Posts by: Mal Cullen

Mal Cullen joined Eagle in 2001 and is responsible for Eagle’s operations for the Americas and for Eagle ACCESS, Eagle’s secure private cloud. In this role, Mr. Cullen is responsible for overall operations and future growth and direction of Eagle ACCESS and of Eagle’s North American business for sales, marketing, professional services and support. Mr. Cullen has over 23 years of experience in the development, sales, implementation and support of investment management software solutions. Prior to joining Eagle, Mr. Cullen spent 12 years at Financial Models Company (FMC). Over the years, he has successfully led the design and implementation of large-scale software installations throughout Canada, the United States and Europe. Mr. Cullen holds an Honors Bachelor of Applied Economics with minor in Management Studies from the University of Waterloo.

Absorbing Complexity:
Build the Moat

Investment managers and financial services firms are confronting a rapidly changing competitive landscape and their infrastructure can be a critical gating item in their pursuit of new opportunities

Mal Cullen, Chief Executive Officer

Clayton Christensen, in his seminal book The Innovator’s Dilemma, catalogued the various patterns of innovation that can occur within a sector, establishing a spectrum that begins with the repackaging of known technologies and ends with truly disruptive innovation that can turn an industry on its head, such as Uber or Napster. While the financial services sector has not faced the latter scenario in the past quarter century, the rapid growth of the alternatives space, coupled with new advances that have commoditized what were once considered exclusive and esoteric strategies, means that investment managers today are only now being faced with the question that Christensen so poignantly addressed in his book: How do you introduce new products and capabilities without being bound to servicing the customary needs of existing clients. The difference, at least for most financial institutions, is that, it is their existing clients who are calling for disruption.

Traditional asset managers realize that product innovation has become more critical than perhaps ever before. As McKinsey identified in a December, 2014 research paper (“The $64 trillion question: convergence in asset management”), certain secular factors are driving asset managers to build out their product set to meet the heightened and more expansive demands of their clients. The McKinsey research cited that a bifurcation is occurring between large and small institutional investors, with each group approaching their strategies differently to fulfill diverging portfolio needs. Whereas smaller institutions want access to a broad range of brand-name managers with product depth and perceived stability, larger institutions are migrating to more cutting-edge portfolio construction to build new capabilities and embrace “risk-factor-based methodologies.”

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Eagle gives back with Third Annual Day of Service

Mal Cullen, Chief Executive Officer

I am pleased to share that the third annual Eagle Day of Service was yet another great success! The Day of Service has become a wonderful tradition so foremost, I want extend a big thank you to the dedicated employees and incredible organizations that make this day possible. Nearly 200 employees donated their time to work at nine local nonprofits around New England. In total, a new record of almost 500 hours of service were provided to organizations including:

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An award-winning week for Eagle

Mal Cullen, Chief Executive Officer

AwardIn the space of a week we have won four prestigious industry awards. First, we were named Asset-Servicing Technology Vendor of the Year at the Custody Risk Americas Awards dinner. This latest honor represented the second year in a row that we have taken home this prize. The Custody Risk Americas Awards recognizes the outstanding achievers in the securities services industry in both North and South America.

To add to that, we were announced as winners in three categories at FTF News’ Technology Innovation Awards. Eagle was named the Service Provider of the Year and Best Outsourcing Provider, and for the third consecutive year Eagle Accounting won the Best Buy-Side Operations Solution.

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Live from Engage 2015: Sharing the Ideas that are Shaping the Future

Mal Cullen, Chief Executive Officer, Eagle Investment Systems

Our client conference, Engage 2015, kicked off today in Scottsdale, Arizona. It’s always a special and exciting time for us – over 500 of our clients from all over the world have come together to discuss the business challenges they’re facing, share best practices and learn how our solutions can help them keep pace with the evolving markets and regulatory landscape.

This video that I shared at this morning’s General Session highlights some of Eagle’s more recent milestones and provides a glimpse of where we think our momentum can take us.  A key theme of the video, and Eagle’s success in general, is that through collaborating with our clients we can reach new heights together.  This drives everything we do at Eagle and captures why we are here at Engage for the next three days.

Outsourcing but staying in control

Mal Cullen, Head of the Americas and Eagle ACCESS℠

Many asset managers and asset owners are standing at a crossroads as far as their technology is concerned. Legacy systems are creaking under the strain of being asked to perform functions they were never designed to execute and can’t handle the sheer volume of data they’re being asked to process.  At the same time, it’s widely accepted that the worst ravages of the financial crisis are past and firms are looking at how they can best position themselves for future growth.  With pressures on fees from clients on the one hand and increased compliance and regulatory hurdles on the other, the focus for this future growth is firmly on achieving operational efficiency.

As a result, firms that are looking at making significant investments in upgrading their technology, are doing so with long-term solutions in mind and with efficiency at the heart of their decision-making.  As a result, the inevitable question that presents itself is whether or not to outsource. This was a topic I addressed in a panel discussion at the TSAM Boston conference in November.

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Infographic: Benefits of a Cloud-Based Software Solution

Mal Cullen, Head of the Americas and Eagle ACCESS℠

I recently contributed a piece to the Financial Technologies Forum’s ‘The Bull Run’ blog, called: ‘When is the Cloud Not the Cloud?’. It drew a distinction between the myriad software providers out there that claim to offer hosted or cloud-based solutions (when in fact they’re providing either remotely supported on-premise solutions or solutions designed for on-premise installation that sit on the cloud), and a ‘true’ cloud provider. In that post, I listed seven questions you should be asking your cloud-based solution provider to find out if they are the real deal. We have now put together an accompanying infographic outlining the benefits of a truly cloud-based solution and what you should be looking for from one.

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Defining IBOR at TSAM

Mal Cullen, Head of the Americas and Eagle ACCESS℠

Last week I had the privilege of sitting on a panel discussion at the 2014 TSAM New York conference.

The theme of the panel was the Investment Book of Record (IBOR), a subject I have written about on this blog before. IBOR is one of the hottest topics in the financial industry and something many firms are looking to implement as they recognize the business benefits it can bring. Read More…

The Challenges and Solutions for the Production of an IBOR

Mal Cullen, Head of the Americas and Eagle ACCESS℠

IBOR Whitepaper

Earlier this week, I had the privilege of sitting on a panel at a breakfast meeting in New York hosted by Waters Technology to discuss best practices and guidelines for the development of an effective IBOR capability.

IBOR has become an increasingly valuable tool for investment managers in recent years as they face a burgeoning volume of information and the need to meet new financial regulations. However, inflexible portfolio management infrastructures are hindering many firms’ abilities to adapt to these organizational and market changes with the effective and efficient production of an IBOR. Read More…

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