White Papers

Future of Operations: Changing the Nature of Work


Workplaces in the financial services industry were already in the midst of a dramatic transformation when COVID-19 introduced an unprecedented degree of disruption. Financial firms faced the challenge of radically overhauling how they did business almost overnight. After adjusting to having their workforces connecting from remote locations, companies throughout the industry have been working with employees to address an array of new challenges. As managers have worked to get a handle on the uncertainties of the present, they are also casting an eye on how their teams can use data and new technologies to innovate for the future.

The workplace has changed dramatically in recent years. Improving technologies, bottom-line imperatives and an unexpected public health crisis have forced managers to adapt rapidly to change, some of which they were able to plan for and some of which no one saw coming. In this white paper, Broadridge and SIFMA’s Asset Management Group (SIFMA AMG) examine the impact of these changes and more.









This white paper is the third installment in our Future of Operations white paper series. The first paper titled “Simplify, Innovate, Transform” discussed the drivers for change and the vision to streamline requirements, eliminate steps and embrace innovation and innovative technologies to create genuine transformation. The second white paper, titled “Finding a Home for Fintech”, focused on harnessing the power of new technologies to transform operations, reduce human workload, increase efficiency and lower cost.

Well before the spread of COVID-19, competitive pressures, changing investor attitudes and an evolving workforce were coming together to reshape the way the industry operates. As technology has improved the ability of asset managers to understand and reach out to their clients, it’s also created opportunities to speed up, simplify and transform operations.

This means that a broader range of workers have been expected to take a creative, hands-on approach to develop new skill sets, thereby creating efficiencies and solving for challenges in the middle- and back-office environments.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, managers who were preparing to, or already working toward, realigning their operations have now been hit with the biggest business continuity challenge of their lifetimes. Firms that had been reluctant to allow employees to work from home have been suddenly forced to migrate most of their operations to widely distributed remote locations. And as they deal with that difficulty, they are also facing the challenge of processing record volumes of trades, rapid flows of money and addressing novel client problems arising from the economic fallout of the pandemic.

As a public health crisis increased the urgency of their decisions, firms committed to expedite their adoption of fintech. Opting to push forward with projects to automate and streamline more of their operations was crucial to the industry’s success in navigating an unprecedented and unforeseen series of problems, as was their workers’ ability to rise to the challenge with ingenuity and resourcefulness.

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