Trends

Performance Measurement: Ripe for Disruption

A view on how the industry might evolve, particularly as performance professionals advocate for change.

Mark Goodey, Director & Senior Principal of Investment Analytics


The following is a summary of the article Performance Measurement: Ripe for Disruption that was published in the Fall 2018 Journal of Performance Measurement.

The thought of technological disruption in performance measurement generally makes professionals in the space a bit nervous. Rather than fearing change, however, performance teams have the opportunity to be agents of disruption and drive material advances that not only emphasize and augment the value of performance reporting internally, but also improve the customer experience for end clients. This is why the most accomplished performance professionals today are working closely with their software and solution providers to advance and evolve the function.

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Q&A: Supporting APAC Clients and Expanding the Eagle Business

David Ingleson, Eagle’s new Head of APAC, shares his perspectives on Eagle’s development, the market trends he’s seeing and the opportunities to extend Eagle’s presence in the region

Q: Could you please tell us about your background at Eagle and how have your previous role as head of service delivery has helped equip you for your role as Head of APAC?
A: I originally started my journey at Eagle 14 years ago in our London office where I was focused on implementations and consulting on the Eagle Accounting solution. I then moved from London to Singapore in July of 2010 for what was supposed to be a one year secondment to work on a specific project, but my family and I fell in love with the city and eight years later, we’re still here.

My background of working on the implementation and service side of the business has given me a great perspective on the challenges that our clients face; be that the business challenges they are looking to address through their technology, the demands placed on them by their own clients or the internal challenges that inevitably surface. However, in APAC in particular, the implementation team also tends to get involved early in the sales process, so I tend to follow a client’s progress right through from sales to onboarding.

There are a number of reasons for that, but clients in Asia tend to focus on the details of implementation, including how long it will take, how it will be phased, who will be involved and how much it will cost from the outset.

If you look at the main change to my role, I’ve now also assumed ultimate responsibility for business development, sales and client support, but with my background it has been a relatively easy transition to make.  Read More…

Achieving Operational Excellence:
The Growing Role of Big Data

 As seen in the 2016 Mutual Fund Service Guide

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Using data science in the back office to improve processes and business performance.

Mike Maltby, Product Manager


Operational excellence has always been and continues to be the strategic goal and nirvana for asset managers and service providers. Operational procedures that have developed from constant human interaction and paper-based processing continue to haunt organizations that strive for operational efficiency. This has opened the door for technology providers to promote their evolving technologies and control environments powered by straight-through processing.

Yet, it is no secret throughout the mutual fund industry that true operational excellence continues to remain elusive. Mutual fund companies and third-party administrators continue their quest for operational excellence. The quest is fueled by the enticement of significant upside potential including:

For mutual fund companies, operational excellence enables the quickest delivery of the most accurate, highest-quality data to the front office.

For third-party administrators, operational excellence means reduced costs, better service value to clients and an ongoing competitive advantage.

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Self-Service Reporting: Changing Consumption Patterns in Business Intelligence

Harry Rose, Managing Director


According to a new report released by Gartner’, revenue in the business intelligence (BI) and analytics market is expected to exceed $16.5 billion this year, representing growth of more than 5% compared to last year, as self-service analytics continues its march to replace IT-led reporting processes. The report cites that growing “accessibility, agility and deeper analytical insight” continue to drive adoption, which is only reinforced as organizations recognize the value and efficiencies of empowering business users to take a more hands-on approach to data and analysis. At the same time, expectations are changing among business users when it comes to their ability to access and consume information.

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Data Enrichment: The Key to Understanding True Economic Exposure

The use cases for data enrichment continue to multiply as asset managers and their clients look to get a truer view and greater understanding of their positions. Patti Coan explores the data enrichment tools at their disposal and how they are best leveraged.

Patti Coan, Product Manager – Portfolio Data


It is probably fair to say that asset managers are looking to do more with their accounting data than ever before. The interest in the Investment Book of Record (IBOR) in recent years is testament to that as firms recognize the advantages that come with more immediate and comprehensive access to investment data. As such, demands around data enrichment are growing as global institutions seek to leverage their data in new ways, all in the name of gaining a clearer picture of their positions and exposures.

Many of the conversations we have with our clients and prospects revolve around how they can deliver greater insight to the front office and conduct deeper, more forward-looking portfolio and performance analysis without compromising core accounting data. This is particularly the case for portfolios with derivative securities such as futures, options and swaps. Demand for enriched data is being driven by both internal and client needs as well as the mounting squeeze from regulators, who are scrutinizing data more closely than ever before.

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Innovation: A Catalyst
for Collaboration

Mal Cullen, Chief Executive Officer


bulbThis past November, with little fanfare, MIT’s Sloan School of Management introduced a new course focusing on financial technology applications. With the aim of exploring how technology can improve areas such as consumer finance, payments and trading, this is the very first graduate-level course to focus on FinTech in the US. In a sense, it also marks a new era for financial services in general, one perhaps long overdue, in which the market embraces disruptive technologies and their ability to advance financial services. Institutions either embrace technology or risk being left behind.

Consider just how much capital is pouring into the sector, all with an eye on automating, digitizing and optimizing financial services. In the third quarter of 2015, $4.85 billion in investment funding flowed to venture-capital-backed FinTech companies, according to research firm CB Insights. This eclipses the total funding dedicated to the segment in all of 2010 and 2011 combined. In the past two years, FinTech startups have attracted more than $16 billion.

Make no mistake, the future is already here—it is just not as evenly distributed as many in the sector might like. For instance, advances such as blockchain technology and the ongoing evolution of big data promise to irreversibly change the industry. The question then becomes not what the future holds but how will current business models adapt to harness and profit from these developments. Yet, while most other sectors fear disruption, the innovation that ensues in financial services will more likely serve as a catalyst for collaboration between incumbents and startups.

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PBOR: Aligning the Middle Office to Meet Escalating Front-Office Demands

Rich Mailhos, Product Manager, Performance Measurement


Rich Mailhos recaps a recent webcast featuring Eagle clients TIAA-CREF and Fort Washington Investment Advisors on the far-reaching value of PBOR

Those with graying hair may still remember the old days of performance reporting and the nascent technology that supported these efforts, marked by dedicated offices housing DEC VAX machines and rows of computers running Fortran code. A holdover of this era is the continued reliance on monthly custodial data and spreadsheets, even as data volumes grow and the various forms of data multiply. Those in the middle office tasked with performance measurement are all too familiar with the problems posed in trying to manage siloed data through Excel and in a way that meets the escalating demands of the front office. As these challenges reach critical mass, asset managers are increasingly turning to a Performance Book of Record (PBOR), a term Eagle introduced to the market in early 2015.

Such was the subject of the webcast I recently participated in that was hosted by WatersTechnology. Also participating in the discussion were Eagle clients, TIAA-CREF’s Senior Director of Performance and Reporting, Nancy Carola, and Fort Washington Investment Advisors’ Manager of Performance and Reconciliation, Tom Anderson. WatersTechnology Editor in Chief, Victor Anderson, served as moderator. Read More…

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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Empowering the Performance Team

Jeff Cullen, Principal Consultant and Vice President


Historically, performance measurement has been a discipline largely relegated to a supporting role within organizations both large and small, and performance teams have been responsible for what was primarily reactive and backward-looking analysis. Today, investment firms are, more than ever, looking to explore the possibilities of predictive and prescriptive analytics in helping to manage risk and improve performance. This requires an understanding of the consistency and quality of data across the firm, how to apply that data, and a skill in high-level analysis that spans across departments. It is no surprise that smart management teams have noticed that their performance teams are the nexus of exactly the type of data aggregation and skills best suited to unlocking this potential. At a recent discussion I took part in at TSAM Boston, one panelist noted: “Anything with a number attached to it is going to find its way to the performance team.”

That panel discussion, “Creating a Holistic Performance Measurement System”, focused on the nuances of these burgeoning capabilities. Joining me on the panel were performance executives from Aberdeen Asset Management and Acadian, while Bob Leaper, President of PanoVista.co, served as moderator. Sitting with these delegates was a great opportunity to gain insight from talented professionals in the discipline to which I have dedicated my career at Eagle.

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