SS&C Outsourcing Services: Beyond Hosting

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1 position paper SS&C Outsourcing Services: Beyond Hosting Asset managers should look beyond traditional application hosting to prepare their operations for growth. The investment management industry is poised for change, driven by growth as assets under management increase and markets become more global. Numerous industry publications have highlighted how growth may fundamentally change the way asset managers operate and compete. For example, PwC s recent paper, Asset Management 2020: A Brave New World, predicts that global assets under management (AuM) will exceed $100 trillion USD by 2020, increasing at a compound growth rate of over 6 percent annually. Similarly, the IMF predicts that nominal global GDP will increase by 5.15 percent annually during this time. PwC posits that although the asset management industry currently operates within a low-tech infrastructure, by 2020 technology will have become missioncritical to drive customer engagement, data mining for information on clients and potential clients, operational efficiency, and regulatory and tax reporting. Operating Environments are Becoming More Complex Every business day investment managers face the challenges of gathering, processing and disseminating information to meet the complex, global needs of their business. Before the trading day begins, positions need to be updated in trading, order management and analytics systems. Throughout the day, reconcilements, corporate actions and client activity add to the workload of the operations staff. By the end of the day, trades need to be accurately settled in the back-office accounting system and a variety of data needs to flow out to counterparties. The challenge for most asset managers is: how do I prepare my operations and underlying technology infrastructure for growth?

2 Adding to this challenge, in many cases little or no automation is used to make these data flows happen efficiently, to reduce the manual involvement of the operations and IT staff or to ensure the business is operating based on accurate information. Consider the following examples of how a diverse set of asset managers are benefitting from hosting with SS&C: Large Global Asset Manager Streamlines Operations A large global asset manager with over $500B USD in AuM establishes five operations centers spread across Europe, North America and Asia Pacific to provide services to its diverse, global client base. Each business day, these offices take in thousands of new and refreshed data elements to prepare for the trading day. Dozens of connections to third parties are established to keep operations running smoothly, with thousands of trades executed daily in each region. All trading activity is provided throughout the day to the global accounting platform by over 3,000 automation jobs for near real-time access for the investment teams worldwide. U.S. Asset Manager Resolves Operational and Technical Issues A small, U.S.-based equities asset manager relied on a two-person IT team to support its operations, including management of SS&C software solutions. The client was relying on manual processes for numerous tasks, despite software solutions being available. During a system upgrade, technical errors caused the client s systems to crash, halting operations for days and preventing the firm from sending monthly reports to investors in a timely manner. After this incident, the client worked with SS&C Outsourcing to upgrade all software solutions to take advantage of new functionality and automate operational processes to avoid future errors. In addition, the client was able to shift responsibility for IT management to SS&C to prevent future problems with application administration and utilize SS&C s comprehensive back up and disaster recovery capabilities. Now is the Time to Examine Your Operations and Infrastructure Unfortunately, growth can be limited by operational capabilities, as well as the underlying systems and technology that support operations. While investment teams must be able to change investment strategies quickly to react to opportunities, it can be far more difficult for operations and IT to keep pace with business changes. Now is the time for asset managers to determine whether they can meet these growth requirements by examining the operations and the systems at the heart of their middle-to-back office technology ecosystem. While some asset managers continue to manage infrastructure in-house, others work with vendors to outsource application hosting. By doing so, investment firms are seeking to redistribute the risks and costs associated with technology management. Hosting service providers typically provide secure, remote access to applications and manage the hardware and software infrastructure, along with basic monitoring of operating environments and connectivity. The problem is that most providers lack subject matter expertise related to the actual applications being hosted. Therefore, IT teams remain responsible for numerous critical tasks, among them application administration, database maintenance, interfaces to systems and data providers, and more. Application hosting while a value-added service does not address the technical and operational complexities with asset management operations. SS&C Outsourcing Services offers a more comprehensive solution that goes beyond traditional application hosting. We provide asset managers with fully automated start-of-day, intraday and end-of-day activities tailored to each client s unique business requirements. The end result is better automation and streamlined processes, quality data and increased efficiency. One of the critical services we provide for hosting clients is assisting with the automation of operations. Leveraging our software and operations expertise, we work with each position paper 2

3 client to optimize their workflow as part of the onboarding process. The benefits of this are substantial automation reduces operational risk, improves operational efficiency and helps asset managers focus on their core mission of managing money, thus providing better ROI on their decision to host with SS&C. Our service goes beyond traditional hosting by examining each of our clients operational processes and determining which can be automated, and then setting up batch processes for each task using our powerful automation tools. These batch processes are defined with clear triggers, and SS&C experts monitor every process to ensure that operations run seamlessly. For asset managers with global operations, batch processes are tailored on a local basis, taking into account time zone differences, local processing requirements, regional holiday calendars and more, ensuring that each office is operating in a coordinated fashion to support global operations. And we offer this for each client s entire workflow, across all of the activities below: Sample Hosting Process from SS&C Outsourcing Services Data Gathering Pricing Corporate Actions Indicative Data Trading Data Securities Data System Management OMS Custodian Other Systems Processing Book of Records and Process Engine Reporting Internal Reporting Regulatory Reporting Client Reporting Coud and Mobility Solutions Automating the Data Gathering Process Although the phrase garbage in, garbage out was coined in the early days of computing (1963), it applies even more today as powerful computers fueling global financial markets produce a staggering amount of data. Gathering data from multiple third-party data providers on pricing, corporate actions, securities, analytics and more is challenging and error-prone. Global, scalable investment operations teams seek to automate this process as much as possible to improve efficiency and reduce risk. SS&C s hosting solution uses advanced integration capabilities to gather data from all third parties, validate data and identify data gaps. The entire data gathering process is part of an efficient workflow monitored by SS&C staff. Once all data has been seamlessly integrated, our automated start-of-day process provides positions to the client s order management system and any other systems necessary, in whatever format is required. Only missing or unresolved data issues are delivered to the asset manager s staff for escalation and resolution, allowing operations teams to focus their efforts on priority items. Streamlining Operational Processes Because financial markets are dynamic and investment professionals must remain nimble to react to the market, operations teams must therefore be flexible enough to address changing business requirements. There are many processes that go into supporting the above goal. Traditional application hosting vendors are unable to support operational processes, but SS&C Outsourcing Services intra-day automation services can manage a wide variety of activities to ensure operations run flawlessly. While our solutions are tailored to meet each client s unique operational requirements, below are some examples of how we provide services beyond traditional hosting: Account Setup information on portfolios, clients, brokers and custodians is actively maintained, integrating reference data from numerous sources, position paper 3

4 and the security master file, user information and more is managed by SS&C on behalf of clients Reconciliation data for positions and transactions is collected from custodians and other third parties, matched against existing data and all breaks are resolved by SS&C experts Corporate Actions mandatory corporate actions are automatically processed and reconciled with custodians, and voluntary actions are managed by SS&C staff at the direction of the client Transaction Record Keeping accounting and processing rules are customized to each client s needs, and transaction processing and data validation is automated and monitored for efficiency and accuracy Performance and Attribution data is automatically generated and stored using SS&C tools and reviewed by SS&C experts to identify outliers, which are then discussed with operations teams for quick resolution Because SS&C Outsourcing Services uses its own software to support client operations, we offer solutions that precisely meet each client s unique operational needs across the middle-to-back office. Providing Information to Key Stakeholders With strong operations processes in place, asset managers can properly leverage the vast amounts of data they are generating to make the best informed investment decisions possible. Traditional hosting arrangements simply provide asset managers with access to their data, but the complexity of reporting on data falls to operations and IT teams. In today s economy, clients are demanding more transparency into their investments, while regulators want to ensure firms have visibility into and control over their assets. Reporting has become a critical and differentiated process for many firms. And as firms grow and expand, it is critical that reporting processes provide them with a single view of their investments across the entire organization, to improve investment decision-making while minimizing investment risks. SS&C Outsourcing Services leverages world-class reporting platforms to automate the reporting process for asset managers. Report generation is automated and delivered electronically, eliminating the need to run reports manually, which saves time and effort while reducing the burden on system processing during business hours. We also offer tools to conduct ad hoc reporting and analysis, so that your staff, investors and more can access data across multiple devices (computer, mobile devices, etc.), anytime, anywhere. SS&C s powerful Investment Intelligence Portal serves as a critical tool for delivering information. The following example illustrates how SS&C Outsourcing Services provides superior reporting and analysis capabilities to key stakeholders in the asset manager s organization: Investment professionals arrive each morning and log in to the SS&C Investment Intelligence Portal to view up-to-date information on the portfolios they are responsible for, including holdings data, refreshed positions, performance data and more, so they can immediately trade on the best information available. The Portal s analysis tools are used intra-day to conduct deeper analysis before making investment decisions. Compliance teams receive reports uploaded through the Investment Intelligence Portal during the day, showing the state of compliance for each portfolio, so any violations can be quickly addressed. Operations staff use the Investment Intelligence Portal to receive reports on missing prices, security master data integrity issues and reconciliation breaks to keep investment data up to date and as clean as possible. Investors can log in to the Investment Intelligence Portal to see daily information on their portfolios, and can view formal reports that would otherwise need to be sent electronically or via mail. SS&C Outsourcing Services enables clients to determine their precise reporting needs, automate the report creation process, and leverage world-class reporting tools to ensure all stakeholders have the easiest access possible to the best quality data available, however they want to receive it. position paper 4

5 Simplifying System Management and Reducing Operational Risk Regardless of how capable operations teams and IT teams are, they will not be effective if the systems that support them can t be predictably and reliably managed. Traditional application management provides the obvious benefits of reducing the IT management burden, providing more scalable systems to accommodate growth, and converting fixed IT costs to variable costs so that the asset manager is only paying for services used and business changes can be made without having IT serve as a bottleneck. SS&C s Outsourcing Services provide all the benefits of traditional application hosting along with a suite of holistic services to ensure that a firm s operations and technology run continually, with minimal operational risk. SS&C Outsourcing Services are delivered from state-of-the-art data centers by experienced systems and operations staff. Infrastructure support and physical security is available 24/7 to monitor and manage the data centers. This provides our clients with sound business continuity and disaster recovery capabilities, including mirroring to an alternate site for failover, redundant systems and generators to keep the infrastructure up and running in the event of a power failure. operational risks. Independent third-party audit firms regularly review SS&C Outsourcing Services for compliance with the AICPA SSAE 16 standards. These standards test the effectiveness of the controls in place for the data center infrastructure, facilities management and business process outsourcing services we provide, providing clients with confidence that we are outperforming industry best practices and standards. Hosting with SS&C Outsourcing Services A Clear Advantage While traditional application hosting remains a valuable solution for asset managers, ensuring growth and that the changing market can be operationally supported requires a more comprehensive approach. Shifting the responsibility of managing and monitoring operational activities and system administration from the asset manager to the vendor allows firms to focus on their core competencies, while improving their cost structure, enhancing their capabilities and reducing operational risk. SS&C Outsourcing Services is a leader in operations and IT outsourcing for asset managers and provides solutions that go well beyond traditional hosting to support the needs of the growing and dynamic investment management industry. Asset managers benefit from the data center s solid foundation of world-class hardware, software infrastructure and virtualization, which leads to high availability, improved system performance and reduced SS&C Technologies 80 Lamberton Road Windsor, CT USA SS&C Technologies Holdings, Inc.

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