Its True 1 In 6 Asset Managers Will Disappear By 2027 Heres How To Survive And Thrive

Published on September 3, 2023 by David Zhang

Its True 1 In 6 Asset Managers Will Disappear By 2027 Heres How To Survive And Thrive

The asset management industry stands on the precipice of a seismic shift. Factors such as compressing fees, surging operational costs, evolving regulatory landscapes, and the relentless march of technological innovation are not merely challenging the status quo—they are reshaping the industry's future. It’s a survival-of-the-fittest scenario, and a startling statistic reverberates across the sector: 1 in 6 asset managers is likely to vanish by 2027. To not only survive but thrive in this rigorous climate, asset managers must embrace a transformative approach shot through with agility, innovation, and strategic foresight.

This attrition isn’t just idle speculation; it’s a prediction grounded in hard numbers and trends that are rapidly defining the asset management sphere. Let's dissect these trends, understand their implications, and chart a course that could be the difference between thriving and merely surviving—or not surviving at all.

Navigating Troubled Waters: Sector Pressures

Before diving into strategies for survival and growth, it's critical to comprehend why the grim forecast isn't far-fetched.

Fee Compression: The incisive blade of fee compression cuts deep, driven by the rise of passive investment strategies, investors’ continual quest for lower fees, and the democratization of financial information. This trend diminishes margins, heightening the importance of operational efficiency and scale.

Operationally Exorbitant Environment: Enhanced regulatory scrutiny and the need for advanced technology to offer bespoke client solutions inflate operational expenditures. Firms must balance these increasing costs with the necessity to competitively price their offerings.

Technological Disruption: Digital transformation is no longer optional. The encroachment of fintech and shifting investor expectations demands asset managers integrate smart tech solutions from robo-advisors to sophisticated data analytics—it's now the lifeblood of client engagement and process optimization.

Changing Consumer Preferences: The transition toward ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) investment isn't a fad—it's a seminal shift. Asset managers are compelled to overhaul their investment strategies to align with these values or risk obsolescence.

Survival Tactics: Adapting to the New Normal

Understanding the pressures is only half the battle. Now comes the strategic pivot, the plan of action that distinguishes the leaders from the laggards. Here's how asset managers can start reengineering their business to secure a prosperous future.

Prioritizing Agile Operations: Agility in operations allows firms to swiftly respond to market trends. Automating routine processes to focus human capital on higher-value activities is crucial. Streamlining operations and investing in scalable technology platforms can trim operational fat and future-proof the business.

Innovating Fee Structures: Asset managers can combat fee compression by innovating their fee models. Performance-based fees, tiered pricing models, and subscription-based fees are just some of the alternatives that can align interests and build client trust.

Substantiating Value Through Active Management: In a world veering towards passive investments, active managers must demonstrate clear value in their offerings. Utilizing advanced analytics to provide individualized portfolio insights and justifying active fees through superior performance can stimulate growth.

Embracing ESG Integration: There’s a rising tide of investors seeking more than financial returns. Managers must proficiently integrate ESG criteria, conducting due diligence and transparently reporting on ESG performance to satiate this demand.

Deepening Client Relationships Through Tech: Technology should be seen as a facilitator of human connections, not a replacement. Asset managers must harness CRM and AI-driven tools to craft a personalized, seamless client experience. Platforms that deliver actionable insights and strengthen customer relationships are indispensable.

Tapping Into Untapped Markets: New client segments such as millennials demand novel approaches. Asset managers must tailor products to their preferences, such as low-cost accessible investment platforms, to uncover new revenue streams.

Navigating Regulatory Risks: Keen regulatory acumen will be a defining feature of successful asset managers. Close collaboration with regulatory bodies and strategic investment in compliance infrastructures can convert a potential burden into a competitive edge.

Strategic Collaboration and M&A: Strategic alliances or mergers and acquisitions can offer immediate scale, diversification, and capabilities that might be too costly or time-consuming to build organically.

The Roadmap to Thriving

The path forward for asset managers is abundant with opportunity for those willing to adapt, reinvigorate their business models, and vigorously pursue innovation. As we press into the heart of the transformation, we identify the linchpins of a thriving future:

Cultivating a Culture of Innovation: Forward-thinking asset managers develop a culture that encourages experimentation, rewards calculated risk-taking, and views failure as a learning opportunity.

Investing in Human Capital: While tech is pivotal, people remain at the heart of the asset management industry. Firms should invest in their workforce, nurturing skills and a mindset that complements the new digital era.

Building a Client-Centric Philosophy: Customer-centricity is no longer a buzzword but a fundamental business philosophy. Asset managers must seek deep understanding and connection with their clients, always prioritizing their outcomes and experiences.

Harnessing Data as a Strategic Asset: Leveraging big data, analytics, and AI to derive actionable insights can fuel better investment decisions, uncover market trends, and refine client strategies.


To survive the shakeup facing the asset management industry, firms must not only weather the storm but sail the winds of change. Those willing to pivot, embrace technology, and place their clients at the very heart of their strategy will not merely survive—they will flourish. In the end, the difference between those who sink and those who swim will hinge on their capacity to anticipate change, adapt with alacrity, and innovate with vigor.

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