The theme of our annual client conference this year was “Delivering the Future.” So what exactly is SS&C doing to make good on that promise? After two days of learning labs, product demos, peer-to-peer roundtables and industry trend discussions, President and COO Rahul Kanwar rallied five business unit leaders on the main stage to address that very question in front of a packed house.
The conversation covered a wide range of issues on the minds of attendees. Emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, natural language processing and robotic process automation were hot topics throughout the conference. And intelligent technology initiatives are underway across the SS&C ecosystem. Robert Roley, SVP and General Manager of SS&C Advent, noted that all his product teams are incorporating some variant of AI into their product plans. Christie Bremner, SVP for Institutional and Investment Management, emphasized the importance of building intelligence into the engines of our solutions, and cited SS&C Singularity as an example of a platform natively leveraging AI, ML and RPA.
Kanwar asked the team if the mobility and cloud connectivity trend had peaked. Jeff Shoreman, SVP and GM of SS&C Eze, replied that we are just in the early phases of a cloud-driven digital transformation, citing Eze Eclipse is an example of a “born-in-the-cloud” platform that enables start-up and emerging hedge funds to scale their business. For Mike Sleightholme, SVP and GM of the SS&C’s DST Systems, mobile solutions are a way to engage end consumers more effectively and influence their behavior, particularly in regard to their healthcare choices. Bremner pointed out that operations people are still largely stuck at their desks, and would benefit from mobility tools that enable them to handle unpredictable events.
With client firms facing strong competition, the leadership team was unanimous in the belief that technology can give firms an edge—from a smoother onboarding process to sharper investor insights, reduced risks and an overall better client experience. Technology can help firms “meet investors where they are,” Roley said, and developers should take a “design first” approach based on how people interact with technology. He credited robo-advisors for pushing the user experience forward and compelling tech providers to up their game on UX.
For a final, single prediction, Bremner pointed out that we are already experiencing artificial intelligence in our everyday lives with Amazon or Google, and it will inevitably become mainstream in investment technology. Bob Petrocchi, SVP and Co-Head of SS&C Intralinks, envisions a rise in direct investing and co-investing, whereby investors bypass the markets and exchanges to put capital directly into companies and business ventures. And Roley sees technology moving further into the front office, driving greater efficiency among portfolio and risk managers.
The discussion gave attendees plenty to think about as they contemplate their own firms’ futures—but that could wait for another day. Right after the closing session, all 1,300 attendees bused over to Orlando’s Universal City Walk for an evening of celebration, with a choice of live music, dancing and Karaoke venues—proving once again that SS&C Deliver isn’t all work and no play.
Thanks to all the clients, colleagues and industry partners who made SS&C Deliver 2019 a memorable and meaningful event. Let’s keep the conversation going all year round.