Accenture UK buys Investit, consultancy firm for investment industry

14 September 2017 Consultancy.uk

Accenture have acquired Investit, a London based research and benchmarking consultancy to the investment management industry. The firm’s team of ten have joined Accenture’s asset management industry practice, forming a new business analytics service in the process, which will be led by Investit’s former chief executive Catherine Doherty.

Founded in 1998, Investit has been working with the largest investment management firms to address industry-wide issues. The company provides benchmarking and research services, empowering client asset managers to make better strategic decisions.

On Monday, Investit’s chief executive Catherine Doherty, who was one of the founding members of Investit in 1998 before taking the helm in 2012, unveiled that she and her team have joined Accenture’s UK organisation. Reflecting on the decision to give away its independent status to join a giant in the field, she remarked, “Our team has since founding completed over 1,800 assignments for over 120 clients, including many of the world’s largest investment firms. As part of Accenture we can scale up to provide world leading insights for asset managers across Europe, North America and Asia.”

Investit have been rebranded as Accenture’s ‘Investment Management Business Insights’, a newly launched service line based in London, which brings together “Investit's historical strengths of being able to model, compare and advise investment management firms, with Accenture's breadth of business transformation skills”, according to Doherty. The unit will focus on helping investment management institutions benchmark, analyse and improve the performance of their business processes and technology.

Accenture UK buys Investit

Recent research shows that the investment and asset management industry is likely to undergo a period of major change. While global Assets under Management (AuM) have grown strongly off late, the industry has not been able to translate that into better revenue margins. In 2012, global AuM stood at $47 trillion. Lifted by an average growth rate of 7% per annum, the number reached $62 trillion last year. As Asset Managing firms look to make better use of their resources, benchmarking is due to become key to a great deal of the process.

The top 35 investment management firms in the UK alone spend about $5 billion annually on technology and operations. Benchmarking helps them understand how their sales, back office or key financials perform against industry peers, and measure up against best practices outside the investment management industry. Investit launched its benchmarking service in 2009, and today serves as an important piece of input for the clients that make use of it.

New Wave

“In the new wave of digital innovation many investment management firms will need to rethink their strategies,” said Owen Jelf, senior managing director and head of Accenture’s global capital markets practice. “Under heavy regulatory and market pressures, the health and performance of business processes and technology will be a growing factor in the competitive landscape. By bringing leading benchmarking experts and capabilities to Accenture’s capital markets practice, we can help our clients compete in a fast evolving sector.”

On top of Investit’s own capabilities, Accenture’s substantial economic fire-power will enable the new arm to vastly broaden and deepen its service portfolio. New topics that will now be able to garner more of Investit’s focus include intelligent automation, cloud, big data, cyber security and analytics for portfolio management, distribution and operations.

The acquisition of UK-based Investit marks Accenture’s most recent initiative to expand its asset management consulting and technology capabilities. Earlier this year, the company completed its acquisition of InvestTech Systems Consulting, a North American technology consultancy, and, in 2015, Accenture acquired Beacon Consulting Group (while Big Four firm KPMG obtained the firm’s healthcare consulting arm) a management consulting firm whose clients include five of the top ten North American investment management firms.

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