Posts tagged "Data"

Tailoring your data to investor requirements

February 5th, 2013 Posted by Opinion 0 comments on “Tailoring your data to investor requirements”

Making life easier for investors can help funds to keep mandates

In the increasingly competitive world of investment management, it is still possible to achieve a critical edge by simply presenting information to clients in an efficient and secure manner. Many money managers subconsciously see a client as being invested solely in their fund, and yet investing clients have their own difficulties keeping track of the numerous different funds and other investment types they have exposure to.

For investors, one of the big battles continues to be around procuring information about alternative fund investments in a format that meshes effectively with their own internal mechanisms. This conundrum offers the fund of funds manager an opportunity to seize a distinct competitive advantage and win investor goodwill at the same time.

Investors face the weekly struggle of collating performance information, much of which can get lost or arrives in a format which can only be transcribed with much manual effort and with the data errors which are an inherent risk with such a process.

A typical medium sized investor will be receiving data from alternative investments as emails, sometimes as PDFs. This contrasts with data on listed securities, which is cheaply and readily available in a convenient format. It is an enormous irony of the hedge funds industry that while the fund strategies themselves are highly sophisticated, the way in which their performance is reported is not.

Know your client

Today’s hedge fund investor is looking increasingly institutional in character; moving up the sophistication curve from the individual investor towards the requirements of pension funds or insurance companies, reveals a demand that information be delivered in an easily digestible format.

For the fund of funds manager, it becomes increasingly important that you identify the manner in which your investing clients would like to receive information. It becomes critical that you become aware of how your clients view that information and particularly how that data relates to the way your investors make use of their assets – for example their risk analysis protocols.

A fund of funds manager needs to understand that his fund still comprises only a small percentage of an institutional investor’s overall portfolio. Yet, all other things being equal, the investor is likely to favour the fund which will offer him better reporting, that can allow clients to readily process the information it generates.

Tailoring your data

To secure your competitive edge, you will need to consider the process you are using to report to investors, including the data points your clients want to see, and automate this process as much as possible. In today’s back office environment the technology now exists to provide high quality transaction-driven data in a format that is easily configured to the requirements of different stakeholders.

Funds of funds must recognise that for most investors, alternatives will comprise less than 50% of their portfolios, and frequently less than 25%. Therefore, managers of alternative investment fund portfolios need to be able to report into a framework that has probably been designed to harvest information from listed security investments. It will require involving service providers like fund administrators in the reporting conversation, and being consistent about how data is marshalled and presented. It will also require investment in tools which can be shared by service providers, helping to drive down the cost of delivery.

Overall operational compliance within the hedge funds industry needs to be a lot less problematic if funds are to meet the established reporting frameworks of institutional clients. As the character of the hedge fund investor base becomes increasingly institutional in nature, fund managers will need to make more use of technology – like the secure reporting opportunity offered by the Cloud – to ensure they make the most of the competitive edge efficient data delivery can become.

Dealing blind: are you 100% confident about your trade location?

August 9th, 2012 Posted by Opinion 0 comments on “Dealing blind: are you 100% confident about your trade location?”

The parties to any single trade, be it the fund manager, the custodian, the investor or the administrator, are incorporating a degree of estimation in the course of the transaction process. It is still difficult to operate otherwise. Each participant is using different parameters to view mission critical data and communications. Each still relies on paper-based processes and spread sheets to manage billions of dollars of alternative investments. But can any of them express with 100% confidence that a specific trade is at a specific location in the transaction trade at any given time of the day? And can they put a value to it when they do find it?

At this juncture in time we stand in an industry that is becoming increasingly institutional, with over 60% of the assets being managed by hedge funds now originating from institutional clients. The client complexion of the industry has changed while the legacy technology in use within many firms harks back to an earlier and simpler era.

Technology issues are becoming a bottle neck for institutional investors, particularly with regard to managing and reviewing hedge fund portfolios. This is creating a demand for a more proactive and integrated approach to client reporting using technology that has the ability to break down the different components of the hedge fund trade. By bridging these operational processes, institutional investors can manage and review accurate data with a higher degree of confidence.

The scale of the problem facing the industry has been highlighted by Swift’s SHARP (Swift Hedge Funds Harmonisation Project) initiative. Swift identified a number of key operational issues within the hedge fund transaction process. While custodians and administrators can handle the paper trail when transaction volumes are low, the largest service providers to hedge funds now process well over 1000 transactions every month. Each order may come with up to 50 pages of documentation attached. A typical team within a hedge fund administrator might be handling 600-700 orders with a dedicated staff of a dozen or so. Apart from reconciling data with their own records, they must also ensure investors are complying with KYC and other regulations.

Because subscriptions processing is time consuming and error prone, the entire cycle from the time when the order is taken to taken until confirmation is received and accounts are reconciled can be as much as a month. Faxes of subscription agreements must be sent to transfer agents, which in turn must be confirmed by phone, with final documents being sent over by courier.

For a fund with monthly liquidity, these transactions can prove costly, particularly if the market has moved. Missing a deadline for an order could lead to a fund holding unnecessary cash, while a missed redemption deadline would leave a fund exposed to an unwanted position for another month, quarter of a year or more.

If funds restrict liquidity, or extend their lock-in periods, or raise gates, the risks of moving transactions in and out of funds grows. It is still very hard for custodians to provide funds of funds with accurate status reports, particularly when they are bombarded by faxes from administrators and transfer agents at the end of the month. For larger custodians, with dozens of service providers to deal with, the problem is only magnified.

Comada enhances security offering for hedge fund investors

July 12th, 2012 Posted by Press 0 comments on “Comada enhances security offering for hedge fund investors”

Migration of servers to new high security platform will offer clients more flexibility in their operational choices.

Hamilton, BERMUDA, July 2012: Comada, the provider of transaction-driven software solutions for investors in hedge funds, has migrated its servers to a new next-generation data centre hosted by QuoVadis Services Limited. The new Infrastructure-As-A-Service (IaaS) platform will bring considerable advantages to Comada’s customer base, including users of Comada’s award-winning M.A.T.ware software.

The new platform has been built using the latest generation networking equipment, high speed SAN for data storage, and servers designed for high density CPU and memory. It enhances the levels of security Comada can now offer its clients, with options for either multi-tenant or dedicated infrastructure. The platform also supports Comada’s programme to offer clients more flexibility in the way they use Comada technology.

Said Rupert Vaughan Williams, co-founder of Comada: “Security is a key requirement for today’s fund managers and their investors. With QuoVadis we are still able to offer clients robust solutions when compliance requirements mean they are unable to host software or data in a multi-tenant environment.”

Comada’s M.A.T.ware software is designed to be highly scalable, allowing it to be seamlessly deployed across a multi-tenant environment, along with highly configurable reporting features for fund managers and investors. Its scalability for both small and large firms in the alternative investments space requires a hosting environment that can meet the most stringent technological due diligence criteria.

Said Gavin Dent, CEO of QuoVadis Services (QVS): “QuoVadis has provided IaaS hosting to Comada for eight years, working with the company to support their fast growth and technology evolutions. By focusing on the performance, availability and security of the underlying platforms, QVS allows Comada’s team to focus on evolving the software at the heart of their services.”

About Comada
Comada is a global technology company specialising in building and implementing software solutions for the alternative investment industry. In particular, Comada’s flagship M.A.T.ware product delivers an unprecedented level of interconnectivity and transparency to the portfolio management and STP process in the alternative investments space. Praised for its flexibility, M.A.T.ware can be scaled to suit the needs of family offices as easily as large custodian banks. M.A.T.ware is already being used by custodians, fund administrators and funds of hedge funds. For more information, please go to
About QuoVadis

Founded in 1999, QuoVadis Limited is an Internet security provider with operations in Switzerland, Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Bermuda. The company is a global provider of digital certificate and digital signature services used to enhance privacy and confidentiality, data integrity, and strong authentication over the Internet. Drawing upon the company’s experience and investment in high performance datacenters, QuoVadis Services Limited (QVS) provides secure collocation, virtual hosting, and disaster recovery services to international organisations. For more information, please go to