Top 4 Questions Asset Managers Are Asking Ridgeline in 2023

January 31, 2023
Jack Lynch, Head of Strategy
 min read

At Ridgeline, we continually talk with many of the country’s growth-oriented buy-side asset managers. We’ve noticed that over the last few months, a variation of the same four questions has been coming up repeatedly in our conversations. These questions provide insight into firms’ near- and long-term goals as well as the broader environment the industry is facing in 2023.

Question 1: How can our firm grow and maintain top-line revenue in a down market?  

Our response: Elevate your client management.

Asset management is built upon long-term, trusted relationships with investors. Healthy client relationships are key to making it through periods of volatility. However, many asset managers still separate investment data and relationship data. This makes it challenging to assess the state of a relationship in real time, let alone all your relationships at scale. 

At Ridgeline, we believe that Client Management has the potential to preserve relationships and even catalyze growth when combined with the rest of your operations. Happy clients will not only keep their assets where they are, they will also help bring in new investors through positive word of mouth. To retain your clients’ trust (and their assets) during these times, your front-line sales and services team must act as a united front. They can’t do that if they’re working off of stale, disjointed information and separate systems. 

Our unified platform surfaces relationship data and investor communications alongside all critical portfolio and order management details. Investor-facing teams get fresh perspective with access to information that informs high-quality client interactions, including:

  • Compliance mandates
  • Billing and Investment Policy Statements
  • Recent trades
  • Up-to-date performance numbers 

Having all this information in the same system empowers teams to respond to each client inquiry rapidly and accurately. Consistently demonstrating white-glove service deepens investor trust, provides a more complete understanding of your business, and lets you preserve and improve the health of each relationship.

Question 2: We have many critical systems that don’t integrate well with one another. How can we get them to work together to generate one version of the truth?

Our response: Unify them.

Data management is one of the most pressing issues for firms today. Over the past 20 years or so, the number of “solutions” firms have stacked together has become its own problem. All of those disparate sets of data and the demands of system management make for inefficient, risk-laden workflows that bog down operations and consume resources.

Ridgeline is different. An easy way to think about what Ridgeline offers is that we bring together four of asset manager’s primary systems of record in one place:

  • Portfolio Management (PMS)
  • Trade Order Management (TOM)
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
  • Revenue Management (RM)

These applications are bound together on one powerful, enterprise-grade platform fed by a single source of data that’s synced across the system in real time. Having these systems built together from the start allows for more seamless operations, as evidenced by end-to-end workflows, task notifications, and a compliance engine.

We understand how critical it is for your operations to run smoothly and for decisions to be made with absolute confidence in the accuracy of the underlying data. Ridgeline removes many headaches associated with stitched-together systems, batch imports/export of different data sets, costly downstream errors, delays, and managing separate tech. 

Question 3: Our growth has complicated our IT landscape. Management of all these systems is a hassle. How can we simplify?

Our response: Move to the cloud.

To be more specific: move to cloud native. Because while a lot of vendors claim to be “cloud,” not all solutions are created equal. 

Unlike other vendors, Ridgeline was built in the cloud from day one (hence, “cloud native”). Because we aren’t backing into the technology as a “lift and shift” like other systems that weren’t built in the cloud from the start, we can offer the full scope of cloud-native benefits to customers. This includes:

  • Continuous updates through weekly releases and one version of the code
  • No IT or infrastructure management 
  • No painful, disruptive upgrades characteristic of legacy systems
  • Processing power that scales to meet even your most high-volume trading days 
  • Nimble microservices instead of difficult-to-evolve monolithic architecture 

Cloud-native tech becomes a competitive advantage by delivering continuous innovation and arming you with the adaptability to embrace whatever comes next. Imagine being able to take advantage of cutting-edge features and tools immediately. No two-year wait for the next upgrade. No $100K+ consulting services expense.

Question 4: I’m excited about the potential of a SaaS-based offering. However, it feels like there's a new cybersecurity breach every day. How can I be innovative while protecting my investors' data? 

Our response: Make it secure from day one.

Ridgeline is obsessed with security, so you don’t have to be. One of our first hires was a highly-respected Chief Security Officer (side note: Jeremy also has a pretty rad beard). We made becoming SOC II Type 2 certified an early priority and have never compromised on our commitment to security since then. 

Here are some of the ways Ridgeline provides firms peace of mind in a security landscape that's constantly changing:

  • Zero Trust model requiring ongoing authentication, verification, and authorization 
  • Built on AWS, the same best-in-class infrastructure relied upon by FINRA and NASDAQ
  • Regular security training of every Ridgeline employee
  • Customer data within our infrastructure, storage, and computing resources is encrypted at rest and in transit via industry-standard techniques (e.g., AES-256, TLS 1.2) 
  • Continuous monitoring for potential security changes or events and robust threat event response plans and training 

While these questions have come up frequently of late, they’re nothing new to Ridgeline. Since day one, we’ve stayed laser focused on helping firms grow efficiently and adapt securely – regardless of market conditions. 

If any of these questions resonate with you, let’s talk. We welcome the chance to meet with like-minded firms who are looking for a competitive advantage in 2023 and beyond.

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