08 January 2019

Controlled collaboration: How firms are rethinking their front office operating model

By Justin Wayne

Recently, a client told me something that I have been hearing quite a lot lately:

“Nobody is hiring us, because we are wicked awesome at entering trades.”

The quote is rather funny (especially if you happen to be from Boston), but within that comment is something that we have witnessed more lately from numerous clients. Firms are looking for ways to bring on junior front-office employees to assist senior employees, but to do so in a way that does not jeopardize compliance or efficiency.

SS&C Advent clients are evaluating all aspects of their front office; from workflows to the type of products that they offer, the technology they deploy and the operating model that they establish. There are plenty of articles, blogs and whitepapers crusading for the empowerment of the front office. In fact, we have seen more and more firms equipping their front office with work-saving technology, in order for the team to spend more time on managing their portfolios and clients. Although, there are still far too many firms, which have portfolio managers (PMs) creating, reviewing and processing trades. This puts them at a disadvantage, unless they have technology in place that:

  1. Is easy to use
  2. Facilitates modeling
  3. Allays compliance concerns
  4. Streamlines collaboration between the PM, compliance and trading support associates

Several of my previous posts discussed all of the efficient and scalable order creation features that we are building for our clients within Genesis, in particular, points one and two above. Now, firms are asking themselves an important question: Despite our technology, do we actually have the PMs doing what is creating the most value for our business?

It is a thin line to walk, as many investment management firms need to ensure that any dissemination of duties in the order lifecycle of a trade are well documented and easy to audit. As we know, our highly regulated industry demands it.

Firms are now wondering what technology can do to help them collaborate across their investment teams in an audited and controlled manner. The collaboration aspects of a platform are critical to many of our clients, and are an important area of focus for Genesis. Seamless compliance workflows are vital, but it is the seamless collaborative workflows within the PM teams where a lot of hidden opportunity exist. Genesis’ flexible Session Management and Approval workflows enable firms to effortlessly segment various aspects of the order creation workflow, without compromising the controls. This is a key requirement from the compliance department, as well as an important feature to bring more controlled collaboration across the PM team.

To learn more about Genesis, and how to bring controlled collaboration across your front office team, contact us. Start freeing-up your time to focus on investment selection and client servicing, rather than order entry.