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Operations Benchmarking

The world’s leading investment managers trust us to guide them through the complexities of managing their operations toward success in reducing risk while saving time and money. Armed with a set of specific, relevant measures, our clients can track and monitor progress consistently and accurately.

CutterBenchmarking helps investment managers understand how they stack up to their industry peers across operational capabilities. Our studies reveal business insights critical to improving systems frameworks and operational efficiencies. They also provide an empirical foundation for engaging senior management and corporate stakeholders in discussions about where your organization needs to be.

Cutter Associates Capability ModelTM

By measuring processing effectiveness against peers with CutterBenchmarking, we are able to identify areas of strength and opportunities for improvement in our investment operations.

 - Senior Managing Director, Large Financial Services Provider

The Cutter Associates Capability Models

The Cutter Associates Capability Models incorporate CutterConsulting and CutterResearch expertise as well as insights from our client communities, more than 6000 strong.

Using the consistent process measurements of our Capability Models, CutterBenchmarking reveals exactly where you stand along a spectrum of operational capabilities.


We distribute a survey of 50–75 questions to participating firms, and within a week of receiving responses, we provide you with an initial “flash” report, comparing your capabilities to our standard model. Then we perform a deeper analysis, comparing your capabilities directly with your peers in a final, comprehensive report containing the following:



Current Study

Investment Book of Record (IBOR)

Historically, there has been a diverse range of opinions and interpretations of what constitutes IBOR requirements within the industry, and although opinions are converging this benchmark survey takes an agnostic and inclusive view of what IBOR might mean to firms in terms of their current and future needs.

While the role of IBOR is to support the Investment Management decision making process, the exact nature of a firm's IBOR requirements will vary as their investment strategies, processes, and operating models shape the timeliness, granularity, and breadth of data these processes require.

Benchmarking Library




Cutter's definition of IBOR, used for the purposes of this capability model:

An IBOR delivers the current best available view of investment data suitable for investment decision-making, incorporating:

Current status and forward projections of:

  • Portfolio investment holdings, with a breakdown of transactions and security lifecycle events and their status
  • Cash positions and breakdown of transactions and status

Reference data and derived analytics required to support the investment decision-making process

The users of IBOR information are decision-makers:

  • Primarily portfolio managers making investment decisions
  • Secondarily risk managers, compliance officers, and other managers

Please contact us if you would like to take part or would like more information.


Understand Your Business Metrics

In order to maximize the value that IT and Operations provided, our client wanted to understand how they measured up in relation to similar peers when it came to best practices for supporting their investment process.




When Predictions Are Wise
Jan 12, 2017

It’s that time of year again, when our inboxes fill up with Top Trends lists, offering predictions and insights for the coming year on industry changes, issues, developments, and technological innovations. The lists are self promotional of course, but some can help you to anticipate industry direction, recognize new business issues, and re-prioritize your strategic plans for 2017.

Learn More

Investment Book of Record
Oct 16, 2014

This research report answers the questions about what Investment Book of Record (IBOR) really means to investment management firms, why it is needed, how it can be implemented, and what vendor solutions offer.

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Managing Operating Costs
Oct 16, 2014

This research report includes a discussion of how investment management firms are managing operating costs, and why it is so important. It also includes best practices for managing operating costs.

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The True Cost of Market Data: Operational Impacts
Jun 30, 2014

Investment management firms require more data and increasingly complex data, but they also want help understanding what their costs are and how to manage them more effectively.

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Metrics for the Business
Nov 7, 2012

This research report offers a comprehensive overview of how asset managers are using quantitative assessments to measure people, process, and technology.

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Metrics for the Business
Aug 15, 2012

A Cutter AdvantEdge article on metric analysis - an invaluable tool for optimizing your business, reducing costs, mitigating risk and delivering added value.

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 Mary Storrs

Mary Storrs

Principal, Head of CutterResearch and CutterBenchmarking
Mary Storrs has over 30 years of experience working in the investment management industry. She has been with Cutter Associates for over 14 years, first as a consultant focusing on front office projects and subsequently with CutterResearch since its inception. Mary assumed leadership of the Research division in 2011 and continues to innovate the product to deliver the very best research available to the investment management community. At Cutter Associates, Mary has authored research reports in a variety of content areas including trading, portfolio management, transaction cost analysis, investment research management, and market data systems. She is currently responsible for the Research and Benchmarking teams. She oversees all the research Cutter Associates delivers to our members and ensures that content is relevant and timely.  As Head of the Benchmarking team, Mary oversees CutterBenchmarking studies which allow our members to understand how they compare to their industry peers and their relative positioning with regards to industry best practices. Mary holds an M.B.A. from Babson College and a B.S. from Boston College.


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