Risk Statistics in Performance Calculators: Suitable and Scalable? – Part 1

Investment performance calculators have witnessed steady growth in functionality during the past couple of decades. Leveraging huge data management platforms that contain exception management and workflow capabilities, calculators provide upstream integration capabilities. By expanding calculation breadth to include attribution effects and risk statistics, they are knocking on front office doors. As vendor consolidation occurs and performance systems endeavor to deliver one-stop solutions, it is important to understand design mechanisms related to each functionality that drives system efficiencies. In this paper, we examine returns and ex-post risk statistics.

This Part 1 of a two-part series lists the subset of risk statistics with which we are concerned and the benefits of calculating these in a performance calculator.

Stay tuned for Part 2 which delves into systemic factors that enable efficient computation of risk statistics and why conventional architectures encounter scaling issues.

by Jose R. Michaelraj, CIPM, Senior Consultant

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Design Thinking: How to Integrate Creativity into Data-Driven Business

The financial services industry has always been required to embrace change, whether it be driven internally to control cost and sustain growth or driven externally to address and leverage market conditions. Given the rapidly evolving technology environment, volatile markets and globalization; companies are searching for ways to more successfully innovate to meet these challenges and take advantage of this environment by offering new products and services. To do this effectively, an organization must be able to understand customer needs, identify viable business and operating models and ensure their offering is technically possible and deliverable within the parameters of their risk profile.

By integrating a design thinking approach, organizations can more effectively consider the outcomes for the end users of their systems and processes. What will their experience be like? How do the systems and processes provide value to them? How do the deliverables solve their pain points and/or business needs?

by Daniel G. Foley, Principal

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Is RPA the Right Solution to Optimize Your Investment Operations?

The use of Robotics Process Automation (RPA) is on the rise across the financial services industry. Investment operations managers are touting the benefits of using this new technology to reduce headcount, reduce errors, and increase through-put – an operations manager’s dream! Meanwhile, other operations managers are finding themselves in a nightmare situation when they’ve implemented this technology resulting in failed projects and money wasted. To achieve the dream and evade the nightmare, managers need to follow a disciplined approach before deciding which direction to take. This paper provides insights into a proven RPA analysis process used to derive a realistic ROI and successful projects.

by Christine M. Madel, CFA, Principal

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Hedge Fund and Private Equity: Investment Performance Challenges

Alternative Investments create opportunities for investors, and they present unique operational challenges for investment managers. This paper discusses operational challenges associated with investment performance calculations, specifically as they pertain to hedge funds and private equity included in a multi-asset portfolio. Challenges discussed include late pricing, layered fees, exposure reporting, preliminary and final pricing as well as negative valuations. The pros and costs of several valuation methods are also addressed.

by Laurie J. Hesketh, CIPM, PMP, Managing Director

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Performance Reporting Considerations: Environmental, Social and Governance Investment Strategies

Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investment strategies and other portfolio management strategies that accentuate societal impact into the investment management process are burgeoning in popularity. Changing attitudes and demographics suggest that clients are increasingly interested in using their investment dollars to make positive impacts.

These new impact strategies challenge traditional investment performance reporting. This article examines the core characteristics of impact investing, barriers to improved performance reporting and tools to navigate this changing landscape.

by Laurie J. Hesketh, CIPM, PMP, Managing Director

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