Monthly Archives: November 2016

Live from Engage: Engage 2016 Comes to a Close

Diane McLoughlin, Chief Client Officer, Eagle Investment Systems

As this year’s Engage conference has come to a close, I am reflecting on this being my first client conference since assuming my role as Chief Client Officer. Not only was it our biggest and—I think—best event yet, but it really embodied the spirit of collaboration that was the catalyst behind forming the Office of the Client in the first place. Moreover, as Eagle’s parent company BNY Mellon took on an active role at this year’s event, the spirit of collaboration was evident as our peers, clients and ecosystem relationships sought to tackle the issues shaping the future of financial services.

The purpose of my role is to channel many of our outward-facing resources, to ensure we’re engaging with our clients to better understand the challenges they face, and to ultimately ensure that our offering provides them with the best possible solution set for a rapidly evolving investment landscape. Engage is a key component of this feedback loop, I’m thrilled that over 575 attendees were able to join us for this year’s event.

The theme of Engage 2016 was “Invested in Your Future”, which not only highlights the considerable financial investments we’re making to support and enhance our offering, but also speaks to the intellectual investment we make to ensure that our new solutions meet the specific and distinct needs of our clients. Through 2 general sessions, 45 breakout sessions, and 4 Engage talk presentations, as well as an innovation center that provided first-hand experiences with new solutions and capabilities, the programming focused on innovation and the ways we’re working to enhance our platform to meet the demands of the future. We heard from clients, industry experts and thought-leaders from both Eagle and BNY Mellon to ensure we remain aligned in our mission to help the world grow assets efficiently.

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Live from Engage: Cloud Analytics Showcases Power of Big Data

Eagle ACCESSSM unveils new cloud analytics capabilities and operations service book to optimize outcomes and enable new efficiencies.

Chris Mayo, Head of Eagle ACCESSSM Client Solutions

Two days ago, as part of the opening-day general session at Eagle’s Engage client conference, our CEO Mal Cullen provided his vision of the future and how he sees the digital platform evolving to quickly and efficiently enable solutions for financial services. For those who weren’t here in Orlando to see it live, he gave dimension to the tremendous opportunity available to our industry through the cloud and by adopting a continual deployment model that will instill far more agility, resiliency and efficiency. While much of his discussion was centered on Eagle’s current initiatives and vision for the future, earlier this morning, as part of our final day of programming at Engage, I discussed Eagle’s new cloud analytics and “Eagle Service Book” capabilities that are now available to Eagle ACCESSSM clients.

Cloud analytics, allows us to leverage all of the raw data available through our hosted cloud platform to draw insights that can translate into better business and operational outcomes. We formally kicked off our cloud analytics project last year and attendees at Engage 2015 were treated to a first look at our proof of concept. Today, as part of the Eagle ACCESSSM Services Update presentation, I highlighted how far we’ve come over the past 18 months and showcased how our capabilities in this area will continue to evolve.

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Engage Spotlight: Managing Derivatives in a Complex and Fragmented World

Derivatives are moving from the margins to the mainstream of portfolio management but managing them in a fragmented regulatory environment can be a challenge. At the Engage conference, taking place in Florida this week, Eagle’s Brian Dunton explained why technology vendor-client collaboration is key to delivering meaningful analysis.

Brian Dunton, Head of Instrument Engineering, Eagle Investment Systems

In recent years, derivatives have moved from a niche asset class on the periphery of investment management to everyday tools of the trade for even the most conservative asset managers, as they look to enhance performance and manage risk. At Eagle we’ve not only witnessed a large increase in the number of our clients holding derivatives, but we’ve also seen dramatic growth in the volumes of derivatives being held. Where in the past we might have had clients holding 3-5 total return swaps, we’re now seeing funds that hold nothing but total return swaps. The regulatory framework and processes to manage them, however, have failed to keep pace with the rapid changes in the industry while attempts at standardization have stalled.

At our Engage conference today I, with my colleague Jeff Cullen, addressed delegates on how, in a fragmented and shifting regulatory landscape, the systems and processes to manage derivatives need to be built with the client’s needs at their core to enable meaningful analysis.

The 2009 G20 meeting painted a “future state” picture of global harmonization for derivatives clearing and regulatory reporting, resulting in increased transparency within the derivatives market. Standardized identifiers would be the norm and would be universally adopted. However, seven years later the markets are becoming more fragmented and the picture is one of global dis-harmonization, rather than global consensus. Complex cross-border transactions can present thorny legal jurisdictional issues while reporting requirements are fragmented. Take MiFID II for example: in providing the personal information it asks for, you may actually be breaching privacy laws in countries like South Korea. Read More…

Data Governance: Asset Management’s X Factor

The path to robust governance remains an ongoing journey, though there is growing recognition that organizations can’t put this initiative off any longer.

Peter Travers, Vice President and Principal of Global Solutions

In 2011 and 2012, data governance initiatives were primarily a response to the increasingly complex demands of reporting and marketing compliance. These mandates were also premised on solving issues of privacy and data protection. Fast forward five years, and today data governance is seen as helping set the stage for real-time analytics that aid the front office and provide crucial support informing business decisions. As investing becomes increasingly global in scope, and alternative and non-traditional asset classes become more prevalent, it is no exaggeration to say that data integrity could be a make-or-break factor for many in asset management.

Best-in-class data governance provides a formal set of standards for how data is securely collected, stored, distributed and processed. Not only does this safeguard an organization’s data and ensure that it is accurate and accessible, it makes it available for decision making on an enterprise-wide basis—enabling managers to predict trends, react quickly to market changes and respond to competitors. Whether the catalyst is the replacement of obsolete infrastructure as part of an operational transformation project or, rather, reflects the pursuit of new business opportunities, data governance can have a profound impact on the overall agility of the organization.

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Fueling Both Hope and Hype, Blockchain Offers a New Approach to Data Management

Massimo Young, Vice President, Data Scientist, BNY Mellon

Charles Wang, co-founder of CA Technologies, was infamously skeptical about the potential of the internet to revolutionize retail. In an interview in 1997, when e-commerce was still in its infancy, he told The New York Times: “People say the internet will replace stores. It will never happen.” Two years later, when the dot-com bubble burst, perhaps he felt vindicated. But now, twenty years later, his views seem shortsighted. It’s a classic example of Amara’s Law:  we tend to overestimate the effect of technology in the short-term and underestimate its effect in the long run.

To those of us in financial services, this likely brings to mind the hype that currently surrounds blockchain, which has been touted as a possible solution for everything from preventing ID fraud to ending world poverty. How can we distinguish between the hype and the real power of this new technology? How can we balance excitement with healthy skepticism in order to drive towards practical solutions?

This is a topic that I’ll be discussing in more detail when Eagle and BNY Mellon host the Engage 2016 conference in Orlando, Florida, November 13-16. In the meantime, understanding what blockchain is and why it’s getting people excited may help set the stage.

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Optimized for Business-Led Innovation

This new video from Eagle highlights how our organizational model facilitates business-led innovation that drives material outcomes for clients. 

We have enhanced our team over the past year, and introduced The Office of the Client, to ensure that our organization is optimized to deliver integrated data management, investment accounting and performance measurement solutions that are aligned to our mission to help the world grow assets efficiently.

As a result, our organization facilitates a robust feedback loop in which we gain deep understanding around the issues and challenges facing clients. This understanding then informs our product and development teams to create solutions that deliver material business outcomes and can be leveraged across the industry.

Our experienced and world-class team represents one of Eagle’s greatest differentiators. And over time and as our platform evolves, our client-centric approach to innovation will facilitate an even faster time to value, by offering even more capabilities and more agility to help clients to stay ahead of growing business and market demands.

Meet…Rajan Venkitachalam

venkitachalam-rajanEagle Investment Systems’ new Head of Transformation Rajan Venkitachalam discusses his role at Eagle as well as his vision for cloud-native technology and how it will serve to reshape financial organizations in the future.

Q: Prior to joining Eagle, Rajan, you assembled a long and successful track record in tech—primarily at Microsoft, but also with stops at ServiceNow, Caradigm, Bedrock Technologies, and PeopleFluent®. You’re also an angel investor. Can you talk a bit about your past experience and what led you to join Eagle?

A: In just about every role I’ve had for the last 18 years, my mandate has been to drive transformation. If you go all the way back to my first role at Microsoft, my job was to help transform the developer toolset, which was under intense competitive pressure from IBM’s Java platform.

That was a successful effort and from there I ended up spearheading several different initiatives within Microsoft to either create new businesses, transform existing businesses or fix failing businesses. In one way or another, though, it was all about transformation.

At Microsoft, for example, I assumed several roles—be it on the business side or within technology and engineering. I also had the chance to work within several different verticals, including Windows, Search, Cloud and Telemetry, in addition to others. Microsoft is a truly dynamic organization, in that you’re never working exclusively on any one project. The best thing you can do to add value is to continually bring new ideas to the table that leverage the billions of dollars that Microsoft invests in its technology to serve its billions of customers.

It’s actually not unlike the opportunity for me here at Eagle, which counts most of the leading financial institutions in the world as clients and has the backing and support of BNY Mellon, which is committed to being a technology leader. Here, similar to the past, I view my role as one of driving transformation, not only for Eagle and in shaping our product development roadmap, but also for our clients. For example, we currently see a number of organizations undergoing massive data management transformation projects as they seek to evolve their business and position themselves for growth in an evolving marketplace.

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