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04:04 PM

A Chance To Look On The Bright Side

Best practices could lower research costs for investment firms.

Investment firms have a golden opportunity to get some benefits as they sever ties between their research functions and corporate financial services. Consulting firm Accenture says they should take advantage of the situation to implement technologies that will improve efficiencies and cut costs in research.

According to a study by Accenture, which interviewed executives at 30 of the top investment institutions, the financial industry spends more than $13 billion per year developing and distributing research. While that number includes the cost of hiring and retaining top research talent, more than half is spent on packaging and delivery. "For all the technologies that are available today, the primary mode of distributing research is PDF files," says Bob Gach, Accenture's managing partner for capital markets. "There are more efficient ways to approach this." That includes using digital content-management systems to provide research to users as needed and implementing editorial best practices similar to those used by leading news organizations to distribute information.

Improved processes, according to Accenture, could save the top 20 investment firms $50 million to $100 million annually from increased productivity; reduced head count; and lower printing, electronic distribution, and storage costs.

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