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Enjoy full access any time, from anywhere, to the complete library of CutterResearch reports. Our research into technology and operational issues is distinguished by always being thorough and unbiased, and because members direct the research topics, our content is always relevant.

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Recently Published Research


The Impact of COVID-19 on Student Housing

Aug 10, 2020

8 pages

In the US, the start of the fall semester is upon us at many colleges and universities, but many questions remain. This paper explores institutional investment in student housing and how the real estate sector could be impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

More institutional capital has been allocated to the student housing sector in recent years, and this sector has shown real promise with some sizeable deals in the past few years. This paper explores some of the challenges that the student housing sector may face as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, and it uses newly released data from Yardi Matrix to illustrate how some schools that rely on international and out-of-state enrollment could be in trouble if we do not see a return to pre-COVID-19 enrollment levels.

Lights, Camera, Action: Performance Measurement and Attribution 2020

Aug 10, 2020

8 pages

This report highlights the Performance Measurement and Attribution (PMA) research currently underway for publication later this year. We introduce how the PMA vendor landscape has changed and what makes PMA challenging.

There will be more content coming later this year with member practices and assessments of PMA systems, but for now, like a good movie trailer, we hope these early findings has you wanting more. Get your popcorn ready, and stay tuned for the full PMA research report later this year.

Data Science and Analytics for the Front Office

Jun 17, 2020

Research Report
77 pages

This research explores how investment management firms are using data analytics technologies to inform and streamline investment processes. It covers how firms can best organize to support data analytics, the role IT and data management play, and the skill sets and tools that can help.

We include an overview of the technologies that are in use and available that support data science and analytics, including overviews of solutions from the following vendors: 1010data, Alteryx, AnswerRocket, Amazon SageMaker, Azure Synapse Analytics, Bloomberg BQuant, Databricks, Dataiku, Datameer, DataRobot, Denodo, FactSet, Google Cloud Platform, Jupyter, KNIME, MemSQL, MLflow, Power BI, Qlik, RapidMiner, Refinitiv, S&P Global Market Intelligence, SAS, Snowflake, Tableau Software, and Zepl.

2020 Trends – Part One: Transformative Times in Asset Management

Jan 6, 2020

10 pages

CutterResearch presents part one of a four-part series on asset management trends that provides an overview of key areas of focus during these transformative times in asset management.

In an environment of shrinking revenue due to lower fees and increased costs, shifting client preferences, regulations and consolidation, and advancing technology, successful asset managers will be the ones that can transform. How? By innovating to create growth opportunities, differentiating to retain clients, and maximizing efficiency by leveraging data, services, and technology.

Behavioral Analysis in Investment Management

Oct 28, 2019

11 pages

The purpose of behavioral analysis in investment management is to examine active investment management decisions and create a plan to improve behaviors detrimental to alpha generation. This whitepaper offers an introduction into the pressures investment managers are under that are driving them to use behavioral analysis, common types of behaviors that jeopardize alpha, and a summary of providers of behavioral analysis software and services.

Behavioral analysis service providers highlighted include: Alpha Theory, Cabot Investment Technology, Essentia Analytics, and Inalytics.

Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC)

Oct 25, 2019

Research Report
75 pages

This report contains the results of Cutter Associates research on governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) for investment management. It includes information on industry issues and trends, challenges and best practices, and GRC systems.

The research focuses on how investment management firms are designing effective and efficient GRC approaches that align people, processes, and technology with a firm’s risk appetite, internal policies, and external regulations. It also explores the vendor landscape and provides an overview of some GRC vendors and their system capabilities.

We summarize the GRC capabilities of the following vendors and products: 360factors: Predict360, CAMMS Group: cammsrisk, CURA, Dell Technologies: RSA Archer GRC , Ethidex: Compliance Office, Galvanize: HighBond, IBM: OpenPages with Watson, LinkResQ Ltd: CalQRisk, LogicGate, LogicManager, MetricStream: M7, NAVEX: Lockpath Keylight, Onspring Technologies, ProcessUnity, Protecht Group: Protecht.ERM, Refinitiv: Risk Management, Resolver: ResolverCore, SAI Global, SAP: SAP GRC, Wolters Kluwer, and Xactium.


Alternative Investments

Oct 25, 2019

Research Report
143 pages

This report on alternative investments provides information about solutions that can be used at various stages of the investment lifecycle, including systems that support contact management, due diligence, deal pipeline management, document management, portfolio construction, portfolio monitoring and analysis, and operational support.

This research includes an overview of the vendor landscape, insight into CutterResearch member system usage and practices, and detailed reviews of systems with varying functionality to support direct and indirect investments in infrastructure, private equity, and real estate. This report features reviews of Backstop Solutions, BlackRock (eFront), Burgiss, Dynamo Software, FIS, Mercatus, SimCorp, and Yardi.

ESG Investing

Oct 25, 2019

Research Report
99 pages

This research investigates environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing, the state of the market, and challenges experienced by asset owners and asset managers. It profiles third-party products that offer ESG data, ratings, evaluation, and services.

The research looks at the different forms of ESG investing, and practices of CutterResearch member firms, the industry bodies involved, and drivers behind the recent growth We profile different types of service providers offering ESG data, ESG ratings, specialist portfolio evaluation, and proxy voting advice.

We provide descriptions of the following providers of ESG data and services: Arabesque S-Ray, Beyond Ratings, Bloomberg, Carbon Delta, Ceres, Climetrics, CSSP: yourSRI, FactSet, Four Twenty Seven, FTSE Russell, Glass Lewis, ISS, Morningstar, MSCI ESG Research, Refinitiv, RepRisk, RIMES, S&P Global Markets Intelligence Trucost, State Street ESGX, Sustainalytics, Truvalue Labs, Verisk Maplecroft, Vigeo Eiris.


Predictive Analytics for Operations

Oct 9, 2019

7 pages

Investment management firms use predictive analytics to optimize processes and to identify early warnings of process anomalies. Predictive analytics use historical data to predict future outcomes based on current data, and use machine learning to create models that help identify patterns and behaviors that predict risky situations. This research explores how Operations teams can leverage predictive analytics and models to provide much earlier warnings to predict and prevent operational loss, and presents some options on how to get started.

Sustainable Investment in an Era of Sharpening Focus

Sep 24, 2019

12 pages

Steady growth in investors’ interest in environmental, social, and governance (ESG ) issues means additional considerations in the investment process, demands for more and better information, and pleas for standards. This paper explores aspects of ESG investing, including industry initiatives, changing regulations, the focus on climate change, and debates on investment performance.

Finding Alternatives: A Look at Exotic Investments and Other Untapped Opportunities

Sep 10, 2019

7 pages

Allocations to alternative assets continue to grow, with a recent Preqin report estimating that alternative investments will reach USD 14 trillion worldwide by 2023. These assets often deliver higher returns compared to public assets and they can help to manage downside risk, but as more investors increase their allocations to private equity and real estate, other firms are looking to new areas to invest. In this paper, Cutter Associates discusses two types of investments: infrastructure, including Public-Private Partnerships (P3) investment in the United States, and music royalty rights.

Exploring Cryptocurrency Investments

Jul 15, 2019

16 pages

In this paper, Cutter Associates explains the background, characteristics, and types of cryptocurrencies, as well as some of the reasons institutional investors are interested in and skeptical about investing in them.

Managed Data Services

Apr 23, 2019

Research Report
185 pages

This research into Managed Data Services (MDS) provides an overview of the types of data management services available, the factors driving investment managers to consider them, and how firms currently use them. It includes a summary of a broad range of MDS providers and services tailored to investment management needs.

The research examines the services member firms use to support their data management efforts. It includes discussions of the various types of data that services can manage, such as market and reference data, operational data including holdings and transactions, and derived data such as performance and risk. We profile different types of managed data service providers including standalone MDS providers, EDM and other software vendors / platform providers who include managed data, and data service providers.


We provide descriptions of the following service providers: AIM Software GAIN Managed Data Service, Asset Control Managed Data Service, Axioma, BlackRock Solutions Aladdin, Bloomberg PolarLake Data Management Utility, Broadridge Managed Data Services (BMDS), Charles River Data Service and Data Management Service, Clearwater Analytics, Crux Informatics, Eagle Managed Services, Electra Data, FactSet Portfolio Services, Fidelity Corporate Actions Solutions (FCAS), GoldenSource OnDemand, IHS Markit EDM Managed Services, Markit Corporate Actions (MCA), IVP Managed Data Services, Kuberre Systems, Morningstar, RIMES Managed Data Service, SmartStream Reference Data Utility, SS&C Advent Managed Data Service, SS&C SVC, State Street DataGX, and STP Investment Services.

Managing Benchmark and Index Data

Apr 23, 2019

Research Report
97 pages

This research explores the supplier landscape, industry trends, and investment management practices related to managing benchmark and index data. The research summarizes current challenges faced by investment managers and discusses their areas of focus for improvement.

This research includes descriptions of the originators and redistributors commonly used by member firms. The following providers are among those described in this report: FactSet, FIS, FTSE Russell, ICE Data Services, IHS Markit, J.P. Morgan, MSCI, Refinitiv, RIMES Technologies, S&P Dow Jones Indices, STOXX, and Wilshire.

Asset Allocation Solutions

Apr 23, 2019

Research Report
150 pages

This report on asset allocation provides information about solutions that can be used at various stages of a top-down investment process, from strategic design and evaluation through to the implementation of multi-asset and other custom strategies.

This research includes an overview of the vendor landscape, insight into CutterResearch member system usage and practices, and detailed reviews of systems with varying functionality including support for stochastic forecasting and optimization, data collection and aggregation, analysis and simulation, cash allocation and rebalancing, limit compliance, and instruction management. This report features reviews of ACA Technology Solutions NorthPoint IMS, AlternativeSoft, Axioma Portfolio, BlackRock Solutions Aladdin, Calypso, Ledgex, Matrix, Milestone Group pControl Asset Allocation, Ortec Finance GLASS, SimCorp Dimension, Solovis, Willis Towers Watson STAR RW.