All too often in financial firms, portfolio managers seem to be operating in their own silo where investment decisions are carried out with little collaboration across the front, middle, and back office. In order to make accurate investment decisions, forward thinking portfolio managers are implementing a single, integrated platform that enhances the visibility of data in one system and across all teams.
While financial firms possess significant amounts of data, it is often fragmented across teams and risks creating more noise than portfolio managers can deal with. In fact, 86% of firms are incorporating market data into their portfolio management platform, but almost half of small and medium-sized asset managers do not have a view of real-time trader data.1 Even when a centralized system is implemented, the majority are data legacy systems and inconsistent or incompatible with the rest of the firm’s workflow. By allowing portfolio managers to readily access actionable data or multiple data sets, it reduces room for error and can increase their time to value. They will look at ways that enable data to flow throughout the firm where and when it is needed in order to bring insights that frees up time for more high-value investment decisions.
When data is accessible on one platform, with any other data sources integrating into it, portfolio analysis becomes simpler and more streamlined. For fixed income managers, this means that they can easily view the entire bond universe – how many bonds are in market or coming into market and their performance. This top down approach to viewing data provides the ability to stay on top of market movements in real-time and focus on what’s important to the portfolio.
A unified data platform that’s effectively integrated in daily workflows provides the benefits associated with having accurate and consistent data across the entire firm. By leveraging the same underlying data, the middle and front offices are able to speak the same language more and foster greater collaboration. The ideal portfolio management system was identified to be a seamless, single, front-to-back system that combines real-time market data with portfolio risk analytics and pre-trade compliance. It also means all data sources should be able to have API integrations to pipe into the single platform. However, while many legacy systems provide significant amounts of data, it is often not actionable when handled by separate teams or through multiple requests for the back office to pull the information.
Transitioning to a unified data platform is no easy undertaking. However, a platform solution provides significant value in consolidating and customizing data through increased visibility. Additionally, unifying a firm’s data and workflow increases efficiencies which enable firm growth. For investment firms, the most important thing is to choose the right platform as not all are created equal and legacy systems, such as Bloomberg terminals, can be costly. In today’s market, an out-of-the-box solution no longer makes sense as firms need customized solutions that fit their processes and strategies.
When deciding on which platform to adopt, an easy checklist for any portfolio manager to compare offerings should include:
Real-time view of market data to identify investment decision
Customizable dashboards and lists to focus on your needs
Shared real-time access to portfolio data across the team to enhance collaboration
Seamless integration with internal systems and other third-parties
Fit-for-purpose functionality to streamline workflows
Global access anytime from any browser through cloud-based applications
Automated alerts and notifications for monitoring portfolios
Accurate and actionable data for enhanced investment decisions
When powered by data-driven insights, portfolio managers make better and more accurate investment decisions. A fit-for-purpose integrated data system not only creates value by increasing the visibility of data but also drives down costs by unifying the data across both the front and back office in a seamless workflow. When everyone is speaking the same language of data, it fosters collaboration and reduces the risk of actionable insights being lost in translation.
Want to find out more about how cloud-based investment management systems can help you improve fixed income returns? Learn more about IMTC.
1 FactSet Insights. Portfolio Manager Workflow: Unified Platforms.
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We sat down to interview two of IMTC's senior managers on their perspective as former fixed income portfolio managers.