15 Years in Canada: Creating a Model for Global Engagement

As we celebrate our crystal anniversary, commemorating the launch of our Toronto office in 2001, Eagle’s growth in Canada reflects our “all in” commitment to the markets in which we operate.

Joel Kornblum, Head of Partner Relations and Client Solutions


Canada’s financial and capital markets landscape has always had a reputation for stability and prudence, yet that should not overshadow the financial innovation that regularly comes out of the country. Let’s not forget that Canada produced Nobel Laureates Robert Mundell, the father of the “Euro” and supply-side economics; Myron S. Scholes, the architect of the Black-Scholes model for valuing options; and William Vickrey, one of the first to apply game theory in understanding auctions.

As Eagle has been active—and present—in Canada for 15 years now, we have witnessed firsthand the innovation and collaborative spirit that is quite unique to the country. We also recognize how valuable our clients in Canada have been in helping shape our product set to meet the evolving demands of the global marketplace. With relationships that go all the way back to 2000, we continue to build upon a network of leading asset managers and pension funds in Canada that count on Eagle to understand their distinct market and facilitate efficient growth.

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Managed Services and Data Readiness to Manage Extreme Market Events

Brexit provides an example of how a managed services offering is helping clients manage and optimize their investment data to navigate market events

Liz Blake, Global Head of Front Office Services, BNY Mellon Technology Solutions


In the days leading up to the UK’s historic referendum to leave the European Union, polls were in a dead heat with a slight edge towards those that intended to vote to remain in the EU. When investors woke up to news that Britain actually voted to leave, it triggered a wave of selling around the world that resulted in the largest two-day sell-off on record with global financial markets losing some $2 trillion during the trading sessions that followed.

While the results took many investors by surprise, for the clients signed up with the Front Office Services Group (a group dedicated to the managed services around Eagle’s enterprise data management and performance solutions), the Brexit vote provided a case study to demonstrate the role of our managed services offering in helping clients prepare for the unexpected. For a managed services team, success may be best reflected in the ability of the front office to focus unencumbered on the markets, rather than worrying about the accuracy and availability of critical data or the firm’s ability to easily move into new investment types.

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Webinar Recap: Dual-Track RFP Processes Used in Replacing Legacy Technologies

Eagle’s July webinar with WatersTechnology highlighted how buy-side investment firms are increasingly investigating not only stand-alone software solutions but also managed services and fully outsourced alternatives to replace outdated portfolio management and accounting technology

Mike Maltby, Head of Market Strategy


In July, Eagle participated in a WatersTechnology webinar discussing best practices around legacy system replacement and the critical role portfolio management and accounting systems can play in supporting business growth. One of the key takeaways from the webinar was the growing tendency among buy-side firms exploring new solutions to pursue a “dual-track” RFP process. Increasingly, asset managers will simultaneously weigh both the costs and benefits of choosing either a hosted software solution—including possible managed services—or a fully outsourced alternative that hands off the entirety of the day-to-day management to a third-party provider.

The webinar featured Prescient Chief Operating Officer, Craig Mockford and Desjardins Senior Advisor, Mario Coulombe in addition to myself, while WatersTechnology Editor in Chief, Victor Anderson moderated the discussion. Held on July 13, a free replay of the conversation is available here.

The webinar highlighted the extent to which buy-side firms are operating with sub-optimal and outdated technology as well as what the business ramifications can be when vendors either begin to sunset older systems or fail to reinvest in mission-critical technology. Over 40% of the more than 250 viewers that attended the webinar indicated that their own organization is currently running an outdated or obsolete portfolio management or accounting system, and over a third cited that legacy-platform and vendor risk represent the greatest challenges to growing their business. In discussing a starting point to address this threat head on, Prescient’s Mockford noted that for his firm, the initial objective was to understand all of the possible alternatives by sending out RFPs to key software vendors as well as the top outsourcing solution providers.

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The Superannuation Funds Insourcing Equation

Marc Rubenfeld, CIPM, Head of Eagle Solutions for Europe, Middle East, and Asia-Pacific


Eagle Investment System’s Marc Rubenfeld, in an article published in Australia’s Financial Standard, explores the growing trend of superannuation funds building in-house investment teams to assume greater control and deliver greater cost efficiencies to their members. The article, “The Superannuation Funds Insourcing Equation”, highlights the technological considerations that need to be addressed and the capabilities needed to support the insourcing of asset management.

With two-thirds of Australia’s superannuation funds planning to bring asset management in-house in the next 10 years, Rubenfeld explores some of the reasons behind this growing trend including cost reduction, an increase in fund sizes and the desire for funds to get closer to their assets. He writes that “if institutions overlook the technological demands, the desired efficiencies, cost savings and member benefits will quickly be lost in transition”.

Download the full Financial Standard Article

Legacy Systems: Vendor Consolidation a Catalyst to Obsolescence

Vendor M&A typically comes with promises of synergies and added value, though recent history suggests it can also shorten the runway that leads to a legacy system

Dan St. Onge, Chief Operating Officer, Eagle Investment Systems


Over the past 30 months, technology-focused investment bank Hampleton Partners has tallied 596 acquisitions in the financial technology sector, with 75% of the activity involving either enterprise software or enterprise services companies. Parallel to the escalating deal volume has been a significant bump in valuations, as the median purchase multiple has grown from 12x EBITDA in 2013 to 15x EBITDA last year. While many in the industry may be inclined to celebrate this activity as a coming of age for financial technology, for clients – when their vendor is acquired – it’s often a signal that their relationship is about to undergo an abrupt and significant change.

Consider, for instance, the announced retirement of the Barclays POINT risk analytics platform. Barclays sold the platform in December, and soon after Barclays POINT users were informed the new buyer was only interested in the IP and would be shuttering the POINT platform within 18 months. According to a Citisoft survey, 80% of users now plan to initiate a process to find a new vendor.

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Transitioning to a New Global Industry Classification Standards Structure

Helping clients make a seamless transition as sector classifications undergo re-alignment.

Greg Mello, Head of Product Management


Sometimes small changes create big headaches. Take the recent decision by MSCI and Standard & Poor’s to alter the Global Industry Classification Standard, or GICS®. While the update may seem relatively mundane, particularly compared to the heavy lifting that came out of Dodd-Frank and other financial reform efforts, the fact is, for those operating internal systems or still running dated platforms, it is these small changes that often best highlight the challenges of working with a legacy system.

MSCI and Standard & Poor’s created GICS® in 1999 to provide a consistent industry classification system for companies around the world. As part of the announced changes, all listed equity Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) as well as real estate management and development companies—with the exception of mortgage REITS—will be promoted to their own real estate sector. Currently, these companies are being classified as financials.

This re-alignment is an acknowledgement that institutional investors now view global real estate as a distinct asset class. With interest rates at record lows, real estate has become a key source of yield and diversification, and has grown considerably in terms of market capitalization. In an effort to encourage the development of new real estate investment products, the industry believes the GICS® reclassification will further support the demand for REITs. Besides improving the visibility of the sector, it should also lower volatility by reducing the correlation of real estate to riskier financials.

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European Thought Leadership Events Surface the Latest Data Trends in Performance and Risk Analysis

Antony Slee, European Sales Director


Eagle is currently co-hosting a series of roundtable events across Europe with performance measurement professionals at leading asset management firms. The discussions have revealed a number of recurring issues that demonstrate how universal the limitations of legacy systems can be.

Several recurring themes are surfacing from these roundtable discussions, highlighting a consistent requirement for flexible and scalable data management and performance measurement platforms. The emerging themes are:

  • Increasing investment complexity
  • Need for complete and accurate data
  • Inconsistency of reporting
  • Increased frequency of reporting
  • Need for scalable solutions

These themes appear to be true for all investment management firms—regardless of size, geographic location or asset mix—as they meet changing market conditions and focus on meeting business objectives.

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Meet…Fred Schpero

fred_squareEagle Investment Systems’ Chief Financial Officer discusses his role in the organization and how he balances the needs of the clients, the shareholder (BNY Mellon) and the rest of the Eagle organization. 

Q: Without cutting you in half and counting the rings, can you just tell us how long you’ve been at Eagle and elaborate on some of the biggest changes you’ve seen over those years?

A: First of all, thank you for not cutting me in half. And if you did, you would see that some circles are bigger than others, as some years seemed to fly by, while others felt like an eternity. That’s another way of saying that I’ve seen the ups and downs of the technology expenditure cycles in my 16 years here at Eagle.

I think the biggest change I’ve witnessed over that time is Eagle’s reaction to those cycles. Early on, we had a tendency to build software for a user base that was pre-determined in our minds. But that seems like a lifetime ago and I don’t even recognize this past iteration in the 2015 version of the Eagle application.

Today’s Eagle is in tune to the trends in the marketplace, and specifically the significant movement over the last five years to Eagle ACCESSSM, our secure private cloud. We are also focused on being solutions-oriented and really understanding the needs of our clients. We work with third parties to expand what we refer to as the Eagle Ecosystem, and recognize that partnering is a good thing, especially with our parent company. This is becoming even more obvious as Eagle has become an integral part of BNY Mellon Technology Solutions, which leverages BNY Mellon’s existing technology assets to offer integrated, digital, platform solutions across the financial services landscape. It also doesn’t hurt that BNY Mellon Technology Solutions is led by Eagle’s current chairman, and former CEO, John Lehner.

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