Insights

Is a best-of-breed reporting system within your reach?

August 20, 2020

An Investment reporting approach that addresses concerns related to throughput and standardisation, reduces risks associated with reporting cycles and assists rather than obstructs during tier transition is important - and within reach of all firms, writes Abbey Shasore, CEO, Factbook. From time to time I find myself in front of a small asset management firm that is considering a best-of-breed investment reporting solution. Usually the key driver for such firms (with, say, AuM of...

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Successful investment reporting: it’s always about the data

May 20, 2020

  Heads of Performance or Client Reporting at any asset management firm are responsible for the outputs to the end consumer. Their biggest worry is always: ‘Can I trust the numbers (and text) on those outputs? Is it ‘good to go’? Has it been brought in faithfully from multiple external sources?’ A good vendor will have all the tools and processes in place to ensure that it can take the data from the point of...

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What price freedom? Asset managers, vendors and autonomy

December 17, 2019

In these days where one of the main subjects for debate is the theme of ‘taking back control’, a question that recently struck me is just what should be the level of dependence between a software vendor and an asset management firm? Should the goal for every buy-side firm be to take control of any software deployment from the outset, with the objective of being entirely self-sufficient in as short a period of...

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Client reporting: can overexposure blur your vision?

November 15, 2019

  Abbey Shasore, CEO, Factbook, discusses how buy-side firms must balance the regulatory and client demands for transparency with the risk of data overkill. The drive toward openness within the investment management industry has been gathering pace for many years now, but certainly went through the gears since the crash of 2008. Investors and regulators alike have viewed the need for information sharing and clarity as priorities since the opaque investment structures of the...

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Software providers face ESG re-boot

October 10, 2019

The tech industry’s reliance on offshore software developers – some of them working in “dimly-lit third world offices” – could become an ESG issue for fund managers who buy their services, says Abbey Shasore, chief executive of Factbook. A dam bursting in South America, killing hundreds and flattening communities, will trigger a wave of ESG protest at funds investing in the dam’s owners. ESG is a cultural phenomenon creating derision for asset managers investing...

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Client reporting and the short road to anarchy

May 23, 2019

      A topic that attracts much discussion in technology circles – and one of the early questions that we, as vendors, are often posed by prospective clients - is: ‘Which development methodology do you follow?’ The two most popular approaches - ‘Waterfall’ and ‘Agile’ - are well-known, mature practices. Waterfall follows a linear approach to software development. With waterfall, the vendor will analyse, design, build and test before delivering the entire system. Some firms believe that...

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Think you’re ready to automate your client reports?

February 22, 2019

Technology has been recognised as a vital enabler within the client reporting process, but are you really ready for automation, writes Marc Dukes, Client Services Director at investment reporting specialist Factbook. As investment managers scale, their businesses become more complex and their clients more diverse, the need to speed up the production and delivery of client reports becomes a critical step. It may sound over-simplistic, perhaps even trite, but investment managers must be clear...

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Employing your ‘sixth sense’ in systems selection

January 4, 2019

  In the asset management world, there are many factors involved in the systems selection process and most of these have been well documented by procurement experts around the globe. At a basic level, the decision between an enterprise or best-of breed approach to technology needs to be addressed, followed by a review of the functionality on offer from the various relevant vendors. Some considerations, however, transcend all approaches and these are often overlooked...

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Five situations when you should request a Proof of Concept

November 23, 2018

  Any major IT project on behalf of an asset management firm is fraught with risk. Client, market, jurisdictional, regulatory and technological changes can all derail a perfectly planned technology roll-out in asset management and the IT highway is literally strewn with abandoned, over-budget and overdue systems failures. One way of mitigating that risk is the Proof of Concept (PoC). A PoC is a limited-scale deployment of a software system within an...

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Mitigating the risk of your client reporting implementation

September 10, 2018

There are a number of perils for any vendor going into a client reporting project on behalf of an asset management firm. One such problem area is what some in the industry call ‘data interfacing’ – handling data from external sources such as benchmark data vendors, third party administrators, other vendor systems (e.g. risk or performance applications) or various inhouse systems. There are three key reasons why this issue of interfacing with data sources is...

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