Volume 3. Issue Number 3
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In this issue we present:
Website News: Our new look website - GIPS & Verifiers page - Networking &
Information on the Financial Research Associates’ Symposium on Measuring
Performance & Risk event – April 23 & 24. Cambridge, MA, U.S.A
The i-P-A 60 Second Interview with Philippe Grégoire, CEO Orfival. Find out
about the pipeline for GPMS, Orfival’s views on IT architecture, similarly on
hosted solutions and also differentiating client reporting – along with lighthearted
responses in our rapid fire section
Information about The Journal of Performance Measurement’s Performance
Measurement, Attribution & Risk (PMAR) event – May 20 & 21. Philadelphia,
Over 13,000 words of some of the latest market news from around the globe
– it’s been a busy month for the industry!
Happy reading from the i-P-A team. We hope you find it interesting and useful.
Volume 3. Issue Number 3
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Information on the following:
The Performance Measurement Forum – Spaulding Group
Performance Measurement Networking Group
Performance & Risk Association – Osney Media
i-P-A UK Golf Forum
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Volume 3. Issue Number 3
Volume 3. Issue Number 3
i-P-A 60 Second Interview with
Philippe Grégoire, CEO Orfival
Can you please give us some ideas of what is in the pipeline for your GPMS product?
The pipeline for GPMS is considerable as our industry is characterized by constant innovations. We have a strong commitment to
serve our clients and it is our clients who decide our development priorities.. Inter alia the next release will offer new functions in
the areas of for data control, for Liability Driven Investment and for attribution for corporate bonds. We have developed a new
function that allows the user to set up his own data control and to launch it automatically before running performance reports. As
several clients of GPMS are insurance companies, we have included functions that measure the risk of the portfolio under liability
constraints. These functions will allow our insurance and pension funds clients to be Solvency II compliant. As shown by the current
financial crisis, the sensitivity of corporate bonds to changes in the level of the spread is significantly different from the bonds’
modified duration. We have added the facility to consider this feature. The medium term pipeline includes upgrades of some
modules to VB.Net and optimization of the GPMS current performance library to compute performance numbers and generate
reports for a large number of portfolios within our large-scale client time target. The long-term pipeline includes developments to
enhance the ergonomics of the system and new functions for our front-middle-back office modules.
IT architecture and modularisation is something that is becoming more and more important to the industry. Where does Orfival
see this area moving towards over the medium turn?
Orfival has anticipated for some years the new challenges required by software in the next 10 years. The key success point is the
modularity of the modules and the “services” approach. It makes it easier to add supplementary functions to the software and it
allows distribution of the workload on multiple application servers to enable optimum response times.
Hosted solutions, in the current environment, are attracting a lot of interest. Are you able to offer this as an option?
Yes, for hardware hosting, we have a partnership with Trasys, a large hosting company that offer high quality computing services
24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with 100% availability. For all software, we offer a facilities management service. We have clients
who use our hosting services in France, UK and Kazakhstan, which makes life very easy for them, as they just need to connect
through a VPN.
Asset Managers are always looking to differentiate their client reporting services to clients. How does your product offering
This is certainly one of our main advantages. We have build a specific concept, which allows the client to create his own, set of
calculations, to run in any time period with fixed or data dependent frequency and to create his own presentation template within
Microsoft Office tools. The concept is based on 3 independent building blocks that are openly associated to produce attribution
and performance numbers specific to any part of the portfolio (fixed income, derivatives, equities, etc.) and to slice and dice the
numbers. On top of the calculations engine, we have developed reporting tools that are user friendly and because they are based
on Microsoft Office they offer all of the MS Office graphics and layout capabilities.
Oscar preferences: Slumdog Millionaire, The Wrestler or Milk?
The Wrestler, but I have not seen any of the films yet
Have you ever experienced any of the following official sports Cheese-Rolling, Bog-Snorkelling or Swamp Soccer?
No, but I’m sure I would enjoy Cheese-Rolling
What’s the last restaurant your visited (non-business)?
Philippe Fauchet. He is a young chef, original and innovative. His restaurant is in a small village near Liège, in Belgium.
What are your three favourite books?
Samarcande (Amin Maalouf), Avicenne, ou la route d’Ispahan (Gilbert Sinoué) and The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
Where is your next planned holiday?
Biarritz, France. I just love the atmosphere of the city and my kids are fans of big waves.
Belgium's world-reknowned for the professional cycling circuit? Are you a fan?
What is your favourite hobby?
I’m a fan of sport; tennis, mountain bike and windsurfing.
Volume 3. Issue Number 3
.... Click here .... to find out more
Philadelphia Ritz-Carlton - Philadelphia, PA, U.S.A
Topics and speakers include:
Hear from world-class speakers!
BENCHMARKS FOR ALTERNATIVE INVESTMENTS Panel: includes Neil Riddles, CFA, CIPM, Hansberger Global Investors
VALUE AT RISK Robert MacKay, Ph.D., NERA
SUPPORTING DERIVATIVES PERFORMANCE Joseph McDonagh, CFA, Eagle Investment Systems
THE CUSTODIANS ROLE IN PERFORMANCE MEASUREMENT – JPMorgan, Northern Trust, State Street
FAST PERFORMANCE – PANEL SESSION
GIPS 2010 Jonathan Boersma, CFA, The CFA Institute
KEYNOTE: LONG SHORT ANALYTICS David Asermely, BNY Mellon Asset Servicing (2008 Dietz Award Winner)
PERFORMANCE MEASUREMENT FOR PENSION FUNDS Auke Plantinga, Ph.D., University of Gronigen
MAD PERFORMANCE David Spaulding, CIPM,The Spaulding Group, Inc.
SPECIAL BREAKFAST SESSION: BUILDING A COMPLIANCE CULTURE IN TURBULENT TIMES Neil Hampton, StatPro
AN UPDATE ON REGULATORY ISSUES Steven W. Stone, Morgan Lewis
BEYOND THE NUMBERS: MANAGING THE DATA AND THE GROUPS THAT USE IT James Edmonds, Alliance Bernstein
BATTLE ROYALE VII – IRR Carl Bacon, CIPM, StatPro vs Austin Long, CPA, Alignment Capital Group
GOAL CENTERED PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS Stephen Campisi, Intuitive Performance Solutions
MULTI-CURRENY ATTRIBUTION Jose Menchero, Ph.D., CFA, MSCI-Barra (Dietz Award Winner)
RISK ADJUSTED MEASURES David Spaulding, CIPM, The Spaulding Group, Inc.
Volume 3. Issue Number 3
StatPro Group plc, a leading provider of portfolio analytics software and data for the global asset management industry, received the
prestigious ISO 27001 Certification for its data centres and London Operations, which form the backbone of the company’s Software as a
Service (SaaS) initiative.
This international certification specifically covers StatPro’s Information Security Management Systems (ISMS) for services within these
locations, validating that the associated security policies for these services have undergone in-depth testing and external audits. The new
certification provides better protection and privacy for StatPro’s clients’ data by ensuring that there is enhanced tracking and reporting on the
company’s security initiatives.
Maintaining the ISO 27001 Certification requires an annual review and three year re-certification. The continual scrutiny of StatPro’s ISMS in
this manner provides confidence to clients that their data is protected on an ongoing basis.
“We are proud to have achieved certification and we believe that it reflects the dedication of our staff to ensure that we have the highest level
of controls in place when dealing with client information,” said Neil Smyth, Chief Technology Officer, StatPro. “Data security is integral to the
survival and stability of any organization and StatPro’s ISO Certification offers our clients a higher level of safeguard and protection for their
Interactive Data Corporation, a leading provider of financial market data, analytics and related services, announced that its Managed
Solutions business has added innovative capabilities to its PrimePortal product. PrimePortal facilitates the creation of customised web
solutions designed to provide comprehensive visualisation capabilities and analysis of real-time and delayed financial data.
Interactive Data’s “Portfolio” application, a component of PrimePortal, is designed to help investment advisors and individual investors develop
and track investment portfolios. New features can help users create their own benchmarks for performance comparisons and to include nontraded
investments such as real estate, insurance and savings accounts in an asset valuation. The enhanced application also includes a central
“cockpit” interface designed to provide investment advisors with a complete overview of their customer portfolios.
Additionally, new features of Portfolio are designed to include the ability to “tag” portions of the portfolio to represent specific purposes such
as emergency reserves, retirement or play money. Online broker and media portal users can also team up with other investors to create ratings
and exchange investment tips. Virtual portfolios can help enable investors replicate their actual portfolios and obtain an overview of the
performance of their investments, or they can be used to simulate alternative scenarios with different risk levels.
Portfolio provides users with an array of tools and information for portfolio performance evaluation and monitoring, including comprehensive
reports and charts. Portfolio is a Web-based module that is designed to easily integrate with existing solutions and processes.
“Given the current state of the financial markets, investment advisors in the wealth management sector face major challenges, and these new
capabilities in Portfolio are aimed at helping optimise their advisory services and providing their customers’ with wealth management
solutions,” said Carsten Dirks, managing director of Interactive Data Managed Solutions. “Media portals and online brokers can also use
Portfolio to enhance customer loyalty by offering their users Web 2.0 applications along with associated analytics tools. We continuously
expand the capabilities of our applications for the benefit of our clients.”
Fiserv, Inc., a leading provider of information technology services to the financial industry, launched new versions of their transaction
management and reconciliation solutions, CheckFree Frontier® and CheckFree Frontier® Securities. The new versions of CheckFree Frontier and
CheckFree Frontier Securities are focused on driving increased efficiency and ensuring ease of use, while helping organizations to better
manage risk by highlighting exceptions in the transaction management and reconciliation process, and using configurable risk tolerances to
guide users to items or accounts that require immediate attention.
“In today’s challenging business environment, our customers are demanding the ability to further enhance profitability while improving the
efficiency and transparency of their financial control frameworks,” said Elizabeth Elkins, general manager, Operational Risk Management,
Fiserv. “The latest version of CheckFree Frontier has been developed with an unprecedented level of client feedback and interaction in the
product design. The solution increases productivity by allowing users to instantly access the areas requiring immediate review and resolution.
Volume 3. Issue Number 3
Exceptions are categorized and automated transaction management capabilities ensure items with the most risk are identified and resolved
quickly and efficiently.”
Introducing new capabilities, the latest versions of CheckFree Frontier offer:
• Enterprise-wide, real-time graphical view with full transactional drill down capabilities.
• Enhanced exception categorization based on exception type and level of risk, enabling users to summarize outstanding/exception items by
asset class/type or any other criteria.
• Personalized graphical summaries and charting enable users to interpret their own data/exception items each time they access the solution.
• User driven ‘shortcuts’ or bookmarks provide users immediate access to their most important information and common tasks.
“These capabilities, together with a next generation web interface, easy-to-configure risk tolerances, processing rules and a highly intuitive
end-user presentation, provide customers with a simple, personalized way to isolate and act on high-risk transactions and anomalies in the
reconciliation process,” said Brad Foohey, senior product manager, Operational Risk Management, Fiserv. “Our customers have an ever
growing need to mitigate risk and increase efficiency as transactions and accounts are processed across the balance sheet. The new features of
our system are designed to help customers achieve greater agility in response to a changing business and regulatory environment.”
Challenger Financial Services Group has completed the implementation of SimCorp’s trade order management software module, Order
Management3, and is the first fund manager in the Asia Pacific region to use SimCorp Dimension to support its entire investment management
operation – from front office through to back office. This includes support for a number of boutique fund managers for whom Challenger
partners with to provide a range of services, including back-office support.
An Australian-domiciled, publicly-listed, financial services company with a total of AUD 23.9 billion in funds and assets under management as at
September 30, 2008, Challenger was SimCorp’s first Australian customer. It has used SimCorp Dimension as its investment management
platform for middle and back office operations across its Life and Funds Management businesses since early 2004.
With Order Management3 now live, Challenger’s front office is now fully integrated with its middle and back offices. This allows Challenger to
ensure that consistent information is on everyone’s desktops through the whole cycle on a real-time basis.
Challenger is also extending its use of SimCorp Dimension in its back office to provide automatic payments via SWIFT and the integration of
Bloomberg feeds for static data. The inclusion of these facilities will automate processes with manual steps and allow the back office to
operate on a management-by-exception basis.
“With one front-to-back solution, we are able to continually fine-tune the process giving us more efficiency, reliability and rapid delivery of upto-date
information for our investment teams,” says David Mackaway, Challenger’s General Manager of Investment Operations.
Standard & Poor’s, the leading provider of financial market intelligence, and SIMAH, the Saudi Arabian credit information bureau,
announced an alliance to develop the first industry-wide commercial and corporate credit information service for Saudi banks.
The initiative involves collecting and assessing default and recovery data from 12 local banks and is a key step in the process of strengthening
risk management standards in the banking industry in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).
“This is a very important alliance for Standard & Poor’s and our Risk Solutions business, and we are delighted to be working with SIMAH and its
participating member banks on such a crucial project,” said Deven Sharma, President of Standard & Poor’s. “Standard & Poor’s is fully
committed to supporting the ongoing development of banking and capital markets in the KSA, drawing on our wide range of data and
analytical capabilities, and I look forward to extending this relationship to many other credit risk related activities in the coming years.”
Volume 3. Issue Number 3
“There is a scarcity of data in some commercial lending asset classes in KSA and in many other countries, as historically defaults have been
rare,” explained Bernard O’Sullivan, Managing Director and Head of Standard & Poor’s Risk Solutions in Europe, Middle East & Africa. “This has
been a significant challenge to overcome for many banks. The data consortium initiative will address this by rapidly building a robust dataset
reflecting the underlying factors that drive credit risk. We believe the initiative taken by SIMAH is a very positive example to others and will
have attractive and far reaching benefits for the participating member banks and investors in the region.”
“SIMAH has been assigned by the banks to study the best possible options, revise them scientifically, submit them in the form of an integrated
project and develop technical models that can be applied to all Saudi banks so as to measure risks,” said Nabil Abdullah Al-Mubarak, General
Manager of SIMAH. “Based on that, SIMAH has conducted extensive studies to determine the requirements, know the banks' capabilities,
analyze all other experiences in this regard and finally determine the entity that could carry out this project as a technical partner. Accordingly,
SIMAH sent out all offers to the companies interested and we chose Standard & Poor's Risk Solutions.”
Under the initiative, the participating member banks will provide information on their mid-market and large corporate defaults, both
historically and on an ongoing basis. This information will follow criteria established by Standard & Poor’s Risk Solutions and will be held on
SIMAH’s secure confidential database in Riyadh. In addition, information on a significant sample of performing commercial loans will be
assembled and will enable Standard & Poor’s Risk Solutions to develop a probability of default model for Saudi corporate debt, as well as
provide industry-wide statistics on historic recovery and default trends in the Kingdom.
Reinforcing the conclusions of a white paper sent to clients in November, Wilshire Analytics’ global equity risk model, the Wilshire GR6
Equity Risk ModelSM, shows the year-end spreads between the model’s long-term and short-term valuations of risk are at record highs.
Global average of equity risk spreads between equally-weighted and exponentially-weighted risk
November 2008 December 2007 Previous Record Spread (July 2002)
10.54% 1.28% 2.57%
The paper, “Wilshire Equity Analytics: A Comparative Study of the Wilshire GR6 Covariance Matrices,” by Edward Rackham, PhD, vice
president, Wilshire Associates, shows the impact on portfolio risk of five different risk estimation schemes.
“Dr. Rackham’s research shows that in order to be useful within the investment process, a selected risk model needs to reflect the volatility of
the expected trading horizon,” commented David L. Hall, senior managing director, Wilshire Associates and head of Wilshire Equity Analytics, a
division of Wilshire Analytics. “A manager using a model with a time horizon inconsistent with the investment horizon means that the manager
may be managing to the wrong estimates of portfolio total risk and tracking error.”
Dr. Rackham, who oversees the development of new risk, performance and other analytics functionality in the Wilshire AtlasSM, the premier
solution offered by Wilshire Equity Analytics, commented that the methodology used to estimate covariance can lead to significantly different
estimations of portfolio risk.
“The paper also discusses how the Wilshire Equity GR6 Risk Model’s 2005 implementation of Wilshire’s proprietary Structured Hadamard
Product Target Shrinkage Estimator (SHaPTSE) improves the performance of the model’s short term risk estimates through ‘shrinkage’ of any
spurious ‘off-diagonal elements’ found in the model’s daily covariance matrices,” Dr. Rackham said. “As I noted in the paper, “…in comparison
to longer-term risk estimates, “it seems reasonable to conclude that the best one-month forward-looking predictions of risk … are yielded by
the Daily Exponential … matrices.”
Dr. Rackham cautioned that this does not mean that long term risk practitioners should stop using monthly models as they may prefer more
stable risk numbers rather than concern themselves with sensitivity to daily fluctuations. “Users of risk analytics need to be aware that in times
of extreme market volatility differences between the risk estimates of different models tend to be exaggerated,” he explained.
Volume 3. Issue Number 3
Investment research specialist Morningstar is being sued by a producer of brokerage software over accusations that it gained
unauthorized access to an online service that helps brokerages send the most up-to-date investment prospectuses to their clients, according to
The case is being brought by Massachusetts-based firm NewRiver, which contests that Morningstar used "screen scraping" technology to copy
thousands of documents from its database for use with its own products.
NewRiver's web-based service, which can cost up to $500,000 a year for subscribers, checks the Securities and Exchange Commission's Edgar
site for new mutual fund prospectuses and stores them in its database for brokerage houses to access.
The company, which processes around 1,000 documents a night, says that between May 1st and December 3rd 2008, Morningstar accessed its
database over 130,000 times using internet addresses traced to Chicago and China.
A Morningstar spokeswoman denied that the company had used NewRiver's technology or data, or that it had accessed its password-protected
sites to create its products.
"We think the lawsuit has one purpose: to discourage Morningstar from competing with NewRiver," she said.
NewRiver launched in 1987 and it patented its online prospectus service in 1998.
Calastone Limited, the independent cross-border transaction network for the mutual funds industry, announced that fund provider
Gartmore Investment Management (Gartmore) has signed an agreement to offer its funds via Calastone.
Gartmore’s mutual fund third party administrator, IFDS (International Financial Data Services), has connected to Calastone and as a
consequence, Gartmore can take advantage of STP efficiencies, not only from the automation of the entire lifecycle of mutual fund trades
including settlement, but also by taking advantage of the business flow process automation achievable by Calastone connectivity.
Calastone’s membership fee free basis, and a low tariff pricing model, is enabling the mutual fund community to reduce cost and operational
risk. For the first time, irrespective of their preferred method of connectivity, messaging protocol or standards, all Calastone participants enjoy
straight through processing regardless of their size or technology capabilities. In addition, transactions can now be tracked and exceptions
managed on a real-time basis via the Calastone EMS.
Commenting on the agreement, Kevin Lee, Managing Director of Calastone said, “We are delighted to welcome Gartmore as a participant.
Fund management firms, such as Gartmore, will continue to benefit as more and more distributors connect to Calastone, announcements of
which will be made in due course.”
Martin Jones, Head of TPA Service Delivery at Gartmore added, “We have been impressed with Calastone and IFDS’s collaboration to
complement existing opportunities for electronic trading and to extend such opportunities to the wider mutual fund community. Choice and
competitive forces will only benefit the mutual fund industry by reducing transaction costs and improving the settlement process. We look
forward to embracing the opportunities Calastone's global reach will offer.”
Asset Control, a world-wide leader in financial data management solutions, has released a new version of its TAPMaster data
management software that provides users with enhanced validation, graphical visualization and exception handling. TAPMaster 4.0 provides
the following enhancements:
• Centrally stored and easily managed validation rules for error detection, designed to meet a wide range of financial institutions’
requirements out of the box
• Enhanced exception handling, cleansing and workflow, allowing organizations to manage exceptions in line with business functions, tasks and
Volume 3. Issue Number 3
• Expanded data source support, standardized data coverage and maintained feed handlers, providing flexibility and broad coverage
particularly for complex instruments
• Graphical schemas to provide transparency for business users
TAPMaster’s enhanced data validation functionality allows firms to determine the accuracy and completeness of financial data from a variety
of sources. With version 4.0, business users can easily define data validation rules using English-language phrases and pick-lists in a browserbased
interface. The new rules engine applies each rule and records exceptions which are then resolved prior to data extraction, processing or
populating downstream systems. TAPMaster provides an intuitive graphical user interface combined with the straightforward upgrade, support
and maintenance of a web-based solution.
Phil Lynch, Asset Control’s president and chief executive officer, said, “Financial institutions are in need of easily implemented and robust
solutions to help them acquire and manage critical information, and then make that information easily utilized by their various applications and
reports. TAPMaster helps to make the process of sourcing, cleansing and distributing data simplified and transparent. With greater
visualization, sophisticated matching and referencing techniques, TAPMaster allows firms to rapidly store, distribute and report on a broad
range of data using a standardized product that provides greater consistency across the organization.”
Markit, a financial information services provider, announced the introduction of a new pricing schedule for its Markit BOAT Data service.
Markit BOAT provides a comprehensive view of the European over-the-counter (OTC) equity markets. The service gives users access to trade
reports on an average of EUR20 billion of OTC trades in equities every day. This is equivalent to approximately 25% of the daily volumes traded
on all European equity markets.
Will Meldrum, Managing Director and Head of Equities Data at Markit, said: “Markit BOAT’s dataset is vital for market participants to gain a
comprehensive view of the pan-European OTC equity markets. We have restructured our data packages to make the Markit BOAT data more
easily available to a wider range of clients.”
The new schedule includes nine regional data packages1 designed for those users who do not require a full pan-European licence, the only
licence available for Markit BOAT Data prior this announcement. These new packages will become commercially available on 1 May 2009 in
order to allow the market data vendors that redistribute Markit BOAT Data to implement the necessary changes.
The new pricing schedule will also include the introduction of a reduced scaling fee for Markit BOAT’s pan-European data licence based on the
number of registered users within a company.
Markit BOAT has also introduced new services that give users an end-of-day aggregated view of validated trades reported on the Markit BOAT
platform. The new end-of-day files will address the market's needs for accurate historical trade data and correct measurement of trading
volumes offexchange. Sophia Kandylaki, Director and Product Manager of Markit BOAT, said: “We recognise the importance of validated
historical trade reports for fine tuning algorithms and this is the reason for the introduction of Markit BOAT’s end-of-day service. We expect
the service will also appeal to risk managers who need official OTC volume data to use as an input into their liquidity tests.”
Numerix, the leading independent provider of advanced analytics for the derivative and structured products markets, and CMA, the credit
information specialist, announced the publication of a new industry report discussing the importance of consistent pricing policies for the
accurate valuation of complex derivatives and structured products. The paper outlines the process of implementing an “enterprise pricing
policy” as a consistent, repeatable methodology for valuing complex financial instruments and creating an audit trail from the front to back
offices. As a result, financial institutions can address the main challenge for today: developing the necessary internal support for complex
The credit crunch has revealed the market inefficiencies and forced institutions to evaluate their participation in complex markets in terms of
the valuation, model validation and overall risk management involved with structuring and managing portfolios. While organizations will
continue to invest in software to develop better pricing strategies, there are several key requirements to meet: standards between trading
desks, which support different asset classes; model validation for new products; and trade capture from the front to back office.
Volume 3. Issue Number 3
“Financial institutions understand the crucial value of transparent pricing policies, but the obstacle is effectively implementing a consistent
policy throughout the organization to foster transparency,” said Steven R. O’Hanlon, President and Chief Operating Officer at Numerix.
“Organizations must use industry-standard analytics and proven models to create a foundation for an enterprise pricing policy. It is the only
way institutions can maneuver the current market volatility and remain confident in their portfolios.”
The paper also advises on the importance of high-quality data for a robust enterprise pricing policy. It is critical for financial institutions to
ensure that data used internally is the same data seen by counterparties, risk managers and administrators, as well as auditors. This will
eliminate inconsistencies in reporting and moreover, enable better back-testing strategies that are critical to confirm accuracy before bringing
instruments into the market. To enable this transparency, valuation providers need to ensure that services are agile enough to allow fund
managers to provide accurate and timely valuations regardless of the complexity of the financial instrument.
“The quality of data being used within an organization dictates its ability to create accurate and timely valuations, particularly with complex
derivatives that are inherently difficult to value. If there is poor data flowing into a valuation system, there will be inaccurate data going out
into the market,” said Laurent Paulhac, CEO of CMA. “In partnership with Numerix, we have a better understanding of how clients use
valuation systems in conjunction with our data and ultimately, help investors remain competitive in a challenging market.”
SunGard’s Asset Arena has launched a Client Portal module, an online reporting and client communication tool available with its Asset
Arena solution suite. The Asset Arena Client Portal module is an interactive, multi-lingual Web-based portal that gives asset managers and fund
administrators access to customizable reports and analysis on topics such as performance measurement and compliance.
Asset Arena’s Client Portal has been developed using SunGard’s Infinity*. It has a scalable service oriented architecture that facilitates
integration with third party applications. Its open-source framework will also allow customers to work directly with SunGard on shared
technical and functional enhancements. Key functionality offered by Asset Arena’s Client Portal includes: customizable dashboards; predefined
templates for on-demand reports; online access to all reports generated by front-office systems such as Asset Arena Investment
Accounting; and secure remote access to software platform services. Asset Arena’s Client Portal is currently integrated with Asset Arena’s
Compliance and Investment Accounting solutions.
Peter Delano, research area director for Securities & Investments at TowerGroup, commented: “Clients' rising expectations, competition for
global assets and an economic environment that drives attention to cost all point to the growing importance of client reporting. Shifting from
basic client reporting to leading-edge status requires a commitment to improve business process and IT governance, as well as technology in
data management and portal interactivity.”
Doug Morgan, president of SunGard’s institutional asset management business, commented: “SunGard’s Asset Arena Client Portal is an
important addition to the Asset Arena offering. It provides a fast, cost-effective route to sophisticated management reporting. With it, SunGard
can help asset managers and fund administrators increase their operational efficiency and deliver value-added services to their own clients and
Markit, a financial information services company, and RiskVal Financial Solutions, a provider of fixed-income trading and risk management
systems, announced the integration of Markit’s industry standard pricing and reference data into RiskVal’s Credit-X trading platform.
The Credit-X trading platform has integrated a broad array of Markit’s products and services, including Markit RED *1+ for CDS and LCDS; Markit
Quotes *2+, Markit Intraday *3+; Markit Indices *4+; and Markit’s CDS and LCDS spread services .
Markit is a financial information services company that offers independent pricing, valuations and trade processing services to help market
participants manage risk, improve operational efficiency and meet regulatory requirements. Markit's alliance with RiskVal has created a trading
platform that delivers improved risk analysis tools including real time profit and loss management, more accurate data entry and superior
credit event management. Credit-X is available as a remotely managed Software as a Service (SaaS) or as an enterprise solution.
Armins Rusis, Executive Vice President and Co-Head of Fixed Income at Markit, said: "The combination of Markit's industry standard data
products and services with RiskVal's sophisticated analytics delivers a consistent view of risk and return to the front, middle and back offices
that truly empowers buyside firms to act on accurate and timely internal and external information.”
Volume 3. Issue Number 3
Jordan Hu, Chief Executive Officer of RiskVal, said: “The integration of Markit’s data and pricing into Credit-X creates a best-of-breed credit
trading system that simplifies the investment management process for a wide range of credit instruments. We are excited about our
partnership with Markit and look forward to delivering this first-rate service to the industry.”
BI-SAM announced that following the success of testing and integrating the new Key Rate Duration (KRD) Fixed Income Attribution
methodology, Schroders have successfully migrated to B-One version 2.8.
This (KRD) new method complete then the current set of BI-SAM’s Five Fixed Income Attribution methodologies available within B-One new
version (Successive spreads, Successive portfolios, Combined Method, Duration Analysis Method and Key Rate duration).
The migration of version 2.8 was part of Schroder’s plan to implement KRD Fixed Income attribution methodology using B-One, in addition to a
global roll out of analytics for all asset classes (equities, balanced and fixed income) as well as all portfolios of the UK, US and Asia-Pac
Thomson Reuters announced the launch of a new datafeed called Reuters Fundamentals Point in Time. Developed in partnership with
Charter Oak Investment Systems, Point in Time provides accurate, unbiased information that was available to the market and could have
affected a price movement, thus triggering an investor’s buy or sell decision.
Built on the Reuters Fundamentals standardized database, Point in Time provides a daily snapshot of the fundamentals historical database by
utilizing a combination of each company’s period end date and filing date. The database avoids look-ahead bias in a model by utilizing only the
data known at the time. More importantly, it eliminates the necessity to create and apply lag assumptions, which are used to determine when
the data could have been available; however, lag assumptions do not hold true for all companies at all times. Point in Time is global in coverage
and includes all delisted historical companies.
“The quant or fund manager is in need of accurate and up-to-the minute fundamentals market data. Point in Time offers a complete back
testing package and has the ability to generate results much more quickly than other databases,” said Albert Lojko, Global Head Content
Strategy, Data Management and Delivery, Thomson Reuters. “It’s now possible to look back and see accurate financial data and historical stock
prices line up with the information that investors actually had at the time they made the decision to buy or sell, and then analyze whether the
quant or fund manager’s investment strategy is likely to succeed,” said Lojko.
When collecting data in Reuters Fundamentals, Thomson Reuters is one of the only firms to use four templates - one each for Banks, Insurance,
Utilities and Industrial companies for Point in Time. Financials cannot be collected for all companies using a single template as similar items
may be interpreted in various manners depending on the industry a company operates in. Point in Time’s market coverage includes 47,000
active companies and 15,000 inactive companies from over 100 countries. Point in Time provides data back to 1989 and will soon be available
through MarketQA and QA Direct.
Vermilion are very pleased to announce that Pioneer Investments, a leading innovator in the investment management industry, has gone
live with Vermilion Reporting Suite (“VRS”) for its Institutional client reporting in its Dublin offices, increasing the number of sites using the VRS
solution within Pioneer to three.
Following successful roll outs of the solution in Boston and Milan, Pioneer Investments are utilising VRS for their investment management
institutional client communications in Dublin.
Paul Price, Global Head of Institutional Business, Pioneer Investments said, “We think it is very important to use a technology partner who are
specialists in the field and Vermillion Software offers a comprehensive solution designed to meet the client reporting needs. After the success
of the first two implementations, we are very happy with the completion of the third instance of VRS in Dublin. Our institutional reporting
process now boasts accuracy, efficiency and timeliness as a direct result of VRS.”
Volume 3. Issue Number 3
Commenting on the implementation, Alan Beer, Vermillion’s Implementations and Operations Director said, “This latest achievement confirms
that VRS is a highly scalable and flexible solution that delivers the sophistication and user-friendly client reporting that our clients demand -
promoting efficiencies on a truly global scale. With implementations for the Boston and Milan offices, and now Dublin – Pioneer Investments
are continuing to reap the rewards of a consolidated reporting platform.”
Vermilion's Sales Director Simon Cornwell said, “Pioneer Investments is following its strategy of selecting the best of breed client
communication and reporting package and increasing the number of global implementations of VRS. This latest go live perfectly defines the
power and scope of the product; able to produce one or thousands of reports simultaneously, and tailored to meet the needs of both the user
and their clients. Our global presence within Pioneer Investments further enhances our position at the forefront of client communication.”
Investor Analytics LLC, a global leader in risk analysis and risk management solutions to the hedge fund industry, announces its
unveiling of A3, a new suite of advanced risk analytics for the hedge fund industry based on research by Dr. Andrew Lo, Chief Scientific Officer
of AlphaSimplex Group, LLC. The product—known as the AlphaSimplex Analytics Array or A3—is based on the Adaptive Markets Hypothesis, an
approach that fills the gaps in the Efficient Markets Hypothesis, and incorporates changing conditions into its dynamic analyses. Available
alongside Investor Analytics’ existing platform of advanced risk tools, A3 provides unique reports that include liquidity risk exposures, potential
fraud indicators, loss statistics, risk decompositions, and return attribution. The unveiling comes at a time when significant economic events,
including introduction of new legislation for regulating the hedge fund industry, are requiring managers to have more detailed and
sophisticated analyses to better understand the risk factors driving their portfolios and strategies. The innovative analytics are delivered by
Investor Analytics to risk managers and investors who require an in-depth understanding of risks that are unique to hedge-fund Figure 1:
Madoff's fund is clearly in the "red" zone on the A3 dashboard, flagging it with liquidity issues and possible fraud.
For example, A3’s liquidity tool uses autocorrelation measures to characterize “market frictions” that can arise from investments in illiquid
securities, from smoothed returns, or even fraudulent activity. The analytics clearly demonstrate glaring inconsistencies in both the Madoff and
Bayou monthly return series, among others. Damian Handzy, Chairman and CEO of Investor Analytics said, “Investor Analytics is proud to be
collaborating with AlphaSimplex to offer the investment community these powerful and proven risk tools at such a critical time in our industry.
Liquidity, fraud, tail risk, and return attribution analyses are at the forefront of managers’ and investors’ priorities, and this new service meets
those exact needs.”
Dr. Andrew W. Lo, Chairman and Chief Scientist of AlphaSimplex Group and Harris & Harris Group Professor at the MIT Sloan School of
Management said, “The last 18 months should convince even the most hardened skeptic that a new generation of risk analytics is needed in
the hedge-fund industry, and AlphaSimplex is delighted to be working with Investor Analytics to respond to this challenge with A3.”
The A3 suite of risk analytics allows managers to better understand the probabilities of various losses depending upon market conditions, and
provides enhanced information about the drivers of a portfolio’s risks. The return attribution function shows how best to understand fund
performance and the sources of alpha and multiple betas. These analytics can be applied to both monthly returns and, if available, daily,
weekly, or monthly positions. The A3 analytics are an important collection of tools for hedge fund investors requiring risk transparency for their
alternative investments, including pension funds, endowments, and other institutional investors. Hedge-fund managers seeking to impose
more structure and discipline to their own risk management protocols will also benefit from A3.
Historic and unprecedented market risk and distrust continue to dominate the financial sector and hedge funds in particular. Increasingly the
trend among hedge funds, funds of hedge funds, as well as traditional asset managers has been to partner with third-party risk management
specialists who provide independent assessments of their risk profiles so that portfolio managers can better safeguard their investors’ capital.
By generating multiple dynamic perspectives on a fund’s risk exposures, A3 gives managers and investors greater confidence that their risks are
being accurately identified and effectively managed.
Dr. Damian Handzy and Dr. Andrew Lo are recently attended MFA’s conference in Miami, where Dr. Lo will deliver the Keynote address.
Fidessa group plc, provider of the award winning trading, portfolio management, compliance and global connectivity solutions for
financial markets participants, has announced the expansion of its Asian operations to cope with growing client demand across the region. This
expansion includes the appointment of new staff as well as the opening of a larger Asian headquarters in Hong Kong.
Volume 3. Issue Number 3
Fidessa’s growth in Asia has been fuelled by the rapid take up and interest in new products and services which have been made available to
both the buy-side and sell-side communities across the region.
Fidessa’s hosted Asian trading, market data and connectivity platform for brokers, which was launched just over a year ago, has quickly gained
a strong foothold in the marketplace. With 10 clients signed up and a strong local pipeline, Fidessa’s credentials as a global supplier to bluechip
clients of powerful, reliable international trading solutions, have proved a real winner against the incumbent competition.
Another impetus to growth has been the regional debut mid last year of the Fidessa LatentZero portfolio management, compliance and
order/execution management product suite for the buy-side. This full asset-class solution is used by nine of the top ten asset management
firms in Europe and the USA, and is already live at its first major client in the region.
“As our client base expands across the Asian region, it is important that we have the staff and infrastructure required to support these
customers. The expansion of our operations in Asia demonstrates Fidessa’s commitment to the region and is a measure of the huge
opportunity that we see here.” comments Nevin Price, Fidessa’s regional manager for Asia.
“The staff numbers in Hong Kong have increased by over twofold in the last couple of years to 100 people, and the new office here, combined
with the business continuity centre we opened last year, will allow us to scale our operations further as our business grows. It will also ensure
we are able to continue to offer the first class service for which we are renowned going forward” adds Price.
New staff appointments in Hong Kong will grow the client support and sales teams across the product suites, and for the Fidessa global
connectivity network for which Hong Kong serves as a regional hub. New staff in Singapore will also add important local support capabilities for
the growing customer base that operates from there.
“Our solutions in Asia allow clients to automate their business flows, improve their efficiency and to compete on the international stage. The
demand from both the buy-side and sell-side segments in the region for these solutions is growing, and these investments in our business will
ensure we remain at the front of the pack of potential suppliers to this audience” concludes Price.
Fidessa’s products serve around 22,000 users across over 630 clients around the world and are used by over 85% of tier one financial
institutions. Fidessa’s network provides connectivity to over 2,200 buy-sides and 360 brokers across 115 markets globally.
DST International (DSTi), a leading global provider of solutions to the Investment Management industry, has confirmed that it is to
extend its participation in the CIPM certification program. Over the last 12 months DSTi has sponsored 6 senior members in its performance
consulting practice through the CIPM certification program to earn the credential. Based upon the success of that initial roll out, DSTi will now
require that all members of its performance consulting team pass the Principles examination and that all of its senior project staff achieve
certification and participate in the CIPM continuing education program.
Tom Montgomery, VP of Delivery of North America said, “The CIPM serves as a valuable tool for DSTi and specifically our professional services
division. CIPM certification demonstrates our commitment to our employees by supporting and encouraging them to achieve the high
standards of CIPM certification, and then through public recognition of those achievements. The CIPM also provides our clients with an
external, objective verification that DSTi is committed to meeting industry standards for best practices, and not simply the implementation of
software. The ability of our clients to easily see the value of both our software and professional services expertise has always been a critical
factor in success of our implementations.”
The CIPM program is designed to test candidates’ mastery of a specialized curriculum in the areas of ethics and performance evaluation, as
well as the application of the Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS®). Certification recognises a practitioner’s proficiency in applying
analytical techniques and preparing GIPS-compliant presentations which guide investment firms in fairly representing and fully disclosing
The CIPM self-study program trains performance analysts, client relationship managers, investment consultants, GIPS verifiers, compliance
officers, regulators, and software developers, among others, to meet industry needs for well-qualified, ethically grounded performance
Recipients of the CIPM designation have sequentially passed two three-hour computer-based exams (Principles and Expert), met the work
experience requirements, joined the CIPM Association, and agreed to comply with its Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct.
Volume 3. Issue Number 3
The CIPM Program is administered worldwide by CFA Institute, a not-for-profit professional association with offices in Virginia, London, New
York, and Hong Kong. CFA Institute is the global association for investment professionals.
Philip Lawton, CFA, CIPM, head of the CIPM Program, said, “The CIPM Program provides external, independent recognition of the high level of
skill and expertise required in investment performance analysis. “Certificants’ employers and clients can be assured that these professionals
know how to evaluate historical results and to present investment performance fairly, completely, and accurately.”
Des Gallacher, DSTi Global Performance Solution Manager said, “In many ways I view the CIPM certification as a critical extension of DSTi’s
investment in the HiPerformance product. In the same way DSTi has consistently re-invested in HiPerformance to ensure that the application’s
functionality meets market demands, we are also committed to ensuring that our staff are actively tracking trends in the performance
measurement space and that they communicate the impact of these trends on clients’ implementation.”
RIMES Technologies, the integrator of financial market data for the global investment community, announced the launch of ‘Barra
Performance on RIMES’, a platform which enables users to produce transaction-based performance measurement and attribution analysis on
equity, fixed income and balanced portfolios. MSCI Barra is a leading provider of investment decision support tools worldwide, including
indices and portfolio risk and performance analytics.
Barra Performance on RIMES combines the wide range of high quality benchmark and market data available from RIMES with multi-asset class
performance analytics from MSCI Barra. This platform enables users to analyse the sources of portfolio return using several different
attribution models, reflecting their investment processes and enabling them to make more informed investment decisions.
Barra Performance on RIMES simplifies the use of equity and fixed income benchmarks, which come pre-loaded and ready to be utilised. A
wide range of market data including asset returns and key rate durations are available for asset valuation, together with the ability to create
custom benchmarks. Attribution on both single or multi-currency portfolios is also supported. A dynamic and interactive workflow enables
users to streamline performance and attribution reporting.
Reports can be grouped using all data sources on RIMES, including the leading fundamental and estimate sources and user-defined
classifications. RIMES' rigorous data checking system ensures that the benchmark data used is already validated. Users can be confident that
the benchmark data is of the highest quality. The RIMES 24/7 support team is dedicated to solve any data anomalies in the shortest possible
Christian Fauvelais, Chief Executive Officer and Co-President of RIMES Technologies commented: “Barra Performance on RIMES combines MSCI
Barra’s outstanding performance analytics with RIMES’ breadth and depth of data. We are delighted to be working with MSCI Barra to offer a
performance measurement and attribution platform which simplifies and streamlines portfolio analysis and reporting.”
“The successful development of Barra Performance on RIMES is a direct result of the close working relationship that we have with RIMES,”
added Roveen Bhansali, Managing Director and Head of the Analytics Business at MSCI Barra. “Barra Performance on RIMES provides yet
another opportunity for market participants to access our multi-asset class performance capabilities.”
Interactive Data Corporation, a leading provider of financial market data, analytics, and related services, announced that its Fixed
Income Analytics business has released a new application programming interface (API) for its market-leading BondEdge® service. This API is
designed to provide clients with seamless access to BondEdge fixed income security analytics, bond swap, and “what-if” capabilities from
directly within Microsoft® Excel® and other third party applications, which can help support their portfolio analysis and risk management
activities across their enterprise.
BondEdge clients can now write their own software applications to communicate with the BondEdge risk calculations library via the BondEdge
API, enabling them to access and utilize BondEdge analytical security measures and to populate internal databases with this information. For
example, clients can write add-ins to integrate BondEdge analytics into Microsoft Office products such as Excel®. The BondEdge API for Excel
includes an add-in program with pre-formatted sample report templates.
Volume 3. Issue Number 3
These new capabilities provide clients with links into BondEdge that can help them perform detailed trade analysis via a bond-swap and
portfolio “what-if” tool. “Buy and sell” bond trade programs can be assessed on both a market and book value basis, and the effects on existing
client portfolios can be directly measured. With the new API, Interactive Data will provide comprehensive technical and user documentation.
These new capabilities are bundled with BondEdge Next Generation Release 2.1, which is currently available.
“The addition of this API to BondEdge will broaden access to the robust fixed income analytical measures and trade analysis that have
benefited our clients for decades,” said Keith Webster, managing director, Interactive Data Fixed Income Analytics. “This new capability
demonstrates our commitment to providing BondEdge clients with increasingly automated, efficient and flexible methods of utilizing BondEdge
to support their activities, including risk management and more comprehensive portfolio analysis.”
CityIQ, a leading advisor to the securities industry, announced the launch of a new integration benchmark for asset managers.
Announcing the new service Paul Wiltshire, Managing Director of CityIQ, explained: “Asset Managers invest significant amounts of resources
and budgets to integrate systems. Usually, these costs are generally incorporated within larger projects making it difficult to undertake
objective analysis of the benefits of a particular integration approach”.
“Until now there have been no generally available benchmarks against which organisations can compare their individual approaches to
integration. That changed last year, when CityIQ benchmarked the integration capabilities of a representative group of asset managers”. “Most
of the benchmarking services on offer today operate at too high a level to provide genuine insight. For this exercise, the work was done at a
very detailed level, using a small set of pre-defined scenarios, relevant to all organisations involved”.
“As a result we now have a base set of data that we can use to help organisations in the asset management industry benchmark their
StatPro Group plc, a leading provider of portfolio analytics and data solutions for the global asset management industry, is urging the
investment community to respond swiftly to the GIPS Executive Committee’s new draft standards.
The governing body of GIPS has published its draft for the 2010 Global Investment Performance Standards and is seeking comment and
feedback before 1st July 2009.
Commenting on the draft standards, Chairman of StatPro Group plc and chair of the GIPS Verification/Practitioner Subcommittee, Carl Bacon
said: “Provisions that are no longer necessary have been eliminated and new provisions added to promote best practice, as well as quite a
number of cosmetic changes. I encourage the investment community to respond swiftly as further changes are still possible. Firms will need no
encouragement to comment on issues they dislike, but it’s equally important that they comment on issues that have their full support. It is
entirely possible for the Executive Committee to make changes in response to a vocal minority if the contented majority remain silent.”
The most significant revisions are:
1) Fair value - firms will be required to value all portfolios at fair value – valuation guidelines are included in a new appendix.
2) Risk measures - firms will be required to disclose a three-year annualised ex-post standard deviation of the composite and
benchmark using monthly data.
3) Compliance statement - there will be three forms of the compliance statement, disclosing if the firm is verified, verified in the past, or
not verified. Firms will be given 24 months to keep their verification current.
The GIPS Executive Committee plans to issue a final document in early 2010 with an effective date of 1st January 2011. It is likely that there will
be no more major changes after this date for at least five years.
Volume 3. Issue Number 3
Markit, a financial information services company, announced the launch of the first multi-bank, cross-asset client valuations platform. The
initiative was first announced in February last year.
Markit Valuations Manager provides a secure, standardised view of over-the-counter (OTC) derivative positions and derivative and cash
instrument valuations across counterparties on a single electronic platform. Subscribers to Markit's Portfolio Valuations service will be able to
view the bank counterparty valuations alongside Markit's independent valuations.
Currently, portfolio managers receive numerous statements from their counterparties in multiple formats, requiring many hours of manual
consolidation. A recent survey of 50 asset managers conducted by Markit highlights the urgent need for an electronic, secure valuations
- 17% of respondents said that a single file delivery of counterparty statements would save them between 50 and 1,000 hours of work a
month. On average, respondents estimated time savings of more than 49 hours a month.
- More complete position information and a standard statement format across all counterparties ranked as the most important improvements
required, followed by an efficient price challenge mechanism.
- 66% of respondents said they received their counterparty statements by email, underlining the potential security risk of misplaced or
incorrectly forwarded emails.
- Over 65% of respondents said they were under pressure to conduct more frequent reconciliation with counterparties and provide more
frequent NAV computation to investors.
The new platform incorporates a dispute mechanism and workflow tools with full audit trail to enhance the price challenge process. Markit
Valuations Manager is integrated with Markit's Trade Processing PortRec service to enable full life cycle support for OTC derivative positions
including counterparty position data delivery, normalisation , reconciliation and valuation.
"We support this Markit-led initiative and expect to realize increasing operational gains and cost efficiencies as more firms join the platform.
The ability to use Markit Valuations Manager in conjunction with their PortRec service will also be a significant benefit for us," said Peter
Barsoom, Deputy COO of BlueMountain Capital Management LLC in New York.
"As an active member of several buy-side working groups in Europe, we welcome the ability to access normalised position and valuation data
from the banks in a standardised way. Markit has not only delivered the normalisation, but it is it is consolidating the information in a single
electronic portal across banks. I think this is a great step forward for the industry," says Patrick Finn, Head of Operations at BlueCrest Capital
Management LLP in London.
David Lefferts, Managing Director of Markit Valuations Manager, said: "Financial market participants and their regulators are acutely aware of
the need for reliable, independent counterparty position and valuation information for OTC derivatives and cash securities. We are pleased to
be launching Markit Valuations Manager after twelve months of research and development, working closely with buy-side and sell-side
players. We look forward to bringing considerable efficiencies to our clients' valuation processes."
Markit is launching the platform with six banks - Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citi, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan and UBS - and
expects to add additional participating banks over the coming months.
Interactive Data Corporation, a leading provider of financial market data, analytics, and related services, announced that its Fixed
Income Analytics business has released BondEdge® Fixed Income Strategist, a new package of capabilities designed for the analytical risk
reporting and trade analysis needs of fixed income strategists focused on serving institutional investors.
Fixed income strategists and their teams can use this offering in their efforts to gain insight into client portfolios, identify new trading
opportunities, analyze risk characteristics of the portfolios, and seamlessly share consistent information with groups across their enterprise.
BondEdge Fixed Income Strategist is available via the BondEdge Next Generation Platform, which is built on the Microsoft® .NET Framework
and provides a highly intuitive, flexible user interface. As a result, this platform is well suited to address the evolving and demanding analytical
and reporting requirements of fixed income strategists. It delivers a comprehensive suite of analytical and reporting tools that include
Volume 3. Issue Number 3
automated market and book value oriented reporting and simulations, scenario-based cash flow analysis, and tools designed to respond to
various regulatory and rating agency requirements.
This new offering also features an application programming interface (API), which provides clients with the ability to seamlessly access the
BondEdge platform from Microsoft Excel® and other third-party applications. The BondEdge API for Excel also includes an add-in program and
ready-to-use sample templates. This added functionality can help clients work more efficiently when assessing buy and sell pre-trading activity
on both a market and book value basis, and measuring the trade activity effects on existing portfolios. In addition, security-level analytical
measures can be accessed via the API and may be used to integrate with spreadsheets, client databases, or customized reporting packages.
“With the continued volatility in the financial markets, it is critical that fixed income strategists have access to sophisticated risk management
tools designed to support their efforts to provide informed, timely advice to their clients,” said Keith Webster, managing director of Interactive
Data Fixed Income Analytics. “By offering a set of capabilities designed specifically for fixed income strategists, we can help this type of user
more efficiently leverage the power of BondEdge to enable them to provide a more comprehensive service for their clients and identify new
Smartco, a leading provider of enterprise data management software for financial institutions, has released a new version of its Smart
Financial DataHub (SFDH) solution that provides its clients with faster and more comprehensive market data management capabilities,
additional security features and enhancements of key financial modules.
Market data management improvements: The data quality controls and series jumps comparison tools already available for end of day prices
have been extended to intraday prices. In addition, the golden copies generation module now allows the setup, without any coding, of
multiple-source management with complex rules such as average value, matched sources, and any kind of selection or calculation
rule.Moreover, SFDH now allows for faster real-time requests and extracts of large historical time series of various measures and provides
immediate results usable in statistical or mathematical applications.
Additional security features: For enhanced control of manual data inputs, a “4 eyes” validation principle can now be activated on any data
perimeter managed within the application.To verify the consistency of data stored in the application, data quality controls can now be applied
on the existing data.In addition, to verify the consistency of data currently stored in the application, data quality controls can now be applied
ex-post on the existing data sets.
New enhancements for the financial modules: - Indices and Benchmarks Master File: this module manages the composition of filtered indices
or benchmarks in addition to market index securities and composite indices or benchmarks.- Corporate Action Management: this module for
enabling storage and data quality management of corporate actions is now able to process the impact of corporate actions on securities
characteristics using a fully user definable rules engine.
According to Thierry Zemb, SmartCo’s head of product management,”Smartco is proud to deliver this new release of SFDH which will be
instrumental in enhancing the quality and the security of the financial institutions’ data management. In these challenging times, this is a
priority for our clients”.
CheckFree Investment Services is now Fiserv. CheckFree Investment Services, founded in 1981, and acquired in 2007 by Fiserv,
Inc., the leading global provider of financial services technology solutions; announced it is formally changing its name to Fiserv. The change of
the name and the brand unifies all Fiserv business units with a new, enhanced market approach and new brand identity, affirming the
company’s commitment to its clients and to leading a transformation of financial services technology. The new icon is representative of a
further acceleration in Fiserv’s singular approach to the market and better anticipating changing client demands within a rapidly evolving
environment. CheckFree Investment Services will now be referred to as the Investment Services group at Fiserv.
The Investment Services business with approximately 500 employees globally, provides unrivaled, integrated technology solutions and services
for managing portfolios, transactions and investments. The best-in-class solutions provide connectivity, scalability and back-office support to
the Managed Accounts and Investment Management industry. Investment Service’s suite of solutions across their core competencies of
portfolio management and trade management include; trading and trade order management, trade processing, corporate actions processing,
client billing and revenue management, performance measurement, reporting, portfolio accounting, output processing and network solutions.
Volume 3. Issue Number 3
“CheckFree Investment Services has a long history of providing its clients with industry leading solutions that help them navigate highly
complex operational challenges and improve their performance and profitability while lowering their risk and providing greater potential for
growth” says Mike Gianoni, president, Investment Services, Fiserv. “We are very excited to bring our strong solution portfolio to Fiserv and to
become a part of this new Fiserv identity. We look forward to the tremendous opportunity to offer our clients the innovative products and
strengths of a Fortune 500 company – all focused on one thing, serving our clients.”
Gianoni added that, “Within Investment Services the timing couldn’t be better. In the past year we have made significant progress on our
promise of new technologies and solutions that support the trends we are seeing across the industry; multi-currency, messaging, expanded
trading solutions and client reporting. The opportunities in front of us now, being integrated within a large Fortune 500 company that is the
leading service provider within the Financial Services Industry, are endless."
This new Fiserv brand identity marks a fundamental shift in the company’s approach to the market that began in 2006, when President and
Chief Executive Officer Jeffery Yabuki reorganized the company around the Fiserv 2.0 strategic framework. This “2.0” vision of moving Fiserv to
the next level was accelerated by the acquisition of financial technology innovators CheckFree, NetEconomy, Corillian and BancIntelligence.
Today Fiserv clients have access to proven technologies and best practices available across a broad spectrum of online, mobile, front and back
office, payments and processing infrastructures upon which financial institutions and corporations depend.
“We are focusing all of our technology expertise under one brand and one name, Fiserv. The financial landscape has changed forever for our
clients, and we are prepared with innovative products and technologies to lead the transformation forward. This new brand strategy will allow
Fiserv to build on our 25-year history of unparalleled client focus, strength and stability, and make it easier and even more rewarding to do
business with our company,” said Yabuki.
Jeanne Capachin, research vice president of global banking for Financial Insights, has covered Fiserv as an analyst for two decades, most
recently to compile the FinTech list of top technology providers in the financial industry. To her, the master brand strategy is a good move for
Fiserv. “I’ve seen a lot of market consolidation since we started the FinTech 100. For 25 years Fiserv has been a very successful holding
company, acquiring companies and allowing them to function independently. As the market leader, it is to the company’s advantage to align all
of their assets in a cohesive manner. This change will allow Fiserv to focus all its technology expertise, and energies on one brand and one
Leading South African wealth management house STANLIB, announced that it will replace its existing unit pricing and related internal
applications with Milestone Group’s pControl fund processing platform.
STANLIB have selected pControl to undertake a range of fund processing functions including Unit Pricing, Price Validations and Asset Level
Validations. pControl is the market leading unit pricing platform and is globally recognised for its ability to handle complex fund structures and
for its support of rich asset level price movement attribution.
STANLIB have also licensed pControl’s reconciliations capability which is able to support complex reconciliations and is an integrated
component of the pControl solution.
Mr Shawn Smith, STANLIB’s CIO stated “we selected pControl after an analysis of each of the market leading solutions and having undertaken
market research on pControl and Milestone Group. We were impressed by the global applicability and highly configurable nature of pControl
and the ability to support integrated end-to-end business processing.
Karin Coetzer, Head of Institutional Operations at STANLIB, added that “pControl is key to achieving our ongoing objectives in terms of
efficiency and management of operational risk. We also see pControl as providing us with a level of agility that will support our business into
pControl is a single integrated application platform that represents a breakthrough in true end-to-end processing for fund managers, life
companies, fund of fund providers and administrators. In addition to market leading business functionality, pControl incorporates fully
integrated process control and visualisation capabilities delivering superior operational efficiency, control and business agility.
Volume 3. Issue Number 3
Milestone Group CEO, Geoff Hodge said “We are very pleased to welcome STANLIB as our first client in South Africa and look forward to
assisting them to achieve their business objectives through the use of our pControl fund processing solution.“
pControl is increasingly recognised as the production platform of choice for fund processing functions and is utilised by leading market players
in 7 countries across Australasia, South Africa, Europe and North America.
Citisoft Plc, the specialist investment management consulting firm, announced that it has launched a new consulting product –
‘Operational Cost Efficiency’. This product has been developed by Citisoft through multiple global client projects and is designed to deliver
specific advantages to investment management firms and third party administrators.
Demand for Citisoft’s Operational Cost Efficiency consulting services has been on the increase as firms have sought domain specific expertise to
advise them through current market challenges. The Operational Cost Efficiency product is designed to rapidly identify areas of the business
appropriate for change and repositions Citisoft clients to ensure their business and technical operating models are integrated and optimally
designed to deliver against current and projected future needs. Citisoft works with client organisations to identify opportunities to improve
efficiency and reduce costs through a repeatable methodology of approach that can be tailored to each client’s unique business requirements.
The increase in demand for this type of consulting service is supported by recent McKinsey industry research that reports 74% of executive
strategies are to focus on reducing operating costs and 45% on increasing productivity. Citisoft’s Operational Cost Efficiency product is
designed to deliver to both.
In the current economic climate, effective cost reduction is arguably the key driver for investment management firms and their administrators.
Citisoft assists its clients by utilising the Operational Cost Efficiency product to achieve these goals through the most appropriate means for the
firm, including funds rationalisation, process re-engineering, shared services, centre of excellence, offshore (BPO), systems rationalisation,
systems integration, M&A and JV, all of which seek to deliver to the client firm the ability to ‘do more with less’. Because each Citisoft client is
unique the Operational Cost Efficiency product is deliberately designed to be flexible and can be tailored to the needs of each client firm. As
the product is a proven approach, it allows Citisoft to fast track the process via a logical model that navigates the most appropriate course for
change, in a way that takes into account existing dependencies and constraints but also introduces future options that fit the client firm’s
appetite for risk and its culture.
Citisoft recognises that a significant risk exists for clients if a short term view is followed for cost reduction initiatives. All decisions should be
made from an informed position and considered against the market outlook for 2009 and beyond. Decision making must now remain aligned
to the longer term strategic goals of the organisation. Citisoft has multiple experiences of working with its clients to provide support and
evidence for making informed decisions, based on best practice. The goal of ensuring Citisoft’s clients are well positioned and able to benefit
when the market turns underpins the Operational Cost Efficiency product.
Citisoft has over 20 years consulting experience in delivering successful change and business transformation strategies to investment
management firms and their service providers. Citisoft’s subject matter expertise is further focused into specific business Practices, providing
premium consultancy services to wealth managers, institutional asset managers and alternative investment organisations. In the delivery of
this consulting product, Citisoft leverages its domain expertise, core capabilities and tools to execute a targeted review of the client’s
operational model and technical infrastructure. Costs for each are quantified and where appropriate benchmarked against the market to
identify where the client has opportunities to improve efficiency and/or reduce cost. Using this information and Citisoft’s experience of how
other clients have managed similar challenges Citisoft prioritises and proposes to the client tactical and strategic opportunities for
improvement. If accepted by the client, Citisoft further assists the client in delivering the required changes through either one if its other
complimentary consulting products or the creation of a tailored roadmap appropriate to the client’s needs.
Howard Mannion, CEO Citisoft EMEA commented; “Our clients don’t want to be educated on theories, they want specific expertise based on
real experience. Firms should approach us and challenge us to identify for them opportunities to achieve cost savings. The identification of
operational change efficiencies and cost reductions is something that has pre-occupied most of us for many years. Given current market
conditions, our clients are seeking to deliver tactical and strategic change without having the benefit of sufficient budgets to invest in change
programs. Citisoft has developed a product that capitalises on its domain expertise and delivers strategies, solution design and implementation
services in a way that is commercially attractive. With our detailed understanding of best practice within the institutional, wealth, and
alternative investment sectors, we are uniquely placed to review clients’ business, operating and technology models and assist them in
identifying and implementing pragmatic measures which will contribute to the bottom line.”
Volume 3. Issue Number 3
DST International (DSTi), a leading provider of business solutions and services to the asset management sector, has launched a new
web-based automated client reporting system, Reporter.
DSTi has worked with top asset managers around the world for over 30 years across the broadest spectrum of investment styles and products
and has drawn on this experience to deliver an end-to-end reporting solution that aims to meet and exceed the requirements of the most
demanding investors. Reporter has realised reductions of up to 80% in cost efficiency and threefold improvements in turnaround while
delivering consistently high-quality output.
Reporter, which is powered by Kurtosys technology and delivered as a managed service, will help clients to significantly reduce costs and
implementation times and to progress from engagement to production in as little as 6 – 8 weeks. The managed service is designed to provide a
flexible state-of-the-art solution to meet the premier standards in hosting, security, and business continuity. Reporter has no anticipated
barriers to expansion as the service easily scales to accommodate clients’ expanding needs without an increase in their IT footprint.
DSTi has developed a comprehensive set of industry templates that underpin Reporter. These comprise hundreds of baselined industry reports,
best practice workflows and standardised data models to manage the entire client reporting process. Taking data in from multiple systems
through to delivery via the web, the solution is built on domain knowledge but also customisable to a client’s unique needs. Reports are fully
personalised and branded for the asset manager, which ensures consistency and provides differentiation in the marketplace, building and
strengthening client relationships.
Tom Abraham, Chief Executive Officer of DSTi said, “Client reporting is a high visibility action with a low efficiency equation. We are all too
familiar with the issues and complexities our clients face in delivering reports, whether it is the cost of ownership, speed of turnaround and
inflexibility or reports that simply do not reflect the quality and image of their organisation. Reporter brings together DSTi’s global scale and
stability with Kurtosys’ ‘best of breed’ reporting platform. We believe that Reporter will not only increase efficiencies and reduce costs, but
also deliver to clients a significant competitive advantage through the ability to customise and brand reports so that they become an integral
part of the client management process.”
DSTi and Kurtosys already have mutual clients, such as Stanlib, which uses DSTi’s HiPortfolio Investment Accounting Application and the
Kurtosys platform to produce monthly and quarterly reports. At Stanlib, this implementation has significantly increased report collation
productivity and reduced reporting process cycles.
Interbanca S.p.A., an Italian banking group, has selected SunGard’s Reech RiskHedge, a risk management engine, for the valuation of its
complex portfolios. Reech RiskHedge will help Interbanca’s risk department compute the Value at Risk (VaR) of its positions. Delivered on an
application service provider (ASP) basis, Reech RiskHedge will help Interbanca keep entry and support costs low, while maximizing the speed of
As regulatory demands increase, SunGard’s Reech RiskHedge will help Interbanca’s risk department measure the risk of incurring loss due to
fluctuation in security prices, option volatility and credit spreads. It will also help the bank produce various market risk reports that reflect
market sensitivities or the complete VaR of the portfolio.
Andrea Liso, head of information systems at Interbanca, commented: “Interbanca’s risk department decided to find a single risk management
platform able to aggregate risk positions in accordance with industry best practices. We were looking for high quality of results, quantitative
expertise and sophistication. After a short selection process,SunGard’s Reech RiskHedge was considered the appropriate solution and will help
simplify our whole risk management process.”
David Hassell, head of sales for SunGard’s alternative investments business, said: “Interbanca was looking for a transparent and innovative risk
engine that could help it manage the risk of its complex portfolios which include a broad range of asset classes, such as interest rate, credit,
foreign exchange, equity and structured bonds. SunGard’s Reech RiskHedge will help Interbanca better manage its portfolio risks.”
Reech RiskHedge has been designed to give customers access to risk technology at a cost tailored to accommodate different portfolios and
fund structures. This service can accommodate virtually any trade structure on a broad range of asset classes, making it suitable for a wide
variety of portfolios and/or funds, irrespective of strategy and size. The ASP delivery method of SunGard’s Reech RiskHedge allows users to
access the service through a browser, with no investment in technology or infrastructure.
Volume 3. Issue Number 3
StatPro Group plc, a leading provider of portfolio analytics and data solutions for the global asset management industry, has launched a
new service providing key financial indices to investment managers through a standardised platform.
StatPro began retrieving, packaging and disseminating the FTSE/JSE index data as a service to clients in South Africa. With a handful of
successfully implemented and supported clients, StatPro is now expanding this service to include FTSE UK and Global, S&P US, iBoxx, Russell US
& Global, JP Morgan and Stoxx indices. Over the next few months, roll-outs will include the S&P Emerging/MIB/ASX/Global, Deutsche Boerse
DAX, and Dow Jones indices.
StatPro collects the data and deals individually with each provider concerning file delays and re-issues. Any interruptions or delays in service
are communicated to end users through a single point of contact – StatPro’s Customer Service team.
Commenting on the new platform, CEO of StatPro Group plc Justin Wheatley said: “The current problem for asset managers is that each index
provider provides multiple files with unique formats and methodologies to their users. Some index ‘families’ number hundreds of files each
day, some with complex constituent data combinations. Individually, these scenarios prove challenging to end users. Combine that with
inconsistent delivery by suppliers, missing files or re-issued data, and frequent layout or data changes and end-users begin to spend significant
resources on what was thought to be ‘standard, off-the-shelf’ data.”
In addition to collection and dissemination of information, StatPro will package the data in a way that is intuitive and designed to load into
StatPro’s data hub.
“Going forward, StatPro Index Services will be an integral part of our SaaS corporate strategy. Having services that can just ‘switch on’ without
separate IT and data groups getting involved on the client side will make our packaged analytics suite an attractive solution,” Wheatley adds.
Interactive Data Corporation, a leading provider of financial market data, analytics and related services, announced that its Pricing and
Reference Data business has made its international pricing and reference data available via Koscom to Korea’s investment community. Koscom
is one of Korea’s leading IT solutions companies.
Through this agreement, Interactive Data’s extensive international end-of-day pricing and corporate actions data is available to valuations
firms, asset management funds and other financial institutions, including the member companies of the Korean Financial Investment
Koscom was established in 1977 by the Korean Ministry of Finance and the Korea Exchange (KRX) to provide market participants with both
information solutions and real-time market information. It has facilitated the development of the Korean securities and futures market by
providing an enhanced IT infrastructure, and helps market participants such as the members of KOFIA with their data requirements.
Kevin Kwak, manager, Financial Information Division, Koscom, said: “This agreement, which gives access to Interactive Data’s wide range of
international content, will allow us to further strengthen our position as one of Korea’s leading financial markets information providers.”
Jim Farrer, managing director, Interactive Data Asia Pacific, added: “Koscom has established itself as a key data provider for the Korean market
and we are pleased that they have chosen Interactive Data to complement their own data content. We provide data and services to a growing
number of financial institutions in Korea – we aim to offer high-quality global enterprise-wide services combined with dedicated local support
GoldenSource Corporation, a global software provider of enterprise data management (EDM) solutions for financial and securities
institutions worldwide, launched a new data solution, GoldenSource for Derivatives, to help financial institutions accurately value portfolios
and manage risk for derivatives products. A preconfigured solution for risk management, GoldenSource for Derivatives allows for a 360 degree
view of instrument, issuer and counterparty exposure, creating a local CDS warehouse capability.
GoldenSource for Derivatives increases transparency and auditability for derivatives portfolios held by banks, brokers and asset managers by
feeding trading and risk management systems with accurate and trustworthy data. The solution was developed in response to client demand
for instrument-level transparency and in anticipation of increased regulatory and repository requirements
Volume 3. Issue Number 3
“Given increasing, board-level and regulatory pressure, the industry needs to increase auditable transparency and decrease the operational
risk inherent with derivatives. This increased oversight directly translates to an increasing need for industry-led data repository solutions,” said
Larry Tabb, founder and CEO of TABB Group, a financial markets research and advisory firm.
“With a 360 degree view of activity, a firm can increase their transparency not just at a simple counterparty level but at a total corporate
hierarchy level,” said Mike Meriton, president and CEO of GoldenSource. “The complexity of derivatives instruments make it difficult to
understand quickly how changes in underlying data, such as a counterparty credit rating, can impact values across portfolios unless all data is
linked. GoldenSource is unique in its ability to handle the diverse nature of derivatives data, since we can source, validate and distribute all
terms and conditions data, client and counterparty details, as well as transaction related data throughout the life cycle of a derivatives
GoldenSource for Derivatives organizes, archives, stores and categorizes all attributes of a wide range of exchange-traded and OTC derivatives,
including any underlying securities' characteristics. The product provides flexible integration with document management, trading and risk
systems, allowing firms to build a trusted repository of all derivatives-related data.
Panopticon Software, the leading provider of information visualization software for business and industry, announced the release of
Panopticon EX, a product platform for web-enabled visual monitoring and fast analysis of complex data. The software incorporates a wide
range of data visualizations, from Treemaps and Heatmaps to Scatter Plots, and uses Panopticon's StreamCube OLAP data model for on-thefly
data aggregations and slicing and dicing.
Panopticon EX incorporates over three years of development and was created using the company's fifth generation Panopticon Developer SDK.
Panopticon EX is suitable for deployment throughout the enterprise, at the workgroup level or even on public websites. The platform includes
a desktop authoring tool that allows power users to assemble and publish new monitoring and analysis dashboards to the web. Panopticon EX
server software is capable of serving very large numbers of users and provides a rich, full featured user experience to web clients. Customers
often implement Panopticon software to enhance the usability and effectiveness of traditional Business Intelligence (BI) and reporting systems.
The software includes connectors for relational databases, including DB2, Oracle, Sybase, Microsoft SQL Server, and MySQL as well as
Microsoft Excel and similar "flat file" formats. The system's plug-in architecture makes it possible to add additional data connectors at any
Unlike most visualization systems, Panopticon EX can handle extremely fast data updates with incredible efficiency. This makes it particularly
useful in organizations that must make informed business decisions based on large amounts of fast-changing data.
Panopticon EX utilizes the firm's unique StreamCube OLAP data model. This provides rich OLAP functionality supporting extremely fast
analysis of static data and for data that is continuously updated. It binds aspects of the data to the visualizations, filters and user controls
presented on the screen and as a result allows users to move up and down within the data hierarchy easily. They can filter, slice and dice the
data quickly using this fast in-memory data model.
Willem De Geer, CEO of Panopticon, stated, "Our new EX product is changing the Panopticon universe. It's the result of three years of hard
work, investment and clear client demand. There is nothing else in the market that can do what we are doing. Panopticon EX delivers incredibly
rich functionality, analytical capabilities and fantastic ease-of-use to organizations that require rapid deployment."
Milestone Group, a leading provider of fund processing and performance analytics solutions, announced that the appointment of
Anthony Howland to its London based team to service increasing interest in its flagship pControl and pQuant products in Europe.
Milestone Group’s pControl and pQuant platforms are experiencing increased demand despite difficult investment markets due to their ability
to contribute significantly to operational efficiency. The products address critical business areas in funds management and custody, including
unit pricing and related validations, fund rebalancing, performance measurement and unitised order management.
Volume 3. Issue Number 3
Anthony joins Milestone Group, having previously been a founder and Chairman of the Performa software company in the UK. Performa was
established in 1999 to address the challenges of compliance with the Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS®) and was subsequently
acquired by Statpro Limited in February 2008. Anthony has worked in the industry for more than 20 years and brings a wealth of knowledge to
Milestone Group CEO, Geoff Hodge said “It is a great pleasure to welcome Anthony to the Milestone Group team. Anthony is both well known
and highly regarded in the UK market for his straight forward style, work ethic and pragmatism which are very compatible with our core
values.” He went on to say, “There are a number of forces in the market right now that are making it imperative for organisations to act upon
opportunities for significant improvements in efficiency and control. We are seeing an increased intensity and determination within the
industry to break out of conventional thinking and fully automate many of the complex processes around fund accounting, analytics and
Commenting on his appointment, Howland said “I am confident that I can assist Milestone in fulfilling their potential in Europe. They have
great products and have created a first class team in the UK which I am pleased to be a part of.”
Anthony will provide local leadership to Milestone Group’s client relationship management and business development in the European market.
Advent Software, Inc, a leading provider of software and services for the global investment management industry, announced that the
total number of clients in the Middle East region has exceeded 30, further demonstrating its growth and commitment to developing a strong
business presence in the region.
The clients are based in the major financial centers of the Middle East: Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Riyadh and Cairo and are
comprised of asset managers, wealth managers, private banks and family offices. The client list includes leading firms such as SHUAA Capital,
Ahli United, NBK Capital, Dubai Group and Arab National Bank.
Demand for Advent’s integrated wealth management solution, which includes trading, compliance, portfolio management, client relationship
management and research management has increased steadily in recent years as firms look to strengthen their operational infrastructures,
achieve increased efficiencies, manage costs and improve client service.
“The Middle East has become a very important region for Advent over the last few years where we have seen a significant increase in the
demand for our proven and reliable wealth management solutions,” said Hakan Valberg, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Advent
Software EMEA. “Having a strong team of industry experts in Dubai that understands the local market has been a key factor in winning new
business and developing strong relationships in the region. We look forward to further expansion in the Middle East and adding to our growing
Advent has had a client base in the Middle East for more than five years and established its Dubai office in 2006, which now includes local
client support and sales teams and implementation consultants. The majority of the Dubai team is from the region, and all are experts in the
field of investment management. Advent is also a member of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).