A post-COVID-19 automation guide for capital market firms

COVID-19 is shaping how businesses will be run in the near future. Capital market firms are not immune to the recent developments and they too are experiencing significant impact across the board. The silver lining is that these changes also present an opportunity to add value, generate new insights while streamlining operations in a cost-effective manner.

Data is the new oil, and it is indeed an essential ‘fuel’ to rev up the engine of an automation transformation. Capital market firms must pay attention to structured and unstructured data that drive core internal processes. Many of these core operational processes such as email management and document processing are manually intensive and cut across the front, middle, and back-office functions. Traditionally these processes have been low-priority while client-facing/ revenue-generating processes have received higher attention. Often, because of the inter-departmental dependencies and fragmented nature of these middle-back office core processes, the approach to automation is also disjointed, leading to sub-optimal outcomes.

In this two-part article, we highlight practical steps to implement intelligent automation using reimagined end-to-end core processes. We answer key questions that must be considered before embarking on this initiative and illustrate it through use-cases based on our work with clients.

With the help of these steps, firms can adjust and refine their ongoing automation efforts while realizing tangible ROI in a timely manner.

Tip: Be nimble and agile in your approach!

Our experience clearly suggests that firms that apply an agile mindset to discovery and implementation realize value faster. A good starting point is a 4 to 6-week ‘sprint’ that can act as a trigger to create momentum and set the stage for scaling up such efforts thereafter.

Finding ‘Value’ in the ‘Value chain’

Before we dive in, let’s review where we might find ‘pockets of value’ within the value chain. In working with our clients we have identified many such areas for capital market firms.

Some key uses cases across these functions are highlighted in Exhibit 2.

Here we have identified 2 principal themes around which we will focus our discussion. Although not exhaustive, these themes reflect typical routine use-cases that capital market firms deal with.

Building the foundation

Here are some key questions that stakeholders should ask at the start of their automation journey:

Knowledge of the current state – where are we?

  • How well do we know the current state of our processes?
  • Do we have operational metrics around them?
  • Do we know what’s not optimal in the execution of the current state of the process?

View of the future state – where do we need to be?

  • Do we have a clear view of the desired optimized process?
  • What does success look like?

Path to the future state – how do we get there?

  • Is there more than one way to optimize my process?
  • What are all the possible options or levers that we utilize to change the process?
  • What optimization option works best in our unique scenario?

Continuous Improvement – how do we ensure we keep moving forward?

  • Do we have a plan around tying automation to data to become more ‘data-driven’ in the future as we scale up automation?

In the second part of this blog, we will take a look at how to reimagine a process within the context of ‘operational excellence’.


Amitabh Nangia

Amitabh Nangia

Sr. Principal, Infosys Consulting

Amitabh is passionate about automation and the benefits firms can realize with RPA, AI, ML, and related technologies. With over 20 years of strategy and business/IT transformation experience leading programs for large global organizations like Merrill Lynch/ Bank of America, JP Morgan, State Street, Prudential, Wells Fargo, he can find value, drive innovation and navigate clients through all phases of their automation journey. Amitabh’s consulting background across different businesses, including capital markets, banking, asset management, information services, and insurance gives him a strong toolkit of best practices that he can apply to many business challenges.
He is based out of Princeton, New Jersey, and can be reached at Amitabh_Nangia@infosys.com

Anand Bhushan

Anand Bhushan

Associate Partner, Infosys Consulting

Anand has over 16 years of experience in designing and delivering technology solutions for several Fortune 500 leaders. Prior to Infosys Consulting, he has worked with Cognizant Technology Solutions securing new business and leading the delivery of large-scale solutions to increased revenues, profits, market share, efficiencies, and compliance for Financial Services clients. He is particularly adept at understanding client goals and driving the deployment of solutions that yield a high return on the IT investment. He is based out of our New York office and can be reached at Anand_Bhushan@infosys.com

Nitesh Nagar

Nitesh Nagar

Principal Consultant, Infosys Consulting

Nitesh has over 18 years of work experience in capital Markets, IT Delivery, and IT Consulting. He brings in a good understanding of investment management and is adept in solution definition and implementation, and managing teams to deliver on program outcomes. He has been working in the investment performance measurement domain and has a CIPM certification from the CFA institute in 2017. His interests include emerging FinTech/ digital trends in the asset management business. He is based out of our Los Angeles, California office and can be reached at Nitesh_Nagar01@infosys.com

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