White Papers

The Future of Client Onboarding


New approaches from leading buy-side and sell-side firms for client lifecycle management



Asset Management, Operations & Technology






Onboarding: On the Brink of Transformation


Onboarding and client lifecycle management have stepped into the spotlight. Both the buy side and sell side now recognize that improving the onboarding experience provides a competitive advantage by creating positive client relationships. Simultaneously, a new wave of onboarding technologies is bringing the potential for true digital transformation within reach for the first time.

This combination of organizational support and technological advancement has given onboarding teams an opportunity to transform the function. But what is the best way forward?

SIFMA and IHS Markit explored the answer by conducting one-on-one interviews and bilateral conversations with both buy-side and sell-side participants. Their responses identified some of the processes and technologies that are helping to streamline and strengthen the client lifecycle from end to end.

We discovered that leading buy-side teams were establishing a central command, commissioning point specialists to replace generalist teams, centralizing data and documentation and establishing regular stakeholder communications.

Similarly, establishing a single point of contact, taking a bolder approach to collecting client data, centralizing and integrating the workflow and centralizing the data were all approaches that were helping the sell side to streamline and enhance the onboarding process.

When it comes to technology, we found that many onboarding teams were planning ambitious digital transformations. They are seeking to enhance workflow efficiency and scale, consolidate and coordinate data and develop systems that support greater visibility for both internal and external stakeholders. Platform technologies are also enabling both buy-side and sell-side participants to stabilize their systems by closing the loop with formal offboarding processes.

We invite you to explore this whitepaper to discover what some of your onboarding peers are doing and catch a glimpse of the exciting possibilities on the horizon.

Brittany Garland
Executive Director | Operational Risk & Regulatory Compliance
IHS Markit

Timothy W. Cameron
Managing Director & Head of the Asset Management Group



  • Catalyst for Change: Onboarding’s Pivotal Moment
  • The Buy Side: Suggestions for Transformation
  • The Sell Side: Suggestions for Transformation
  • Onboarding Technology: Riding the Second Wave
  • Conclusion