Eagle’s Canadian Client User Group Grows Roots

The launch of the Canadian Client User Group, coupled with our attentive participation, underscores Eagle’s collaborative approach to addressing evolving business needs


Rashmi Patel,  Relationship Manager – Canada

Those who read Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs will realize that while Jobs may have had a singular personality, he was perhaps one of the biggest champions of the collaborative approach in creating integrated solutions. In fact, he was such an advocate that when he assumed the lead of Pixar he went so far as to redesign the office to facilitate unplanned encounters, all in the name of promoting an exchange of ideas across the business. Collaboration also drives everything at Eagle. But unlike Jobs, who is often cited as saying “It isn’t the consumer’s job to know what they want,” Eagle has sought to bring our clients directly into the creative process. In financial services we believe this approach is quite necessary to stay ahead of the evolving business needs in such a complex and dynamic industry. While this collaboration can take many forms, the recent launch of a client user group in Canada highlights both the role of the client in advancing our solution set as well as the enthusiasm it has created in our organization.

The Eagle Canadian Client User Group (ECCUG), one of several user groups that have taken shape in recent years, evolved out of informal discussions between Eagle’s Canadian clients. This past year—with over 60 participants—the group established a formal charter, with a steering committee, a mission statement and prioritized objectives. The stated goals of the group include promoting a peer network within the industry, ensuring Eagle’s product portfolio meets the changing needs of the Canadian financial services industry, sharing best practices around Eagle’s product set, and analyzing the dynamic landscape as it relates to the regulatory environment, GAAP accounting standards and GIPS® compliance standards.

While the emergence of client user groups is by no means unique to Eagle—Apple has over 800—what sets Eagle’s client groups apart is our participation and attentive involvement. The setting provides an ideal platform for clients to deliberate and wrestle over ideas, while our role is merely to serve as a conduit through which this dialogue can be translated and channeled into our organization. We learn, first hand, the changing business needs of financial organizations, new concepts or products being introduced by asset managers, as well as the hard truths around available solutions. All of this allows us to maintain our lead in such a competitive market.

“The primary objective was to build a network through which we could share experiences around the Eagle platform,” describes Pierre Marin, a member of the Steering Committee and vice president of information technology at Bimcor, the pension fund manager of Bell Canada. “We envisioned that through the creation of this group we could help ensure Eagle is aligned to Eagle’s Canadian clients and that Eagle could use us as a sounding board from which to gain additional feedback on our needs.”

While the Canadian user group has been communicating on an ad hoc basis over the past few years, the first in-person meeting took place last March at Eagle’s Engage client conference in Scottsdale, Arizona. The group has since conducted regular conference calls, formed a LinkedIn group to connect over social media, and held additional in-person meetings, including an event in Montreal late last year.

Discussions at the Montreal event, for instance, ranged from how clients can maximize their use and value of Eagle’s data warehouse to employing Eagle’s enrichment capabilities in order to generate exposure-based returns when measuring derivatives performance. The meetings also addressed specific areas within Eagle’s data management, investment accounting and performance measurement solutions, including dialogue around Eagle Analytics, accounting for management-fee rebates, fixed-income attribution, and best practices around replacing legacy systems.

Patrick Gerrior of Sentry Investments, added that in the future, he expects things like market changes or new regulations to represent a growing area of interest. “We’re looking for ways to leverage [the user group] and expect that over time, we’ll delve into more specific topics,” he described.

Client user groups have also sprung up in the US, EMEA, and Australia, and in each case, Eagle is seeking to facilitate and harness the dialogue that can then feed into our activities.. In many ways, our approach to these client user groups—while more hands off—is an extension of our more formalized efforts to encourage collaboration.

Roughly six years ago, for instance, Eagle assembled the Client Advisory Council, which meets in person twice each year, offering critical feedback to improve and inform future solutions. Eagle also works with select institutions as part of an “early adopter program” designed for first movers eager to incorporate the latest technology and software enhancements ahead of the traditional software release schedule. Our Engage client conference, hosted regularly since 1999, attracts over 500 delegates to discuss business challenges and share best practices—and our next event will take place this upcoming November. Most recently, Eagle introduced the Diane McLoughlin as chief client officer, leading the newly organized Office of the Client, whose mission statement reflects our commitment to delivering “complete business solutions to the market through persistent focus on client objectives and internal accountability.”

Unlike Steve Jobs, we believe our clients are very much aware of what they want. What they may not understand—and what we want to impart—is that our solutions are designed to holistically solve for the business challenges they confront every day. With over 160 clients, including many of the largest asset managers in the world, there is perhaps no better pool of knowledge from which to build out a comprehensive solution set across the continuum of needs and preferred deployment models. Further, the emergence of new user groups serves as confirmation that clients recognize their foundational and valued role as part of the overall solution process. This enthusiasm not only drives innovation, but it also helps us to align with the business goals of our clients.

One Response to Eagle’s Canadian Client User Group Grows Roots
  1. […] March, my colleague Rashmi Patel highlighted the growing prevalence and activity of client led, Eagl... eagle-exchange.com/eagle-approach-engage-collaborate

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