The investment management industry today faces unprecedented challenges and so is more important than ever that your portfolio management platform can deliver the flexibility and transparency that today’s market conditions dictate.
Buy-side firms are obliged to compete in a trading environment characterized by record low interest rates, intense regulatory scrutiny and a constant need to manage costs.
Fund managers must hunt harder and further afield for yield, a search that may often take them into exotic new asset classes and unfamiliar geographies.
As trading strategies become more complex, fund managers have to be able to pass positions across different regions and time zones and stay on top of the conflicting settlement arrangements for different instruments
To compete successfully in this complex trading environment, buy-side firms need a complete and up-to-the-minute picture of their positions, both to maximize the trading opportunities and to ensure they do not inadvertently trade into regulatory breach.
Yet too often, buy-side cannot get a holistic view because the information is fragmented across functional silos and different systems, each designed for a particular set of instruments or a discrete part of the trading lifecycle. This fragmentation makes it very difficult to achieve a single version of the truth.
What is needed, then, is a platform that can pull data from diverse systems and information sources into one place, from which it can be disseminated to the diverse functional divisions.
This is a concept behind the Investment Book of Record (IBOR) and it is a philosophy that heavily influenced ClearStructure in the design and development of Sentry PM 6.2, the latest release of its flagship portfolio management system.
What is an IBOR?
In essence, an IBOR acts a single unified book of records with centralized position keeping for all asset classes and across the entire trading lifecycle.
The key feature of an IBOR is that all information is kept in a single location from where it can be easily accessed by front-office staff as well as the back-office settlement accounting functions.
The IBOR concept is not new but attempts to realize it in the past by “bolting together” existing legacy systems have invariably failed because of the technical challenges of ensuring a single source of data and guaranteeing 24/7 availability when the systems are distributed across multiple locations and time zones.
Our Holistic Approach
Sentry PM overcomes these issues because it takes a radically different approach. As it is a real time, end-to-end solution where all trade, market and client data are stored and accessed in a single database on ClearStructure’s resilient cloud-based infrastructure.
That means that there is a single version of the truth and also ensures consistent 24/7 performance irrespective of the locations from which users access the system.
In the unlikely event that the main web server experiences an outage, a second disaster recovery server will automatically kick in to ensure no data is lost and that firms can continue trading.
And because it is cloud-based, buy-side firms avoid the drawbacks associated with on-premises software
They are spared the heavy financial costs of owning, supporting and upgrading hardware and software across multiple locations. In addition, specialist IT skills are no longer needed to ensure different systems “talk” to each other, and to develop, implement and test the modifications needed when fund managers want to trade a new type of instrument, for example.
With Sentry PM, upgrades and improvements are made centrally, which results in zero disruption and risk to users.
For example, the latest Sentry PM 6.2 release has been upgraded with new functionality to support new types of financial instrument such as total return swaps and repo agreements. Sentry now supports well over 30 asset types.
The latest release also has a new credit pipeline tool that allows investment managers to track a number of data points.
In a market characterized by growing complexity and increased regulatory scrutiny, Sentry PM gives fund managers the agility they need to seek out competitive advantage while ensuring complete operational transparency and a single version of the truth.
About ClearStructure Financial Technology LLC
ClearStructure Financial Technology is an independent software firm that delivers state-of-the-art technology solutions capable of meeting the diverse needs of the investment industry. With over fifteen years of direct experience serving CLO Managers, Hedge Funds, Asset Managers and Loan Trading desks, ClearStructure’s Sentry product suite is now used by many of the largest and most respected financial institutions and investment firms in the world.
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