It’s been a positive year for SunGard’s hedge fund business, which secured a number of large new customers including Industry Funds Management (IFM) in Australia.
Two of the primary drivers behind this success are the continued popularity of VPM, the company’s portfolio accounting and reporting system, and Hedge360, a modular, integrated platform that launched 18 months ago.
VPM and other solutions within the SunGard suite are able to integrate seamlessly into Hedge360, which gives hedge fund managers a complete front to back office solution.
With respect to VPM, SunGard has focused closely in recent years on enhancing its capabilities in lockstep with the evolving complexity of global markets and how managers managed complex multi-currency portfolio accounting and reporting requirements.
Scott Alintoff, COO of SunGard’s VPM realises that the hedge fund landscape has changed dramatically in recent years. Hedge fund start-ups are smaller and managers need more value for the dollars they spend.
“Prior to 2008, managers bought ‘best-of-breed’ models and hired a lot of people internally, but for the most part this does not happen anymore.
“Today, it is really a one vendor story. When hedge fund managers spend money on technology they want to get value across the board. Hedge360 allows us to deliver portfolio and risk management, accounting and investor allocations in a seamless way. It is a compelling offering for the new breed of fund managers.
“There are still times when a hedge fund, that has been in the business a while, will look to replace just their accounting system. But Hedge360 is creating a lot of buzz and fuelling a lot of our growth for firms that are looking to support the full investment lifecycle across front, middle and back-office processes.”
Hedge360 improves both investment decision-making and operational efficiency while helping customers manage risk, increase transparency and establish institutional credibility from a single solution.
The solution suite has become especially attractive for firms looking to offset infrastructure requirements so they can focus on generating alpha and meeting investor demands. The solution suite can be delivered on a Software-as-a-Service basis or fully installed; enabling customers to create a fully customised solution by selecting required features and functionality as components that include portfolio management, valuation, risk management, compliance, portfolio accounting, reconciliation and client reporting.
Manual processes are no longer workable for hedge funds; to achieve regulatory compliance they need advanced, automated portfolio management and accounting solutions. Even more importantly, technology can put them in a stronger position to meet increased investor due diligent requirements with added value through customised and tailored solutions. In fact, the hedge funds that demonstrate robust institutional operations are now the most likely to maintain lucrative fee structures – and, in doing so, survive the market’s current challenges.
Operational efficiency is, says Alintoff, about having accurate information that can be delivered in a timely fashion.
“When a manager asks the back office ‘I need to know my exposure to IBM right now’, they simply run the report for IBM, get the total exposure and the manager gets his answer straight away. It is a one-click process.”
On winning this year’s award, Alintoff comments: “Today, firms must focus more closely on the way they manage, synchronise and report complex flows of data. We will continue to strive to provide all of our hedge fund customers with automated processes to simplify workflow and ultimately reduce the potential for operational risk.”