Buy-Side Technology Awards 2014: Best Portfolio Accounting Platform—Advent Software

advent-portfolio-bst-awards-2014
Victor Anderson, Ben Broadley and Brian Moore.

In a year when the investment book of record (IBOR) received its own dedicated category for the first time, few can argue the immediacy and importance now squarely placed upon portfolio accounting across the business of the buy side. From newly prescriptive accounting rules across different geographies to years-long organizational transformation and integration, firms of all sizes are increasingly focusing on this area for improvement, and asking their providers to step up. If the IBOR award might be considered a prize for depth of specific implementations going forward, this category rewards breadth of service—and in 2014, that crown goes to Advent and its Geneva platform.

A perennial contender in this and other categories—it last took home this prize in 2011—Geneva has a whopping 315 clients in 29 countries, and well more than half are hedge funds. A full 82 percent of these have $5 billion or less under management, with 32 percent below $1 billion, marking a significant shift for the vendor toward boutique funds.

Even for these small shops, the need to internally shadow what fund administrators are doing—for example, by striking critical measures such as daily net-asset values (NAVs)—is crucial. But doing so accurately often requires syncing up and reconciling multiple systems at once. Integration capability is therefore key.

To cope with this new demand, the team backing Geneva has halved the average time to implementation since 2007. The technology itself, which celebrates its 20th birthday this year, also does far more than it once did, providing everything from real-time profit-and-loss (P&L), performance and exposure coverage, and cash forecasting in multiple currencies in the front office, to recently added look-through capabilities for valuations on multiple (n-Tier) fund structures, tracking time-series data, automatic generation of tax withholding relief, and new data management support for money market funds in the back office.

Another differentiator for Advent is that many Geneva clients also take Advent’s Tamale research management system (RMS) as part of their broader launch or technology refresh. Among that group is Azentus Capital Management, a Hong-Kong based multi-strategy fund with $1.5 billion under management, with which Advent worked to bring both solutions online in only three months.

This award is proof that, for all the discussion about IBOR—and Advent has done its fair share of work on those more time-intensive and onerous projects, too—there is still an element of speed to implementation that a large swath of the buy side desperately needs for this essential function.

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