Macro Platforms, Micro Experiences

As we progress on Eagle’s deployment-model transformation, certain key principles will continue to guide our cloud-native journey.

Steve Taylor, Chief Technology Officer


The consumerization of IT has arrived and is having a deep and dramatic effect on our everyday lives. In fact, whether we realize it or not, digitalization has seeped into our subconscious to the point that it has altered digital interactions as well as assumptions of what is expected.

We expect a seamless client experience, which translates primarily into “always on” and a confidence that platforms will learn and evolve over time. Personalization around applications based on users’ behaviors is perhaps more commonplace than people realize. At home or in the office, the technology and digital platforms we use are focused on personalizing the experience and improving efficiency to get the task done faster.

Whether we realize it or not, it is our micro experiences that are critical to the success of the platform. This personalization drives the value of the technology we use—it may be the ease of finding a movie on Netflix that suits our individualized preferences or the ability to settle a credit card with a simple swipe or tap.

The challenge, however, is that old architectures cannot be wrapped or encapsulated to deliver these strategies. Legacy platforms were built to support a different set of use cases and “cloud wrapping” (encapsulating old capabilities into new paradigms) will not deliver the desired business outcome. These dated systems are often based on batch processes, with no clear separation of concerns and have a historic focus on a small set of super users as opposed to information consumers and citizen developers.

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Leveraging Data to Streamline and Optimize Implementations

The discussion at a recent TSAM NY panel underscored the role of data governance in systems implementation

Rich Vivolo, Lead Consultant


You can’t manage that which you can’t measureit is a business maxim that has only become more true as data has become increasingly available to track and benchmark business processes. While there has been a concerted effort throughout financial services to leverage operational metrics available through next-generation data management platforms, we are also finding that this intensifying deference to data can be just as useful in guiding new system implementations, themselves. This was a topic that we discussed as part of a panel at TSAM New York in June.

The principal dilemma for many organizations is whether a data governance program should be in place before an implementation occurs or if it should come afterward. While the answer often depends on whether an existing governance framework is already in place, the most successful implementations do indeed start with a defined process that at some point—either before or during an implementation—can incorporate metrics to both educate and motivate key stakeholders.

The importance of measuring and tracking progress during implementations was something that I stressed during the TSAM panel: Establishing a Firm-Wide Data-Quality Management Strategy. The panel was moderated by Accenture’s Mick Cartwright. Each of the panelists, including representatives from a global investment bank and an investment management firm, spoke to the challenges of creating a data governance model—often characterized as a chicken-or-egg predicament. The benefit of prioritizing data quality and governance at the earlier stages of an implementation is that the data can then inform everything that comes afterward.
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Meet…Daniel Joseph

Eagle’s Sales Director, Australia and New Zealand, discusses Eagle’s growing presence in the region and some of the key trends in the Australian market.

Q: You joined Eagle in October 2016—could you give us a bit of your background prior to joining and outline what you’ve been focusing on since you started?

A: I’ve worked in the financial services industry for the last 10 years in a number of organisations, including J.P. Morgan and ASX, the Australian Securities Exchange. I also worked for an investment manager before going into the technology solutions side of things at Omgeo immediately before joining Eagle. Having seen the financial services industry from a number of different angles has been invaluable to my role at Eagle. It’s helped me to empathise with our clients and understand the issues they’re contending with.

While the Sydney office opened in 2015, Eagle has had clients in Australia for well over 10 years. That in mind, my focus is on developing and leveraging our existing client relationships to help grow our presence. Part of our approach is to educate the market about Eagle, showing them that we are local in addition to the basics of who we are and what we do. The bigger picture though is to be highly consultative in nature and help buy-side firms think through all the different solutions—technology, managed services, and otherwise—that can help them compete and succeed in today’s marketplace.

For me, personally, my style is to engage, which complements our overall approach. I want to explore the challenges and issues facing the organizations that we talk to and then use the entire Eagle story to highlight where we can help solve those challenges. Also, being able to bring BNY Mellon and its four decades of business in Australia into the story extends our credibility, while also helping expand our solution set to meet more needs as our clients’ businesses evolve. Read More…

Cognitive Diversity: A True Differentiator

The recent Gearing Up Conference, a collaboration between Eagle and Bentley University’s Center for Women and Business, highlighted the value of disparate thought

Electra Govoni, Strategic Project Manager and Chair of Eagle’s Diversity Council and the Women’s Initiative Network


Much has been written lately about the critical role cognitive diversity plays in the workplace. Defined by Harvard Business Review as ‘differences in perspective or information processing styles,’ cognitive diversity can be a key factor in improving performance and problem solving. In today’s competitive, global market, it’s also critical to ensure solutions are being created and intuitively designed for the widest population of users as possible. At Eagle, for instance, it’s just as important that our software is as accessible to business users as it is for IT and technology professionals.

But while organizations may recognize the value of cognitive diversity, in an industry like financial services – which tends to attract quants both at ease and riveted by mathematical models – it can require more of a concerted effort. It’s an endeavor, however, that is not without payoff, which can translate into increased productivity, new innovations, and even better investment performance, according to some in the industry.

As part of a collaboration between Eagle and Bentley University’s Center for Women and Business, this was a topic that was front and center at the 2017 Gearing Up Conference. One of the biggest takeaways from the event, held on June 16, was the critical role occupied by women – particularly in a male dominated field – to bring a different perspective and skillset to the table. To truly leverage these differences, the value offered by having multiple points of view often rests on whether the culture both empowers women to articulate their views and then listens and acts when they do.

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Meet…Julie Rodriguez

Eagle Investment Systems’ VP of User Experience discusses how advances in consumer technology will impact and shape how business users engage with financial technology

Q: You recently joined Eagle from Sapient, where you served as Creative Director. Can you talk about your past experience and what led you to this position as VP of User Experience?

A: Throughout my career, each role has positioned me to build on the experience I previously gained. I started in consulting designing a variety of platforms—from securities-lending institutions working with the world’s largest broker-dealers, to wealth management institutions integrating various technologies into one experience. I extended a lot of that knowledge into my role at Sapient, where I began to learn about the business side of asset management. There, I had a unique perspective to see what the best firms were doing to improve their user experience while also leveraging process engineering strategies to improve UX for others.

Across the board, the takeaway was that organizations needed to streamline their applications in order for users to do their jobs well. In turn, this informed my research around data visualization to help figure out new and interesting ways to present data. I also co-authored a book on this topic that rethinks conventional standards around performance reporting, accounting practices and presenting information through vehicles such as annual reports. It’s still early days, but I have seen organizations apply some of the concepts from the book, and that has been really rewarding.

All of this really sets me up well for working within the Eagle platform, and provides me with a breadth of knowledge and depth of capabilities that I can bring to bear for Eagle’s clients. Read More…

Corporate Action Entitlement Processing Automation – The Forgotten STP

Sean Cain, Product Director at Eagle alliance vendor Fidelity Corporate Actions Solutions, discusses the challenges related to the lack of automation in corporate actions entitlement processing and opportunities for straight through processing.


There is an industry need to automate Corporate Action (CA) processing into downstream systems such as accounting, trading, and brokerage systems. As each downstream system is different, and there are currently no industry standards when it comes to CA Entitlements Processing, the vast majority of downstream processing is manual and extremely risky.

The CA industry has made major strides in the past few decades in regards to risk reduction. The industry has done a great job in standardizing and automating CA notifications, instructions, and payments via SWIFT messaging. When you attend industry conferences, much of the discussion is dominated by continued work in these areas. I like to refer to automation of downstream processing as the Forgotten STP, as there is very little industry focus and discussion in this area.

CA entitlements processing automation differs greatly from system to system. As every system is unique, the capabilities of each system and the enhancements required to automate processing in each system is extremely varied. There tends to be a lot of automation in the industry on simple income and mandatory events (cash and stock dividends, stock splits, interest payments, etc). These events are less complex by nature, but do make up a large percentage of the action volume, which is a good start.

There is however a long way to go to automate everything, which should be the end goal for all CA operations teams. There is very little automation on voluntary events and complex mandatory events, yet this is where the majority of complexity and risk is. These types of events can cause significant issues with costly errors and compensation to the front office, business partners, and individual investors. Read More…

Meet…Anjan Bagchee

Anjan Bagchee, Eagle Investment Systems’ new Director of Information Security and Risk (SIRO) for Cloud Services, discusses his new role and highlights how financial services companies can safeguard their own organizations.  

Q: You recently joined Eagle from EnerNOC, where you were responsible for the design, review and architecting of the company’s energy intelligence software and its overall security infrastructure. Can you talk about your transition into financial technology?

A: The nature of what you are trying to protect may change, but the philosophy and strategy of how to protect against the cybersecurity threat is pretty consistent across most industries. EnerNOC, which offers SaaS solutions, provides energy intelligence software and demand-response applications. Similar to Eagle, their value proposition lies in the efficiencies they deliver through technology and new capabilities. However, instead of the SEC, it’s the federal mandates and customer’s security posture defining the requirements for the energy industry.

My role largely revolved around providing the security underpinning for EnerNOC’s SaaS project and its energy intelligence offering. Much of this work was focused on the Internet of Things and application security in the cloud to ensure that we remained well ahead of the curve as these solutions evolved. At Eagle, I was brought in to build upon what is already a really strong foundation as it relates to cybersecurity. To do that, I’m looking to bring a new perspective to the company’s existing program and refine our strategic and tactical approach across Eagle’s solution set.

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Vendor Relationships in the Time of Consolidation: Are Your Vendors in it for the Long Haul?

The impending sunset of Barclays POINT was prominent at the recent FTF Performance Measurement Americas (PMA) conference, underscoring the long-term risks of a short-term focus on software

Jeff Cullen, Solutions Principal


While most performance system RFPs focus on a given product’s user interface or the specific features that are built directly into the software, organizations should also consider the potential for technology debt, which stems from distributed systems and the unhealthy dependencies that often develop with their presence. I recently participated in a panel at the FTF PMA conference in New York entitled “How to Justify System Migration Pain”, and this was a theme that seemed to be top of mind among the panelists following the recent consolidation among fintech vendors that underscored this growing challenge.

The discussion also featured Jeffrey Malmin, General Director, Performance Reporting at John Hancock Investments; Shankar Venkatraman, Director, Global Head of Performance, Risk, Analytics and Compliance at Citi; Jeremy Welch, Head of US Hub Operations at BNP Paribas; and Jeffrey Bellavance, Manager Performance and Analytics at PanAgora Asset Management.

One takeaway from the event resonated with me as the sole vendor on the panel: The consistent recognition that investment firms and asset managers aren’t simply buying software anymore, they’re entering into a relationship with their vendor.

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Taking Control of Your Investment Operations

Ravi Patel, Solution Specialist


Operating under cost pressures, reduced margins and tough competition, the manufacturing industry has constantly adopted lean operations to eliminate waste of resources and time. Adopting automated process governance across stock control to bill of materials & final packaging, provides an early diagnostic, helps eliminate defects and improves overall operational efficiency for manufacturers. Ultimately this helps them to control costs, meet quality standards, and maintain consistency and reliability of their end product

Lean operations in the manufacturing industry is an example that many Investment Managers could benefit from when it comes to their middle and back office operations. This understanding resonated well with the assembled crowd at TSAM London, where I presented Eagle’s Control Centre. My conversations with various delegates at TSAM confirmed that the reality for investment operations and accounting teams today is very different. Due to silos of disparate legacy systems, they are forced into adopting fragmented manual workflows, which are causing considerable data quality challenges and reconciliation overhead.

Resource intensive manual intervention such as ledger to sub-ledger reconciliation, NAV impact checklists, NAV reconciliation and market data variances regularly cause delays to the valuation process. The reactive nature of such manual workflows often reveals upstream data quality issues once valuations are calculated. Today, these issues are identified late in the process by performing in-depth root cause analysis, causing loss of productivity and often missed SLAs.

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A Journey Through the Evolution of Buy-Side Investment Data Management

Marc Rubenfeld, CIPM, Head of Eagle Solutions EMEA/APAC


At the recent TSAM London event, I had the honour of chairing the data management conference stream. This involved moderating debates, introducing speakers and facilitating conversation throughout the day. In preparation for the event, I began thinking about the history of data management and what I have seen as the stages in its evolution within buy-side investment managers.

Each new innovation or concept in data management has followed a similar evolutionary path, starting with awareness or recognition around the concept itself. Then follows a ripple of early adopters that look to build their own solutions, before vendors step in to refine and improve the innovation with commercial solutions. Over time, these vendor solutions can offer even more cost savings in the form of a managed service.

Over time, with each new innovation, the period it takes to evolve has contracted as firms have become quicker to embrace new concepts and vendors more agile in reacting to client needs. To illustrate this, I put together the diagram below, based on the design of the London Underground map. The horizontal line roughly approximates time and each evolutionary stage is represented as a station.

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