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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Investment Performance on the Move: Five Steps to Manage Migration Complexity

As the performance measurement function grows in complexity, organizations are migrating to new platforms that can provide the requisite agility. Eagle’s Ian Patient highlights the new demands facing performance teams, while identifying five key principles that can simplify a new system implementation.

Ian Patient, Principal Consultant


It’s generally understood that the investment landscape has become exponentially more complex. At the front lines absorbing the increased complexity is the performance measurement and attribution team, a function that itself has undergone significant change in recent years.

From an operational perspective, the performance function is facing multiple challenges. The financial instruments, themselves, have become more complex and as active managers fight both the low-rate environment and the rotation into passive products, demands for reports and dashboards with more details and analytical capabilities have increased considerably. Another threat is that the existing function, as it endures in most organizations, tends to be fragmented, with a model that leaves team members overstretched and internal and external stakeholders unfulfilled.

Making matters more difficult, performance teams are left trying to solve for these issues on legacy systems that either can’t accommodate the required functionality or don’t have the data foundation in place to deliver information as needed and across digital mediums. And without certain capabilities today – ranging from exception-based workflows to true “look-through” transparency – it can be impossible to adequately meet the needs of a modern investment organization.

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ENGAGE18: The Engagement Only Continues

With ENGAGE18 complete, Eagle’s Head of Americas and Chief Client Officer Diane McLoughlin shares the highlights from this year’s client conference

Diane McLoughlin, Head of Americas and Chief Client Officer


Many of our competitors define themselves as a “single solution.” This used to be a point of pride or at least a pithy marketing pitch. In practice, though, it has become clear today that no one single vendor is going to solve all of the challenges facing our industry.

According to research conducted by WatersTechnology and highlighted in the white paper, “The Age of Agile Solutions”, more than 40% of asset managers use ten or more systems, and the majority require at least seven systems to support their front-, middle- and back-offices. Given the pace of change and specialized capabilities required in today’s dynamic landscape, the thought of a closed, monolithic system probably conjures integration headaches.

In contrast to a single-vendor approach, ENGAGE18 represented a celebration of Eagle’s collaborative, client-driven approach. On full display was Eagle’s next-generation open platform as well as our expansive—and rapidly growing—ecosystem of vendor alliances. During our second day keynote presentation, we even announced a new collaboration with Microsoft to deliver a next-generation multi-tenant data management platform on the Azure public cloud. Our event attracted over 575 attendees, including nearly 400 client attendees, representing more than 100 unique organizations that traveled to Boca Raton from five different continents.

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ENGAGE18: Managed Services and the Evolving Operating Model

Liz Blake, presenting at Eagle’s ENGAGE18 client conference, discusses the impact managed services can have on an organization’s culture

Liz Blake, Global Head of Eagle Managed ServicesSM


According to a recent Experian white paper, “Building a Business Case for Data Quality,” 83% of organizations have seen bad data stand in the way of reaching key business objectives. In particular, the research identified lost sales opportunities, inefficient processes, and client relationships as among the more prominent areas affected, but also underscored that the internal impact can extend all the way to the culture of the organization.

Nearly everyone today recognizes the challenges created by the exponential growth in the volume, velocity and variety of data. How asset managers deal with this information glut, however, can dictate whether it presents an opportunity or a threat.

As part of my presentation at ENGAGE18, I discussed what it takes to become a true data visionary, one that is willing to rethink their data function altogether to leverage the right technology and services to instill newfound agility and ensure data is working for the business, not against it. This is in stark contrast to an “incrementalist” mentality in which asset managers simply tack new capabilities onto legacy systems and fight an ongoing struggle to keep pace with mounting internal and external demands.

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ENGAGE18 Q&A: Enterprise Data Management – A Cornerstone to Transformation

Is your data working for you or is it the other way around? A Q&A with Eagle’s Paul McInnis ahead of his panel at ENGAGE18 can help answer that question


Q: As it relates to data management, what are the biggest obstacles that stand in the way of whether data is working for or against the larger organization?

A: First and foremost, the biggest obstacle for many asset managers today are their legacy systems. That’s why we’re seeing so many organizations embarking on transformation initiatives that begin the journey by addressing the technology debt accumulated over the past 15 or 20 years. As old technology gets shuttled out, the adoption of agile and scalable systems allows organizations to store and process more data than ever before. And these efforts enable firms to not only leverage their data today but also positions them to seamlessly build out their capabilities in the future.

As digital information expands, the amount of data is increasing at a significant pace each year. Older systems simply can’t handle the volume or velocity of information. This glut, beyond exposing inadequate systems and degrading data quality, has also driven an emphasis on enterprise data management—it’s no longer just data management. Ten years ago, the amount and types of data being utilized was managed in different silos; today, that’s almost certainly a disaster waiting to happen and the impact is felt across the business.

Q: So as the philosophy of CIOs evolve, how has this changed how organizations manage data?

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