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StatPro, Infovest teams move to modern new space in Mowbray

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UK-listed StatPro’s South African office and its acquisition, Infovest, have moved into larger, shared premises in Cape Town’s Mowbray area, bringing the two teams closer together for better service delivery and more collaborative innovation.

The acquisition of the remaining shares in Infovest Consulting (Pty) Ltd, early in 2018, aligned with StatPro’s portfolio of performance, attribution and risk solutions, to offer clients additional products in the field of data warehousing and post trade compliance.  

Ian Rivett, Chief Operating Officer, says the companies needed a shared space designed to foster closer teamwork and collaborative customer engagement, as well as giving the companies room to grow. “Putting the teams together means we can achieve a lot more synergies in product development and client discussions which in turn will drive product innovation and a holistic solution centred approach for our clients,” he says.

The new home to over 65 staff is central for employees and does away with the headache of traffic they experienced at their old premises in the Waterfront.  Aligning with StatPro’s international branding, the bright and open new space has a South African flair too, with doors wrapped in images of local icons like Madiba, Helen Suzman, Desmond Tutu, Baby Jake Matlala, Ruth First and Dullah Omar.

“The staff have a really positive feeling about the new space,” says Rivett. This may be in part due to the modern new canteen and breakout area, complete with table tennis, TV’s, a foosball table and a popcorn machine.

For customers, the new office offers an innovative, modern space where they can engage with StatPro and Infovest team members at the same time, or simply enjoy Friday afternoon down time with the teams.

Customers can look forward to a roof wetting in the new space soon, says Rivett.

Link Fund Solutions selects Infovest for best of breed fund compliance capabilities

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Management company specialist Link Funds Solutions in Dublin has selected Infovest’s StatPro Portfolio Control (SPC) product to provide advanced new breach management and compliance capabilities.

Infovest’s SPC solution delivers automated workflow and reporting, offering full support of regulatory investment and borrowing restrictions and enabling advanced breach identification, management, audit and reporting functionality.

SPC, which went live in the Dublin office this month, will give Link Fund Solutions the ability to move substantially faster on potential exceptions and breaches, enhancing compliance and service delivery.

The product allows Link Fund Solutions to monitor compliance of its funds under management with the investment and borrowing restrictions set out in the regulations (UCITS and AIFMD) in accordance with CP86 (Management Company) guidelines. Execution monitoring and reporting will be enhanced, providing deep insight into funds and ensuring all aspects of the funds are professionally managed.

Link Fund Solutions is Infovest’s first client in Ireland, and has previously implemented other StatPro solutions, including the Revolution monitoring tool. Following the implementation in Dublin, Link Fund Solutions will also roll out SPC at its UK and Luxembourg business.

Paul Nunan, MD of Link Fund Solutions Ireland comments:

“The choice of SPC is in line with our wider growth strategy, ensuring existing and prospective clients, their investors, and the regulator have the confidence that we’re actively managing their funds in accordance with regulations. Our broader innovation and development strategy includes the creation of a data warehouse, and this comprehensive fund data will feed various utilities such as SPC and StatPro Revolution.

“StatPro was already a trusted partner providing us with a robust and flexible Investment Performance and Risk monitoring tool in the form of the StatPro Revolution product. Infovest, forming part of the same group, gave us the confidence that they fully understand our business and could deliver on our requirements. SPC’s independence offers a ‘best of breed’ compliance solution, a testimony to our ambition to exceed the expectations of our clients.”

Jenine Ellappen, Compliance Product Manager at Infovest Consulting, says the ability to thoroughly interrogate data, monitor and investigate in house breaches without having to be reliant on third parties, gives Link Fund Solutions visibility, ownership and control over their data, rules and compliance.

“For many asset management companies, turnaround time is generally quite long, with reports on compliance exceptions and breaches received only weekly or monthly. Having this information daily allows Link to action it in a timely manner, thereby potentially reducing any negative financial impacts. This capability is a differentiator that will support the company’s international growth strategy,”

Jenine Ellappen, Compliance Product Manager at Infovest Consulting.

STATPRO GROUP PLC – PRELIMINARY RESULTS FOR THE FULL YEAR ENDING 31 DECEMBER 2018

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13 March 2019

StatPro Group plc                   

Solid growth in revenue and profit – market opportunities continue to develop

StatPro Group plc, (“StatPro”, “the Group”, AIM:SOG), the AIM listed provider of cloud-based portfolio analysis and asset pricing services for the global asset management industry, today announces its unaudited preliminary results for the year ended 31 December 2018.

  2018   2017 Change Constant currency (2)
Restated (1)
Revenue £54.84m £49.26m 11% 34%
Adjusted EBITDA (3) £9.01m £6.84 m 32% 34%
Adjusted profit before taxation  (3) £4.96m £3.33 m 49% 51%
Loss before tax £(0.99)m £(3.47)m n/a
Adjusted earnings per share (3) 7.3p 5.8p 26%
Loss per share – basic (0.8)p (3.7)p n/a
Dividend per share – total for year   2.9p   2.9p

 

Financial highlights:

  • Annualised Recurring Revenue (“ARR”) (4) up 5% to £55.68 million (2017: £53.04 million), 4% constant currency
    • StatPro Revolution ARR increased organically by 17% (5) (2017: 13%)
    • ARR from cloud services up 11% to £33.43 million (2017: £30.06 million)
    • Average ARR per customer up to £120,800 (2017: £106,100)
  • Adjusted EBITDA (3) margin up to 16.4% (2017: 13.9%)
  • Net cash inflow from operating activities of £12.84 million (2017: £10.68 million)

Operational highlights

  • ODDO BHF Risk Services (“ODDO-BHF”) made positive adjusted EBITDA contribution
  • ‘Delta Continuity’ project on track – transition of clients from Delta to Revolution to be completely seamless – ensuring the future and growth of Delta
  • Revolution Fixed Income Attribution launched – rapidly growing market
  • Group structured into three divisions in 2019: Revolution, Source: StatPro and Infovest

(1) 2017 has been restated for the impact of IFRS 15
(2) At constant currency based on restating the prior year at the closing or average currency rate. 
(3) Adjusted EBITDA, adjusted PBT and adjusted earnings per share are EBITDA, PBT and earnings per share after adjustment for amortisation of acquired intangible assets, acquisition and restructuring costs, fair value movement in non-controlling interest put option, fair value reduction in deferred consideration and share based payments (notes 5, 6 and 8). 
(4) Annualised Recurring Revenue is the annual value of revenue contractually committed at year end.
(5) Organic ARR growth relates to Revolution excluding the acquired revenues from acquisitions and including conversions from Seven (see note 3)  

 

Justin Wheatley, Chief Executive of StatPro, commented:

“Strong organic growth of 17% in ARR for our flagship service – StatPro Revolution – has underpinned a solid year. Our adjusted EBITDA grew strongly as we continue to improve our underlying margins.

“Our strategic and technological positioning, by being the only cloud-based provider of portfolio analytics, gives us a real advantage with our fund administration clients, who are using our product and service capabilities to meet their growing customer demand.

“Our new 2019 divisional structure is already making a difference, releasing considerable entrepreneurial drive across the business. We have reduced ongoing costs and focused the business on key targets. We have started the year well.”

– Ends –

 

This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of Regulation (EU) 596/2014 (MAR).

 

Enquiries:

StatPro Group plc
Justin Wheatley, Chief Executive +44 (0) 20 8410 9876
Andrew Fabian, Finance Director
Panmure Gordon – Nomad and Broker
Corporate Finance – Freddy Crossley / Fabien Holler +44 (0) 20 7886 2500
Corporate Broking – James Stearns
Instinctif Partners
Adrian Duffield / Kay Larsen / Chantal Woolcock +44 (0) 20 7457 2020

 

A briefing for analysts on the results will be held at 8.45am today at the offices of Instinctif Partners, 65 Gresham Street, London, EC2V 7NQ

 

About StatPro

StatPro Group (www.statpro.com) provides cloud-based portfolio analytics, asset data services and data management tools for the global asset management industry and asset management service providers.

The Group has 10 offices in Europe, North America, South Africa and Australia, servicing around 500 clients in 40 countries. It is organised into three divisions: Revolution, Source: StatPro and Infovest.

Revolution is a global provider of award-winning portfolio analytics solutions. The cloud-based platform offers vital analysis of portfolio performance, attribution, risk and compliance. Revolution helps clients reduce costs, improve client communication and control investment decisions.

Source: StatPro is a global market data business and provides Data-as-a-Service to Revolution to enable analytics. The division’s integrated and global data coverage includes millions of securities covering the full range of financial instruments and benchmarks.

Infovest, supplies data management solutions for the global asset management market, including data warehouse technology, ETL, compliance and reporting tools as well as portfolio management solutions.

StatPro Group plc shares are listed on AIM.

StatPro and Infovest step up SA presence

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StatPro optimistic about SA’s long-term prospects

StatPro Group PLC (“StatPro”, “the Group”, AIM: SOG), the AIM listed provider of cloud-based portfolio analytics and asset pricing services for the global asset management industry is stepping up its South African presence, despite prevailing market concerns and downscaling by some international businesses operating in the country.

UK-headquartered StatPro and its wholly owned subsidiary, Infovest Consulting (Pty) Ltd, are set to move to larger, shared premises early next year as the company gears up to meet growing local demand for their advanced data and financial services solutions.

Craig Arenhold, CEO of both StatPro South Africa and Infovest, says the two companies will retain their individual identities, but will collectively offer clients a deeper level of support and service.

“The acquisition of Infovest, which was concluded early this year, aligns what is in effect a data management and compliance business – Infovest – with StatPro’s portfolio performance, attribution and risk solution. The strength of our proposition is that we are able to offer clients data rationalisation and an efficient data model. Essentially, we can help financial services organisations to do business better,” he says.

Arenhold says StatPro is seeing strong growth in interest in its new cloud-based portfolio analysis software, Revolution, which is expected to further support the company’s growth in South Africa. In addition to the two companies’ advanced solutions, they are winning the support of local financial services firms through their support levels and the fact that they price contracts in Rand.

StatPro and Infovest together now have a combined team topping 70 specialist resources, and there is room for further growth at the new 1 100m2 shared premises at Riverpark in Mowbray, Cape Town.

While many foreign investors may be cautious about South Africa’s growth prospects at this stage, Arenhold believes South Africa could be set for growth in the medium term: “We’re cautiously optimistic. South Africa already has increasing levels of transparency in terms of the economy and the management of fraud and corruption, so it may take a bit of time, but we believe things will get better.”

“We have many long-dated contracts in place with our loyal customers, and we are illustrating our commitment to them and our faith in the local economy by investing in growth,” Arenhold says.

About StatPro

StatPro is a global provider of award-winning portfolio analytics solutions for the investment community. The Group’s cloud-based platform provides vital analysis of portfolio performance, attribution, risk and compliance. This multi-asset class analytics platform helps StatPro’s clients increase assets under management, improve client service, meet tough regulations and reduce costs. Supporting over 500 clients in 39 countries out of its 11 offices around the world and has recurring revenues of around ZAR 1.0 billion.

About Infovest

Infovest Consulting (Pty) Ltd is part of the StatPro Group of Companies, and is a leading provider of investment data management, compliance, regulatory and client reporting solutions. Infovest’s suite of products encompasses post trade compliance, Investment Data Management, client reporting, and regulatory reporting solutions for today’s investment companies.  Infovest has offices in Boston, Cape Town and London.

Data should not be garbage

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Sherwin Manjo – Product Owner

The saying “you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear” has an IT equivalent, “garbage in, garbage out” or “GIGO” for short. Put simply, GIGO states that the output of any system or analysis is a product of the inputs. This logic applies to a number of fields. In mathematics for example, if one adds x number of apples to y number of apples the only possible solution is x+y apples. The expectation that the above equation could result in producing any other fruit except apples is illogical but often this flawed logic is visible in the business domain and we wonder why systems and processes cannot provide high quality outputs when the quality of the data input is poor, weak or just plain wrong.

The meaning of data

Data, according to information scientists, are symbols that represent properties of objects, events and their environments. In other words, data represents units of measurement without context or reference and is the product of observation. Almost all business organisations collect and store data to support business processes, make decisions and satisfy stakeholder requirements. Raw data increases in value after it has been processed and transformed into meaningful information.  In the case of an asset manager, a set of data contains a collection of numbers and letters that it receives from its various source systems. This base data has little to no intrinsic value to the organisation until it has context and meaning. For example, a list of share prices has little value until an investment manager knows for which shares, on what date and time and in what currency the prices are applicable. In this way, information, created from processed data, is able to provide answers to specific business questions. Poor quality data, when processed, will provide incorrect or partial information and this is not only of little value, but can represent a significant risk with shocking outcomes. Recent history, such as Brexit and the US presidential election, has highlighted the dangers of poor quality data, with almost every pre-election poll forecasting the wrong result.

From GIGO to GIQO

The majority of computer systems used in a today’s investment management organisation are reliant upon data to perform key functions. One example of this is the performance measurement and attribution function. In order to calculate the performance of a security or portfolio, performance measurement systems use a variety of data.  The effect of having incorrect data in a performance calculation can lead to a poor investment decision. In the case of a financial instrument such as a security, for example, if an instruments price should increase from 100 to 150 over a certain period the simple price performance measure of that instrument over that period is 50% (Price Performance for the period = [end price – start price]/start price). If either (or both) of the instrument prices were incorrect, the performance result would also be incorrect.  Regardless of the level of sophistication of the performance measurement system GIGO will apply. Another way to view GIGO is “quality in quality out” or “QIQO”. Although the relationship between quality data inputs and quality outputs is not as strong as in GIGO (a poor process or system, can still result in garbage outputs given quality inputs) there is a relationship nonetheless. However, as anyone who has worked in IT for any period will confirm, data is often less than perfect. This begs the question, can computer systems, such as our performance calculation above, be designed in a way that elegantly deals with the inevitable occurrence of poor data? One possible answer to this involves the use of support tools, controls and processes to deal with imperfect inputs. Using the performance measurement example above a practical implementation of this approach could be that when the performance measurement system observes a price move of greater than 20% a preconfigured rule should highlight that there is potentially incorrect data that must be reviewed before further processing can take place. A computer system that can take garbage in, perform or support validation of the data, highlight questionable data and then allow users to verify, correct and authorise that data is a system that can take garbage in and generate quality out or, to coin yet another phrase, “GIQO”.

The technology “Silver Bullet”

Large data sets and data storage issues are typical examples of data problems faced by organisations. To solve these, technology solutions such as relational databases, data warehouses, cloud computing and data lakes are promoted as “the answer”. In reality, technology will always only be part of solution. Take the case of Big Data. The underlying promise of Big Data is that if an organisation can collect, store and effectively analyse this data it will translate into better decisions. However, the sheer scale of these large datasets have challenged traditional database technology with organisations now required to invest in cloud data storage and data lake technology.  With the data storage issue resolved, a new problem of finding computer systems that can analyse such large datasets is realised. Then assuming both these problems have been addressed there is the subsequent challenge of finding adequately skilled people to mine through the data to identify patterns and glean insights from the information. Much like the mythical hydra, as one problem is seemingly “solved” so new problems manifest. Fortunately, and as is typical in technology, a new solution has been offered, that of artificial intelligence and machine learning in particular.

Machines need data too

Machine learning, in simple terms, is the science of designing a computer system in such a way that the program is able to improve performance on a specific task, based on data presented, without the being explicitly programmed to do so. In other words, these systems can “learn” how to analyse large sets of data based on patterns identified in the data. Then, when these systems process new data, they are able to adapt to this data based on the patterns previously “learnt”.

A good example of machine learning is self-driving or autonomous vehicles. These vehicles make navigational decisions, without human input by observing objects within the vehicles environment. Objects are categorised and decisions made on how these objects are likely to behave based on large volumes of historical data previously processed. In this way, autonomous cars are dependent upon the data that was previously processed and the data that it processes in real time and the consequences of bad or garbage data leading to an incorrect decision could be disastrous.

Data Quality- a moving target?

Data quality is comprised of a number of key aspects such as accuracy, validity, reliability, completeness, relevance and availability. Under different circumstances or scenarios, these characteristics may have different tolerance levels. E.g., with reference to the performance example above, a treasury bond with a 50% price performance measure over a period of a year is questionable and the data investigated whereas, a 50% price change on an unlisted or exotic security over the same time could be seen as acceptable. This highlights the need for a flexible data quality engine or framework that enables the selection and application of the most appropriate rules under different scenarios. Only with this capability in place is GIQO a realistic option.

Houston we have a problem!

Once identified, data quality issues can be resolved in a number of ways. Ideally, corrections should occur at the source of the data, although often, this is not as easy as it sounds. External data providers are reluctant to make changes that affect multiple parties and in some cases contest that there is data issue at all. Another option is to cater for the poor quality data in code. However, the number of permutations required can be exponentially large, and invariably new instances occur.

A solution that is effective, involves a hybrid of these approaches. In this approach, data is reviewed and corrected from source systems before it can negatively impact downstream processes. To achieve this, data is loaded into a staging area or data warehouse, prior to further processing, and a flexible data quality rules engine applies the relevant validation rules. This two-stage model allows for data cleansing and approval to take place to mitigate the effects of incorrect data. This model is dependent on data stewards or data owners to review the data and a clearly documented process to correct the data. The level of control and oversight required is a function of the value of the data to the organisation and the risk of bad data to downstream systems. By adopting this approach, technology can enable and support business processes to achieve quality data outputs.

In conclusion

Our reliance on data cannot be underestimated. In 2012, participants at the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland, went as far as to declare data as being a new class of economic asset similar to gold or currency. The Economist referred to data as the “new oil”. However, just like gold and oil, data requires a process of refinement and review to achieve a level of quality that can be relied upon. In our opinion, pure technology solutions are only part of the answer to the data quality challenge. A viable solution requires an approach that allows for context data validation, staged data review, defined data quality procedures and accountable data owners. The days of GIGO should be numbered, garbage out should never be an acceptable option for any serious system or business organisation.

Q3 trading update

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StatPro Group PLC

StatPro Group plc, (“StatPro”, “the Group”, AIM: SOG), the cloud-based portfolio analysis and asset
pricing services provider for the global asset management industry, provides a trading update for the
nine months ended 30 September 2018.

Revenue and profits continue to be in line with expectations for the current year.
In the 12 months to 30 September 2018, Group Annualised Recurring Revenue (“ARR”), increased by
3% to £54.8 million (September 2017: £53.1 million at constant currency), including the risk service of
ODDO BHF, which was acquired on 1 July 2018. Underlying ARR growth for StatPro Revolution
(excluding impact of acquired revenue and including conversions from StatPro Seven) was 16%.

The transition of the managed risk service of ODDO BHF to the Revolution platform is progressing
according to plan with a target date of 31 December 2018. Once migrated, the duplicate cost of thirdparty
software and data costs will be removed providing additional contribution to adjusted EBITDA.

The Group’s continued focus on fund administrators has resulted in a steady increase quarter on quarter
of new revenue from current fund administrator partners. As previously stated, the Board considers
that the market as a whole is trending towards outsourcing and StatPro is uniquely positioned to benefit
from this development due to its technology.

The migration of Delta is also progressing well. Delta clients will soon be able to add Revolution
functionality without needing to change any of their input or output files, reports or their GUI (Graphical
User Interface). Delta will be added to Revolution, which greatly expands the functionality for both
Delta and Revolution clients.

The recently announced contract win with a large South African financial institution is encouraging and
reflects the quality of the Infovest division. The Group expects the division to make steady progress
and provide a positive contribution to profits of the Group.

Justin Wheatley, Chief Executive, commented:
“Our flagship platform, Revolution continues to cement its position as the leading fintech
solution for performance and risk, with a special focus on the asset servicing sector. With
the addition of the risk service from ODDO BHF, we are well placed to augment our
capabilities in this area, especially in regards to fund administrators.

“The increase in functionality for Delta and the updated roadmap for its integration with
Revolution is a key milestone and importantly, it removes a decision point for clients of
Delta – they have warmly welcomed this development.

“As Revolution matures we continue to expect to see investment plateauing and an
increase in our margins.”

Enquiries:
StatPro Group plc
Justin Wheatley, Chief Executive +44 (0) 20 8410 9876
Andrew Fabian, Finance Director

Panmure Gordon – Nomad and Broker
Corporate Finance – Freddy Crossley / Fabien Holler +44 (0) 20 7886 2500
Corporate Broking –James Stearns

Instinctif Partners
Adrian Duffield/Kay Larsen/Chantal Woolcock +44 (0) 20 7457 2020

About StatPro
StatPro is a global provider of award-winning portfolio analytics solutions for the investment community.
The Group’s cloud-based platform provides vital analysis of portfolio performance, attribution, risk and
compliance. This multi-asset class analytics platform helps StatPro’s clients increase assets under
management, improve client service, meet tough regulations and reduce costs.
The Group’s integrated and global data coverage includes over 3.2 million securities such as equities,
bonds, mutual funds, FX rates, futures, options, OTCs, sector classifications and much else besides.
StatPro also covers most families of benchmarks including MSCI, FTSE, Russell, NASDAQ and the open
source Freedom Index.
The Group has operations in Europe, North America, South Africa, Asia and Australia, with hundreds of
clients in 39 countries around the world.
StatPro has grown its Annualised Recurring Revenue from less than £1 million in 1999 to around £55
million at the end of September 2018. Around 80% of recurring revenues are generated outside the
UK. StatPro Group plc shares are listed on AIM.

Large South African financial institution signs contract for ZAR 19.5 million (£1.0 million)

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StatPro Group PLC (“StatPro”, “the Group”, AIM: SOG), the AIM listed provider of cloud-based portfolio analytics and asset pricing services for the global asset management industry, has secured a five-year contract with a large South African financial institution for its Infovest service, worth approximately £1.0 million.

The financial institution is an existing client of the Group, with this being the first Infovest product it has purchased. It will use Infostore to provide a consolidated view of all its positions in the market on a daily basis. In addition, the solution will enable business intelligence and analytics.

Justin Wheatley, Group CEO, commented:

“This contract win is confirmation of the excellent quality of our Infovest data management solution. Infovest’s vast experience in providing data management solutions in the financial sector, along with its strong focus on data governance and excellent implementation track record, were significant factors in the awarding of the contract.

“We see data management and governance as significant growth drivers for StatPro as most asset managers and financial institutions need a cost effective and efficient way to manage ever increasing volumes of data.”

Enquiries

StatPro Group plc
Justin Wheatley, Chief Executive +44 (0) 20 8410 9876
Andrew Fabian, Finance Director
Panmure Gordon – Nomad and Broker
Corporate Finance – Freddy Crossley / Fabien Holler +44 (0) 20 7886 2500
Corporate Broking – James Stearns
Instinctif Partners
Adrian Duffield / Kay Larsen / Chantal Woolcock +44 (0) 20 7457 2020

 

About StatPro

StatPro is a global provider of award winning portfolio analytics solutions for the investment community. The Group’s cloud-based platform provides vital analysis of portfolio performance, attribution, risk and compliance. This multi-asset class analytics platform helps StatPro’s clients increase assets under management, improve client service, meet tough regulations and reduce costs.

The Group’s integrated and global data coverage includes over 3.2 million securities such as equities, bonds, mutual funds, FX rates, futures, options, OTCs, sector classifications and
much else besides. StatPro also covers most families of benchmarks including MSCI, FTSE, Russell, NASDAQ and the open source Freedom Index.

The Group has operations in Europe, North America, South Africa, Asia and Australia, with hundreds of clients in 39 countries around the world.

StatPro has grown its Annualised Recurring Revenue from less than £1 million in 1999 to around £54 million today.

Around 80% of recurring revenues are generated outside the UK. StatPro Group plc shares are listed on AIM.

Atlantic Fund Services takes charge of post trade compliance with Infovest product

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U.S.-based third-party administrator Atlantic Fund Services has gained control and visibility over post trade compliance, thanks to Infovest’s Statistical Compliance Product (SPC) supported out of South Africa.

Atlantic Fund Services, which provides comprehensive fund servicing solutions for mutual funds, series trusts, closed-end funds, private funds and bank funds, called for a demonstration of SPC’s capabilities two years ago, when they encountered challenges in understanding the compliance rules logic in their existing global vendor’s solution.

Infovest were happy to take up the challenge and look to build on their foreign client base which already includes clients in UK, Ireland, Sweden, USA and Canada.

“What was supposed to be a brief demo at Atlantic’s offices in Portland, Maine, turned into a full-day workshop. The more the Atlantic team saw, the more they liked,” says SPC Product Manager Jenine Ellappen.

Atlantic had been challenged in managing its old solution– the team found the solution highly technical and its rules logic cumbersome. Seeking a simpler, more effective product, they went ahead with a SPC proof of concept and immediately saw benefits. The product, featuring compliance monitoring, data management, breach management, enquiries and reporting, went live in September 2017.

“As soon as we made the decision to license SPC, Infovest was very organised and ready to start planning the implementation,” says Dennis Mason, Atlantic Fund Services Fund Compliance Officer. “The Infovest product is paying off. SPC provides us transparency into the data loading process making us aware of problems almost immediately. The system provides automated internal reports, allowing our team to research breaches earlier and more effectively. We can review trades in SPC to help us determine the cause of breaches as well as easily view the attributes of the portfolio holdings. The session analysis enquiry is key to efficiently managing breaches because we can focus on new breaches and quickly assess older breaches to determine whether there are any changes than need further review. The team spends less time trying to figure out why a rule has been breached because the rule building process is simple and easy to understand,” he says.

Mason adds that the Infovest team is knowledgeable about SPC processes and functionality as well as portfolio compliance monitoring in general. “The Infovest team provided many creative rule writing solutions and never turned down a challenge.”

After receiving training, the team at Atlantic became super users.” says Infovest Compliance Consultant Jason Prudhomme. “They code their own rules and make changes where required.”

With compliance and control their key priorities, Atlantic Fund Services also gained a simplified understanding of the rules and related data, new levels of efficiency with automated reporting and batch reports, and a platform that freed up resources to offer clients better service.

About Infovest

Infovest Consulting (Pty) Ltd is part of the StatPro Group of Companies, and is a leading provider of investment data management, compliance, regulatory and client reporting solutions.

Our suite of products encompasses post trade compliance, Investment Data Management, client reporting, and regulatory reporting solutions for today’s investment companies. Infovest aims to reduce the cost of systems ownership and complexity with a flexible data management framework and a tried and tested methodology, all backed by an agile and experienced team of professional consultants. With offices in Boston, Cape Town and London, Infovest helps their clients meet their continually evolving requirements.

Put pragmatic governance in place to capitalise on data assets

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Without effective data management processes in place, organisations face unnecessary costs, risk and delays, says Infovest.

By Michael Willemse – Head of Technical Implementation at Infovest

Now more than ever before, organisations need timely, accurate data to support everyday operations and business growth. An inability to capitalise on data assets could have far-reaching effects, such as unnecessary costs, operational delays, or exposure to risks.

But not all organisations have the capacity to tackle large data governance initiatives; facing constraints in terms of organisational size, team structures, information system architecture, timelines, or directives.

In these cases, a pragmatic approach to data governance is needed. Organisations need to consider which processes and tools are crucial, how to embark on a culture of continuous improvement, and what needs to be done to build a platform for future governance.

Start with strategy

The first step is to constitute a data governance team with a clearly defined strategy to provide the stimulus and direction for the change required.  This strategy should define the vision, the skills and resources needed to achieve the goals outlined in the vision, the reasons why the change must take place, and an action plan.

Let risk and issues drive priority through the improvement cycle

With the strategy in place, the organisation should draft the data governance policies with high-level statements of intent relating to the functioning and management of data.  A useful approach is to first focus on the areas of difficulty or risk that the organisation is experiencing, and then to prioritise and evaluate the courses of action that will address these.

The workflows, data steward behaviours, and flow of data throughout an enterprise will have the most significant impact on data quality.  It is vital to understand and document the flow of data, and any processes that act on data.  Detailed system architecture diagrams enrich the understanding of workflows.

With an understanding of the workflows, business domains and processes that act on data, the Data Governance Lead is able to identify the key stewardship roles, including the operational data stewards and data owners.

Only now do we recommend starting to work with the data itself. It is important to understand what the primary sources of Master Data are, and how that data is impacted. Governance controls are essential to ensure the quality of data when enrichment has taken place – through external sources, derived data, or manually modified data.

The Governance Lead or governance working group can now begin to analyse the system and processes to address threats or weaknesses; capitalise on opportunities; or leverage strengths within the existing processes.

Implement governance controls

The following processes and controls should be considered to improve the quality of data and processes:

  • Data Management Interfaces – Facilities for the management of data need to be understood and reviewed.
  • Approvals – Clear accountability is vital to the approval process. Visual representations of data through reports or dashboards enable the accountable user to quickly confirm the data quality.
  • Issue Escalation and Resolution – If a data steward becomes aware of data or process risk, they must be able to reliably log the error for investigation and resolution, or for escalation.
  • Logging – Not having a record of how or who made the modification to data undermines any efforts to improve the data and related processes.
  • Decision logic and controls – Workflows by their nature may have conditionality, divergence and convergence, and decision points.  The implementation of governance controls will result in additional control points in order to evaluate outcomes and state, or to facilitate manual intervention.
  • Automated Reporting – Automated reporting can be an exceptionally effective tool to monitor system states and inform the governance team about risk events.
  • Data Matrices and Data profiles – Data Matrices are invaluable references when analysing data for subject areas, business domains, imports and exports.  Data profiles add to this additional detail relating to the context of the data.

Plan, do, refine, repeat

After each iteration or at defined intervals, key lessons are noted and refinements made.  This constant feedback loop will allow for quick wins, and ensure that the data governance programme considers organisational changes and remains aligned with stakeholder expectations.

Curo gets competitive edge with Infovest IDM

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South African investment administration services provider Curo has implemented Infovest’s Investment Data Management solution to automate reporting and alerting, support data governance and enhance customer service.

With Infovest Investment Data Management (IDM) and Infovest Reporter enterprise client reporting solutions in place, Curo now benefits from advanced and streamlined reporting.

Infovest’s IDM solution delivers consistently clean data in a centralised data source and allows users to isolate system dependencies and consolidate data across departments. It has the ability to query, control and enrich static and reference data. Infovest Reporter, a key component to the solution, simplifies report production thereby delivering intelligent management around report structures and content. Further, it ensures accountability through clear workflow and an automatic audit trail.

“The new solutions also meet our requirement for self-sufficient and agile reporting, at a competitive price point. Our partnership offers our clients an efficient addition to our service offering,” says Curo Fund Services Product Development Executive Darren Botha.

With a 3-year licence term, the first phase of the Infovest solution was implemented in December 2017 to coincide with the decommissioning of Curo’s previous system. The implementation overcomes limitations in the way of Curo’s growth strategy; allowing the organisation to modify and expand its reporting capacity and respond faster to industry changes. This is in line with Curo’s focus on specialised fund administration expertise and market-leading flexibility.

Infovest CEO Craig Arenhold says: “We are delighted to be embarking on this partnership with Curo. It is worth noting that implementation has allowed for increased efficiency in reporting facilitating an enhanced client experience, which we are very pleased with. We look forward to a long and mutually rewarding association.”

About Infovest

Infovest Consulting (Pty) Ltd is part of the StatPro Group of Companies, and is a leading provider of investment data management, compliance, regulatory and client reporting solutions.

Our suite of products encompasses post trade compliance, Investment Data Management, client reporting, and regulatory reporting solutions for today’s investment companies. Infovest aims to reduce the cost of systems ownership and complexity with a flexible data management framework and a tried and tested methodology, all backed by an agile and experienced team of professional consultants. With offices in Boston, Cape Town and London, Infovest helps their clients meet their continually evolving requirements.