The last decade has seen tremendous growth in outsourced CIO assets, to more than $2 trillion today from just $100 billion globally in 2007. However, the term OCIO is broad, at best. A wide spectrum of firms are expanding the breadth of their OCIO services with different goals, strategies and fees.
A side industry of search consultants — advisers that charge handsome fees to conduct an OCIO search — has emerged to assist institutions with negotiating the complex OCIO landscape. Yet even with the assistance of a search consultant, an institution's decision-makers must be able to clearly articulate their goals and needs to navigate the OCIO landscape and ultimately select the best provider to help meet their objectives.
Combined with each firm's specific nuances, and the layer of additional complexity by involving a search consultant, an institution's decision-maker is likely to have a difficult time directly comparing each firm using common criteria.
At the foundation of any OCIO search are the institution's goals, pain points and needs, which determine how that institution navigates the OCIO landscape and ultimately selects a provider. Below we discuss four key areas of differentiation and list associated questions to drive an institution's focused OCIO search.