Reaping the benefits of a cloud-based service model: Insights from SS&C

By Munther Haddad

Many companies are departing from traditional deployed software models in favor of hosted and cloud-based services. According to Adox Research Follow The Money Insights, a survey of trade lifecycle automation priorities of 72 large asset management firms, shows that managers are extending the use of hosted and managed services in targeted areas in the middle and back-office. This shift is being amplified by the fact that cloud and hosting services can provide clients with more scalability and efficiency. To put the icing on the cake, these services can also automate day-to-day activities, support disaster recovery, as well as deliver database administration and monitoring services. Continue reading

Simplify the day-to-day with investment operations automation, part 1

By Inderjit Gawera

Meeting the demands of daily operations can be difficult especially with ever-increasing volumes, fund and instrument innovation, evolving regulation and tax rules, and tighter servicing agreements. To keep up, managers often introduce specialist systems and tactical workarounds to manage investment operations.

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Finding the best middle- and back-office solutions for your business

By: Jad Fares

Current rising markets and increased competition are drastically changing the investment management landscape, putting pressure on your middle- and back-office. In order to stay competitive, you need a state-of-the-art solution that provides unparalleled performance measurement, attribution, and reconciliation functions.

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Hedge funds: It’s time to consider outsourcing performance and analytics

By: Denis Melekhov

In the past, high net worth individuals have traditionally been the primary source of hedge funds’ assets and have been their catalyst for growth. However, this trend began to notably shift around the year 2000, when institutional investors such as pension funds, governments, corporations, and insurers started significantly increasing their allocation to hedge funds. The shift was the result of hedge funds’ ability to source an alpha typically not associated with traditional markets to investors who were seeking to diversify their portfolios and hedge against adverse market conditions. Over the past decade and a half, institutional investors have grown to represent a significant portion of hedge fund assets.

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Need to Fact-Check Your Data? We Can Help

By: David Craig

Fact Check. True or False

It seems with every new election season, there are more and more accusations of false statements and the call for immediate fact-checking. It’s hard to avoid – just turn on the television, look at your phone, or log on to your computer and you are inundated with messages telling you to check the facts. Luckily, for those inclined to look, this task has become almost deceptively easy with news organizations, social media, and web pages specifically designed to instantly check and comment on anything the candidates say or do.
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Insurance Industry Investing: Six Key Trends that Drive Operational Decisions

By Lorne Whitmore

As insurance firms search for higher yields, their investment operations are changing rapidly. They are employing new investment strategies that require accounting for an expanding array of non-traditional instruments; this brings with it additional risk.
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Easing the Complexity of Investment Operations: Part 2

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By: Inderjit Gawera

We recently introduced our two-part series on easing the complexities of investment operations with a post about options to integrate systems, The Challenge of Complexity: Approaches to Investment Operations Integration. This second post will dive further into the challenges of investment operations, closely analyzing the automation of middle and back office processes.

Automation Across the Middle and Back Office

Increased requirements and the need for efficient and cost-effective solutions have forced asset managers to use workaround solutions within their investment operations. For example, workarounds could be comprised of manual processes to update data, to process obscure corporate actions exceptions, or manipulate bespoke costing rules for specific instrument types within component solutions.

Where risks and overhead costs can be managed and volumes are low, these workarounds are viable. However, growth in volumes, complexity in instruments, increasing resource costs, and shorter windows of opportunity are forcing asset managers to find automated solutions to streamline operations.

The need for scalability through automation is being driven from all angles. Market activity is fragmented across geographies, assets classes, and fund types; clients want greater transparency; and regulators are issuing new mandates. Basic jurisdictional rules and fund accounting methods must also be accommodated.

Scalability cannot be achieved by simply increasing man hours. There is operational risk in manual processes, especially where people are working under pressure. An example of regulatory change that necessitates automation and scalability is the T+2 (trade date plus two business days) settlement cycle. The tighter timeframe puts pressure on asset managers and servicers. Failed trades must be tracked intra-day and acted on immediately, with automation picking up the operational burden as much as possible through an exceptions-based workflow.

Workflow Enablement

Automated workflow is another area of focus driven by these demands. Processes within typical investment operations solutions require a number of dependent steps to be executed sequentially. Manual oversight leads to missed SLAs through operational downtime between sequential jobs.

Automated workflows drive business processes through fund accounting and administration systems, with clear and relevant status visibility to ensure exceptions are captured and staff immediately notified.

Only in such an integrated environment can straight-through processing support the new market requirement and associated portfolio accounting and fund administration processes within tight service level agreements.

Exceptions-based management is the only way to handle the increased investment data load. It automates straight-through processing so decisions on the anomalies can be made and acted upon quickly.

As we mentioned in part one of our series, SS&C’s HiPortfolio is one solution that can address the investment operations challenges you face. To learn how HiPortfolio can streamline your investment operations and support new products and services, download our brochure.