Press Release

Majority of Buy-side and Sell-side Leaders Say They Lack Tech Capabilities to Drive Growth, New FIS Report Reveals

June 27, 2017

​Key facts

  • The first FIS Readiness Report assesses growth readiness of the buy- and sell-sides of the financial services market across areas such as digital innovation, automation and emerging technology.
  • Survey finds most senior executives believe their financial institutions lack technology to support growth plans.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., June 27, 2017 – New research released today by financial technology leader FIS™ (NYSE: FIS) revealed that only 25% of buy-side and sell-side executives surveyed believe their firms have the technology capability to support their growth ambitions.

The FIS report also found that firms with the strongest performance in key operational growth areas, such as automation, data management and innovation, are significantly more likely to have grown their assets under management over the past year.

The findings are part of the first FIS Readiness Report, “The Hunt for Growth,” which surveyed 1,000 C-suite and senior executives across the buy-side and sell-side of the financial services market. Other key findings of the report were:

  • Nearly half (47%) of those surveyed  say the economic outlook will create growth opportunities over the next year.
  • Firms are prioritizing new client acquisition and better operating margins in the hunt for growth.
  • Half of respondents (50%) say new client acquisition is one of their top three growth objectives for the next 12 months.

“The results are compelling because, despite all of the headlines around fintech disruption and the need to automate, many financial institutions acknowledge that they are still not where they ought to be when it comes to embracing technology and operations,” said Martin Boyd, executive director and head of I&W Strategy at FIS. “Those firms who are investing for the future by taking a lead in automation, data and emerging technology are outperforming their peers in revenue growth, pointing to a ‘tech readiness dividend’ for forward looking buy-side and sell-side firms.”

The FIS report includes a Growth-Readiness Tracker that scored firms against six equally weighted operational enablers of growth: automation, data management, innovation, use of emerging technologies, talent management and focus on client experience.

The report found that firms that scored at the top 20% of the Growth-Readiness Tracker are significantly outpacing their competitors in driving growth. Among these Growth-Readiness Leaders, the FIS research found:

  • 47% have grown assets under management by 5% or more in the last 12 months; 
  • More than a third (37%) have implemented artificial intelligence or machine learning in their business versus just 6% of the rest of the sector;
  • More than four in 10 (41%) growth leaders are currently testing blockchain technology versus less than a fifth (19%) of other institutions.

“What is clear from this research,” Boyd added, “is that those firms that can marry enabling technologies – such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, blockchain and mobile – with new business models are reaping dividends in terms of competitive advantage.”

To read the full report, visit

About the FIS Growth Readiness Report
The survey was conducted between March and May 2017, in collaboration with Longitude Research, of 1,000 senior-level respondents across the buy- and sell-side of the institutional and wholesale financial services market and insurance companies. Sectors surveyed include: Commercial and investment banks, 25%; Broker-dealers, 15%; Asset managers, 23%; Fund administrators, 14%; Insurance companies, 16%; Pension funds, 6%. Regions surveyed: Europe, 30%; North America, 30%; APAC, 25%; LATAMEA, 16%. Seniority: C-suite, 26%; Head of business unit / Director-level, 74%. Function: Trading and investment, 18%; Risk and compliance, 18%; Operations, 18%; IT, 15%; Finance and treasury, 20%; Sales, 7%; Other, 4%.

About FIS
FIS is a global leader in financial services technology, with a focus on retail and institutional banking, payments, asset and wealth management, risk and compliance, consulting, and outsourcing solutions. Through the depth and breadth of our solutions portfolio, global capabilities and domain expertise, FIS serves more than 20,000 clients in over 130 countries. Headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., FIS employs more than 57,000 people worldwide and holds leadership positions in payment processing, financial software and banking solutions. Providing software, services and outsourcing of the technology that empowers the financial world, FIS is a Fortune 500 company and is a member of Standard & Poor’s 500® Index. For more information about FIS, visit

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For More Information

Kim Snider, +1 904.438.6278 Senior Vice President FIS Global Marketing and Communications