Posts by: Marc Rubenfeld, CIPM

Marc Rubenfeld has over 15 years of experience in the financial services industry, with specific experience in middle and back office technology. As Head of EMEA/APAC Solutions, he is a senior member of the Eagle leadership team who fuels long-term growth by focusing on business development in the EMEA and APAC regions. He is a thought leader who manages a global team that works closely with sales, marketing, product, services, and support to advance new and add-on business opportunities using the Eagle solution set. He drives innovation within Eagle by working with clients and prospects to turn business challenges and opportunities into technology solutions for the marketplace. Previously, Mr. Rubenfeld spent over 10 years on the product side of Eagle and was responsible for overseeing the performance measurement product development team. In this capacity, he managed a global team charged with software design and development functions, product support and quality assurance for the Eagle Performance suite of performance measurement, attribution, and GIPS® composite management solutions. Prior to joining Eagle in 2002, Mr. Rubenfeld was an analyst for a predecessor to JP Morgan Prime Services. In that role, he was responsible for business analysis, leveraging technology to provide insight into that business. Mr. Rubenfeld received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and holds a Certificate in Investment Performance Measurement from the CFA Institute.

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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Superannuation Funds Turn to Technology to get Ahead of the Pack

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


At the recent Superannuation Fund Back Office Forum in Sydney that I chaired, a number of recurrent themes surfaced that highlighted just how rapidly the superannuation market is growing and evolving. As the event’s experts and speakers highlighted, technology is central to enabling that growth and a bifurcation is beginning to take shape distinguishing those firms that can make the best use of it and those that cannot.

While a number of technology-driven trends are shaping activity, we’ve identified the three that we feel are the most important.

Building In-House Investment Teams
Historically, superannuation funds have typically outsourced the management of their investments to external fund managers. However, as funds continue to grow their AUM and reduce their fees and costs, more are looking to develop their own in-house investment capabilities and are now building their own internal teams to manage certain strategies or asset classes.

In order to do this, firms need to expand their technological capabilities with the corresponding front- and middle-office tools needed to support the activities of their investment team.

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Enterprise data management is about more than an operational data store

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


dmSome think when it comes to enterprise data management systems that it’s purely about the integration and validation of different data from different sources and its movement downstream for use elsewhere in the business. This was certainly a view I heard repeated at a recent conference I spoke at in London that attracted business, data and IT professionals from investment management firms across Europe.

While handling active, current operational data is a crucial element of data management, it is just one aspect that is more appropriately described as an operational data store (ODS). There are other aspects, such as enriching, mastering, warehousing and “mart-ing”, that make data management a much broader discipline that can underpin fundamental processes and functions across the whole business.

Take the handling of accumulated historical position data to provide a permanent book of record, for example. Often referred to as the data warehouse, this is an incredibly powerful area of data management. Managed correctly, this data has the granularity, detail and analytical capacity required for risk management, performance measurement and attribution, regulatory reporting and compliance monitoring. It’s here – rather than in the ODS – that different asset classes, like private equity or real estate, are typically merged with equities for portfolio-level analysis. Not all data management systems provide this warehousing function and instead focus solely on the ODS side of things, but in order realise the full potential of their data, firms need their EDM platforms to be able to do both.

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Building a Platform for Regulatory Reporting with a Solid Data Management Foundation

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


Building a Platform for Regulatory ReportingThe regulatory environment and increasing compliance demands persistently rank among the top concerns for European financial services firms and, as the rules are always changing, these topics continue to be the subject of much discussion. At Buy-Side Technology’s recent European Summit, for example, both roundtables and panel debates focused on how firms can address this growing regulatory burden.

Since the global financial crisis began, we have seen a swath of regulation across the financial services industry. Legislation that has, or will soon, come into effect includes the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD), Solvency II, the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) II and Regulation (MiFIR), Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities (UCITS) V and the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR). Although these regulations target different areas of the industry and tackle different issues, they are broadly designed to improve transparency, risk management and customer protection.

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Spotlight on Engage: Building a performance measurement solution for the future

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


engage2015What is your market going to look like in 2020?

 

Understanding how your market is evolving should provide the starting point for any evaluation or review of your technology. Unlike Steven Spielberg’s 1989 classic film, Back To the Future Part II, which took Marty McFly to a futuristic 2015, it doesn’t require a time-travelling DeLorean or such a flight of fancy.

2020 is only five years away and the patterns that are shaping how the market is developing are already manifesting themselves. Acknowledging these changing demands and evaluating your preparedness for this future against those is key to keeping business objectives and your client-base at the forefront of any new software implementation.

At Engage I’m going to be joined on-stage by Naresh Subramaniam, head of investment services at Melbourne-based National Australia Bank (NAB), which went through exactly this process when selecting a new performance measurement platform to build the next generation of their offering on. They knew that their in-house performance measurement tool was struggling to keep up with the demands placed on it, but to ensure their new solution would have the capabilities to meet their future requirements they knew they needed to start by looking at their changing marketplace.
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Performance Measurement and Risk Management Starts with Good Data

Marc Rubenfeld, CIPM, Head of EMEA/APAC Solutions


Last week I chaired my second iPARM forum in Sydney, Australia. The forum is dedicated to the subject of performance measurement, attribution and risk management and featured speakers such as Kyle Ringrose from superannuation fund QSuper and Naresh Subramaniam from National Australia Bank sharing their views on some of the challenges their industries are facing.

The topics discussed over the two-day event were far reaching, spanning regulation, risk strategies, long horizon investments and tax strategies.  The potential for performance measurement, attribution and risk management is great and represents a new frontier of opportunity for the financial services firms that are able to take advantage.

regFor my opening remarks, I created the following word cloud to illustrate the performance and risk challenges attendees are facing based on the content in the iPARM program.

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