Waters Rankings 2019: Best Portfolio Management System Provider: Charles River Development

Waters Rankings 2019

Charles River Development, now part of State Street after its acquisition by the Boston-based financial services group, wins this year’s best portfolio management system provider category at the Waters Rankings.

The bulk of the company’s success has come on the back of its flagship offering, the Charles River Investment Management Suite, which will play a key role in bolstering State Street’s buy-side-focused outsourcing services.

John Plansky, CEO of Charles River Development, who joined State Street in January 2017 before being installed as Charles River’s CEO after its acquisition in the third quarter of 2018, is unequivocal about the firm’s commitment with respect to supporting the core Charles River platform going forward, and also its research and development (R&D) plans around the firm’s ancillary services.

“When State Street bought Charles River, we saw it as the centerpiece of our overall strategy, because we believed that our clients wanted to continue to invest in their technology agenda from the front to the back office, as well as in outsourced services and technology to firms like State Street,” Plansky explains. “A key aspect of that means that when we acquired Charles River, we also decided to invest heavily in it as a company. We’ve doubled the R&D budget around what clients were expecting from Charles River across the whole product set. So, in addition to the existing capabilities—the portfolio management workbench, the OMS and compliance and trading—clients also want us to continue to invest in multi-asset-class support.”

According to Plansky, Charles River is also actively investing in developing its software-as-a-service offering to be “very competitive” in the market, while clients are also increasingly looking for performance and risk support, a trend that has yielded a number of partnerships, the most high profile of which are those with Axioma and Northfield Information Services. 

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