Advent has been investing heavily in its platform for a number of years, working with industry leaders on building out our functionality. It is the strength of our relationships with our client partners and working with them that has led to our position in this space.
Fund accounting has become a critical component of many firms’ infrastructure. Obvious counterparty and investor due diligence concerns are leading to a stronger position for fund administrators and increasing the breadth and depth of services they are being asked to offer.
Last year’s buzzword was ‘valuations’, and this year it’s ‘middle office functionality’. Advent has responded with the release of Geneva 8.0, which builds out the middle office functionality to enable our fund administration clients to respond to the timeliness of data issues that hedge funds are requesting.
At Advent we have long been proponents of a validation strategy. All development lifecycle decisions are made with client input, validation, prototypes and client involvement throughout the process. This leads to a more accurate feature release process that really meets the demands of our client base.
In addition, our support model includes several levels of connectivity into our firm for our clients. Advent Geneva is used by all three pillars of the hedge fund industry. European hedge funds use Advent Geneva as their portfolio management system (in the US as the accounting system), fund administrators as their fund accounting solution, and prime brokers for portfolio accounting and P&L reporting.
The market is moving toward allowing firms to self-service on their information and provide collaborative workflows between hedge funds, prime brokers and fund administrators. Advent is uniquely suited to meet those needs given that we have client partners in all three categories.
Our key initiatives deal with providing collaborative workflows that unite these three groups, enabling them to communicate in real time on their investment information. This will allow firms to move from a T+3 environment to real active communication, issue resolution, and collaboration across the hedge fund ecology.
Fund accounting from an external provider helps hedge fund managers to keep their fund’s overheads low and to focus on the investment process. Advent provides managers of large, complex funds with the speed, flexibility and functionality they need to gain a strategic advantage. With fully automated integrated functions for research management and investor and fund accounting, managers can focus on making investment decisions and servicing the fund's investors.
External accounting solutions provide speed, with fast access to real-time information and timely reporting to managers and investors. They also give managers the flexibility to handle higher trading volumes and complex instruments and strategies, and facilitates operational efficiency to drive down costs and minimise operational risk.
As an organisation, Advent has been in operation for 27 years, and we have constantly reinvested in our product roadmaps, amounting to an average of 17 to 18 per cent of revenues in recent years. This allows us to lead the market in asset class coverage and deliver solutions that directly address market changes such as Ucits, managed accounts, new fund structures and regulation.
Tom Zdon is vice-president for solution consulting and business development with Advent Software