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Bridging the Digital-Human Divide: The Role of Systems in Model Portfolio MPS Operations

By 29 February 2024No Comments
Bridging the Digital-Human Divide: The Role of Systems in Model Portfolio MPS Operations

The landscape of Managed Portfolio Services (MPS), especially the growing area of bespoke model portfolio services, like so much of the investment industry, is undergoing a profound transformation, driven by the forces of changing industry dynamics, fee compression, digital acceleration, and the unchanging value of human insight. As companies increasingly invest in computing over people, the MPS sector stands at the crossroads of this trend, highlighting the need for a nuanced approach that integrates advanced systems with the irreplaceable elements of human expertise. This blog explores how blending digital investments with human capabilities can enhance the operations and outcomes of MPS model portfolios, ensuring that technology serves to augment rather than replace the human element.

The Digital Imperative in MPS Operations

In the world of MPS, the shift towards digital investment manifests in several key areas, each offering distinct advantages:

Automation for Efficiency

Automated systems can handle repetitive tasks within MPS operations, such as bending factors in portfolio construction with greater speed and accuracy than manual processes. This efficiency allows human investment professionals to focus on more strategic and personalized aspects of client service.

Data Analytics for Insight

Investment in computing power enables the use of sophisticated data analytics tools in MPS operations. These tools can process vast amounts of market data to identify trends, assess risk, and inform portfolio decisions, providing a level of insight beyond the reach of human analysis alone.

Digital Platforms for Scalability

Digital platforms allow MPS providers to scale their offerings effectively, reaching a broader range of clients with personalized portfolio solutions. These platforms facilitate workflow processes, seamless communication, and reporting between investment consultants, platforms, and portfolio managers, enhancing transparency and trust. The ability to oversee hundreds and thousands of model portfolios is a reality today.

The Indispensable Human Element

Despite the clear benefits of digital systems, the human element remains indispensable in MPS operations for several reasons:

Understanding Client Firm Needs

The subtleties of understanding client firms model portfolio needs require understanding and judgment. Personalisation of model portfolios for the unique needs of each client firm so that model portfolios truly align with their objectives.

Ethical and Strategic Decision-Making

Human oversight is critical for navigating ethical considerations and making strategic decisions that consider the broader economic, social, and geopolitical context. Human intuition and experience play irreplaceable roles in interpreting data and making judgments that algorithms cannot replicate when constructing model portfolios.

Relationship Management

Building and maintaining strong client relationships are central to MPS success, especially in the area of bespoke MPS operations. The trust and rapport developed through personal interactions are foundational to client satisfaction and retention, aspects that digital systems cannot generally fully replicate.

Integrating Systems and People in MPS

Achieving the optimal blend of digital and human resources in MPS operations involves several strategic initiatives:

Augmented Model Portfolio Construction Services

Leveraging digital tools to augment, not replace, the portfolio management and consulting roles can enhance the value delivered to clients. For example, portfolio managers can use digital systems to inform and deliver their MPS model portfolios while maintaining the personal touch that clients value.

Continuous Learning and Development

Investing in ongoing education and training ensures that human capital remains competitive and complementary to digital systems. This includes developing digital literacy among staff, deploying new systems, as well as fostering skills in critical thinking, communication, and emotional intelligence.

Collaborative Technology Design

Involving MPS investment teams, portfolio managers, and operational teams in the design and development of digital systems ensures that these technologies meet real needs and enhance, rather than complicate, the MPS Model portfolio management process. Centering design around the key human inputs and oversights required in the MPS model portfolio process can lead to systems and process that bring out the best of technology and humans.


As the MPS sector navigates the challenges and opportunities presented by the increasing investment in computing, the importance of a balanced approach becomes clear. By thoughtfully integrating advanced digital systems with the depth of human insight and expertise, MPS providers can enhance efficiency, insight, and scalability while preserving the personal touch that underpins client trust and satisfaction. In this evolving landscape,  like so much of the investing industry, the future of MPS lies in the synergy between technology and humanity, leveraging each to their fullest potential to provide excellent client service and be efficient, compliant, and competitive.

Stuart Holdsworth

Author Stuart Holdsworth

Stuart has over 30 years of experience in the use of technology for the strategic competitive advantage of businesses in the financial markets and investment industry.

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