Feb 17, 2023

The following blog post is one in a series of Cutter 2023 Trends that provide insights into industry challenges and considerations for our clients and member firms in 2023 and beyond.

In 2022, investment managers contended with every imaginable risk and shock that could be thrown at them. And if some of the early predictions for 2023 materialize, investment managers will once again face difficulties in navigating the coming year. That said, we already see risk managers looking for new and improved ways to meet these challenges. But no matter what happens, every single day in 2023 will be just another day at the office for risk management.

Of course, investment managers can’t avoid risk ─ in some cases, it’s necessary. While past events have proved that we can’t predict the future, we can learn from the past and adapt by refining your firm’s tools and controls to better prepare for what may come.

As a start, risk management teams in 2023 will need to adapt by adjusting their controls and practices to prepare for the likelihood of new threats or scenarios, such as spread risks, or the possibility that a loan becomes longer in duration than expected (extension risk). Liquidity risk will continue to attract more attention. And at least in the near term, some investment managers may look for other solutions if factor risk models and correlations no longer work as they should.

We expect that we’ll also start seeing firms make improvements this year in managing risk in the private markets space. Although firms have increased their allocations to alternative assets, some of these markets are cyclical and undergoing changes now that rates are rising and borrowing becomes more expensive. Rising rates, alongside other potential economic threats, should help firms drive innovation, encourage them to develop better controls and risk practices for alternative investments, and move some away from relying solely on public market proxies. Some limited partner investors will also begin to evaluate the underlying assets in their private market portfolios, while more direct investors will adjust their valuations based on changes in the public markets.

In 2023, we also expect to see new alternative asset vendors emerge. Some vendors that are already known in these markets will begin to extend their footprints further upstream, beyond the operational support for private investments that they have focused on in years past. As investment managers search for higher yields and investors look for new opportunities, this will also prompt some vendors to extend their support into new areas of coverage, such as debt or infrastructure.

Lastly, we see risk management teams playing an increasing role in managing climate risk, or more broadly ESG risk. While the management of ESG varies by firm, we do predict an evolving federated structure where more investment risk professionals will be tasked with monitoring for ESG-related risks, as part of firms fulfilling client mandates and fiduciary roles. Of course, all of this will be impacted by the most unpredictable of risks ─ politics.

Only time will tell what’s truly in store for our industry in 2023, but we’re confident that the firms we work with at Cutter will build a proper line of defense and be prepared.

To speak with a Cutter analyst or consultant about this trend, contact us at [email protected]. To read more 2023 Trends, see our whitepaper, Trends in Asset Management: 2023 and Beyond.