An Unsung Area of Fintech: AssetTech and Trust Data
Data Hunters: Pulak, great to talk with you again. Wanted to thank you for your stewardship of this series. Tell us more about “AssetTech.”
Pulak Sinha: Thanks. We have been drawn to Data-Hunters for a while now. We love what you are doing in and for the data community and wanted to be part of your journey. AssetTech is a fascinating area when you peel back the layers. The numbers are astounding- PWC estimates that Asset Managers have $120 trillion Assets Under Management (AUM) worldwide. Pause for a moment. That means that investors have entrusted $120 trillion to third parties to grow and manage. Technologies that help Asset Managers do this well and with risk management, security, and compliance in mind are collectively called “AssetTech.” We are proud to have been one of the companies that coined this phrase and we have seen it start to stick.
Data Hunters: You talk about data a great deal. Help us understand the connective tissue between data and AssetTech.
Pulak Sinha: Asset Managers have a job of daunting complexity. Massive amounts of money to invest and literally millions of choices to make. Dozens of asset classes, each with different rules associated with them. All investments have to fit within a certain risk profile and must be compliant with regulation. Add to this the time element- all of this must be processed and acted in increasingly short time frames. The key to simplifying this complexity is data: Data is Queen and King.
Data Hunters: But it’s not that simple is it?
Pulak Sinha: It is in fact not. Data is not some sort of uniform and easily manipulated commodity. It comes in all kinds of formats, from different systems, and at different intervals. Some of it is well structured and some of it is unstructured. And so on. To be able to make data your friend, to be able to drive ROI with data, is non-trivial. Doing so in a way that fits into your process and timelines is also difficult. That is why we took a data platform approach to Pepper and it has served us and our customers well.
Data Hunters: What is 2022 looking like for Pepper?
Pulak Sinha: We are looking at a transformative year for Pepper. In 2021, despite the difficulties, we grew our customer base 80% and the “dollars on the platform” by 75%- to over $6 billion. The team is focused and the marketplace for AssetTech is opening. We feel lucky to be in this space but also feel good about the decisions we’ve made in terms of our product and technology. We are learning and evolving of course, but, again, feel great about 2022.
Data-Hunters: What’s your advice for the data community in general?
Pulak Sinha: We are in awe of so many aspects of this community- the passion, intelligence, and applicability of their work to all aspects of life. All that said, a few ideas- first of all, it’s important to demystify data. Second, we have to show everyone that the work the community is doing is applicable to real world scenarios. Finally, we have to help all organizations adopt a data culture. It is our collective job!