Buy-Side Technology Awards 2016: Best Product Implementation at a Buy-Side Firm—RIMES Technologies

Alessandro Ferrari of RIMES Technologies discusses the win.

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Ian Robertson, AXA Investment Management representative, Adele Armstrong, Christian Fauvelais and Jonathan Davies

For the first time since 2011, RIMES Technologies is back in the winners’ circle in the best product implementation category at the Buy-Side Technology Awards, thanks to its work with AXA Investment Managers. The New York-based firm’s win, which was for its implementation of the RIMES Benchmark Data Service (RIMES BDS) at AXA, knocked Vermilion Software, the three-time winner in this category, off the top spot.

The basis for the implementation came around AXA changing the way it managed fixed-income benchmarks and indices. Prior to teaming up with RIMES, AXA obtained benchmarks from a multitude of direct sources, maintained the data feeds itself and supported the associated internal IT and data management infrastructure. By doing so, AXA bore heavy costs that required ongoing investment. In addition to those costs, expertise was also a concern for AXA.

“Fixed-income benchmarks are complex to understand, and breaking down the methodologies to provide fund managers with real insights calls for detailed knowledge and experience. With data complexity and volumes continuing to expand, having the internal resources to support front-office portfolio managers with the methodologies and benchmark knowledge they need is proving a major challenge for institutions across the industry,” says Alessandro Ferrari, executive vice president of global marketing at RIMES. “For the client, ensuring it could deliver the all-important data quality to meet its strategic objectives, therefore, became a growing concern.”

AXA started with a 10-month proof-of-concept (POC) with RIMES BDS. The firm also maintained its internal system during the POC. BDS was used to feed AXA’s enterprise data management solution. The investment performance team also leveraged RIMES data to service its performance analysis system. The firm was familiar with RIMES because its third-party asset servicer, which handles AXA’s external performance attribution reporting, uses RIMES for its benchmark data. “That gives the investment manager confidence its performance attribution reports are based on the same timely and accurate data used in its front office, and minimizes its operational risk,” Ferrari says. 

AXA progressively decommissioned its internal direct sources and data management processes. RIMES now provides over 350 fixed-income benchmark compositions to AXA. “By committing its long-term future to RIMES, the client can maximize its return on investment, manage its future growth, and take advantage of new business opportunities, secure in the support of a proven and flexible data partner,” Ferrari says.

AXA progressively decommissioned its internal direct sources and data management processes. RIMES now provides over 350 fixed-income benchmark compositions to AXA.
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