The best technology provider for 2011 category was the second of only two awards announced on November 4 at the Buy-Side Technology Awards in London. This is, along with the product of the year award, the most prestigious of all the categories, given that it is awarded to a technology company that must satisfy a number of criteria: It must be a well-established provider to the buy side with an impressive client list and a long track record; it must have a product or a number of products that not only support various business processes across the buy side, but those products or modules must have earned votes in each of the categories in which they were entered; and the winning candidate’s products must appeal to a global market.
This year, Anthony Malakian and I felt that given Charles River Development’s near 30-year track record serving the buy side, and the astonishing success of its flagship product—the Charles River Investment Management System (Charles River IMS)—in arguably the most mature and therefore competitive market across the buy side, that the Burlington, Mass.-based vendor’s addition to the winners’ circle, joining Advent Software (2007), Linedata (2008), Eagle Investment Systems (2009) and SunGard (2010), was long overdue.
The Charles River IMS—whose roots can be traced all the way back to 2003 when the company re-branded its product suite, and before that to 1997 when Charles River launched its first order management system (OMS)—has over 300 clients globally, many of whom are household names in the US and UK markets. It comprises five modules: Charles River Manager for decision support and portfolio management; Charles River Compliance for pre-, intra-day, post-execution, and end-of-day compliance; Charles River Trader for order management, electronic trading and execution management; Charles River Post-Trade for post-trade processing; and Charles River Performance for performance measurement, attribution and performance risk.
The Charles River IMS has served Charles River well over the years in the BST Awards: This is the first year since the awards were started back in 2007 that it hasn’t won the best OMS category, which, if you consider how the OMS became the first area of the buy-side front office to receive vendors’ full attention, is no mean feat. This year, however, Charles River’s crown was usurped by ConvergEx’s Eze OMS, another vendor based in the greater Boston area, although the outcome was anything but a landslide, a result that Charles River will no doubt pull out all the stops to reverse next year. —VBA