The challenge of complexity: Approaches to investment operations integration



By: Inderjit Gawera

Daily operations, including trade capture, investment transaction processing, striking NAV values and unit prices, tax and fee calculations, performance measurement, and reporting, must all be done accurately and on time, within a highly controlled environment.

This is difficult, especially with ever-increasing volumes, fund and instrument innovation, evolving regulation and tax rules, and tighter servicing agreements. In addition, specialist systems and tactical workarounds to manage newly mandated regulation and support the launch of new asset classes are also often in place. 

The result: investment operations have multiple systems, including front office order management solutions for trade management and execution, back office platforms for investment accounting and unit pricing, and advanced middle office capabilities for compliance and post-trade processing. Asset managers need an end-to-end solution for their investment operations, but there is no single solution that meets all these requirements.

Clean and efficient integration between systems and maximizing automation of business processes can be challenging. In this two-part series, we will firstly look at integration options to create a straight-through-processing environment.

The movement of data between systems requires middleware solutions to perform data transformation, validation and, in some cases, enrichment, before being consumed by downstream systems. In addition, SLA targets must be met even with increasing transactions and associated data processing. This is true of incoming market data like prices and corporate actions and the movement of data between downstream systems like feeding transaction and valuation data required for performance measurement and advanced analytics. All reports delivered to clients, regulatory bodies, and other end consumers must be accurate and timely.

With the integration of new system components, IT and operations teams must find the best way to meet these requirements. Often, new system components have pre-defined APIs but the outputs generated need manipulation before downstream systems can process incoming data smoothly. Third party ETL tools can manage the integration of data but a better solution is for these processes to be managed within each system. This reduces the number of possible points of failure and ensures accountabilities sit with individual system vendors.

HiPortfolio from SS&C sits at the heart of investment operations as the core accounting system, and is considered the single source of truth for the wealth of data held within its expansive database. HiPortfolio encompasses a number of proven best-of-breed integration solutions allowing for bespoke and optimized implementations aligned to client requirements.

To learn how HiPortfolio can streamline your investment operations and support new products and services, download our brochure or contact us at solution@sscinc.com.