BST Awards 2022: Best buy-side newcomer (vendor or product)—FundGuard

Product: FundGuard

Overview

FundGuard is a cloud-native operating platform for global asset managers, asset owners, custodian banks and fund administrators, designed to allow them to manage investment and accounting books across mutual funds and ETFs, alternatives, insurance and pension products. The platform is aimed at large asset servicing firms that need to replace legacy systems that are no longer fit for purpose. 

“We are excited to partner with FundGuard and its comprehensive, cloud-native accounting platform to support our alpha strategy.”
John Plansky, head of State Street Alpha

What problem does it address?  

FundGuard manages high volumes of data, customer and regulatory requirements, and integrates new asset classes and products. It achieves this by offering a single source of truth, in real time via an all-in-one solution with investment accounting and support for all types of pooled investment entities, with inbuilt reconciliation, exception management, report center and dashboard capabilities.

Secret sauce 

FundGuard is a cloud-native platform, offering enhanced scalability and elasticity, and operational and cost efficiencies with no restrictions based on volumes. At an operational and process level, FundGuard offers:

  • Multiple fund views with individual accounting rules while sharing fund events. Views are not only portfolio holdings but can be complete with general ledgers and NAV values.
  • Real-time processing and controls framework
  • A business continuity and disaster recovery solution in near real time

Recent milestones

  • FundGuard’s growth has been supported by a number of large investors over the last 12 months, particularly Citi, State Street and a number of other banks during its April 2022 Series B funding round.  
  • The firm prioritized ongoing product development and enhanced service delivery; it doubled its employee numbers year on year; it onboarded a number of large clients; and it expanded its North American operations.
“The fund management industry has a legacy technology challenge that FundGuard seeks to solve by acting as an industry-wide utility in which real-time data processing, regulatory oversight and customer requirements for flexibility, transparency and product variety can easily be accommodated so that managers no longer need to attempt to differentiate themselves by processes and workflows but rather by customer service, product offering and, ultimately, alpha generation.”
John Lehner, president, FundGuard

Future objectives 

  • Partnering with industry integrators to support growth and drive increased opportunities 
  • Accelerating growth and continuing to attract talent to meet demand from asset managers and service providers who realize the shortcomings of their legacy technology
  • Leveraging cloud technologies and unlocking the power of data

Why they won 

FundGuard walks away from this year’s BST Awards with one of the most coveted categories: best buy-side newcomer (vendor or product). WatersTechnology readers shouldn’t be too surprised by this result, given that John Lehner, president of FundGuard, headed up Eagle Investment Systems, a company that has a proud tradition in these awards, for many years. The premise of the cloud-based FundGuard offering is to provide asset servicers with a practical alternative to the legacy and often proprietary technologies underpinning their business. It’s a perennial headache for an industry beset with technology and operational shortcomings, challenges that firms like FundGuard are perfectly placed to address. 

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