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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Self-Service Client Reporting: Challenges and Considerations

The risks and challenges presented here within are a sample of factors to consider when evaluating self-service reporting functionality. At the outset, providing electronic access to data seems simple. Layering increased data scrutiny by end-users with regulatory expectations that mimic those included on printed, scripted and static reports is complex. Identifying your firm’s specific challenges and charting a course to overcome them is a worthwhile, rewarding endeavor that will improve relationships with your clients. Meradia has a long history of helping clients with reporting challenges – including self-service reporting.

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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
and Lou J. Quattrucci, Director of Sales & Marketing

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Multi-Asset Class Investing: Part 3 – Knitting Together an Attribution

Meradia has observed a strong uptick 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 multi-asset class phenomenon in depth, from origins to solutions. In our first installment, we looked at market and industry trends that seem to be driving the evolution of MAC toward more sophisticated strategies. In the second, we examined characteristics and methods of MAC managers that raise the bar, relative to traditional investment processes. In our final 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?

by Mark R. David, CFA, Director of Performance, Risk & Analytics

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Multi-Asset Class Investing: Part 2 – Meeting the Process Challenge

Meradia has observed a strong uptick 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 our first of three installments, we looked at market and industry trends that seem to be driving the evolution of MAC toward more sophisticated strategies and methods. In this second installment, we 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?

by Mark R. David, CFA, Director of Performance, Risk & Analytics

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Multi-Asset Class Investing: Part 1 – Forces Behind a Trend

Meradia has observed a strong uptick 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 towards more sophisticated strategies and methods.

by Mark R. David, CFA, Director of Performance, Risk & Analytics

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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.

by Kenneth M. Scheinblum, Principal Consultant

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Outsourced Chief Investment Officer (OCIO): Key Selection Factors

The Outsourced Chief Investment Officer (OCIO) space has grown dramatically during the past decade, with new institutions moving into the market daily offering OCIO services. Plans and endowments are dealing with changing investment mandates, complex market structures, hundreds of investment manager options, and challenges finding talent. Additionally, OCIOs are offering more and building models that support all types of delegated services and clients. For organizations, the number of choices and internal pressures can be daunting and difficult to navigate. The challenges include determining how to work with an OCIO provider, how to find the right fit, and how to implement and incorporate one into your organization. Meradia offers the expertise to help answer those questions, and to lead a successful transition.

by Joshua B. Levitt, Senior Consultant

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