Investment Management refers to the management of investment assets (such as shares, bonds and other securities) with the aim of increasing the returns of these assets for the investor.
Like any typical investment company, our customer needs to:
- Research individual assets and asset classes
- Execute transactions in the market
- Manage settlement of transactions
- Reconcile transactions
- Ensure that accurate pricing is used for valuations
- Manage market risks
- Measure investment performance
- Prepare reports for client and regulatory reports for the SARB
- Manage client relationships
The above daily tasks involve a lot of people, business processes and systems, which all leads to an increase in risk and cost. Ensuring that everything runs efficiently and accurately is a challenge for any investment management company.
The large amounts of data and processes required to manage the investment process can be time-consuming and strenuous on valuable company resources. So our client required a solution from a company that could demonstrate a sound understanding of the investment management industry and the nature of the data and processes required, as well as the technical expertise to create out-of-the-box and customised solutions quickly, easily and accurately.
Since out-of-the-box solutions to solve all the issues related to the investment management process are seldom available (and the few that are, can be very costly), the best approach was to create a hybrid solution – a combination of out-of-the-box and customised solutions that would result in an investment management solution that is suited to our customer’s needs, and provides efficiency and accuracy for maximum business value.
We followed an agile process to develop a customised solution iteratively, which means that we developed and delivered a working solution simultaneously and concurrently.
Step 1: Analysis
We decided not to do all the analysis up-front, but rather break the challenge into multiple smaller problems that could then be analysed individually.
Due to our background in the investment management industry, we had the expertise to determine which portions of the investment management process were missing or needed to be improved. We figured out what the current business process was, and what it should be. We then tracked down where to find the source systems and data, and laid out what the solution to our customer’s problem would be.
Step 2: Building the solution
We usually either build the solution (if a customised solution is required) or implement and configure an out-of-the-box solution, if this can solve the client’s problem.
In this case, we created a hybrid. A number of out-of-the-box solutions that solve investment management process problems already exist, and can be configured quickly. So we combined these with rapid development tools, such as Linx and Stadium with Microsoft SQL Server, and created a customised investment management solution for our client.
We were able to deliver a customised solution, rapidly and effectively, due to our experience in building and configuring out-of-the-box solutions for the automation of investment management processes.
Ultimately, our approach encouraged user involvement throughout. This resulted in a tailored solution that added measurable business value for the duration of the process. Our on-going analysis ensured that problems were broken into multiple smaller tasks, which could then be easily solved. This meant that our client got better results, quicker and to their exact specifications.