Waters Rankings 2020: Best Reporting System Provider—FactSet Vermilion

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The regulatory reporting space continues to see change. In May, CME Group announced it that would scale back its Abide Financial and NEX Regulatory Reporting businesses, as well as its European and Australian trade repositories, while WatersTechnology reported that Deutsche Börse would follow suit and offload its own regulatory reporting businesses later this year. However, both client and regulatory reporting remain critical business functions.

The FactSet Vermilion Reporting Suite (VRS) wins the best reporting system provider category in this year’s Waters Rankings. Born from FactSet’s acquisition of Vermilion Software 2016, VRS caters to institutional asset managers, mutual fund companies, wealth managers and outsourced investment managers by offering a customizable platform for generating client and regulatory reports.

Each client can deploy different workflows, with flexibility for configuration. Through a Microsoft Excel add-in, clients fill out templates once and then automate their creation and distribution on a regular basis. This saves time, reduces errors, and allows clients to answer more service level agreements, according to Sean Murray, director of strategy, performance and reporting at FactSet. Documents can be tailored to clients’ output preferences, lowering error rates through decreased manual processing. Automated checks, such as threshold tests, enhance data quality, he adds.

Over the last year, Murray says VRS clients have undergone a phase of M&A activity. “We routinely see our clients acquiring peer firms to create larger, more scalable organizations,” he says. “As a result, the volume of client reports placed on a single instance has grown.  We must ensure our product scales from tens to hundreds to thousands of reports during each report run. This has been a key focus for us throughout 2019 and 2020.”

Clients no longer need buy VRS as an add-on component to their FactSet workflows. Instead, it is now embedded within their core FactSet products and content sets. The idea is in line with FactSet’s roadmap, with Murray adding that the company plans to continue unifying the ecosystem around its products and services. This will take the form of fully-embedded API capabilities across analytics products, the evolution of its managed services approach to alleviate the clients’ operational burdens, and the continued migration of cloud services to the public cloud.

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