U.S. Vendor Management & Operations Outsourcing 2022

The Evolution of the Asset Manager Operating Model

Solve myriad challenges in institutional asset management

  • Uncover the asset management solutions that are being adopted by institutional asset managers to remain competitive
  • Discover how smaller asset managers with more limited budgets and resources can approach internal solutions to compete
  • Explore ways in which third-party service providers assist managers with limited resources and allow for smaller managers to attain scale


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Report Institutional Service 2022 Detail

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Mason Gillespie

Mason Gillespie

Associate Director, Account Management


Institutional relationships have grown more complex over the last 10 years and third-party providers have emerged to help solve myriad challenges in institutional asset management. Cerulli’s inaugural report on asset management solutions will focus on database providers, risk analytics, reporting, and other solutions that are being adopted by institutional asset managers to remain competitive. The report addresses how smaller asset managers with more limited budgets and resources can approach internal solutions to compete when compared to asset managers with trillions of dollars or more in assets under management. The report will also focus on third-party service providers, such as fund providers, outsourced chief compliance officers, and back-office outsourcing firms, that assist managers with limited resources and allow for smaller managers to attain scale.

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A Note from the Author

Asset Managers Turn to Operational Outsourcing

James Tamposi, CFA

James Tamposi, CFA

Associate Director

Bio →

James Tamposi, CFA

James Tamposi, CFA

Associate Director

James (Jack) is the lead author of Cerulli’s North American Institutional Markets report and sets the agenda for The Cerulli Edge—U.S. Institutional Edition. Jack has led U.S. market entry strategy and U.S. institutional pricing optimization projects, supporting both foreign and domestic asset managers. During his time at Cerulli, he has contributed to reports across Cerulli’s suite of institutional research, focusing on topics such as insurance general accounts, outsourced chief investment officers, alternative investments, and U.S. subadvisory.

Prior to joining Cerulli, Jack worked as a Research Associate for Chatham Partners.

Full biography here.

As managers confront fee pressure, increased regulation, and fundamental factors that interrupt long-term sustainability (e.g., higher-than-normal turnover), they are increasingly outsourcing functions to third parties. According to our research, improving internal employee productivity (65%) and leveraging external capabilities (65%) are deemed the most significant outsourcing drivers. Managers look to firms that can specialize and build scale in a given task or function. Increasingly, managers seek to enhance efficiencies and fortify operational resilience by partnering with third parties. Hence, outsourcing is a governance play in addition to traditional cost motives.

One-third (33%) of asset managers surveyed by Cerulli outsource their entire back-office function and 20% outsource their entire middle-office function. Increasingly, Cerulli observes that outsourcing has become more accepted by the industry. Breakaway managers (or portfolio managers who break away from their current employers to start new firms) are employing an outsourced model starting on Day 1.

As managers evaluate the future state of their operating models, outsourcing will become increasingly important. Continue to explore asset managers’ use of third-party services providers and examine specific topics such as vendor risk management, relationship management, the selection process, and challenges with implementation in our latest report, U.S. Vendor Management & Operations Outsourcing 2022: The Evolution of the Asset Manager Operating Model.

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