Reveals lack of automation as top challenge for firms

Rockland, MA – September 16, 2020 – Cutter Associates, LLC, a leading provider of operations and technology research and consulting to the investment management industry, released its 2020 Client Reporting Benchmarking Survey, detailing client reporting practices and perceptions at some of the world’s leading asset managers and insurance companies.

The fourth edition survey of firms representing more than USD 16 trillion in AUM examines and analyzes trends over time since 2014. Survey results point to a strong consensus (80%) among participating firms that client reporting is a strategic component and key differentiator of their client relationship programs.

“In the six years since we first conducted this survey, firms have demonstrated notable maturity in the key areas of organization, data management, report creation, generation, distribution, and technology,” said Cindy Sealey, principal and leader of Cutter Associates’ Client Facing Consulting Practice. “However, organizations are still striving to make improvements, especially in the areas of custom reporting, commentary management, and workflow.”

Although 71% of surveyed firms have dedicated client reporting tools, about half (49%) typically rely on manual processing. Firms cite the lack of automation as their greatest client reporting challenge, with 63% listing it among their top three challenges, followed closely by managing customization requests (61%).

“What clients are demanding right now is clear, relevant information on their investments ─ delivered quickly in a way that they can easily use,” Sealey said. “Firms that can achieve that successfully have a distinct competitive advantage in today’s crowded marketplace.”

The 2020 Client Reporting Benchmarking Survey’s other key findings include the following:


  • 61% of firms have centrally managed client reporting teams.
  • For most firms, client reporting roles are very well defined and understood (83%) and processes and procedures are documented and consistently followed (71%).

Data Management

  • Firms report a mixed degree of confidence in their data quality; 5% say their data is of consistently high quality and 56% say it is typically high quality; 80% have data initiatives on their roadmaps.
  • 70% are satisfied or very satisfied with their structured data collection process, and 15% have fully automated the process. Several firms report the need to collect and report on additional data, including ESG and attribution data.
  • Firms report that unstructured data collection is an area that still needs work, with only 23% expressing satisfaction with the process. This area shows no significant improvement from our most recent survey in 2018.

Reporting Capabilities

  • 95% have some reusable report components, but there is opportunity to increase efficiency and reduce the number of templates.
  • For custom reporting, 70% rely on some automated processes, while 30% are purely manual.


  • 71% have a dedicated client reporting tool for design, generation, and distribution, including 18% with a single full-functioning solution.
  • 32% make client reports available through their portal.

Learn more by reading the 2020 Client Reporting Benchmarking Survey’s executive summary here.

About Cutter Associates

Cutter Associates, LLC serves the operational and technology needs of the global asset and wealth management industry, providing clients the tools and services they need to be successful. With an unrivaled knowledge base, Cutter Associates provides clients independent research, exclusive member-only events, custom operations benchmarking, and a global consultancy focused on operational and technology excellence. Headquartered in Rockland, MA, and owned by NRI Group, in Tokyo. Cutter Associates has subsidiaries in Canada and the UK, and offices in London and Sydney, Australia. For more information, visit us at Connect with us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

For more information or to get in touch with a Cutter Associates representative in your region, contact us at [email protected].

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