Witad Awards 2022: Support professional of the year (vendor)—Alena Ilteris, SS&C

As much as trading firms like to boast about how innovative they are, so many workflows in the middle and back office are dependent on Microsoft Excel. While Alena Ilteris believes Excel is a valuable tool, much of her job is to help buy-side firms break free from it.

After spending nine years at State Street, in the summer of 2020 during the height of the pandemic, Ilteris moved to SS&C as manager of data services for its private markets group. In a short time, her group managed to produce some big wins. For example, at the start of 2021, she was working closely with a large US-based REIT fund, helping the recently acquired client to transition from its old Excel-based financial and performance reporting workflow onto SS&C’s proprietary Core SightLine system. During the transition, Ilteris was able to uncover and correct many errors that the previous administrator had made in its manual, offline calculations.

Later in the year, a large venture capital-focused investment manager reached out for assistance in revising a set of performance reports for their investors, which required the aggregation and normalization of data from several sources across a large number of funds and investments. Ilteris organized meetings with the various data sources, and helped to construct and test a data governance model to support the client’s reporting requirements.

“They were doing that manually—there were 20-plus funds—using offline spreadsheets for each fund, trying to cobble together this performance report,” she says. “We came in and built in Core SightLine a four-page automated report every quarter for them.”

When Ilteris was in college at Virginia Tech, she studied communications, thinking that she wanted to get into graphic design and even held internships at ESPN and Fox Sports Radio. She later realized that she was more drawn to the world of business and got her MBA in 2009 and her MSIM in 2010. It hasn’t been a straight line for Ilteris to her position today—but that’s been a blessing, she says.

“Your career is like a mountain—you’re going to zig and zag, go up and down,” she says. “So you need to take your time and invest in yourself. You’re not going to get there overnight; it’s going to take some time through trial and error.”

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AFTAs 2023: All the winners and why they won

Here are the winners of the 30 categories in the 2023 American Financial Technology Awards. This year's multi-category winners are JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Northern Trust and Wells Fargo.

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