Waters Rankings 2015 ─ Winners' Circle: Advent

Robert Roley talks about the trends driving client demand and regulatory hurdles.

robert-roley-advent
Robert Roley, Advent

At this year's Waters Rankings, Advent Software, recently acquired by SS&C Technologies, won the best accounting system provider category, thanks to its Geneva platform. Anthony Malakian talks to Advent's vice president of solutions, Robert Roley, about the trends that are driving client demand and how the company plans to address new regulatory hurdles in the future.

In the accounting space, what trends are driving client demand and wins?

Robert Roley, vice president of solutions, Advent Software: First, many firms are diversifying and expanding into new lines of business; the historically clear delineation between firm types, segments, and verticals is blurring. These firms need systems that will enable to them to economically and efficiently onboard, maintain, and report on their new assets. Continued interest in global investment is also a major driver of new business. Increasing investment in emerging markets causes workflow issues if your systems can't handle it. We build with a global mindset and are continuing to add nuances that address regional needs. This doesn't just mean new calculations, but rather increasing flexibility to handle more demanding configurations and customized asset types. Finally, to succeed it's imperative that our clients are able to realize ROI quickly and show ongoing attention to low cost of ownership. We now offer Advent OnDemand for Geneva to capture the many benefits of hosting and it has been quite successful.

Are there any new regulations that are coming up that firms need to start preparing for?

Roley: We've been talking about the implications of AIFMD, Form PF, Fatca, and other regulatory developments for a number of years. Much of the work we've done with regard to regulation has been completed, and we're in the process of helping clients adopt capabilities to remain compliant. We are also tracking new regulations, such as the UK version of Fatca. The regulatory compliance features we've already developed along with integration to SS&C capabilities will provide great value to current and future clients as they adapt to the new regulatory environment.

What recent enhancement have you made to Geneva to help in this space?
Roley: Enhancements to Geneva are prioritized by our clients' most pressing business needs. In the most recent release of April 2015 we made enhancements to optimize handling of private equity investments, adding greater flexibility in accounting for swaps, bank debt, FX, and global fixed-income [instruments], and have broadened Geneva's fund accounting capabilities to include hybrid fund structures. We continue to focus on keeping the cost of adopting and operating Geneva as low as possible. To that end, we made a number of significant technology enhancements and we launched a new hosted offering as part of the Advent OnDemand service that is now generally available to our broader client base.

Is there any new functionality that you're looking to add later this year that you can preview for our readers?

Roley: Our October update will continue to augment the instrument types available to clients on Geneva and add nuances to existing functionality that addresses regional needs. Examples include features specifically targeted for better handling of South American investments, including calculation of brokerage fees for Brazilian futures and native support for more Chilean fixed-income instruments. The release will also include swap workflow enhancements, and bank debt-related additions.

What specific functionalities/capabilities do you think Geneva offers that separates it from the competition?

Roley: The breadth of Geneva's capabilities is a big differentiator. Our clients are always looking for us to solve multiple business challenges for them. For an asset manager that does a significant amount of derivatives trading or a hedge fund launching a liquid alternative fund, Geneva is one of the only solutions that can handle a broad variety of asset classes. When you combine its abilities to account for complex investments, multiple currencies, and real-time reporting capabilities, it becomes clear why Geneva has become the industry standard. Now that we are part of the SS&C family, we are excited to augment Geneva with the complementary capabilities and services SS&C brings to the table. Becoming part of SS&C allows us to leap forward and strengthen our competitive advantage in the market.

What does this award mean for you and your team?

Roley: We rely heavily on client feedback to ensure that Geneva remains the industry's accounting system of choice, and are honored that it's been recognized by your readers, many of whom are also our clients. The award re-affirms that we have been providing true value and has energized us as we move forward as part of SS&C to make sure Geneva continues to be the go-to platform in the industry.

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