Buy-Side Technology Awards 2014: Best Buy-Side IBOR Platform—SimCorp

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Victor Anderson, John Mayr and Brian Moore.

It’s hard to think of many industry issues in recent years that have rallied a level of widespread interest and support as the investment book of record (IBOR). The technology behind IBOR isn’t particularly new—indeed, documented examples of these projects at institutions such as Barclays Global Investors have been around for years—but the crystallization of the concept into a business process in its own right has only really happened in the past few years.

The need and appetite for IBOR functionality, particularly when it comes to large, traditional asset managers in the US and western European markets, show few signs of slowing down. Many of the firms that initiated the IBOR debate—Legal & General Investment Management and M&G Investments in London—are currently progressing from theory to implementation, after spending years contemplating what exactly constitutes an IBOR and how best to go about tackling such large and potentially costly projects. Other buy-side firms are still assessing their options, whether that involves building an IBOR in-house, taking on a vendor solution, or opting for a hybrid approach. Regardless, the topic has engendered such a degree of prominence in large numbers of buy-side technology conversations of late that the inclusion of a category in this year’s awards was a no-brainer.

Despite the level of competition and the high quality of entries in this category, the victor, SimCorp, will come as no surprise to many who have followed IBOR’s development for any length of time. SimCorp Dimension, the Copenhagen-based vendor’s flagship product, after all, ticks many IBOR boxes. Everything from position management through to forecasting, distribution and reconciliation management is covered by Dimension in a comprehensive fashion.

It is not just depth of functionality that counts, of course, but also configurability, particular for those asset managers that have specific requirements in terms of what functions should and shouldn’t sit within an IBOR framework. SimCorp Dimension allows firms to calibrate the software to their needs, integrating with custodians and outsourced accounting providers, providing it with something of a straight-through flavor, often a shortcoming for some of the IBOR platforms on the market. All of this, coupled with configurable feeds within the user interface, helped SimCorp become the first ever recipient of the IBOR category in these awards. As IBOR interest among buy-side firms continues to grow, and SimCorp’s high-profile implementations at organizations such as BMO Global Asset Management catch the industry’s attention, it appears that its position as the de facto leader in this market is guaranteed for the foreseeable future.

Despite the level of competition and the high quality of entries in this category, the victor, SimCorp, will come as no surprise to many who have followed IBOR’s development for any length of time.
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