Riding the Transformation Wave

Mal Cullen, Eagle’s Chief Executive Officer, reflects on 2018, highlighting Eagle’s considerable progress in its deployment-model transformation


Thomas Friedman, in his book “Thank You For Being Late,” identified 2007 as the precise year that technology began to devour the rest of the economy. This was the year when consumers likely bought their first iPhone or created a Facebook account. It wasn’t obvious at the time, but a decade later, it’s plain to see that beyond a radically new user experience, these innovations created an insatiable demand for data—and consequently, a need to store, manage, analyze and protect this information.

Not coincidentally, 2007 marked the first year in which Eagle ACCESSSM, our secure private cloud, became the preferred deployment platform for clients. This shift represented a step-function change in how clients engaged with Eagle. Again, this may have seemed revolutionary at the time, but we now recognize the extent to which this move is allowing organizations to holistically re-imagine their business model.

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Q&A: Supporting APAC Clients and Expanding the Eagle Business

David Ingleson, Eagle’s new Head of APAC, shares his perspectives on Eagle’s development, the market trends he’s seeing and the opportunities to extend Eagle’s presence in the region

Q: Could you please tell us about your background at Eagle and how have your previous role as head of service delivery has helped equip you for your role as Head of APAC?
A: I originally started my journey at Eagle 14 years ago in our London office where I was focused on implementations and consulting on the Eagle Accounting solution. I then moved from London to Singapore in July of 2010 for what was supposed to be a one year secondment to work on a specific project, but my family and I fell in love with the city and eight years later, we’re still here.

My background of working on the implementation and service side of the business has given me a great perspective on the challenges that our clients face; be that the business challenges they are looking to address through their technology, the demands placed on them by their own clients or the internal challenges that inevitably surface. However, in APAC in particular, the implementation team also tends to get involved early in the sales process, so I tend to follow a client’s progress right through from sales to onboarding.

There are a number of reasons for that, but clients in Asia tend to focus on the details of implementation, including how long it will take, how it will be phased, who will be involved and how much it will cost from the outset.

If you look at the main change to my role, I’ve now also assumed ultimate responsibility for business development, sales and client support, but with my background it has been a relatively easy transition to make.  Read More…

Meet…Barbie Connell Spencer

Eagle’s newest Insurance Accounting Lead, Barbie Connell Spencer, brings a wealth of experience navigating legacy system conversions. She also loves a challenge—a characteristic cultivated during her service in the US Navy, professional career choices and her sense of adventure in pursuing outdoor activities. 

Tell us a little about your background and your journey that lead you to Eagle?
I definitely have a unique background! After my time in the US Navy, I spent time working in IT at Intel as well as several public accounting firms. At the same time, I continued to achieve my secondary education in accounting. These experiences in the early phase of my career were critical in preparing me to consult on the installation of accounting solutions. I eventually accepted a position at MassMutual, where I would then spend the next 18 years of my career. Although I initially started out as a programmer, I gained experience learning all aspects of the insurance accounting industry, and was hooked.

Investment accounting in the insurance vertical is quite different from traditional accounting. Industry-specific rules and regulations create quite a bit of nuance, so substantial experience and a deep understanding of how business users may seek to leverage software is critical to becoming a true subject matter expert.

My ability to gain experience across a range of functions while working for my last employer, MassMutual, proved to be tremendously advantageous in building my skillset. I eventually moved away from IT and transitioned into a role overseeing investment data for the company’s investment accounting system and its corporate ledger. When MassMutual made the decision to move to Eagle, I had the opportunity to learn the Eagle system and become an expert. I served as the data-conversion lead during the implementation, so I’m well-versed in the challenges insurance companies face when transitioning from a legacy system. I also gained an appreciation for the strategy required to navigate an implementation, and have a true passion for this kind of work. After I earned my Master’s Degree, I was excited to return to my consulting roots and begin this new phase of my career at Eagle.  Read More…

Industry thought leadership from Siliski and Bradford leads to a world first by Eagle Investment Systems

In the first quarter of 2018 the Advisory Board of The Journal of Performance Measurement® (JPM) announced that the recipients of the annual Peter O. Dietz Award were Daryl Bradford, CFA, CIPM of Acadian Asset Management and Daniel Siliski, CAIA of Boston Partners Global Investors. The advisory board panel selected “Performance Drawdowns in Asset Management: Extending Drawdown Analysis to Active Returns” as one among a select group of articles chosen to recognize excellence in performance measurement literature. In the paper, the authors explain, active drawdown, or benchmark relative drawdown, is a natural extension of the performance drawdown calculation. The article considers several possible methodologies for calculating active drawdown, proposes one methodology as the most adequate, and applies the methodology to the returns of indices and mutual funds to derive practical results. Investors can use active drawdown to analyze portfolio returns, evaluate investment strategies, and inform the manager selection process.

Mr. Bradford and Mr. Siliksi will present their winning article at PMAR West, on October 17th & 18th in San Diego, California. As a testament to continuous improvement and dedication to deploying industry leading ideas with great velocity, Eagle Performance now includes the algorithm outlined by these award winning authors and will be available for demonstration at Eagle’s booth at PMAR West.

The enhancement is slated for wider release at the beginning of November 2018, along with functional enhancements to the Eagle Performance solution. Read More…

Q&A: Building Momentum in EMEA

Dan Cavanaugh, Eagle’s new Head of EMEA, shares his thoughts on the region and Eagle’s continued focus on supporting the diverse client needs.


Q: Alongside your appointment as the Head of the EMEA region, it was also announced that Eagle was separating the management of its EMEA and APAC business lines. Can you discuss some of the catalysts behind this decision?

A: The decision to separate the EMEA and APAC business lines simply reflects the growth we’ve experienced in each of these regions. Particularly in EMEA, sales grew by more than 30% year over year in 2017. The number of new EMEA clients last year was also approximately two to three times higher than what is traditionally considered a strong year of new business growth. And we’ve had an increasing number of existing clients who are interested in extending their Eagle relationships by adding new services or capabilities.

There are several drivers, but we believe the momentum stems from a multipronged approach over the past few years to build awareness in the region and work more closely with local consultants. We’ve also found that growth tends to beget more growth. Client references, especially from some of the large, multinational firms that we work with, have gone a long way to build credibility among fund managers and asset owners who initially may be less familiar with Eagle.

Also, our alignment with our parent company has been invaluable. BNY Mellon has a tremendous presence and reputation globally, which has helped increase Eagle’s opportunities. Beyond collaborating in the ongoing development of our solution set, our relationship with BNY Mellon provides clients a continuum of deployment options as well as value-added functions through either managed services or a fully outsourced solution through BNY Mellon. This is a huge differentiator and has especially resonated in the EMEA region.

Q: It’s only been a short time since you assumed the role as Head of EMEA, but could you highlight some of the key differences between this market and other regions, such as APAC and North America?

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Meet…Sheila Kirby

Eagle’s newest Consulting Lead in Toronto, Sheila Kirby, has spent
her entire career implementing 
investment management and fund
acco
unting systems. Now, she is resolved to help clients who are
considering the tran
sition away from legacy systems.

Tell us a little about your background and what you’ll be focusing on in your role at Eagle?

I’ve spent the last twenty years working on system implementations across the globe. I started in Toronto in 1995. A year later, a two-week trip to the United Kingdom turned into six years working on implementations across Europe. While I was able to return to Canada, I don’t think there has been a week in my professional life where I haven’t been on the road. The experience has been incredible; it’s not just the work that goes into establishing these systems, but I was also able to gain a deep understanding of how clients are using the technology to become more efficient, effective, and solving challenges within their operations. During this time, I built an expertise across fund accounting, reconciliations, operational processing, and client and performance reporting. I’ve also seen firsthand the types of challenges companies face when they embark on a legacy system replacement. My experience working with some of these older systems should prove useful for Eagle clients who are beginning the conversion from legacy systems.

Your entire career has revolved around implementing software and systems for clients. Can you tell us how implementations have changed over the years?

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Sovereign Wealth Funds: Coping with Increased Complexity and Asset Growth

Eagle’s Amit Bharakda examines the reasons why SWFs are putting a greater emphasis on control and transparency when it comes to managing and measuring the performance of their investments.

Amit Bharakda, Regional Head of Business Development, EMEA


The investment landscape for the world’s sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) has changed dramatically in recent years, as assets under management (AUM) have continued to grow steadily. As assets have grown, many have looked to diversify into new asset classes and build their own investment capabilities in-house. At the same time, stakeholder demands have changed, with greater scrutiny on the performance of these funds by governments and civil servants.

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ENGAGE18: Data Governance as a First Step to Transformation

Paul McInnis recaps his ENGAGE18 panel discussion on data management as an agent of change

Paul McInnis, Eagle Business Manager


“If an employee took a sledgehammer to their desk, you wouldn’t sit around and watch, would you?” This was a question posed by one of the ENGAGE18 panelists participating in the panel, “How Data Can Help Transform the Business”. The answer, quite obviously, is that no company would ever treat an asset like that. The point—as the panelist articulated—is that this is effectively how organizations are treating their data when they don’t promote governance or controls that instill data quality.

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Why Forward-Thinking Companies are Focusing on Data and Agility

Technological innovation is having a transformational effect on the economy, with businesses in every sector realising the importance of quality data and being agile to respond quickly to changes. The disruptive power of technology on incumbent businesses and business models varies across industries, with consumer firms hit first and, so far, hit hardest. However, this fourth industrial revolution is still in its infancy and promises to deliver even more profound shifts in ways that can’t yet be seen in the coming years.

Marc Rubenfeld, Head of Sales for EMEA


Technological disruption was initially slow to impact the financial services industry, particularly when compared with the likes of the retail sector. It’s now clear, with much discussion around blockchainbig datamachine learning and artificial intelligence, that there are many opportunities to disrupt financial services.

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ENGAGE18: The Momentum Behind Eagle’s Alliance Program

Joel Kornblum, after speaking at the ENGAGE18 client conference, highlights how the strategic alliance program extends upon Eagle’s core offering

Joel KornblumGlobal Head of Strategic Alliances & Consultant Relations


As part of his keynote address at ENGAGE18, Eagle’s CEO, Mal Cullen, touched upon the many benefits of Eagle’s platform strategy. One of the biggest advantages for clients is that while Eagle’s focus remains true to its core offerings of data management, investment accounting and performance measurement, our open ecosystem allows us to offer best-in-class solutions that extend far beyond our core capabilities.

In line with the philosophy of collaboration inherent to our platform model, Eagle has put considerable effort into building out our strategic alliance program, which now counts over 20 firms whose solutions and technology are readily available to Eagle clients.

In many ways, the goal of the program is not unlike the Star Alliance that frequent travelers are quite familiar with. Just as the Star Alliance facilitates a smooth transition for travelers navigating across geographies, Eagle’s alliance program was conceived to simplify the integration of third-party technologies and create joint solutions.

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