Composites: Considering the New SEC Marketing Rule and the GIPS Standards

The November 4, 2022 deadline for the new SEC Marketing Rule requires firms to create and maintain composites in order to market their performance. Many investment managers are looking to the Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS®) for guidance and best practices, leading some to consider taking the necessary steps to claim GIPS compliance. Here, we address some of the most frequently asked questions about this process.

by Jonathan A. Boersma, CFA
Natasha E. Romanova, CIPM

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Core Principles To Abide By for Effective Outsourcing

What processes are poised for outsourcing, and what areas should be kept in-house? These are the first questions investment managers should ask before delegating specific business processes to external providers. Outsourcing is complex, but abiding by these three principles will ensure your firm’s decision supports enhanced business operations well into the future.

by Benjamin P. Smith, Client Partner…

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3 Ways To Accelerate Your Vendor Selection Process

Finding a vendor to solve a business need is often treated as an analytical task – pick one that checks the most boxes and provides the biggest “bang for the buck.” However, several other factors should feed this decision. Vendor selection is not only about choosing the right platform, but also about picking the right partner who closely fits the firm’s culture and offers complementary services. Often, organizations find themselves in a precarious situation when extensive analyses conducted over several months do not yield decisive outcomes. Here are three ways to accelerate the process and reach a viable option.

by Christine (Tina) M. Madel, CFA, Principal

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Targeted Demos Benefit Both Buyers & Vendors in the Selection Process – Whether They Are Conducted In-Person or Remotely

Typical vendor selection methodologies include consecutive steps made by the buying firm. Their first step is to consider an ‘anything is possible’ list of vendors before culling it to a short list of qualified vendors, followed by a robust and time-consuming RFP process. A few vendors will make it to the final steps which involve product demonstrations, or ‘demos.’ Even after all this effort and detailed qualitative analysis, a firm may have a difficulty selecting a single vendor and/or feel less-than-confident that their choice is unbiased and free of incorrect assumptions. By including live or remotely conducted targeted demos as the final step, firms are better able to evaluate vendors objectively.

by Christine (Tina) M. Madel, CFA, Principal

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Transformation Challenges Facing Insurance Investment Operations

The operations arms of Insurance Investment Managers are experiencing increased activity. 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 quickly evolving as the impetus for change has reached critical mass.

During the past two decades, we’ve observed many investment managers, including insurance companies, painfully and expensively deploy human capital rather than address technology gaps to solve their operational challenges. Failure to keep applications and related infrastructure current drives up costs. As firms seek change, experienced resources can dramatically improve outcomes.

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

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Investment Accounting Systems: Keeping up with Ever-evolving Insurance Statutory Requirements

Investment accounting is an ever-changing process, especially for insurance companies and publicly traded insurers. Statutory accounting regulations (STAT) from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and accounting rules from the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) for generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) have been rapidly and broadly changing reporting requirements in response to riskier investment types, new investment categorizations, and changes in accounting rules. Flexibility within investment accounting systems is more critical than ever.

Rules are written or modified annually for investment accounting, which puts pressure on insurance companies to quickly implement new procedures and support systems to remain compliant. Enlisting Meradia’s expertise in evaluating your current state, defining your target state, vendor selection, conversion, and implementation can help you successfully navigate through this dynamic environment.

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