SS&C Deliver: Thanks for Three Perfect Days

By: Kendall Reischl

We’ve all read those “Three Perfect Days” travel features in the inflight magazines, right? Well, we couldn’t have asked for three better days than SS&C Deliver 2016 in San Diego.

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SS&C Chairman and CEO Bill Stone set the tone in his welcoming remarks, when he said, “We are only as good as our clients’ success.” In the time since SS&C acquired Advent, the company has continued to pursue companies that are a good fit for clients, acquiring Varden, Primatics, and Citi Fund Services. Acquisitions enable SS&C to add solutions that clients need to be successful without building them from scratch, Bill explained, noting that the company has also invested an eight-figure sum in R&D this year.

bts_1632Speaking of investment, SS&C continues to invest in making our products better, and conference attendees got to see some of the results: exciting new integration alliances with Black Diamond, accelerating the evolution towards a total wealth management platform; a new version of Axys, and new features in APX; the introduction of the Geneva Enterprise Information Store, which will dramatically improve system speed and performance; and the enhanced technology hosting and services offering through SS&C Advent Outsourcing Services.

Besides learning what’s new, conference attendees also had a chance to learn from each other. Our peer-to-peer roundtables gave people the opportunity to talk about issues and challenges they face in common, and find out firsthand how other firms are dealing with those same issues.

bts_1812The conference also delved into current industry issues and trends. Neil Simon, the Investment Advisers Association VP for Government Relations, gave us some insight into the likely impact of the senate, house and presidential elections on legislation affecting then industry. Tom DeMayo of PKF O’Connor Davies and Tim Simons from Focus 1 provided the SEC’s perspective on cybersecurity – one of the biggest issues keeping investment managers up at night. And Jason Millard of Ashland Partners gave us an update on GIPS compliance and its influence on industry marketing trends.

This year’s guest speaker, former ambassador to Mexico Earl Anthony Wayne, stirred up a lot of discussion with his expert analysis on the vital relationship between the US and Mexico – a relationship that, he feels, is being badly misrepresented in the current political discourse. It was a great opportunity to get out of our industry mindset for a moment and think about some of the bigger issues that affect our economy and society.

Finally, the Farewell Pool Party gave us a chance to take in the balmy San Diego evening and get to know each other outside of the work environment.

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SS&C Deliver was the first conference of its kind for the company, and by any measure it was a huge success. Thanks to the SS&C Advent crew that pulled it off, to the exhibitors and sponsors for their valuable role, and especially to our 1,100 attendees from around the world. Your enthusiastic participation and interaction is what really makes this event every year. We hope SS&C Deliver delivered for you.

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How GIPS Compliance Can Help You Strengthen Client Trust

By: Ian Serle

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Past performance, the saying goes, does not predict future results. Yet, prospective clients still ask money managers about their performance history and a proven track record wins new clients and grows business. But how do investors know they can trust your numbers? How do regulators know you are representing your performance honestly and accurately? Comply with the Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS) to assure them both.

The de facto industry standard for calculating and presenting performance, GIPS creates a level playing field and allows apples-to-apples comparison among investment managers. While GIPS isn’t mandatory, firms that do comply are looked upon more favorably by regulatory examiners.

The cornerstone of the GIPS methodology is the portfolio composite. Firms that want the GIPS “seal of approval” on their numbers put all their discretionary, fee-paying portfolios into composites of portfolios with similar strategies to calculate aggregate performance. Once composites are created, they must be maintained and periodically adjusted to ensure that all portfolios continue to adhere to their respective mandates.

While creating and maintaining composites is complex, they strengthen client trust and help you to promote your firm with confidence.

So where do you start? SS&C recently published Best practices in composite management, a whitepaper for firms that are considering, or just starting, the process of GIPS compliance. It walks you through the fundamental requirements to build and manage composites, as well as the pitfalls to avoid along the way.

The Changing LP-GP Relationship

By Alex Tarantino

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Institutional investors are increasingly unhappy with high/opaque fees at private equity firms; some are taking their asset management in-house, while others are co-investing (i.e. LPs and GPs invest in companies alongside each other). Both approaches save money and provide superior returns and enhanced control over investment decisions.

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Today’s Investors Demand More From Their Hedge Funds

By: Ron Tannenbaum

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Today’s savvy institutional investors demand more from the hedge funds in their portfolios. They expect hedge funds to consistently deliver sustainable performance, effectively manage cyber threats, hire the best service providers, and be flexible with their fee structures. Are you doing the right things to keep your investors happy? Continue reading

Outsourcing: Experience is Key

By: Stephanie Miller

Outsourcing Career Employment Hiring Recruitment Concept

Hedge funds want to simplify their operating model and create a more sophisticated and joined-up approach to middle- and back-office outsourcing. Managing multiple technology provider relationships can be complex and expensive, particularly as managers move towards esoteric or illiquid products. How can firms work to overcome this? Either outsource all your middle- and back-office duties to one provider, or establish a co-sourced relationship. Outsourced or co-sourced relationships leave the middle- and back-office details to others so managers can focus on keeping their clients happy. Continue reading

SS&C Announces New Black Diamond Partnerships with Riskalyze and Advizr

By Kendall Reischl

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Today we announced expanded capabilities to our Black Diamond wealth management platform. The most exciting of these new capabilities are the integrations with our partners, Riskalyze and Advizr.

Advizr’s interactive financial planning solution allows advisors to collaborate directly with their clients on their financial plans.

Riskalyze’s technology helps advisors align potential investments with each individual investor’s risk preference.

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What is CD/OT (UK FATCA)?

By: Justin Meagher

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In October 2013, certain British Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories (CD/OT), also known as UK FATCA, entered into an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with the UK to exchange tax information. CD/OT territories include: Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey, Montserrat, and Turks and Caicos Islands. The IGAs require similar information reporting as FATCA, but the reporting focus is on UK, rather than US, taxpayers. Continue reading

New CMA Rules Opening Doors to Foreign Investors in Saudi Arabia

By: Jad Fares

A globe on top of financial papers

In 2015, the Capital Market Authority announced rules that allow foreign investors to gain exposure to securities listed on the Tadawul, Saudi Arabia’s stock exchange. Historically, foreign money managers had to enter into swap transactions to gain such exposure. Now, with declining oil prices, the country is diversifying its economy. Its “Vision 2030” plan, a series of market and labor reforms, aims to enable the country to “live without oil by 2020”.

The Tadawul’s market capitalization is not just dominated by commodities, but has a diverse range of sector listings. To raise government revenues, a number of state-sponsored institutions could also be privatized. A key reform in Vision 2030 is to sell up to 5% of shares in Saudi Arabia Oil Company (Aramco). Saudi Arabia values Aramco at $2.5 trillion and, if fully floated, it would be the world’s largest corporation – very appealing to large, international investors and money managers.

However, these new rules present some challenges. They apply only to Qualified Foreign Investors (QFIs) with more than $5 billion in assets and a minimum of five years’ financial services experience. QFIs must be located in a third country that meets regulatory equivalence with Saudi Arabia.

Other restrictions include:

  • No single QFI can own more than 5% of listed shares of a single issuer
  • Total QFI exposure to a single issuer cannot be above 20%
  • Foreign investors cannot have exposure to more than 10% of all shares listed on the Tadawul by market capitalization (including swap exposures)

Historically, foreign investors avoided Saudi exposure because custody was carried out by domestic brokerage houses that lacked balance sheet capital and adequate risk controls. Now, an independent custody model can be used, making the market more attractive. One challenge for Saudi Arabia is that trades must be pre-funded as the market operates on a T+0 settlement time, which increases counterparty risk and makes correcting trading errors difficult.

Since the changes, trading volumes have increased slightly, and will likely pick up once Saudi Arabia is elevated to the MSCI Emerging Market Index.

Saudi Arabia’s capital markets present significant opportunities for international investors. With a local presence in the Middle East, SS&C will serve as a valuable resource for firms looking to enter Saudi Arabia and diversify their activities without taking on added operational risk.

Simplifying the Complex Investment Accounting Process at Insurance Companies

By Iwona Olszewska

Diagram on Tablet Screen

Ever increasing market and regulatory complexities facing today’s insurance firms can be a headache for asset managers who need to worry about adding new functionality to their investment management software technology, and maintaining the in-house expertise to apply these new, complicated rules to a wider range of asset classes. In addition, in order for asset managers to create accurate reports and analytics to support these complexities, they are often forced to extract and integrate data from multiple applications, or settle for a single, one-size-fits all solution that does many things, but few exceptionally. Continue reading