Once the decision to replace an investment performance system has been made, most firms kick off the effort by mobilizing a formidable complement of resources, all charged with a single objective: selecting the vendor(s) who will make it so. Sponsors, steering committees, stakeholders, managers, experts and analysts are convened. RFPs listing thousands of criteria, elaborate scoring schemes, long lists and short lists are constructed. Initial and targeted demos, proof-of-concept, final selection, management approvals and contract negotiations are conducted. Boxes are ticked. This elaborate pageant commands vast amounts of both internal resources and calendar time — once the winner has finally been announced, a festive celebration is held, and backs are patted all around.

by Mark R. David, CFA


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