Monthly Archives: April 2016

Ontario Pension Board: Achieving Efficiencies & Quality Data with Eagle Data Management

Client Conversations: A Solution for Growth, featuring Henry Yee

In this video, Ontario Pension Board Director of Investment Finance, Henry Yee, discusses how Eagle helped the pension build out its investment operations and take on a more sophisticated investment strategy, while introducing added efficiencies, transparency and better data quality in the process.

The Eagle Approach: Engage and Collaborate

Recent client summits in Chicago and Toronto highlight just one of the ways we seek to collaborate and create a dialogue that advances our solutions and strengthens our client relationships.


Diane McLoughlin
, Chief Client Officer


In March, my colleague Rashmi Patel highlighted the growing prevalence and activity of client led, Eagle user groups across the globe. These groups reflect an enthusiastic and mature client base that is excited to learn and share with one another. Eagle’s interactions with these groups are an excellent opportunity to engage in dialogue that affirms our strategy while also shedding light on new opportunities to advance our solutions. Our recent client summits, held in Chicago and Toronto, are another example of how we are engaging with the client community and underscore our commitment to collaboration.

At the Eagle Canadian Summit, for instance, over 100 client attendees, prospective clients and third-party consultants traveled to Toronto from across Canada to attend. The day-long event featured a corporate update from Eagle CEO Mal Cullen as well as five distinct presentations and panels that explored legacy system replacement, best practices in managing complex derivatives, Eagle’s secure private cloud platform, cybersecurity, and how to best leverage Eagle to enable data-driven decisions for the front office. Bruce Feibel, from BNY Mellon Investment Management, also participated to highlight the trend of firms including ex-ante risk as part of their performance measurement process.

Citisoft COO Thomas Secaur, who was speaking on the system replacement panel, perhaps articulated it best when he described, “This [event] simply isn’t something that you’re seeing other vendors do.”

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The Technology Challenge of Building In-House Investment Teams

Eagle’s Marc Rubenfeld looks at the growing trend among Australia’s superannuation funds towards building in-house investment teams and the challenges posed when it comes to technology.

 

Many asset owners have traditionally been content to delegate the management and execution of their investment strategies to third-party asset managers. In recent years, however, we have seen an increasing number—including sovereign wealth funds, endowments and pension funds—looking to build their own investment capabilities in-house. This is particularly true of the Australian superannuation market. While these efforts are designed to add new efficiencies and take on more control, one series of hurdles are the technological demands required to manage and report the performance of these assets effectively.

Eagle is working with a number of superannuation funds that are enhancing their in-house investment capabilities and recent research estimates that two-thirds of Australian superannuation funds are expecting to bring asset management operations in-house over the next ten years1.

There are a number of reasons behind this trend, but chief among them is the desire to reduce costs and deliver higher returns for their members. Consolidation in the superannuation market has had a part to play in this as the average fund size has been driven higher. This is a trend that looks set to continue and it is likely many of the smaller superannuation funds will be subsumed in the coming years. At the same time, the total costs per member have increased and the operating costs of Australian superannuation funds are higher than in many other OECD countries. Between June 2009 and June 2014, KPMG estimates that the total cost per member increased by 52%2.

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Meet… Jeremy Skaling

jeremyEagle Investment Systems’ Managing Director, Global Head of Marketing, discusses his goals and objectives as well as why clients view Eagle as much more than just a software and services vendor.

 

Q: You were recently named Managing Director, Global Head of Marketing at Eagle. Can you discuss this position and what you aim to bring to the role?
I’ve been with Eagle for over 15 years now, with management roles in development, sales engineering and, most recently, as Head of Product Management. This experience provides a great backdrop as I take on these new responsibilities. At Eagle, we are focused on providing solutions to help our clients manage assets efficiently. As I take on this new role, I am excited to leverage my experience in development of communications that highlight Eagle’s differentiated solutions and client experience.

As a technology company within BNY Mellon Technology Solutions, there are many opportunities to leverage the vast resources and expertise of the larger BNY Mellon family. Eagle continues to focus on our core business of data management, investment accounting, and performance measurement and attribution solutions. We also want the market to understand the broader solutions we can offer in conjunction with BNY Mellon, such as managed services, middle-office solutions, and integration with third-party solutions. As we help our clients achieve business outcomes, such as expanding into new markets, offering new products, or managing business transformation, we want to make sure these success stories are communicated appropriately.

Q: How did your role as Head of Product Management prepare you for the Global Head of Marketing position?
As head of product management for Eagle, I had the opportunity to work with many of our clients to understand all of the different ways these organizations are leveraging our solutions. In that role, I would often speak with clients directly to understand what business needs they wanted to solve with Eagle and, additionally, all of the ways they wanted to extend Eagle to drive new efficiencies and capabilities across other areas of their business. I also spent time with clients sharing the future vision for our offering, collaborating with our users to ensure that enhancements to the Eagle solution suite could be leveraged to drive value within their particular business.

The experience I gained during the five years I spent in that role, in addition to my earlier experience in sales engineering and development, creates a great foundation. In my new role, I have the opportunity to merge my product management background with all of our marketing efforts to ensure our messaging reflects exactly how Eagle can help global financial institutions deliver the business outcomes they desire.

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Decaying Platforms: Addressing the Growing Risks Posed by Outdated Portfolio Management and Accounting Systems

 

A confident businessman with briefcase walking ahead on a tightrope in empty grey urban space conceptAt recent Eagle Investment Systems client events in Chicago and Toronto, Citisoft COO Tom Secaur and Accenture Principal Michael Kerrigan offered their take on why so many asset managers have put off replacing their legacy systems, even as the enterprise risks grow with every passing year.

 

Jeremy Skaling, Managing Director, Global Head of Marketing


The challenge for many asset managers is that it can be difficult to actually define what a legacy system is. Unlike an automobile, there is no odometer from which to measure the lifespan. The most widely accepted definition is that a legacy system describes a platform or a vendor that can no longer keep pace with the growth of the business or evolution of the markets. It might be an internally built system that is no longer fit for purpose; it could be a platform running obsolete technology; or, in this era of consolidation, it could be a vendor that is effectively sunsetting a platform through inattention and waning R&D. The result? Years of customizations and patchwork modifications become twisted and dangerously intertwined. Sooner or later, the negative impact—be it poor data quality, operational inefficiencies or the inability to accommodate new products—can be felt throughout the investment management organization.

“You’ll see an accounting system sitting in the middle of an organization with point-to-point interfaces going everywhere…It’s a warehouse, a client-reporting system, an internal reporting system, it generates analytics, keeps pricing history, you name it,” Citisoft COO Tom Secaur described at the recent Eagle client event in Chicago. While Rube Goldberg would be proud, the prevalence of legacy systems actually represents one of the biggest threats facing many asset managers today.

At one point in time, these systems were likely fit for purpose and may have even been considered cutting edge at the time of their implementation. Fast forward 10, 15 or in some cases 30 years, however, and many of these systems today have not received the requisite investments to remain relevant. This is becoming even more apparent and the impact more pronounced as the engineers that developed the original technology and code hit retirement age, which leaves precious few professionals available who understand how to patch these systems as needed in order to keep them alive and functioning.

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Outsourcing and the Evolving Client-Vendor Relationship

Antony Slee, Regional Sales Director


As the information age transitions into the age of insight, financial services companies and investment organisations are shifting how data is consumed by the business. Consequently, the traditional role of the vendor is changing significantly.

Recently, Eagle participated in a panel at TSAM Europe 2016 in which we explored how stronger and more resilient third-party partnerships are resulting from the growing movement of asset managers who outsource or co-source their data management functions. During this discussion, one particular comment stood out. A panelist described the evolving focus for investment managers—from data, to information, to knowledge, to insight—concluding that there is now a push to go one step further by deriving business value from that insight. This progression, from simply focusing on data to value-driving insight, perfectly captures what we are seeing at Eagle.

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