Waters Rankings 2015: Best Accounting System Provider ─ Advent Software

Advent was acquired by SS&C Technologies earlier this year.

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Earl Monroe and Jan Dinger

SS&C Technologies precipitated one of the biggest capital markets technology stories of the year so far when back in February it announced that it had acquired Advent Software for the not inconsiderable sum of $2.7 billion. Waters covered the story extensively, an exercise that ultimately posed more questions than it answered.

What was possibly most perplexing about SS&C's move is that at the time the acquisition was announced it already boasted two leading accounting platforms in its stable-Portia, which it acquired from Thomson Reuters in February 2012, and HiPortfolio, which came courtesy of its December 2014 acquisition of DST Global Solutions.

So why acquire another one? Well, it appears that there was indeed some method in the madness, and that SS&C was as much after Advent's substantial buy-side clientele and its revenue steam as it was in pursuit of the San Francisco-based tech vendor's impressive product line-up: Moxy, the buy side's most ubiquitous order management system; Advent Portfolio Exchange and Advent Axys for portfolio management; Syncova for margin and fee calculation; and Tamale RMS for research management and compliance, alongside the jewel in Advent's crown, Geneva.

At this stage, less than six months after the acquisition, it's too early to tell what the buy side makes of SS&C's acquisitive spree, but what is clear is the high regard in which the Geneva platform is held by Waters' readers. And for good reason: Geneva is arguably the industry's best example of the all-singing, all-dancing accounting platform. It supports all currencies, instruments (including complex derivatives) and transaction types, and offers P&L, risk and exposure reporting functionality, in addition to cash, position and transaction reconciliation, and full trade life cycle management.

In the wake of the Advent acquisition, a number of industry participants expressed concern that the marriage might experience a clash of cultures ─ Advent was born and bred in San Francisco, while SS&C hails from Windsor, CT, 2,500 miles away, which, while both cities are located on the North American continent, the latter might as well be based in Windsor in the UK, given their cultural differences.

To its credit, SS&C appears to have resisted the urge to completely subsume and rebrand its prize ─ if Advent's website is anything to go by, it appears as though it may well remain a wholly-owned but autonomous entity, which can only be good news for the folks at Advent, and more importantly, its extensive buy-side clientele.

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