Blog Our First-Ever Broker-Dealer Business Intelligence Roundtable

Posted May 23, 2017 by Saadiah Freeman

Earlier this month, DST hosted our first-ever Broker-Dealer Business Intelligence Roundtable. The event began with a keynote speech from Distribution Solutions President, Steven Miyao, followed by a session in which business intelligence executives from broker-dealer firms shared their experiences and goals around managing data and analytics. In a departure from our typical roundtable format, this was followed by a panel discussion featuring business intelligence leaders from top asset management firms. The opportunity for broker-dealers and asset managers to engage with one another in an open forum made for a lively and productive discussion, which was reflected in one of the major themes: when it comes to industry data, collaboration can benefit both asset managers and broker-dealers.

While a wide range of topics were covered, from strategic matters (like the best ways to optimize financial advisors’ practices using data) to tactical issues (like how to streamline and package data most effectively), here are some key takeaways from the roundtable discussions:

  1. Data is the new oil – an incredibly valuable resource that drives the engines of business and can be exploited by those who are able to mine it effectively.
  2. Industry consortium add value because data is most useful – and most user-friendly – when it is standardized and covers the broadest possible cross-section of the industry. Clean and timely data is a priority for asset managers.
  3. Leading asset managers want to collaborate with broker-dealers on data so they can deliver the best experience to financial advisors. In fact, during the roundtable, several asset managers extended an open invitation to broker-dealers to meet with them and see how they are using advisor data.
  4. Broker-dealers also see the value in empowering asset managers to deliver better experiences to their advisors using data. Many branch offices have begun closing their doors to wholesalers; better analytics could drive more useful conversations, which would help make advisors more receptive to asset manager meetings.
  5. To achieve this, asset managers need actionable analytics that are easy for sales professionals to use. Broker-dealers support and understand this goal.
  6. At the same time, most broker-dealers recognize that they are not maximizing their internal use of data to optimize their business, and are interested in exploring ways to do this more effectively.
  7. While it’s no surprise that broker-dealers prioritize growing overall industry assets (increasing the size of the pie) over the success of individual asset managers, top asset managers are also more focused on the bigger picture than on grabbing share from competitors.
  8. Changing investor behavior and potential threats from non-traditional entrants (like tech companies) could undermine the viability of both asset managers and broker-dealers. Leading firms on both sides of the table recognize that collaborating on data can improve the overall industry in ways that are necessary for its long-term survival.



Saadiah Freeman
Engagement Manager
Research, Analytics, and Consulting

categories: business analytics, distribution strategy, roundtable/events

The views expressed in this publication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of DST Systems, Inc. or its affiliates, subsidiaries, joint ventures, officers, directors, or management.




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