Balancing Art and Science: Returns & Benchmarking Processing for Asset Owners

In the first paper of our asset owner series, we explored the unique business drivers, valuation methodologies, and considerations for private market and external manager processing. Now, in our second installment, we shift our focus to returns and benchmarks.
Asset owners often invest across a diverse mix of private and public market asset classes. But should the same return methodology be applied to both the asset class and the total fund level? Are there acceptable deviations?
Sophisticated benchmarking capabilities are essential for accurately consolidating returns at the total fund level. The complexities of substitution and benchmark specific overrides present challenges driven by various underlying factors. What are these factors, and how can best practices help overcome these challenges? Read on to discover our perspectives and practical solutions

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Charting the Course: Enhancing Performance Through Effective Private Market and External Manager Practices

Asset Owners¹ play a pivotal role in the institutional side of the investment landscape, utilizing capital markets to fulfill the long-term needs of beneficiaries. Their objectives are intricately tied to liquidity requirements and investment horizons, overseen by stakeholders such as Boards, Trustees, and Investment Committees. Given the diverse asset classes involved, a blend of internal

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Reap More Value From Data in Operational Transformations

“SURROUNDED BY DATA, BUT STARVED FOR INSIGHTS.” – JAY BAER LEVERAGE CAPABILITIES AVAILABLE IN EMERGING CONVERSION TOOLS TO SUPPORT PLANNING INSIGHTS In the first paper, we said that Performance is Data, sometimes a daunting data challenge. Performance data generation happens in successive layers. Aggregation of holdings creates exposures; changes in market values or exposures create returns; returns lay

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Operational Transformations: A Data-Driven Approach

Firms are constantly in flux. Day-to-day challenges and the pressure to meet existing SLAs often take center stage in business operations. Expansion of business models, increased service alternatives, and new technology solutions are pushing firms to transform their existing paradigm. The concept of an optimal model seems to allure many. Pure ‘strategy-led’ transformations typically run into years and most benefits manifest at the long end of the spectrum. A data-driven approach mitigates many risks that extend or abandon transformations.

by Jose Michaelraj, CIPM, CAIA

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Solving for Scale: Transforming Investment Operations to Meet Rapid Growth

Meradia’s brand new research paper, “Solving for Scale: Transforming Investment Operations to Meet Rapid Growth,” is now available!

Leveraging insights from a national survey of asset managers about the impact of growth on their firms’ operations, the whitepaper explores:
• How today’s asset management firms are balancing growth and profitability
• Why most traditional avenues for business expansion result in sub-optimal operations
• How achieving efficiency at scale becomes possible through a proven operational framework

by Jonathan Boersma, CFA
Jose Michaelraj, CIPM, CAIA

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Driving Strategic Transformation for Wealth Management Firms: A Framework for Technology Vendor Selection

Like many industries, wealth management is undergoing a change. Demographic and generational shifts in wealth will continue to reshape services and enhance the digital experience . In a survey of 120 wealth managers, 87% reported that they have made significant investments in technology over the past several years. Tech transformations within large wealth management firms are often achieved through integrations of vendor platforms with proprietary applications, as stakeholder needs are particularly diverse. A single platform solution may solve for a set number of stakeholders, but firms with various client types require multiple solutions that integrate seamlessly. Deciding on the best technology partners requires a proven, structured approach to technology evaluation.

by Tina Madel, CFA, Senior Manager
Jose Michaelraj, CIPM, CAIA, Manager
Josh Gerwick, CFA, CIPM, Consultant

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Market Data Contracts – Managing the Invisible Fence

Market data is like a river that flows through an investment firm’s landscape, supplying the essential data to function and operate competitively. Exchanges and vendors that own and provide this data often charge a premium due to its exclusive nature. The way investment firms acquire this data is via market data contracts, which may carry restrictions that seem onerous. In this paper, we will discuss the nature of these restrictions and four approaches to handling them.

by Andrew R Jacob, CFA, Senior Consultant
Jose Michaelraj, CIPM, CAIA, Manager

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2022 Industry Outlook: Investment Performance

Investment performance teams are under pressure to adapt to economic and market volatility amid rapid industry consolidation, operational outsourcing and technological disruption. When working with institutional asset managers, asset owners, wealth managers, insurers, and asset servicing vendors, Meradia has observed the impact of these trends firsthand. Here, we examine the forces at play and how the industry may evolve in 2022 and beyond.

by the Meradia Investment Performance Practice

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Look Before You Leap: A Risk-Based Framework To Aid Middle- and Back-Office Outsourcing

The consolidation of middle- and back-office outsourcing is gaining popularity across the investment management industry. To date, there have been many debates around the pros and cons of this trend. Whether your firm has already made the decision to outsource or is actively evaluating options, there’s much to consider. How do you know you’ve made the right choice? Have you considered the most important factors? We believe wearing a “special” lens might reveal insights missing in existing discussions, paving the way for a novel method to assess comparable offerings and potentially result in superior outcomes.

by Jose R. Michaelraj, CIPM, CAIA Senior Consultant…

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