AFTAs 2018: Best Third-Party Technology Vendor IT Team—SS&C Advent

Victor Anderson, Catherine Daly and Ron Farrell

SS&C Advent wins the AFTA for the best third-party technology vendor IT team, wresting the award from last year’s winner, Axioma. The team works on SS&C Advent’s Genesis application, which is designed to offer portfolio construction and rebalancing functionality for various types of buy-side clients. Genesis is a new offering in the SS&C Advent line-up, having been launched in September 2017, but it has so far been upgraded at least eight times in the last 12 months. 

Dave Blair, vice president of solutions development at SS&C Advent, says the Genesis team’s mixture of experience and enthusiasm has allowed it to be agile and able to move quickly to address the various needs of Genesis’ customers. “We serve different types of clients who have varied needs when it comes to portfolio construction or rebalancing, so it is very challenging to meet those demands,” Blair says. “But we do have a team with a mix of experience who can see how complex these needs are and are always striving to make it easier on clients. We have some who are fresh out of college and are ready to try anything, but we also have veteran team members who work very closely with the business side and with clients. This means they are agile and can follow the rapid cycles of innovation.”

According to Blair, Genesis plugs a hole in SS&C’s front-office coverage. It allows clients to balance their portfolios depending on their specific models. Many of Genesis’ users are what Blair describes as “hybrid traders”—those who vary their focus between institutional investor-heavy portfolios to ones mainly concerned with wealth management. 

In the past year alone, the Genesis IT team delivered eight new features to the platform, including expanding its model-based workflows, adding the ability to trade related instruments and not just accounts, and incorporating real-time pricing integration. Other enhancements focused around multi-asset class securities classification that provides information on the underlying assets in a basket. Given that Genesis is a cloud-based, software-as-a-service platform, these enhancements were delivered with the minimum of fuss to clients. Blair says the coming year will largely follow the same pace for the Genesis team. The company plans to put out six to eight new updates to the platform during 2019. Many of these upgrades will be around tax optimization, machine learning and additional fixed-income functionality. 

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