Buy-Side Technology Awards 2016: Best Integrated Front-Office Platform—Charles River Development

Charles River takes Best Integrated Front-Office Platform crown as new capabilities were added.

Ian Robertson, Alun Cutler, Toby Pringle and Jonathan Davies

Charles River Development wins this year’s best integrated front-office platform category in the Buy-Side Technology Awards for the first time, eclipsing last year’s winner, Eze Software Group, and Bloomberg, which enjoyed back-to-back wins in 2013 and 2014.

Alun Cutler, director of product management for EMEA at Charles River, says the vendor’s Investment Management Solution (IMS) features three key attributes that help differentiate it from competitors in this space.

First, the flagship offering is a multi-asset investment management platform that allows buy-side clients to consolidate redundant systems and have a single platform to support all business lines, asset classes, financial products and investment strategies.

Second, it provides components that automate the investment process from portfolio management through to post-trade settlement, supporting the accuracy, consistency and completeness of data.

And finally, the Burlington, Mass.-based firm invests significantly in terms of its research and development (R&D). “We invest heavily in R&D to develop the breadth of our product and add innovations that support the front to middle office, including risk, performance, investment book of record (IBOR) and collateral management,” Cutler says.

Charles River added a number of new capabilities to the IMS during the course of this year, most notably the inclusion of its Model 3 Portfolio Decision Support, offering a packaged Barclays Point replacement solution, delivered via the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model and supporting portfolio management functions, ex-ante and ex-post risk, scenario analysis, data, analytics and benchmarks.

These enhancements reflect Charles River’s awareness that its buy-side clients face numerous business challenges, in particular regulatory oversight.

It added a Fixed Income Workstation allowing traders to use a single screen to create orders, discover prices, plan and execute trades, and access execution history, while on the regulatory front it added new order and execution management functionality designed to help compliance teams prepare for Mifid II. Finally, the platform now features a Global Shareholder Disclosure Service that helps buy-side firms meet regulatory mandates in more than 85 jurisdictions.

According to Cutler, these enhancements reflect Charles River’s awareness that its buy-side clients face numerous business challenges, in particular regulatory oversight. “Trying to comply with complex regulations can place enormous strain on internal resources in terms of time and cost,” Cutler says. “Mifid II, for example, cuts across multiple asset classes and standard workflows.”

Other key trends include reducing costs, which Cutler says plays to the strengths of the IMS’ SaaS operating model, and the need for high-quality data. 

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