European Thought Leadership Events Surface the Latest Data Trends in Performance and Risk Analysis

Antony Slee, European Sales Director

Eagle is currently co-hosting a series of roundtable events across Europe with performance measurement professionals at leading asset management firms. The discussions have revealed a number of recurring issues that demonstrate how universal the limitations of legacy systems can be.

Several recurring themes are surfacing from these roundtable discussions, highlighting a consistent requirement for flexible and scalable data management and performance measurement platforms. The emerging themes are:

  • Increasing investment complexity
  • Need for complete and accurate data
  • Inconsistency of reporting
  • Increased frequency of reporting
  • Need for scalable solutions

These themes appear to be true for all investment management firms—regardless of size, geographic location or asset mix—as they meet changing market conditions and focus on meeting business objectives.

Increasing investment complexity

In response to growing client demands and ongoing fee compression, European asset managers, consistent with global trends, are seeking to expand their capabilities through the introduction of new and alternative asset classes with enhanced product sets. Firms encounter a number of challenges when it comes to addressing this complexity. As legacy systems often cannot accommodate new instruments and asset classes, data is frequently stored by other means, which can cause problems years down the road.

Furthermore, normalising, consolidating and aggregating data across diversified asset pools that include alternative investments, such as direct holdings, private equity and real estate, is typically time-consuming. Firms can become reliant on manual reconciliation processes, increasing the likelihood of errors as well as the time required to produce meaningful reports.

Need for complete and accurate data

Incomplete or erroneous reference data increases the risk of errors surfacing once downstream calculations are complete. As a result, performance teams may spend large amounts of time fixing input issues and getting data into usable forms, instead of conducting the needed analysis to provide the front office with actionable insights that can aid investment decision-making. 

Inconsistency of reporting

Many of the attendees described the challenges of operating multiple systems—each with a unique data set—in order to perform similar functions on a per-asset-class basis. Not only does this result in unnecessary expenditures to maintain these systems and manually resolve the fragmentation of data, but it can also lead to inconsistent reporting. Without a centralized data platform, consistent enterprise-wide reporting for both internal and external stakeholders is difficult if not impossible.

Increased frequency of reporting

Performance measurement professionals are being asked to provide more reports, with increased regularity and transparency. Where previously reports may have been required monthly, now they might be needed on a daily or even intra-day basis. Performance teams are also being asked to provide new analyses as well as to generate reports depicting traditional analyses in different ways. The need for greater flexibility is paramount in order to slice and dice data to meet these demands. This is particularly the case as firms look to achieve GIPSâ compliance. In order to meet the demands of today’s sophisticated consumers, empowered business users are vital. The ability to access self-service reporting and create meaningful visualisations without technical support are only two of the expectations placed on many performance teams.

Need for scalable solutions

In addition to handling new and more complex instruments, firms are faced with increasing volumes of data and in some cases global expansion. In particular, concerns were raised over the capacity of internally built systems to accommodate greater data volumes. As a result, many delegates are exploring alternative operating models, such as managed services (co-sourcing) and full outsourcing, which are able to support their growing data needs. The notion of relieving data and performance teams from “less valuable” operating tasks—such as data integration, validation and aggregation—allowing them to focus on enhanced performance analysis, is an area that only continues to gain interest.

A key takeaway across the European working groups is that performance measurement professionals are spending too much time compensating for the limitations of their legacy technology systems. Manual reconciliations and the need to repair data gaps take away from time that would be far better spent analysing data and providing insights to the front office.

In early 2015, Eagle introduced the concept of a performance book of record, or PBOR, to help firms address these exact issues. Eagle’s PBOR solution delivers:

  • A robust and flexible data-centric platform that supports all asset classes and multiple sources of data, without losing source integrity or data granularity. This enables users to analyse data to suit their particular needs.
  • The ability to achieve accurate, fit-for-purpose data thanks to Eagle’s exception management approach to data quality and performance workflows.
  • Extensive and robust standard and custom calculation capabilities to help meet users’ unique business requirements.
  • Highly flexible data enrichment, benchmark management, and analysis of composited portfolios.

To find out more about Eagle’s PBOR solution and how we support global asset managers and asset owners please visit:

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