For her part, Sabine Müller has more than 15 years of professional experience in various positions in investment management and has also known her employer, a well-known financial services provider in her region, for a long time. But for a while, things haven’t worked out the way they used to, even though she has a team of dedicated, experienced employees. The complexity and thus also the amount of work have understandably grown with the number of investments, companies and legal units, something that Ms. Müller ponders for the umpteenth time. However, her urgent concerns for more staff or a decent IT system continue to fall on deaf ears. This not only increases the stress level in her department with every request and every further report, but also the risk. Universal office software and systems, which are generally used in the group for daily office work, are only conditionally suitable for reliable and audit-compliant investment management. Even with all due care, with the current workload a mistake is only a question of time. If this also happens to one of the various disclosure obligations or concerns a strategic decision, damage to their group is unavoidable.
In addition, the list of queries, concerns and rush requests is getting longer every day as interested parties want to ensure that they are covered and that nothing is left out. However, some information is simply not available at all and others can only be determined with an enormous amount of time. Most recently, she received the following, fresh this morning, and she or her team should work on this as a matter of priority and as soon as possible:
- Controlling would like to know whether the investment structure in the appendix is the latest status, whether the KPIs are correct and they would still like to have a version without certain KPIs in order to send them to the respective companies. Since the list is long and the structure is drawn by hand and the KPIs are also entered manually, this will unfortunately take longer. – By the time we have finished, we would almost be entering the key figures for the following month, Ms. Müller thinks.
- One of the divisional managers wants to know who had a mandate three years ago, at a company that has changed its name. – I think we’ll need a little bit of luck and the very good memory of Mr. Schmidt, she muses. However, it is rather unlikely that he knows it so precisely for the day, month and year.
- The managing director urgently needs very specific information about the investment, which has only recently come about. – Ms. Müller involuntarily flinches – this is not yet in the structure at all, and we have to recalculate everything and also diagram it manually.
Time is once again running out and there is probably little or no time to conduct a check. With this thought in mind, she immediately begins to divide up the work. But all this whining will not change anything, and she will immediately send out the long overdue deadline for the workshop in order to determine the requirements and characteristics of a reliable, audit-compliant investment management solution together at the group level. After all, it is not just about her department, since many other departments, divisions and companies work in the same way in the context of investment management and depend on reliable, audit-compliant data and information.
No sooner said than done, and the workshop was accepted with surprisingly positive response by all invited participants. Now Ms. Müller is also working on the preparations for it. Only with these results can you create a convincing management summary and plan the further necessary steps and resources with the appropriate positive approval.