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25 January 2022

Conversation on SS&C’s Syncova: Building a Culture of Collaboration with Co-workers and Clients

Behind any SS&C Advent product is a team of people working together to ensure the solution fulfills our clients’ exacting needs and expectations. The Advent Syncova® team is a prime example. Originally designed to bring greater transparency and precision to complex margin and financing calculations for hedge funds and prime brokers, Syncova has evolved into a powerful, highly scalable automated calculation engine for a growing variety of financial scenarios, including to compute LTVs against pledged assets, while tracking complex measures of value, market volatility, liquidity and other risk factors.


Recently, I had a conversation with two members of the Advent Syncova team, Relationship Manager Mike Gill and Director of Product Management Stephen Robins, to delve into how they work together and with clients to deliver the best possible product.


First, tell me a little bit about your role on the Syncova team at SS&C Advent.


Mike: I have two roles – Account Executive for the Americas and Relationship Manager for our largest Syncova clients. On a regular basis, I engage with clients to see what features of Syncova are most impactful and what they would like to see added. Clients are open and straightforward about their experience, which helps me when I’m talking to prospects who are experiencing similar pain-points, and can explain why Syncova is a good fit for them.


Stephen: My primary role is defining, designing, and specifying the features that we will add to Syncova. I work with our sales, support, and services teams - and also directly with clients - to capture these requirements. Then, I work with our developers to build the feature, test it, and run it through Quality Assurance. In reality, I feel the core of my job is answering questions, whether from within the Syncova team or from our clients.


How do you feel your work is making an impact?


Mike: Quite simply, my goal is to make life easier for my clients, prospects, and coworkers. Walking in every day, knowing I have the backing of SS&C, a tech powerhouse, but still maintain the autonomy of a startup at the product level is what makes my job meaningful. We have the resources and capabilities to deliver a best-in-class solution backed by a global network of people ready to roll up their sleeves and get the job done. 


Stephen: Everything the product team does has the goal of improving Syncova for our clients in mind. My work sits right at the heart of this team, working with our software and QA engineers. Each part of the team has to function well to make it work. When we enhance the product, we are putting more power and control into the hands of our clients and improving the likelihood of new sales; even relatively minor changes will have a positive impact.


What was your experience before coming to SS&C Advent, and how does it relate to your work on Syncova?


Mike: I was an institutional equity trader for the largest bank in the world, as well as a few mid-tier institutions. The best person to sell a product is someone who has used it before. I know how to navigate organizations large and small. Breaking down the key benefits for each part of the organization is critical, so they can make a decision with confidence that they are being good stewards of their shareholders’ capital.


Stephen: I joined Syncova when it was the name of a small start-up company (as employee number 3)!   SS&C Advent acquired Syncova in 2011. Prior to that, I worked for a small management consultancy in the pensions and IT space, and before that I was an experimental high-energy particle physicist. It's not exactly a linear progression, but all these roles revolve around deep analysis of data and complex calculations.


How do you define success in your work? What’s an achievement you are proud of?


Mike: There is a great feeling of satisfaction when a client moves to a new firm and immediately reaches out for a demo. They have enough confidence in Syncova, SS&C Advent, and our team that they will bring us along based on their prior experience. Many of our clients come this way, and it is a sign we are doing something right. 


Stephen: We had a development partnership with a client where the goals were to significantly shorten their daily processing times and enable them to efficiently scale up to 10-times volume. It was an extremely challenging project involving the whole development team over multiple release cycles. Early on, we had a difficult time and missed our targets. But after months of hard work, I was able to go on-site to assist with the first regional go-live. Overcoming those initial challenges made the successful outcome especially satisfying.


And finally, what’s the best part about working at SS&C Advent?


Mike: The culture, by far. I work with a team of people that will jump through hoops to make a client or a coworker happy. Our team goes above and beyond what is asked of them. Titles are for business cards. Everyone rolls up their sleeves when something needs to be done. This team really enjoys working together. That’s not something you find often in a company of this size.


Stephen: The Syncova team is relatively small, which creates a strong focus on efficiency and collaboration. There is a weekly call with all internal Syncova stakeholders that embodies this team spirit. Any and all issues are discussed, and we put our minds to solving them collectively. Ultimately, in any company, it’s the people you work with that make it a great place to work.


For firms looking to scale and grow their existing business, learn how Syncova can help overcome operational barriers and risk uncertainties that may stand in the way by contacting us, or requesting a demo.