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Buy-Side Platforms: Nirvana in the Front-Office

Centralized, cross-asset trading on a single platform may avoid compliance and risk nightmares. (Round-up industry story on OTC derivatives quotes CRD Managing Director-Global Tom Driscoll and Product Manager Karl Kutschke. The complete story follows.)

 As regulators close the gap between the over-the-counter and exchange-traded markets, order management system and specialist OTC suppliers are gearing up provide the buy side with a single, centralized platform for OTC and listed instruments – a possible Nirvana for the front-office.

 Ultimately, the new rules of the road for the nearly $600 trillion OTC market will give the buy side a long “to-do” list.

 The vendors may have some breathing space. In the US, the regulatory changes are in a state of flux and are likely to miss their mandated deadlines. The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission are moving to set up swap execution facilities, which are exchange alternatives for OTC instruments; OTC clearing platforms with collateral requirements; and swap data repositories.

The regulators are also likely to issue rules that will lead to changes in back office operations, intended to capture and calculate risk to comply with new, forthcoming margining rules. The driving force behind these changes, the Dodd-Frank Act, also allows OTC trades to be transacted on futures exchanges. European regulators are expected to enact similar reforms later this year, which is when the new rules from US regulators are likely to take effect.

The new regulatory environment will mean new connectivity to SEFs, extra transparency into the risk profile of their counterparties, and more transparency into OTC instruments via additional analytics and risk controls. They will need a broader view of the exposure that OTC instruments pose to portfolios. Some of these steps, however, run counter to the push for platform consolidation.

 Step 1: consolidation

Many mid-to-large sized shops are using as many as seven different trading systems to cover cash, foreign exchange, proprietary trading, equities, and fixed income, says Gavin Little-Gill, global head of asset management product strategy for Linedata Services, maker of the Longview OMS. In many cases, the OTC desk is not yet automated.

 “How do you run compliance that way? How do you understand what your counterparty risk is? How do you truly measure your exposure?” Little-Gill asks. “In that environment, it’s very difficult to do so.”

 One way around this problem is for front-office platforms to do a much better job of capturing the “cleanest possible portfolio data as soon as possible,” Little-Gill says. Users also want the data to be validated to avoid data scrubbing later, he says.

 Multiple, isolated systems can arise from firms that have taken a do-it-yourself or a best-of-breed approach, says Robin Strong, director of buy-side market strategy for Fidessa, which offers the LatentZero Minerva OMS/execution management system. These siloed systems have frequently been long and costly implementations. Firms often wind up with a harsh realization that “they can’t actually do pre-trade compliance because half of the trades are in one system and half are in another,” Strong says.

 Moving to centralized, cross-asset trading on a single platform could help avoid compliance and risk nightmares.  “I’d say the nightmare is trying to get a consolidated risk picture,” says David Kelly, director, credit products at Quantifi, a provider of analytics, trading and risk management software for the OTC markets. The strengths of OMS platforms are in equity and bond transactions, not OTC, he says. “Throw a CDS at them and forget it,” Kelly says. “What risk system do you overlay on top of these execution/order management systems that allow you to consolidate a picture of your risk?”

 To avoid nightmares, user firms have to first organizationally change the siloed mentality, says Sang Lee, co-founder and managing partner at Boston-based market research firm Aite Group. “The best approach to providing cross-asset compliance via OMSs would be to make sure that all transactions across the different asset classes get funneled through the OMS so that the compliance module can keep track from a centralized position,” Lee says.

 Converging assets and technologies

In addition, OMS platforms will need more inroads into the OTC environment, says industry analyst Stephen Bruel, an analyst at market research firm TowerGroup. As the OTC market starts to resemble the futures space, “the OMSs will have to make some changes to be able to handle the nuances of the OTC book”, he says.

 “At the same time, there are some OTC derivatives providers such as Misys, Calypso and Murex that perform a lot of these front-office trading functions from an OTC perspective and they’re going to need to modify their technology so that they look and act like something that trades futures because that’s how the trading is going to evolve,” says Bruel, adding that the OTC providers lack the real-time data management capabilities that “you see more on the listed side”.

OMS vendors also have to recognize that there will be no “one-size-fits-all” problem set that they can use to model their cross-asset platforms, says Rob Agne, director of product management at ConvergEx’s Eze Castle Software. The North American, European and Asia-Pacific markets will be distinct as will the asset classes. “Different asset classes will be traded on different SEFs,” he says. Counterparties may choose to specialize. Amid the maze of new rules and regulations, customers will need help finding increased levels of liquidity and transparency, not to mention support for new file formats and reporting requirements.

“You can see how this just perpetuates into somewhat of a difficult environment,” Agne says. “We’re not rushing out to connect to everyone. Part of what we’re trying to do is listen to what our clients are asking for.” Agne says he’s hoping for more standardized, extensible APIs that can serve as a kind of insurance against a likely shakeout among the SEFs and related venues. He is also hoping for standardized contracts via the SEFs.

 However, Agne cites one key benefit of moving OTC transactions to trading venues – the generation of market data. “As a technology vendor, we’ll need to have adapters to bring in that real-time market data for our clients to take advantage of. As these are traded on exchanges, there will be more data for us to process and that’s something we need to consider. We’re working on it.”

Before vendors launch the single platform for all, they will have to resolve “off the charts” customer demands for compliance and regulatory support, says Chuck Giessen, senior vice president and general manager for the financial markets group of SS&C Technologies, maker of the Antares OMS. “The issue in our industry now is the increasing requirements for transactions,” Giessen says.

A case in point is the 11 million Finra-mandated Order Audit Trail System reports processed per month by the SS&C Antares platform, Giessen says. In addition, Antares supports reporting procedures for exchange-traded equities governed by Mifid in Europe and by regulators in Australia.

“As reporting requirements start to include other asset classes, there is a general issue in the transaction sequencing numbers and how you report them and how things are centralized,” Giessen says. Firms will have to grapple with the issue of principal trading books and how to tie them to their underlying options via time sequencing.

 “It’s a massive issue for our clients so we’re doing significant work for them,” Giessen says. “All of which argues for increased spending for IT in an environment where people have less money to spend. And that’s the squeeze. I think that’s the dilemma – everybody knows they need more, but they just aren’t sure how to pay for more.”

 Going to market

When they do go to market, the buy side will find the vendor space a lot “more crowded over the next 12 months,” Bruel says. “We may even see some partnership activity.” For the moment, some vendors are skipping the partnership step. Calypso Technology, for instance, is readying an OTC OMS (See “Calypso to build ‘OTC OMS'”, page 32) while Charles River Development has its own analytics.

 In fact, Charles River will not be partnering with a specialist OTC provider, says Tom Driscoll, the global managing director at the firm, maker of the IMS platform. “We’ve poured tens of millions, if not more, into the support of these types of instruments,” he says.    “We’re building out our capabilities on analytics and there’s risk management as well,” says Karl Kutschke, product manager, fixed income and derivatives at Charles River. Users will be able to watch a trade’s progression through its lifecycle, including its impact on portfolios.

Providing analytics, risk and compliance support will be differentiators among OMS vendors because the pain points have shifted to pre-trade elements, Driscoll says. “A couple of years ago, pre-trade compliance and risk may have been as ‘nice-to-haves,’ “he says. It’s really more of a must-have now.”   Driscoll acknowledges that specialty systems can excel at certain tasks. However, they may miss broader elements such as non-derivative asset classes. “Many of them are good on the risk side but with compliance rules that’s been a challenge,” says Driscoll, who adds that working with a third party contradicts the push for platform consolidation.

Dan Matthies, global head for the Asset and Investment Manager OMS from Bloomberg, says he agrees that pre-trade compliance has become more important for OTC derivatives processing, which is why AIM offers calculations. “If you’re creating a credit default swap on Bloomberg, you’re setting up the deal terms whether they’re captured electronically or created manually,” Matthies says. The deal terms are entered into a calculator before the transaction is sent to AIM.

 Quantifi might consider partnerships with OMS vendors, despite the fact that their product scope is “very limited to cash equities and bonds,” Kelly says. “There’s not a whole lot of analytics in the equities space unless you’re doing charting, which we don’t do.” Quantifi may have more interactions with the OMS providers once they start sending OTC instruments to SEFs.

As for the single platform for all, Kelly says it is nonexistent. “I would argue that if there were such a system it would have a monopoly position in the vendor space,” he says. “In my 20 years in the business, I’ve not seen it created – mostly because the spectrum is so broad.”   Other vendors express a more qualified support for a centralized platform.

 Mattheis says that, while AIM comes very close to being the complete platform, “there’s always going to be something that any system or platform doesn’t do as a result of the market continuing to reinvent itself.” The key is to work with “the biggest community” of diverse firms trading across different asset classes and regions who can then serve as development partners, he says.

“It depends on the requirements of the firm,” Driscoll says. “If you do it across multiple asset classes, finding a system that’s perfect in every asset class is probably not realistic.” However, Driscoll argues that a module that supports 90% of an instrument’s operation and is connected to a unified platform is superior to an isolated system that does 99 percent of the job but costs millions of dollars to integrate. The end users will ultimately decide if they are willing to make that kind of a trade-off for Nirvana.

Source; April 8, 2011; Banking Technology

Filed under: News, Risk Management, Trading Technology, , , , , , ,

Principal Financial Mexico Completes Roll-out of Charles River IMS

Multi-phased project automates pension and mutual fund operations; supports all asset classes .

Boston – February 22, 2011 – Charles River Development (Charles River), a front- and middle-office investment software solutions provider, today announced that Principal Financial Group Mexico, one of Mexico’s largest banking groups, has completed a multi-phased rollout of the Charles River Investment Management System (Charles River IMS) across its Principal AFORE (pensions) and Principal Fondos de Inversion (mutual fund and asset management) divisions in Monterrey and Mexico City. Principal was the first Charles River client in Mexico to implement Charles River IMS. The project is part of Principal’s initiative to ensure business growth by automating manual processes and offering more sophisticated investment strategies for investors and retirees.

Phase One of the project, completed in 2008, automated Principal’s compliance monitoring of domestic equity and fixed income instruments. This final phase provides Principal AFORE and Principal Fondos de Inversion users with automated portfolio management, trading and compliance monitoring for local and international asset classes on a single-consolidated platform. Charles River’s implementation experts also built seamless interfaces with Principal’s proprietary mutual fund accounting system and third-party pension accounting system, Soluciones. In the near future, Principal plans to support more derivative instruments, including credit and interest rate swaps.

During the rollout, Principal was instrumental in advising Charles River on Mexico’s unique requirements and workflows. Charles River IMS supports Mexican fixed income instruments, including corporate and government Bonos, CETES and UDIBONOS. Users can also manage collateral for Mexican repo transactions, including interest rate calculations.

“To stay ahead of Mexico’s evolving regulations for mutual fund and pension portfolios, we required an integrated platform that could streamline workflows and support complex investment instruments,” said Alejandro Echegorri, chief financial officer, Principal Financial Group. “With Charles River IMS, we have a truly global system that enhances our competitiveness in the region. Our traders, portfolio managers and compliance officers can now trade and monitor all asset classes, including specialized debt for local, global and emerging markets. Further, we have eliminated our dependence on spreadsheets and reduced our risk throughout the trade process.”

“Charles River provides asset managers in Mexico and worldwide with the technical infrastructure to support new asset classes and increased trade volumes for future growth,” said Spiros Giannaros, vice president-sales, Americas, Charles River Development. “The system makes it easy to analyze portfolios and implement changes in real-time. Users also have an end-to-end audit trail to validate compliance throughout the trade lifecycle.”

Charles River IMS’ advanced functionality helps Principal comply with Mexican regulations. For example, Principal AFORES can meet CONSAR (Comision Nacional del Sistema de Ahoro para el Retiro) pre-trade reporting requirements for derivatives. Principal Fondos de Inversion can adhere to CNBV (Comision Nacional Bancaria y de Valores) asset allocation rules limiting mutual fund exposure to issuers. Charles River IMS has pre-built compliance libraries containing over 1,700 regulatory and general example rules across 35 regulatory bodies of 20 countries.

Charles River supports five buy-side client firms in Mexico, and serves over a dozen firms across Brazil, Chile, and Panama.

About Principal Mexico

The Principal operates in Mexico through five separate entities: Principal AFORE (pensions), Principal Pensiones (annuities), Principal Fondos de Inversión (mutual funds and asset management), and Principal Seguros (life insurance and accumulation) and Principal Asset Management, our division focusing on large companies, Governments and Institutions.

Headquartered in Monterrey, Mexico, Principal AFORE is a private pension company that manages and administers individual employee retirement plans through the state mandatory retirement system Administradoras de Fondos de Retiro (AFORE). Since our inception in 1997, Principal AFORE has earned a top-five market position in the pre-retirement accumulation market.

Also headquartered in Monterrey, Principal Fondos de Inversión has generated impressive growth in the retail mutual funds segment and has shown market leadership in the creation of specialty products catering to high net worth clients. In addition, the company has begun important distribution agreements that will permit us to develop brand recognition and increase our assets under management.

Source: CRD, 22.02.2011

Filed under: Latin America, Mexico, News, , , , , , , , , , ,

China Asset Management Automates QDII Investment Operations and Electronic Trading with Charles River IMS

Single platform allows straight-through processing for company’s Beijing and Hong Kong QDII investment hubs

January 12, 2011 – Charles River Development (Charles River), an award-winning provider of financial software and services to the global investment community, today announced that China Asset Management Company (China AMC) is live on the Charles River Investment Management System (Charles River IMS). China AMC is China’s largest fund manager. China Asset Management has implemented the latest Version 9 release of the Charles River IMS, which fully integrates order and execution management capabilities (OEMS) on a single platform. The implementation, delivered on time and on budget, also includes the Charles River Post-Trade module, which centralizes confirmation, trade matching, and settlement workflow and automates the post-trade process.

China AMC’s investment operations for assets managed under the Qualified Domestic Institutional Investor (QDII) scheme are now fully automated. QDII allows Chinese asset managers to invest in international assets on behalf of their clients. Users in the company’s main offices in Beijing and Hong Kong are currently using Charles River IMS. Charles River IMS interfaces with a number of third-party applications, including a Chinese domestic back-office system, and integrates with various proprietary systems.

“We looked at multiple solutions through a detailed evaluation process with the view to having a solution to support our assets in order to streamline and automate our front office investment platform,” said Lu Xiaoye, General Manager, Information Department, China AMC. “The Charles River IMS provides us with a platform that smoothly meets our current investment requirements.”

“China Asset Management is our first client in the region to automate operations with Charles River IMS Version 9, our most recent release,” said Cameron Field, Managing Director, Asia Pacific, Charles River Development. “As the QDII market in China is becoming increasingly competitive, Chinese fund managers are seeking greater efficiency and control in running their investment operations. They want to scale their business and support increasingly sophisticated products.”

In Asia Pacific, Charles River serves approximately 100 client sites across 14 Asian Pacific countries and is headquartered in Melbourne, with offices in Tokyo, Singapore and Beijing and regional presence in Brisbane, Sydney and Hong Kong. A team of fifty specialists, many of them bilingual Japanese/English and Mandarin/English speakers, provide investment managers with local implementation, consulting and support services. 

Source: Charles River, 12.01.2011

Filed under: China, FIX Connectivity, News, Trading Technology, , , , , , , , , ,

Itaú Unibanco Asset Management Live on the Charles River FIX Network

Direct access to Brazilian brokers and international liquidity venues; automates trade execution.

January 5, 2011 – Charles River Development (Charles River), a front- and middle-office investment software solutions provider, today announced that Itaú Unibanco Asset Management (Itaú), the largest privately-owned asset manager in Brazil with more than US$ 128 billion of assets under management, is live on the broker-neutral Charles River Network for real-time, electronic trading via FIX (Financial Information eXchange). Itaú leverages Charles River’s low-cost, internet based Virtual Private Network solution for instant access to local sell-side brokers and global liquidity venues. Itaú is one of the first Brazilian buy-side firms to use the FIX protocol for accessing algorithmic trading strategies and handling block trades.

Itaú has been conducting a multi-phased roll-out of the Charles River Investment Management System (Charles River IMS) since 2008. This project, delivered on time, is part of Itaú’s initiative to eliminate manual trading processes and have a single, consolidated platform for order management and electronic trading. Itaú plans to connect its multi-market desks across Latin America to the Charles River Network, allowing traders in Santiago, for example, to execute trades in São Paulo via FIX.

Before Charles River IMS, Equity traders had to manually input trades in spreadsheets and send the orders to brokers, following-up with them over the telephone. Now, they can execute equity instruments in real-time directly from the Charles River Trader Blotter, sending a high volume of orders to local brokers and international liquidity providers, and automatically receiving execution details. The traders no longer rely on spreadsheets and instead of receiving a telephone call, all transaction details – prices, time stamps, fills and more – are instantly recorded in Charles River IMS.

Support for algorithmic trading was critical to the project. Itaú’s traders can directly access local and regional algorithmic strategies, assign algorithms to block trades, and route high-volume block orders to sell-side brokers. In addition, Itaú’s Quantitative traders can leverage proprietary algorithms and high frequency trading ideas for local executions directly from the Trader Blotter.

“Sell-side firms in Brazil are paying closer attention to domestic order flow – offering the buy-side more sophisticated algorithms and execution tools,” said Spiros Giannaros, Vice President-Americas, Charles River Development. “As electronic trading continues to evolve in Brazil, early adoption of the FIX protocol and implementation of Charles River’s integrated trading solution give Itaú a competitive edge. Charles River IMS allows Itaú to meet growing customer demands by increasing investment management capabilities, streamlining processes and reducing operational risk across the board.”

Charles River serves over 300 diverse investment management clients worldwide, including over a dozen firms across Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Panama. These include three of Brazil’s top 10 asset managers and the country’s leading fund administrator, as well as global investment firms establishing their footprint in the region.

Source: Charles River Development, 05.01.2011

Filed under: Brazil, FIX Connectivity, Latin America, Trading Technology, , , , , , , ,

Charles River Development Wins Buy-Side Technology’s “Best Buy-Side OMS” Award for 4th Consecutive Year

Single, consolidated platform streamlines workflows and lowers costs and risks for buy-side firms

Charles River Development (Charles River), a front- and middle-office investment software solutions provider, today announced that the Charles River Investment Management System (Charles River IMS) has won the Buy-Side Technology Award for “Best Buy-Side Order Management System” for the fourth consecutive year.

“Once again, this award validates Charles River’s commitment to empower portfolio managers, traders and compliance officers with advanced tools that improve efficiencies and reduce risk and costs,” said Peter Lambertus, President and Chief Executive Officer, Charles River Development. “Our continued investment in research and development delivers flexible, scalable solutions to support requirements of both large and small firms.”

Judges for the Buy-Side Technology Awards 2010 included leading buy-side-focused technology consultancy firms. These experts selected Charles River IMS as a multi-asset, multi-currency solution for automated decision support and portfolio management, real-time pre- and post-trade compliance and global FIX trading.

The Buy-Side Technology award follows Charles River’s recent recognition for “Best Buy-Side Technology Firm” by Asia Asset Management Best of the Best Awards and the “FinTech Top 100,” American Banker/Financial Insights 2010.

Source: Charles River Development, 08.11.2010

Filed under: Asia, Brazil, FIX Connectivity, Latin America, Mexico, Risk Management, Trading Technology, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Scotiabank Inverlat S. A. de México automatiza los procesos de fondos mutuos con el sistema de gestión de inversiones Charles River

Simplifica el flujo de trabajo; asegura el cumplimiento de todos los títulos e instrumentos de deuda locales e internacionales

21 de octubre de 2010 – Charles River Development (Charles River), un proveedor de soluciones de software de inversión para las áreas de gestión, operación, cumplimiento, riesgos, cálculos de medidas de desempeño, atribuciones, análisis de riesgos, y tecnología de la información (front-and middle-office), anunció hoy que Scotiabank Inverlat, S.A. (Scotiabank México), uno de los grupos bancarios más grandes de México, ha implementado el sistema de gestión de inversiones (Charles River IMS) a través de su subsidiaria Scotia Fondos. El proyecto de fases múltiples, entregado puntualmente, es parte de la iniciativa de Scotia Fondos para automatizar sus procesos de Fondos de Inversión locales e internacionales con 16 opciones de cartera diferentes en una única plataforma consolidada.

Los usuarios de Scotia Fondos se benefician de herramientas avanzadas de toma de decisiones y análisis, gestión de cartera y transacciones automatizadas, y supervisión del cumplimiento previo a la transacción en tiempo real de todas las clases de activos, incluso capitales, mercados monetarios, fondos mutuos, así como también instrumentos de renta fija corporativos y gubernamentales mexicanos, tales como Bonos, CETES y UDIBONOS. Durante el proyecto inicial, Charles River automatizó los procesos de gestión y transacciones de cartera de capitales de Scotia Fondos, así como la supervisión del cumplimiento. La segunda fase consolidó las capacidades a lo largo de los procesos de renta fija de la empresa.

“Necesitábamos un sistema ultramoderno y un proveedor con experiencia comprobada en apoyar las necesidades de los gestores de activos de México; Charles River entregó ambos”, dijo Ernesto Diez, Director General, Scotia Fondos. “Nuestros gestores de carteras ahora pueden estar a la cabeza del mercado al analizar e implementar rápidamente los cambios en las carteras. También podemos validar que nuestras carteras cumplan con todas las obligaciones, en cualquier momento y para cualquier clase de activo”.

El respaldo a los numerosos requisitos del mercado local de México fue crucial para este proyecto. Charles River IMS permite a Scotia Fondos gestionar y ejecutar transacciones para todos los instrumentos de deuda gubernamentales y corporativos mexicanos. Los operarios de fondos mutuos de la empresa también pueden ejecutar préstamos de valores, dar apoyo a contratos de recompra y reequilibrio contra los índices mexicanos. Además, la arquitectura abierta de Charles River facilita a Scotia Fondos integrarse con su sistema de contabilidad propietario, así como con proveedores de servicios de apoyo administrativo (back-office), tales como Bloomberg para cotización en tiempo real, y Valmer, propiedad de la Bolsa de Valores mexicana, para información de riesgo.

Charles River IMS da apoyo a tipos de títulos específicos para la región y flujos de trabajo asociados, incluso certificados de inversión corporativos y gubernamentales mexicanos. En un futuro cercano, Scotia Fondos continuará con la implementación de la funcionalidad de cobertura y cálculos de exposición de derivados avanzados de Charles Rivera IMS, para ayudar a sus clientes a cumplir con la reglamentación mexicana, como las reglas de la Comisión Nacional Bancaria y de Valores (CNBV), al hacer una supervisión y gestionar la exposición previa y posterior a la transacción de instrumentos derivados. Las bibliotecas prefabricadas de cumplimiento de Charles River contienen más de 1.700 reglas de ejemplo generales y normativas a lo largo de 35 organismos reguladores de 20 países, incluso una biblioteca completa de reglas para México.

“Charles River proporciona a los gestores de activos en México soluciones sofisticadas pero fáciles de usar para expandir sus operaciones a nuevas clases de activos y mercados, para entregar una ventaja competitiva que respalda el crecimiento comercial”, dijo Spiros Giannaros, Vicepresidente de Ventas, Americas, Charles River Development.

Charles River brinda apoyo a cinco empresas clientes en México, y presta servicios a más de una docena de empresas a lo largo de Brasil, Chile, y Panamá.

Fuente: CRD 21.10.2010

Filed under: Data Management, Latin America, Mexico, Risk Management, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Mexico’s Scotiabank Inverlat, Automates Mutual Fund Operations with the Charles River Investment Management System

Streamlines workflows; ensures compliance for all local/international securities and debt instruments

October 21, 2010 – Charles River Development (Charles River), a front- and middle-office investment software solutions provider, today announced that Scotiabank Inverlat, S.A. (Scotiabank Mexico), one of Mexico’s largest banking groups, has implemented the Charles River Investment Management System (Charles River IMS) across its Scotia Fondos subsidiary. The multi-phased project, delivered on-time, is part of Scotia Fondos’ initiative to automate its domestic and international mutual fund (Fondos de Inversion) operation with 16 different portfolio options on a single, consolidated platform.

Scotia Fondos’ users benefit from advanced decision-making and analysis tools, automated portfolio management and trading, and real-time, pre-trade compliance monitoring for all asset classes, including equities, money market, mutual funds, as well as Mexican corporate and government fixed income instruments, such as Bonos, CETES and UDIBONOS. During the initial project, Charles River automated Scotia Fondos’ equity portfolio management and trading operations, as well as compliance monitoring. The second phase consolidated capabilities across the firm’s fixed income operations.

“We required a state-of-the-art system and a vendor with proven experience in supporting the needs of Mexico’s asset managers; Charles River delivered both,” said Ernesto Diez, Director General, Scotia Fondos. “Our portfolio managers can now stay ahead of the market by analyzing and rapidly implementing changes to portfolios. We can also validate that our portfolios comply with all mandates – at any time and for any asset class.”

Support for Mexico’s numerous local market requirements was critical to the project. Charles River IMS allows Scotia Fondos to manage and execute trades for all Mexican government and corporate debt instruments. The firm’s mutual fund traders can also execute stock lending, support repurchase agreements and rebalance against Mexican indices. In addition, Charles River’s open architecture makes it easy for Scotia Fondos to integrate with its proprietary accounting system, as well as back-office providers, such as Bloomberg for real-time pricing, and Mexican Stock Exchange-owned Valmer for risk data.

Charles River IMS supports region-specific security types and associated workflows, including Mexican corporate and government bonds. In the near future, Scotia Fondos will continue with the implementation of Charles River IMS’ advanced derivatives exposure calculations and coverage functionality helping clients comply with Mexican regulations, such as Comision Nacional Bancaria y de Valores (CNBV) rules, by monitoring and managing pre- and post-trade exposure to derivatives instruments. Charles River’s pre-built compliance libraries contain over 1,700 regulatory and general example rules across 35 regulatory bodies of 20 countries, including comprehensive rule libraries for Mexico.

“Charles River offers asset managers in Mexico sophisticated, yet easy-to-use solutions for expanding their operations into new asset classes and markets – delivering a competitive advantage that supports business growth,” said Spiros Giannaros, Vice President of Sales, Americas, Charles River Development.

Charles River supports five client firms in Mexico, and serves over a dozen firms across Brazil, Chile, and Panama.

Source: CRD, 21.10.2010

Filed under: Brazil, Chile, FIX Connectivity, Latin America, Mexico, News, Risk Management, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Panama: Banco General live on Charles River IMS

Charles River Development (Charles River), a front- and middle-office investment software solutions provider, today announced that Banco General, S.A., the largest private banking institution in Panama, is live on Version 9.1 of the Charles River Investment Management System (Charles River IMS).

The project, delivered on-time and on-budget, is part of Banco General’s initiative to automate the firm’s wealth management operations. Key project goals included: integrating workflows of Banco General’s Private Banking unit and BG Valores brokerage subsidiary on a single platform; providing access to remote brokers; and enabling real-time electronic trading via FIX (Financial Information eXchange).

Over 50 Banco General users benefit from Charles River IMS’ automated portfolio management, trading, and compliance monitoring, as well as seamless integration with accounting and other back-office providers. Users include 39 remote BG Valores brokers who leverage the Charles River Anywhere browser-based workstation to remotely monitor and manage portfolios, compliance, trades and post-trade information in real-time for wealth management clients. The Charles River FIX Network enables Banco General to route orders electronically to its primary offshore broker.

“Charles River IMS has increased our efficiency and reduced operational risk, creating a unified platform and delivering remote capabilities to service both our Private Bank and BG Valores clients,” said Carlos E. Samaniego, Assistant Vice President, BG Valores. “We now have fully-integrated order capture and trading workflows, and FIX trading capabilities. We can also validate compliance anytime – across all asset classes and domestic and international orders – whether trading Panamanian Bolsa de Valores securities, fixed income instruments, hedge funds or mutual funds.”

Supporting BG Valores’ remote brokers was a key project goal. With Charles River Anywhere, brokers can quickly originate client-directed orders and access account information in real-time. “Charles River understands the wealth management business,” said Samaniego. “They have delivered the best technological solution, training and support to meet our operational needs, as well as tools to help build client relationships.”

Banco General also streamlined its processes for trading equity and options orders with real-time global electronic FIX trading through the Charles River Network. The firm connects to its brokers via Charles River’s low-cost, internet-based Virtual Private Network option. Charles River’s FIX Network Services provides Banco General with complete FIX software administration, connectivity management and support for each sell-side broker and trading destination. The Charles River Network is fully integrated with Charles River IMS and includes over 120 buy-side firms, 440 broker-dealers, and has 3,700 live broker/client FIX connections.

“Charles River helps wealth managers, like Banco General and BG Valores, support high volumes of high-net worth, SMA, UMA, UMH and discretionarily-managed portfolios,” said Spiros Giannaros, Vice President-Sales, Americas, Charles River Development. “Many of our wealth management clients have rolled out Charles River Anywhere to their Financial Advisors because it increases their efficiency by making account information available 24×7 – anywhere.”

Source: Finextra, 21.07.2010

Filed under: Banking, Data Management, Latin America, News, Services, Wealth Management, , , , , , , , , ,