As online investing platforms raise the bar for the type and quality of information clients expect, a survey by SS&C Technologies Holdings found that many asset managers may be falling short.

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SS&C surveyed 100 senior-level asset managers at The Summit for Asset Management conferences held in New York and London.

Three-quarters of asset managers believe client reporting is extremely important to their acquisition and retention strategy; and yet, more than 30% are relying on a manual process to develop these reports.

“The survey results confirm that in this age of increased client demand for investment transparency and context, client communications have emerged as a critical function for investment management firms,” Christy Bremner, senior vice president for SS&C Institutional and Investment Management, said in a statement. “Despite this reality, many firms still follow a mostly manual process that results in outputs that aren’t personalized to individual needs.”

About a quarter of respondents are using either an internally developed client reporting system or a vendor’s system. Eight percent outsource the reporting function entirely.

Among the most important communication objectives is giving advisors a way to respond to clients’ requests faster, the survey found, followed by improving the overall quality of online and mobile communications.

Over 43% of asset managers said they are currently investing in improved client reporting tools, while over a third have plans to do so in the next year.

“Firms need to equip their advisors and customers with intelligent investment information to maintain and retain their client base,” Bremner said.

— Read Opening New Accounts Is About to Get a Lot Easier on ThinkAdvisor.