An asset management firm will usually implement a new performance system once every 10 years. BI-SAM’s Professional Services Group implements a new performance system multiple times every year. This means that BI-SAM’s Professional Services Group has more depth of experience and know-how in the area of implementing and upgrading performance systems than is usually found in most asset management organizations. So as we approach the end of the year, we thought it would be interesting to look back at 2015 and highlight some of the areas where the team has provided advice and guidance to our client base, and share this with the readers of the BI-SAM Insights blog.
Looking back at 2015, we have had a busy year. We have taken more than a half dozen clients live on the B-One platform, with new users across North America, Europe and our first client in Asia. In support of this expanding client base, we have teams based in London, Paris, New York, Boston, representation stretching from Los Angeles to Sydney and a strategic implementation partnership in APAC with Stradegi. The group’s driving objective is to make our clients successful as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Reducing operational risk while increasing efficiency and reliability
One of the predominant themes from 2015 has been that through the adoption of B-One, our clients have made significant improvements to both the analytical information available and the speed and reliability with which it is delivered. Further, we have helped our clients to reduce operational risk. This has been achieved in a number of ways:
- by helping our clients to reduce the complexity of their data landscape, for example by consolidating over a half dozen sources of security data into a single source within B-One; or in another example by replacing legacy and outdated yield curve sources to build yield curves using the B-One functionality
- through the consolidation of a complex performance and attribution landscape that consisted of a number of legacy and in-house systems, macros and spreadsheets into a landscape that consists of a single consolidated performance and attribution solution. B-One is providing good quality results in a timely manner; while reducing the manual workload in doing so.
Managing complexity and scalability
Alongside this, the group has delivered some of our most demanding implementations. In 2015 we went live with one of the largest asset managers in the world. We had to implement in a complex operational environment involving a large number of inbound and outbound interfaces, complex business requirements around mutual fund reporting and the need to provide scalability so as to support the growth of the business. We went live with 15,000 funds, mutual funds and SMA’s and the B-One platform is used to provide reporting globally!
Phasing implementations to provide early deliveries and faster adoptions of B-One
In collaboration with our clients, we have adopted new practices and disciplines and our implementations are becoming more and more efficient, helped of course, by an ever increasing quality in our B-One platform. Phased implementations have become the norm, enabling us to reduce the time to adoption of the B-One product, thereby delivering an early realization of benefits to our clients.
Phased implementations helped us to solve two types of problems for our clients; firstly the need to meet aggressive timelines to retire legacy systems and secondly the need to bring early benefits as part of a large scale multi-year project for a tier-1 asset managers. To achieve this we have applied a number of approaches:
- Phasing by line of business - this has allowed early adoption in a phased manner across the institution.
- Phasing by data - this provides early benefits in terms of faster adoptions by limiting the scope of functionality (the available functionality is then expanded in subsequent go-lives).
This second method of phasing can provide the greatest benefit in terms of faster adoption as it allows us to streamline the essential data required to deliver core functionality. Through this methodology we have broken our track records in terms of time to deliver.
Target implementation frameworks to empower clients and reduce costs
2015 has also been a year of innovation for the team. In 2015, in response to a client’s need for a light weight implementation to phase out spreadsheets used by the performance team, we used a target implementation framework of predefined tools that covered data requirements, data formats, operational flows, etc. The tools are designed to empower the client and reduce the cost of implementation while maintaining consistency and reducing the risk of the implementation.
It is without doubt that, as we see the demand for B-One’s capabilities increasing globally, that our professional services group are able to accommodate this demand with a higher degree of efficiency so as to deliver more rapid implementations for our clients. Nevertheless, any increase in efficiency needs to be further supplemented by an increase in capacity. To that end, we have been forming strategic partnerships with implementation partners across the globe to ensure we have the continued capacity to support our global clients locally.
As with any truly agile company, we are forever looking at opportunities for further improvement and indeed many of these are already in the pipeline. Our culture has become one of trust, collaboration and innovation, with an open mind to all ideas.
2016 should be a very interesting year and we look forward to further collaboration with our clients and partners as we continue to innovate to meet evolving trends and business requirements.
Attention Readers: what are your key takeaways from 2015, and your predictions for 2016? BI-SAM invites you to submit your comments to our editors below, or anonymously via this link. We’ll include a summary of ideas and predictions with the final post of the year.