting IT application development and infrastructure. They are also supporting other non-traditional functions such as cyber security, enterprise risk, and vendor management. Angela Centeno, Senior Research Analyst at Cutter Associates and co-author of the report, said “Although some operations functions have been outsourced to service providers, staffing numbers in operations are increasing, and operations professionals are taking on tasks beyond the traditional scope of operations, such as regulatory reporting and IT functions.”

Cutter Associates conducted the study in the third quarter of 2017 with 34 participants from across the globe representing a cross-section of the investment management industry, including investment managers, insurance companies, pension plans, and public funds.

About Cutter Associates, LLC
Cutter Associates, LLC serves the operational and technology needs of the global asset management industry, providing clients the tools and services they need to be successful. By leveraging multi-faceted expertise and an unrivaled knowledgebase, Cutter Associates provides clients truly independent research, exclusive member-only events, custom operations benchmarking, and a global consultancy for strategic advice on and delivery of operational and technology excellence. Cutter Associates works with the world's leading asset managers, owners, and servicers. Headquartered in Hingham, MA, Cutter Associates has subsidiaries in Canada and the UK, and is on the web at http://www.cutterassociates.com.

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Susan Donald

Yasuo Togawa, Kiyotaka Kobari
@CutterAssociate
since: 04/2012
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