To an industry in change, Meradia delivers stability.
Change is a constant in the investment management industry, whether generated by competition, regulation, shareholder or client demand. As the industry continues to evolve, we help you navigate complex situations, turning obstacles into opportunities.
Investment managers and advisors struggle with using outdated processes to manage market data. Pricing data is a component of market data, and is often complex and intricate. For firms that have experienced rapid growth, but still have antiquated procedures, this can pose a significant challenge and risk to operational efficiency.
An investment advisory firm recognized the limitations imposed by using outdated Excel processes to manage pricing data. The firm retained Meradia to help it design a solution that would better serve its current and future data needs, and provide the scalability and reliability that the current Excel-based process could not. By evaluating the pricing team’s processes and uses of data, Meradia was able to design a complete data management solution that resolved not only pricing data inefficiencies, but also provided a bigger picture solution and process for managing market data.Read More
Recently, we've seen increased activity in operations arms of Insurance Investment Managers. With challenges mounting from increased customer expectations, a challenging regulatory environment and a divergence in the quality and quantity of data between front and back offices, Insurance Investment Managers are looking for new solutions. The software landscape is quicky evolving as the impetus for change has reached critical mass.Read More
When completing projects, project managers and firms typically update business requirements, since they form the backbone of how a firm operates. With greater pressure to finish projects on time and within budget, some project managers forgo updates to business requirements. Meradia's Mark Pazdyk debates the issue and details a compelling rationale for always updating business requirements during the project lifecycle.Read More
Recently, we’ve observed a strong up-tick in activity around Multi-Asset Class (MAC) investment products and strategies. We see managers across the globe expanding current MAC offerings and introducing new ones, consequently generating demand for new support around analytic methodologies, data and technology.
This series explores our view of the MAC phenomenon in depth, from origins to solutions. In this first of three installments, we look at market and industry trends that seem to be driving the evolution of MAC toward more sophisticated strategies and methods.Read More
Without strong project management and leadership, systems implementations have a greater risk of failure. A global investment firm was trying to implement a third-party system and experiencing project challenges, resulting in missed deadlines, deliverables and go-live dates. The firm engaged Meradia to assume a leadership role in the project by taking control of the vendor relationship and course correcting a shaky project.Read More
In our final MAC entry, we’ll examine some real-world solutions to the puzzle presented by attribution in a MAC framework. Given the inherent – indeed, intentional – disparity among the factors driving risk and return of these classes, how do we design and present an attribution methodology that accurately and meaningfully illustrates the manager’s MAC process?Read More
Meradia recently held a well-attended roundtable: a collaborative conversation on the topics of data management, data governance and data protection. In attendance were a variety of senior individuals with roles that included a chief data steward, performance and analytics SVP, risk management data SVP and a mutual fund operations manager. All of whom were from leading financial services firms in core banking, fund administration, investment banking, insurance and institutional asset management.Read More
A sometimes underestimated and often underappreciated aspect of an implementation project concerns training. When an investment firm implements a new system, particularly one affecting a large number of staff, training is a key success factor. Without a plan to organize, coordinate and train the various groups, go-live success is at risk.
A large wealth manager engaged Meradia to lead the organization and coordination of training for a new enterprise-wide implementation. The firm tasked Meradia with a significant objective: arrange for the delivery of training to a global team, across multiple functional groups, and covering several different project phases.Read More
While the prime objective of active asset management firms is the search for alpha, important questions arise: How does one measure alpha, identify levers that contribute to alpha and define a consistent process? In simpler terms, these could be viewed as return computation, performance attribution and systemic automation of the investment performance process respectively.Read More
The only thing more powerful than money, is information. What happens when that information is money? Financial data flows become increasingly sophisticated and complex with each passing day. Clients want to see accurate and timely reporting of billions of dollars (in terms of market value). To stay competitive financial service providers need to ensure enriched and properly mapped data, from a wide variety of service providers, is reported in a timely matter.Read More
Business Process Outsourcing, better known as BPO, is hardly a new concept in the financial services industry. Firms have long looked for ways to maximize operating efficiency and found outsourcing to be a viable means of improving cost structures. Following the near crash in 2008, and amidst shrinking margins, firms have increased outsourcing spend to combat margin pressures. Meradia's Dan Steketee examines the concept and outlines challenges as well as keys to success.Read More
Investment firms face many operational challenges, not the least of which is minimizing the risk associated with manual processes. In some cases, firms impose additional controls or verification processes, which help, but don't eliminate manual tasks. Other firms look to improve the process itself. Meradia was engaged to help the Investment Analytics division of a large firm design, build and implement an automation tool that would reduce risk from manual processes, while improving operational efficiency.Read More
Due to a rapid deterioration in the economic and political climate in the European Union countries and increased odds of the exit or complete breakup of the EU, Meradia hosted a roundtable in January 2012. We invited senior management from asset managers and industry vendors to discuss the operational implications of the potential break-up of the Euro. Following this roundtable meeting, Scott A. Wybranski, President and CEO of Meradia was asked to address SIFMA’s Asset Manager Forum in NYC.Read More
Client reporting is the primary channel through which an investment manager can tell their story: here are your assets, here is what has transpired since last time, and here is a comparison of the allocation and performance of your assets against a benchmark. The client will decide if the story is worth the fees. The stakes are high.
Historically client reports have been monthly or quarterly templated snapshots on a printed page. Clients are now demanding dynamic output in a standard electronic format like CSV, JSON, or XML. Their motto is, “give me my data, not your PDF.”Read More
Financial services firms often undergo system implementations to meet client, regulatory or internal demand. Managing these projects is a critical business process, as failed implementations can impact a company's operating efficiency and bottom line. Meradia's Dan Steketee outlines typical reasons for failed implementations and details several keys to driving successful projects.Read More
Following up, we now examine the MAC investment process itself: what are the methods and practices that successful MAC managers employ, and how do these distinguish MAC from more traditional approaches?Read More
Project leadership takes guts.
Face it, you take on some of the most complex assignments and are responsible for large budgets, resources, and operational impacts. You are asked to make it happen in some extremely challenging circumstances. With all of this responsibility, you need to be a powerful and effective leader. The steps outlined in this article will enable you to tap into your leadership potential, engage your teams, and utilize proven techniques for successful project outcomes.Read More
Investment firms regularly undergo system conversions and implementations. Implementations that fail may carry significant reputational, operational or financial risk. While investment firms work hard to avoid or mitigate risk in the investment selection process, this risk focus is, at times, an afterthought when it comes to delivering projects.
A large wealth manager engaged Meradia to help it reset a key project that was in danger of failing. The firm needed Meradia to take control of several key project components, including data validation, gathering/writing business requirements and establishing effective communications with a vendor whose system was being implemented.Read More