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Rating:Digital to Data: Part of a Trade Group Evolves Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Monday, December 6, 2021

Digital to Data: Part of a Trade Group Evolves

Reported by Andrew Lusk

A national asset management industry trade group based in the Midwest is transforming one of their executive councils to better reflect industry trends, and will be ringing in the change with a discussion-based event later this week.

This week, MFWire spoke with Kansas City, Missouri-based Investment Management Education Alliance (IMEA) engagement manager Matthew Smith, as well as James Keenan, chair of the data council steering committee and marketing (and director at AMG Funds), about the reorganization of the group's digital council to the newly-rebranded data council. The name change took place in late November.

The IMEA team is hosting an event on December 8 in which the group will "introduce and establish the council's new identity, discuss challenges and opportunities going into 2022, and talk about why the council is different," according to Keenan.

At the event, Keenan also anticipates discussing terms like "data science," demystifying and opening a dialogue about what this type of science is and how firms can best utilize it in their day-to-day practices.

Smith says, "The [data] council is part of the IMEA's executive council program ... IMEA is a trade association in the investment management industry, and our executive council program provides a forum for fund professionals in key business areas to connect and examine strategies, as well as share ideas and discuss industry trends."

The current executive councils cover four categories: distribution, marketing, product, and data. The data council was initially established, Smith says, more than twenty years ago as the web council.

"The web was a really hot topic that a lot of firms wanted to learn more about and share ideas on," he notes. "Since then, the council has done a really great job of staying up-to-date within the industry."

The web council later evolved into the e-commerce council, which then became the digital council.

"This is good marketing," says Keenan, "because now people understand that data is everywhere and is increasingly more complex and difficult to navigate, interpret, and integrate."

"All firms are trying to do these things," he continued, "so [now] it's easier for us to reach the right audience ... that's not just in sales and marketing."

This change came to fruition only recently, arising from members' feedback over the past few months. "We've heard from members who've expressed interest in a council dedicated to data specifically," says Smith.

"Some of these topics have been discussed across the other councils for years," notes Keenan. "We're solidifying and establishing more of an authority ... to bring data to the table as its own lens."

"We really value our members' unique perspectives on these topics and encourage feedback and engagement," says Smith. He invites investors to connect with the team through the group's website, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Keenan concludes, "I'm as excited as Matthew is to introduce this to the marketplace this week, and to really hit the ground running as we go into the new year." 

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