Insource or outsource? 10 considerations

July 26, 2022

It’s an assessment every investment management firm has to make: which services should you handle in house, and which should you outsource? 


Outsourcing can save time, money and other resources, but how do you decide which services to give to a third-party vendor and which you should keep within the organization?  Here are 10 questions to help guide your decision-making process.


1. What’s the size of my business?

Are you a small investment advisor shop looking to compete with bigger firms? Are you a large enough manager where entire teams and departments might be impacted? To stay viable, boutique operations need to keep their business simple and highly focused on their core competencies – outsourcing anything that doesn’t directly add value. Bigger firms have more flexibility, but many of the same considerations apply.


2. Is there enough time (and benefit) to build the necessary infrastructure internally?

It takes time to build infrastructure – a team, a department, a proficiency. It also takes time to put technology processes into place and design them to exceed the expectations of your investors. It’s essential to take each component in your business and make the determination: in or out? Can I build this in time? Can I build my staff in time? Or am I better off buying this service?


3. Am I isolating our business from valuable outside perspectives?

Outside vendors and consultants can be a great way to learn from professionals who’ve gained insight from their experience “looking under the hood” of other firms – best practices, what works, what doesn’t, etc. Rather than having, for example, an internal individual responsible for compliance (i.e., doing), consider shifting your approach so they’re instead accountable for compliance (i.e., overseeing). That way, you can bring more outside perspective into your business.


4. How can I allocate more resources to areas that give us a competitive advantage?

Your business’s competitive advantage likely won’t be compliance, information technology (IT), marketing or your customer relationship management (CRM) system. Those are important components, but your primary focus should be on your clients. When you expand, it’s advisable to rely on resources who advance your core investment management competencies (e.g., analysts, portfolio managers, etc.). Other responsibilities can be easily outsourced.


5. Where can I simplify my business to gain efficiencies and do more with less?

Whether you’re insourcing or outsourcing, your focus should always be on leveraging your firm’s strengths and improving weaknesses. This requires a model of constant reevaluation to ensure you’re not overcomplicating processes and wasting resources. Look at every aspect of the business and ask: could this be simpler? Would it be more efficient to do this ourselves or find someone to take it off our plate?


6. Can I find vendors that align with our values and goals?

Over the past decade or so, the ecosystem around supporting asset managers and funds has developed tremendously. As talent pools, vendor competition and service levels increase, it’s becoming easier to find quality support. However, it’s important to seek out companies whose management teams are on your same trajectory and who share your ethos for client service (because your clients will now be their clients.)


7. What internal obstacles exist?

Tenured staff can be wary of change. Although the firm might be moving in a certain direction, sometimes you face internal resistance. Are you upending someone’s day-to-day operating model? Are you shifting someone’s workflow? As you implement new structures and organization, pockets of individuals can hold a different view. You need to manage change internally by slowly introducing new processes and winning over the people they impact.


8. How will this decision affect clients, and am I able to reassess if necessary?

To maintain a high-level of client service, you need to be careful of what (and how) you outsource. You can’t have a situation where your service provider presents a reputational, legal or occupational risk. It often makes sense to implement your outsourcing model incrementally – adding vendors and responsibilities over time rather than through a giant, global overhaul. This gives you greater control and the ability to monitor and adjust if service starts to suffer.


9. Do I have an exit plan?

It’s important to go into a vendor relationship understanding you can end it if necessary. If you’re getting negative client feedback – perhaps where they feel the level of service is declining – that would be an immediate indicator to reassess. Be willing to “fail quickly.” That is, be willing to quit a relationship and find a replacement before too much damage is done. Sticking with an unsatisfactory vendor hoping they’ll improve over time is a bad strategy.


10. How will this decision fare into the future?

To keep your strategy future-oriented, follow these guiding principles:

  • Plan for growth. Make decisions based on where you want to be, not where you are today.
  • Plan for scrutiny. A regulator, an investor, a portfolio manager – eventually someone will analyze your choice.
  • Plan for a disaster. In a catastrophic event, how will your decision hold up?
  • Plan for a cyber event. Data breaches are a real threat, so make cybersecurity a priority.


While outsourcing has many advantages, it’s important that you ask the right questions to determine the best approach for your organization’s needs. Utilizing third-party vendors strategically can have lasting benefits and support future growth.


U.S. Bank offers customized operational solutions combined with the strength and security of a major financial institution. Visit us at to learn about our investment services solutions.

Related content

Tailor Ridge eBill case study

Buying or leasing? Questions to ask before signing a contract

Home buying myths: Realities of owning a home

How I did it: Turned my side hustle into a full-time job

3 types of insurance you shouldn’t ignore

What military service taught me about money management

What is Medicare? Understanding your coverage options

Managing the impacts of appraisal gaps in a hot housing market

5 steps to take before transitioning your business

Overcoming the 3 key challenges of a lump sum relocation program

Year-end financial checklist

How RIAs can embrace technology to enhance personal touch

7 year-end tax planning tips

Should I itemize my taxes?

Car shopping Buying versus leasing your next vehicle

Allowance basics for parents and kids

6 pandemic money habits to keep for the long term

I own two electric vehicles. Here’s what I’ve learned about buying and driving EVs.

Tips for working in the gig economy

Is it time to get a shared bank account with your partner?

Money Moments: 3 tips for planning an extended leave of absence

Financial gifts can be a valuable – and fun – choice for the holidays

4 ways to free up your budget (and your life) with a smaller home

Practical money tips we've learned from our dads

7 things to know about long-term care insurance

Retirement planning strategies for dual-income families

Key milestone ages as you near and start retirement

How to build wealth at any age

Putting home ownership within reach for a diverse workforce

New technology streamlines M&A transactions

Cryptocurrency custody 6 frequently asked questions

What corporate treasurers need to know about Virtual Account Management

Improve online presence your business

How to open and invest in a 529 plan

Your 4-step guide to financial planning

What to do when you lose your job

4 financial considerations before changing jobs

Annual insurance review checklist

Gift cards can extend ROI into 2022

How grandparents can contribute to college funds instead of buying gifts

U.S. Bank asks: Transitioning out of college life? What’s next?

3 emerging technology trends for bankers

Friction: How it can help achieve money goals

Business tips and advice for Black entrepreneurs

5 times you may need a financial advisor

For today's homebuyers, time and money are everything

Here’s how to create a budget for yourself

How to spot an online scam

Understanding guardianship and power of attorney in banking

How to use debt to build wealth

CFO survey: A shifting focus on ESG in business

8 steps to choosing a health insurance plan

The connection between your health and financial well-being

Is a Health Savings Account missing from your retirement plan?

How to winterize your vehicle

High-cost housing and down payment options in relocation

For today's relocating home buyers, time and money are everything

Crypto + Relo: Mobility industry impacts

Take the stress out of buying your teen a car

Financial steps to take after the death of a spouse

Retirement planning in the gig economy

CFO report: Driving growth via new business models and technology

CFO insights: Leading the recovery for sustainable growth

4 steps to finding a charity to support

Estate planning documents: Living trusts vs. will vs. living will

Complying with changes in fund regulations

Checklist: Increase lead generation with website optimization

Tips for building a successful customer loyalty program

Unexpected retirement expenses

What financial advice would you give your younger self?

Trends in economics, immigration and mobility policy

The ongoing evolution of custody

Administrator accountability: 5 questions to evaluate outsourcing risks

Service provider due diligence and selection best practices

How to manage your money when you're self-employed

Personal loans first-timer's guide: 7 questions to ask

Choosing your M&A escrow partner

How I did it: Bought a home without a 20 percent down payment

How to stay positive when searching for a job: advice from a U.S. Bank goals coach

House Hacks: How buying an investment property worked as my first home

How to set yourself up for success in your first job

Travel for less: Smart (not cheap) ways to spend less on your next trip

Working after retirement: Factors to consider

7 ways for pre-retirees to get ready for retirement

Multiple accounts can make it easier to follow a monthly budget

Evaluating interest rate risk creating risk management strategy

9 simple ways to save

Opening a business on a budget during COVID-19

How I did it: Learned to budget as a single mom

How small businesses are growing sales with online ordering

How to stop living paycheck to paycheck post-pay increase

Do your investments match your financial goals?

5 financial goals for the new year

Money Moments: Tips for selling your home

Parent checklist: Preparing for college

Which is better: Combining bank accounts before marriage — or after?

Don’t underestimate the importance of balancing your checking account

Do you and your fiancé have compatible financial goals?

LGBTQ+ financial planning: 7 reasons why it matters

Reviewing your beneficiaries: A 5-step guide

How to cut mindless spending: real tips from real people

Retirement income planning: 4 steps to take

LGBTQ+ retirement planning: What you need to know

Using 529 plans for K-12 tuition

How to retire happy

How to protect your digital assets in your estate plan

Can fantasy football make you a better investor?

10 ways a global custodian can support your growth

Insource or outsource? 10 considerations

Investment strategies by age

Investing for beginners

6 tips on trust fund distributions to beneficiaries

How to track your spending patterns

How to manage your money: 6 steps to take

How to discuss money with your family

Good debt vs. bad debt: Know the difference

How to establish your business credit score

4 tips to help you save for retirement in your 20s

4 reasons estate planning is important

Preparing for your custodian conversion

Delivering powerful results with SWIFT messaging and services

Unexpected cost savings may be hiding in your payment strategy

Checklist: 10 questions to ask your home inspector

5 things to avoid that can devalue your home

Authenticating cardholder data reduce e-commerce fraud

Addressing financial uncertainty in international business

30-day adulting challenge: Financial wellness tasks to complete in a month

5 reasons why couples may have separate bank accounts

7 steps: How couples and single parents can prepare for child care costs

Adulting 101: How to make a budget plan

Dear Money Mentor: How do I set and track financial goals?

Helpful tips for safe and smart charitable giving

What you need to know about renting

How and when to ask for a raise

How can I help my student manage money?

How having savings gives you peace of mind

How to save for a wedding

How to save money while helping the environment

It's possible: 7 tips for breaking the spending cycle

Money Moments: 3 smart financial strategies when caring for aging parents

Personal finance for teens can empower your child

Tips to overcome three common savings hurdles

Webinar: Uncover the cost: Wedding

Webinar: Uncover the cost: International trip

Your guide to starting a job: Resources to help along the way

How to increase your savings

It’s time for a fresh start: A new way of thinking

U.S. Bank asks: Do you know your finances?

Money Moments: 8 dos and don’ts for saving money in your 30s

Money Moments: How to manage your finances after a divorce

5 tips to use your credit card wisely and steer clear of debt

Real world advice: How parents are teaching their kids about money

3 awkward situations Zelle can help avoid

What’s in your emergency fund?

Money management guide to financial independence

5 ways to spring clean your finances and save money year-round

Your guide to breaking the rental cycle

Webinar: Uncover the cost: Building a home

10 questions to ask when hiring a contractor

10 ways to increase your home’s curb appeal

Webinar: Uncover the cost: Home renovation

Beyond the mortgage: Other costs for homeowners

Tips for navigating a medical hardship when you’re unable to work

11 essential things to do before baby comes

How to plan and save for adoption and in vitro fertility treatment costs

Closing on a house checklist for buyers

Resources for managing financial matters after an unexpected death

What you need to know as the executor of an estate

What documents do you need after a loved one dies?

How to prepare for a natural disaster

Student checklist: Preparing for college

Webinar: Uncover the cost: College diploma

How I did it: Paid off student loans

Webinar: Bank Notes: College cost comparison

4 ways to outsmart your smart device

Dear Money Mentor: What is cryptocurrency?

From LLC to S-corp: Choosing a small business entity

7 steps to keep your personal and business finances separate

How to spot a credit repair scam

5 unique ways to take your credit card benefits further

How to apply for federal student aid through the FAFSA

Be careful when taking out student loans

Your financial aid guide: What are your options?

5 tips to use your credit card wisely and steer clear of debt

Military homeownership: Your guide to resources, financing and more

Crypto + Homebuying: Impacts on the real estate market

Luxembourg's thriving private debt market

Employee benefit plan management: Trustee vs. custodian

Integrated receivables management solution supports customer focus at MSC Industrial Supply

High-yield bond issuance: 5 traits lawyers should look for in a service provider

Hospitals face cybersecurity risks in surprising new ways

Give a prepaid rewards card for employee recognition

How to reward employees and teams who perform well

5 steps for creating an employee recognition program

How jumbo loans can help home buyers and your builder business

Webinar: Mindset Matters: How to practice mindful spending

Private equity and the full-service administrator

Webinar: ESG for Corporations: Building an all-weather, long-lasting strategy

Flexibility remains essential for public sector workforces

Empowering managers with data automation and integration

Hybridization driving demand

Supply chain analysis: Merging technology and commerce

Easier onboarding: What to look for in an administrator

Common pitfalls to avoid in the equipment financing process

In a digital world, Liberty Puzzles embraces true connection

The secret to successful service provider integration

3 tips to maintain flexibility in supply chain management

5 steps you should take after a major data breach

Cybersecurity – Protecting client data through industry best practices

Artificial intelligence in finance: Defining the terms

Why KYC — for organizations

The cyber insurance question: Additional protection beyond prevention

Post-pandemic fraud prevention lessons for local governments

Questions to ask before buying a car

What you should know about buying a car

How to identify what technology is needed for your small business

How to get started creating your business plan

Talent acquisition 101: Building a small business dream team

Make your business legit

7 tips to help grow your business after launch

How to test new business ideas

Key considerations for online ordering systems

Planning for restaurant startup costs and when to expect them

Staying organized when taking payments

How does an electronic point of sale help your business keep track of every dime?

How iPads can help increase efficiency in your salon

Tools that can streamline staffing and employee management

Costs to consider when starting a business

How to redefine challenges with business collaboration

How to sell your business without emotions getting in the way

Empowering team members

10 tips on how to run a successful family business

The role of ethics in the hiring process

8 ways to increase employee engagement

The costs of hiring a new employee

How to hire employees: Employee referral vs. external hiring

How to expand your business: Does a new location make sense?

What you should know about licensing agreements

3 simple brand awareness tips for your business

5 principles for avoiding ethics pitfalls on social media

How a small business owner is making the workplace work for women

5 tips for helping employees raise ethics concerns

The growing importance of a strong corporate culture

Meet your business credit card support team

Business credit card 101

5 tips for managing your business cash flow

How to apply for a business credit card

Prioritizing payroll during the COVID-19 pandemic

Break free from cash flow management constraints

Use this one simple email marketing tip to increase your reach

How a travel clothing retailer is staying true to its brand values

How community gave life to lifestyle boutique Les Sol

How Shampoo’ed is transforming hair and inspiring entrepreneurs

The San Francisco bridal shop that’s been making memories for 30 years

How Al’s Breakfast is bringing people together

Celebrity Cake Studio’s two decades of growth and success

How a group fitness studio made the most of online workouts

How Wenonah Canoe is making a boom in business last

How a bar trivia company went digital during COVID-19

How to build a content team

How (and why) to get your business supplier diversity certification

Finance or operating lease? Deciphering the legalese of equipment finance

4 questions you should ask about your custodian

Fight the battle against payments fraud

The latest on cybersecurity: Vulnerability testing and third-party software

The password: Enhancing security and usability

Tactical Treasury: Fraud prevention is a never-ending task

3 timeless tips to reduce corporate payments fraud

The surprising truth about corporate cards

Safeguarding the payment experience through contactless

ABCs of ARP: Answers to American Rescue Plan questions for counties

Why retail merchandise returns will be a differentiator in 2022

Omnichannel retail: 4 best practices for navigating the new normal

The client-focused mindset: How to network effectively

Is your restaurant Google-friendly?

5 Ways to protect your government agency from payment fraud

Proactive ways to fight vendor fraud

The latest on cybersecurity: Mobile fraud and privacy concerns

Cybercrisis management: Are you ready to respond?

Business risk management for owners of small companies

Refining your search for an insurance custodian

The benefits of a full-service warehouse custodian

3 questions to ask your equity, quant and CTA fund administrator

Should you buy a house that’s still under construction?

Webinar: AP automation for commercial real estate

Webinar: CSM corporation re-thinks AP

The future of financial leadership: More strategy, fewer spreadsheets

Tech tools to keep your restaurant operations running smoothly

COVID-19 safety recommendations: Are you ready to reopen?

Enhancing liquidity management: 4 benefits of visibility

The client-focused mindset: Adapting to differing personality types

The client-focused mindset: What do clients expect?

Automated escheatment – learn how to prevent and resolve unclaimed property

Webinar: CRE Digital Transformation – Balancing Digitization with cybersecurity risk

Webinar: CRE technology trends

Webinar: Robotic process automation

Webinar: CRE treasury leader roundtable

Investment products and services are:


U.S. Bank does not guarantee the products, services or performance of its affiliates and third party providers.
Start of disclosure content

Loan approval is subject to credit approval and program guidelines. Not all loan programs are available in all states for all loan amounts. Interest rate and program terms are subject to change without notice. Mortgage, home equity and credit products are offered by U.S. Bank National Association. Deposit products are offered by U.S. Bank National Association. Member FDIC.