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Ian Webster, Axioma

Axioma - Best Risk Management Solutions Provider


Axioma was founded by Chief Executive Officer Sebastian Ceria in 1998 and is a leading provider of innovative risk and portfolio management solutions, supporting the industry's largest, most sophisticated hedge fund managers and asset management groups. The company's product offering enables clients to consistently and effectively analyse risk in order to improve investment strategy, risk reporting and operational efficiency across an entire organisation.

Axioma Risk provides an enterprise view of risk for the firm providing risk analysis, stress testing and comprehensive reporting capabilities. Axioma Portfolio offers an integrated suite of tools for holistic portfolio construction, testing and rebalancing. Axioma Portfolio leverages Axioma's industry-leading modelling library as well as a full suite of risk models for portfolio construction across a broad range of investment approaches. With Axioma Portfolio Analytics, clients are able to run a series of tests on their portfolios, illuminating both risks and sources of returns for attribution in both ex-ante and ex-post analyses. And Axioma Risk Model Machine tailors risk models for better portfolio construction, more accurate performance measurement and risk monitoring in line with individual investment needs. 

"Our Axioma Risk product enables hedge funds to look at risk from a front-office perspective when doing portfolio construction, and for the middle-office to do risk reporting for investors and regulators; this gives them an enterprise view of multi-asset class risk across their organisation. Our clients are sophisticated and it is important to allow them to tailor their view of risk," explains Ian Webster (pictured), Chief Operating Officer at Axioma.

Most vendors offer what they think the view of risk should be, and sell that particular methodology to the marketplace. "We, on the other hand, provide the platform for people to look at their strategies in very specific ways," adds Webster.

At a time when the nature and complexity of risk – driven in part by increased regulation – is growing, providing risk tools for managers that understand the importance of risk and want to embed that into their selling proposition, is a powerful proposition. When they go to meet asset owners, who themselves are becoming much more discerning and knowledgeable about risk management, Axioma's client can demonstrate that they monitor risk in their portfolios in very specific ways. 

"Asset owners are pressing hedge fund managers on the total cost of ownership and making sure there is a real value proposition being offered. Our clients want to be able to prove this using our risk analytics and performance analytics, and demonstrate that they have a compelling story to tell," says Webster. 

Axioma Portfolio can best be thought of as the front office tool for those who are constructing portfolios. Quite often, in the portfolio construction phase, they will be using a risk model. Axioma Risk meanwhile, is geared more towards the middle office function for risk reporting production. 

"We have an underlying layer of models and analytics, which is consistent across the firm, and sets of functionalities that sit on top of Axioma Portfolio to support the various functions, such as front office portfolio construction or risk reporting. Ultimately, we believe risk should be an integral part of the investment process and not just regarded as an overlay or as a reporting function when managers are developing their strategies," explains Webster. 

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