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Dr Lance Smith, CEO, Imagine Software

Interview with Dr Lance Smith, CEO, Imagine Software: The democratisation of risk management

As finance professionals come to grips with the fast-paced regulatory changes descending on the industry, having a robust institutional-grade solution for effective real-time portfolio and risk management is becoming paramount.

Buy-side professionals with precise knowledge of their portfolios’ behaviour can react quickly to market volatility and make well-informed decisions that generate the highest returns possible for investors. In an age where speed governs everything, being able to demonstrate ”market agility” is becoming a key differentiator in today’s financial markets.

How does a buy-side professional achieve this goal? “If you’re a trader at an investment bank all the data processing, reporting, and analytics necessary for market insights and smart decisions is taken care of in-house,” says Dr. Lance Smith, CEO Imagine Software.
“Imagine was launched in 1993 to provide a solution that takes care of all these needs. Today, our cloud-based technology enables fund managers from day one to have good clean data, live P&L, start-of-day and end-of-day reporting, etc. Imagine is not just a portfolio and risk management solution, it’s a comprehensive software, data management, and processing services approach that lets buy-side managers focus on increasing returns and attracting investors.”
Transparency is now a critical demand, due diligence measures are much more stringent, and fund managers need to be able to handle these new pressures. Imagine answers these needs by providing user-customisable, on-demand reporting capabilities that can be tailored precisely to investors’ needs. Smith says, “Imagine enables you to build any kind of risk reports that investors want to see. We don’t dictate how you do your risk management, but we do provide you with the sophisticated tools necessary for robust, pro-active practices.”
One of the most powerful tools for risk managers to stay on top of their exposures is the ability to create on-demand stress tests. “To have the best risk management out there – you need the ability to go into your risk system and add your own stress tests without any external programming expertise needed. Imagine is very powerful on that front,” explains Smith.
Imagine offers the buy-side a fully hosted financial software solution that is scalable and supports firms as they grow, without breaking the bank.
This has helped establish Imagine as a major player and solution provider to investment professionals whose reputations are built on making split-second decisions – arming them with the power of flexible risk management combined with real-time portfolio management, the latest VaR techniques, and advanced historical simulation and stress-testing tools.
The platform is highly scalable, notes Smith: “We have a lot of different clients, ranging from smaller hedge funds to big asset managers, as well as two of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds. What we offer is high-end functionality deliverable to institutions of any size.”
China and Brazil are markets into which Imagine wants to expand this year and beyond, highlighting the firm’s commitment to growing both geographically and across client institutions. “We want to deliver robust, affordable portfolio and risk management tools to every financial markets participant, the whole world over,” concludes Smith.
Imagine Software offers Hedgeweek readers a two-week, no-obligation trial. Visit for details.
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