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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.

Decaying Platforms: Addressing the Growing Risks Posed by Outdated Portfolio Management and Accounting Systems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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Accounting for the Front Office: It’s Not Just the Ingredients that Make the Dish

Todd Snodgrass, Head of Global Support


toddMost city dwellers in the United States, if they’re up early enough, will notice the ubiquity of the food-service trucks. These refrigerated 18-wheelers, typically operated by one company,  will work their way throughout the neighborhood early each morning delivering food and ingredients to nearly every restaurant along the way— from the five- and four-star establishments all the way down to the fast-food and quick-service chains. Though they are all working with similar ingredients from the same source, each restaurant will prepare distinctly different dishes.

In a lot of ways, this is not all that different from how financial services firms and investment managers use accounting data. Generally, it all comes from the same source, but what the firm does with the data once it is in their hands determines not only how they can use it but also whether this data offers a competitive advantage. Just as the kitchen in a restaurant determines whether basic ingredients will become fast food or fine dining, an investment accounting solution and the minds that operate it determine what will come of accounting data.

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Making Sure You Get the Most From Your Technology

Michelle O’Connell, Relationship Manager, Eagle Investment Systems


As anyone who has been involved in such a project before knows, investing in a technology solution doesn’t end with its roll out. It’s our business to help firms grow their assets more efficiently through our innovative solutions and we realize that an important element of that is to work with our clients to ensure their investment in our technology continues to deliver long-term value.

One way that we do this is for our relationship managers to perform regular business reviews. The benefits of keeping an open and active dialogue with our clients to discuss the challenges they face and their priorities are two-way. In many instances, we can help them find a solution within the Eagle platform or give them the benefit of our experience of working with firms with similar needs. At the same time, understanding the issues firms are grappling with can help shape the development of our product solutions and upgrades. Read More…

The Path to True EDM

Rob Brachowski, Reference Data Product Manager


Enterprise Data Management (EDM) is currently used to refer to a spectrum of solutions, ranging from ETL (extract, transform, load) systems along with basic data quality components, through to truly enterprise-wide solutions for managing and delivering all funds’ investment management data.

ETL is vitally important and often complex to achieve, coordinating data across multiple systems to ensure consistency and accuracy, but it is not accurate to define it as EDM. It is really just simplistic view of reference data management. Read More…

The Art of Successful Software Implementation

Rob Erman, Head of Global Professional Services


As we enter 2014 and reflect on 2013, I am extremely proud of Eagle’s accomplishments and industry award recognition. None of this could have happened without the support and collaboration of an outstanding group of clients and partners. In a year where we worked with over 100 clients who wanted to implement or extend their use of technology, it is clear that the industry is changing. Clients are no longer looking to simply install new software. They are looking for advice, guidance and best practices associated with growing their business and managing the regulatory environment. Read More…

Upgrade Portfolio Management by Managing Multi-source Data

Joel Kornblum, Managing Director, Regional Sales Director


Do you have a variety of front-office users with different business needs? Do you struggle to support those needs because you are managing multiple sources of data? The process by which your portfolios are reported is often as diverse as the end-users of this information and likely includes data fed from a myriad of vendors. There is no best single source for all your investment data and many portfolio managers are hindered by system limitations due to how data is structured and stored.

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Stay Ahead of the Security Curve

Mal Cullen, Head of the Americas and Eagle ACCESS℠


The rise of cloud computing adoption in the financial services industry has caused a shift in the risks that investment managers must manage. These risks are quickly evolving and difficult to keep abreast of without specialized staff. At Eagle, we realized that it’s no longer enough for us to align with our clients as financial services and software specialists; we must also be information security and risk specialists. Investment managers often focus on cost-efficiency and streamlined processes when assessing their cloud providers, but security and risk management should be stressed equally. It came as no surprise to us that in a recent Eagle client survey, more than 75% of asset managers plan to increase risk management expenditures over the next 1-2 years.

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Building a Community to Navigate Change

Diane McLoughlin, Head of Client Relationship Management


Industry changes have reoriented our clients’ businesses and we have altered the way we serve our clients in response. Eagle’s Global Client Coverage Model organizes client touch points into three key roles: the relationship manager, the project executive and the client operations manager. Eagle’s relationship manager is committed to aligning overall business objectives with the capabilities of the Eagle solution. The relationship manager has end-to-end accountability of the relationship throughout the client lifecycle and helps to ensure alignment of short, intermediate and long-term goals. The client operations manager is the main point of contact for technical support on a 24/7 basis and the project executive oversees implementation activities. The project executive is dedicated to helping the client successfully deploy the solution while helping to ensure benefits by using our best practices.

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