Man drowning in paperwork 21percent of firms polled estimate RFP volumes will rise more than 10percent over the course of 2019. (Photo: Shutterstock)

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Amid the ever-stiffening competition for institutional investordollars, asset managers find that theirrequest-for-proposal teams are under increasing pressure to respondto RFPs, requests for information (RFIs) and duediligence questionnaires (DDQs) that are becoming increasinglycomplex.

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This complexity occurs as a result of the need for due diligenceon the part of investment consultants and other institutions expands.

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According to the report Institutional Marketing and SalesOrganizations 2019: Deploying Resources and Analytics for theAcquisition and Retention of Client Assets, from CerulliAssociates, RFP teams—already under the gun for time—are seeing anincrease in the volume of reports they need to provide as therequesting organizations step up their own due diligence.

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Both RFP and database teams are finding themselves struggling tomeet deadlines on reports as volumes have risen approximately 2percent from 2017 to 2018 for all request types for RFIs. RFPs andDDQs, the report adds, have multiplied even more, up approximately13 percent and 20 percent, respectively.

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And that pace is tough to keep up with; 91 percent ofrespondents to a Cerulli survey say it's at least a moderatechallenge. Part of the reason is the need to use more than thestandard boilerplate as the questions being asked increasinglyrequire a customized response.

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RFP teams are responding to the challenge by adding newhires, even if they already feel they're at capacity.

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It's apparently a wise move considering that 21 percent of firmspolled estimate RFP volumes will rise more than 10 percent over thecourse of 2019, with another 29 percent expecting DDQs toexperience a comparable increase.

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Using software that can automate more routine parts of theprocedure is another solution some turn to, as is seeking otheroperational efficiencies to speed up turnaround times while stillproviding the more customized data firms are asking for.

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READ MORE:

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Marlene Satter

Marlene Y. Satter has worked in and written about the financial industry for decades.