Integration Update: Kwanti + Black Diamond Now Available

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SS&C Advent’s Black Diamond wealth platform is now integrated with Portfolio Lab by Kwanti, one of the advisory industry’s leading portfolio analysis solutions. With the new integration, client position data can be imported and updated automatically into Kwanti analytics.

Kwanti offers comprehensive, institutional-caliber portfolio analytics in an easy to use package designed for financial advisors and investment managers. Kwanti is used daily by hundreds of firms to build model portfolios, analyze client portfolios, or generate proposals for prospects.

This integration enables advisors to:

  • Build portfolios faster with immediate answers to risk, asset allocation, and optimization
  • Conduct robust research and generation of models and scenarios
  • Use state-of-the-art technology to communicate with prospects and clients

“As technology continually advances, we are committed to providing our shared clients with higher level of integration between the Black Diamond wealth platform and Kwanti Analytics,” commented Christophe Gauthron, Founder & CEO, Kwanti, Inc.

We have collaborated with the Kwanti team to build this integration based on popular demand from our clients.  This integration gives advisors the ability to choose the integrations that work best for them when they choose to work with us.

Learn more about the extensive Black Diamond Integration Network and visit www.kwanti.com to learn more about their solutions.


Anne Acosta is Senior Manager of Solutions Marketing and leads Advent’s marketing efforts in the advisory space. Joining Advent in 2004, Anne’s financial technology experience spans product marketing, competitive intelligence, product management, and consulting in wealth management and capital markets segments.

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Posted in Wealth Management and Financial Planning

New Enhancements to Asset Management Product Suite

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It’s that time of the year! If you’re a client, by now you’re likely familiar with our semi-annual release cycle and this year it’s no different. We’re excited to introduce new enhancements and functionality to our solution set – Geneva, Advent Portfolio Exchange (APX), Moxy, Advent Rules Manager, Advent Revenue Center, Tamale RMS, and Tradex.

Geneva

  • In this release, the team made enhancements to deliver a comprehensive expense management solution that’s been designed to streamline the configuration of commonly used calculations and automate the expense accrual process. We’ve also furthered the extensive hybrid fund capabilities including workflow enhancements and timelines which enable users to easily drill through to complex details.

Advent Portfolio Exchange (APX)

  • April upgrades include improved data management and reporting capabilities to achieve greater operational efficiencies. Our clients will also benefit from new standardized look-through reporting capabilities to more quickly address regulatory requirements such as AIFMD and Solvency II.

Moxy and Advent Rules Manager

  • Within Moxy and Advent Rules Manager the team worked to improve data management, workflow tools, and add new and connectivity destinations. Most notably, Luminex, a new trading venue that was created by a group of leading investment management firms seeking to lower trading costs, enhance the transparency of trading protocols, and deliver improved performance to clients and Evercore ISI, which continues to add to the extensive library of trading algorithm partners.

Tradex

  • Tradex used for fund order management and distribution has been updated to to handle almost any type of transaction from dividends to capital calls thanks to new configurable trade types ; and minimize customization of workflows as well as relevant information to each user.

Biannual improvements to the product suite are released on a regular and predictable cycle – April and October each year. If you’re a client wondering how to take advantage of these great new enhancements check out Advent Community. Alternatively, if you’re a prospect and want to learn more, drop us a line at 1-800-727-0605.


Shana Bruner, Director, Solutions Marketing has been with SS&C Advent for 8 years. She has responsibility for marketing our portfolio accounting, trading, compliance, and additional solutions to clients, prospects and other industry participants.  Prior to joining Advent, Ms. Bruner led a sales team at Bloomberg and held various positions at J.P. Morgan, including fixed income sales with J.P. Morgan Securities.

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Posted in Traditional and Alternative Asset Management

Two 30-year Veteran Financial Advisors Talk Technology, Succession, and More

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I recently had the opportunity to moderate a panel discussion at the FPA Major Firms Summit on the topic of what it’s like to be a financial advisor in 2016. Two independent, veteran advisors highlighted what is trending these days in their businesses, the changes they’ve seen over the years, and how their future outlook is shaping up.

Financial planning as a discipline and a process has been around for 50 years or so, and started when a few visionary life insurance brokers wanted to better serve their clients through a process versus just a product sale.  However, it has certainly evolved over time.

According to these veteran advisors, both with over 30 years of experience, the impact that technology has had in their ability to deliver advice has been remarkable. In the early days of their careers, much of the process was paper-based, and sometimes took weeks or months to develop their financial and investment plans.

However, with today’s new tools, advisors are able to develop financial plans and investment strategies in a matter of hours, or just a few days, and automatically have them updated in real time through client portals and integrated technology.

While this increased speed has brought efficiencies to their practices, the panel participants are not so sure it has been as beneficial to clients. “Investors today get caught up in short term market movements they see in their portfolios and it has become a bigger part of our job to be financial therapists to keep them on track and not give into their behavioral biases to over-react,” was a consistent theme from both.

One of their big concerns for clients today is that despite having a financial plan in place, clients may not be able to afford the retirement they are envisioning. This is due to lower expected returns on financial assets over the coming decades, longer life spans, rising healthcare costs, and not saving enough during accumulation years.

“We often tell clients that we are here to take their money away from them today, so that we can give it back later, when they will actually need it,”  - a tongue-in-cheek explanation advisors are using to help clients understand the many trade-offs involved in financial planning.

On a day-to-day operating level, both advisors were strong advocates for building out great teams in order to provide outstanding service to clients, running an efficient operation and being able to manage the growing needs of investors today. “Technology plays a big role, but ultimately, this is a service business and we need great people to make it work.” Along these lines, both veteran advisors were adamant that a robo advisor would never replace them. “A robot can’t give you a hug,” they said pointing out the emotional connection that is inherent in a financial planning relationship.

As each advisor was nearing 60 years old, both were actively working to nurture a successor to take their place, a process found to be quite challenging. “It is not easy to find all of the qualities you want in one person, so I am continuing to look. We definitely need more young people to join the profession.”

On the regulatory front, both advisors were very aware of the potential changes to their business stemming from the pending DOL fiduciary rule, but were not overly concerned. “We’ve had regulatory change before and the industry always finds a way to make it work. We will adapt to whatever changes are coming, just like we always have.”

Concluding the discussion was a view into the crystal ball for what an advisor will be doing in the year 2020 and even 2025. Consistent with their experiences over 30 years, both advisors were confident and optimistic. “Being a financial advisor is the best job in the world. With the many innovations in technology, products, and ways to deliver advice, we will be able to reach more and more people with a financial plan – an ability that is desperately needed these days as tens of thousands are retiring every day.”

To learn more about how advisors are managing their businesses these days, check out the many client stories here.


Timothy D. Welsh, CFP® is President and founder of Nexus Strategy, LLC, a leading consulting firm to the wealth management industry, and periodically blogs for Advent’s On Point blog. He can be reached at tim@nexus-strategy.com or on Twitter@NexusStrategy.

Posted in Wealth Management and Financial Planning

Time to Get Ready: Technology Planning for the DOL Fiduciary Rule

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First there is denial, then anger, grieving, bargaining and finally acceptance.

These are the emotional stages predicted by the Kubler-Ross model for managing through a traumatic situation, a model that pretty accurately describes what the wealth management industry has gone through these past several years with the DOL Fiduciary rule.

As it inches toward the finishing line, the Department of Labor’s implementation of a Fiduciary standard of care has just about everyone in the industry accepting the fact that despite the massive lobbying against it, there will be a new fiduciary standard of care for retirement accounts later this year.

As a result, prudent firms of all models, including broker dealers, insurance companies, and RIAs are all taking a hard look at their technology plans as a key aspect of how they will be able to comply in the new environment.

Unfortunately, clients with smaller accounts might end up as the biggest casualties of the change, as it will be more expensive for advisors to take on a fiduciary role and its higher costs relative to the assets involved. Many industry experts say will this will leave clients with smaller accounts being bereft of advice as it will be too expensive to support their needs and comply with the rule.

But there is hope: a recent article in InvestmentNews states, “The final rule won’t just change the way advisers charge their clients, it will put software at the center of meeting compliance goals.”¹

Advisors can invest in technology to increase productivity and reduce the time, effort, and resources needed to serve clients and comply with the new fiduciary standard of care. The right technology could enable them to accomplish this profitably, while serving clients with smaller accounts.

By automating many of the back office aspects of client service and delivery, savvy firms will be able to leverage their technology as a strategic way to capture this segment.

According to the InvestmentNews article, there are three key roles that technology will play in the impending rule.

  1. Advisers will have to provide recommendations that completely align with the clients’ interests, which can be done with software that helps advisors better understand clients through aggregation, online collaboration and accurate risk profiling.
  2. Technology will also support the adviser’s fiduciary position by documenting everything the adviser does for their client.
  3. A successful technology framework will keep adviser’s fees low, as an efficient back-end process will facilitate the DOL rule’s requirement to better disclose fees and conflicts of interest.

“If technology is used properly, an adviser can very easily defend recommendations and strategies if they ever come into question,” the article pointed out.

Going forward, the article suggests that the implementation of the DOL fiduciary rule will spur even more technology innovation and collaboration between systems as compliance with the rule will involve multiple technologies working together.

So, as the industry is moving towards acceptance of the fact that there will be a fiduciary standard, be sure to evaluate your technology strategy and test how compatible your solutions are with the new requirements.

SS&C Advent’s Black Diamond platform is constantly adding new integration partners through the award winning Black Diamond Integration Network. To learn more about these capabilities, check out the latest here.


Timothy D. Welsh, CFP® is President and founder of Nexus Strategy, LLC, a leading consulting firm to the wealth management industry, and periodically blogs for Advent’s On Point blog. He can be reached at tim@nexus-strategy.com or on Twitter@NexusStrategy.

  1. Advisers must brace for DOL fiduciary by ramping up technology plansInvestmentNews
Posted in Regulation, Compliance, and Security, Wealth Management and Financial Planning

Feeling the bottom-line squeeze? Get control of margin and financing costs

controlmoneyFaced with diminished returns and tighter regulation, hedge funds are looking for ways to eke out incremental profitability. And many may be overlooking a big opportunity that’s right there in their everyday operations: gaining control over margin and financing costs paid to prime brokers.

In a multi-prime environment, simply keeping track of each PB’s charges and statements is a laborious and time-consuming process, let alone making sense of them. Even if firms are able to aggregate and normalize multiple PB statements into standard reports, it’s often too late in the day to do a meaningful analysis that would influence decisions. Meanwhile, that delay in getting the information can be costly – in staff productivity, in potential overcharges, and in missed opportunities to optimize margin movement and seek more competitive financing terms.

To the rescue comes SS&C’s new PB Treasury service, a cloud-based solution for collecting, aggregating and normalizing prime broker statements, and generating reports that give fund managers total visibility across their margin commitments and financing costs. At the heart of the service is the SS&C Advent Syncova margin and financing calculation engine, widely used by fund managers to help gain transparency into costs and reconcile their prime brokers’ charges.

The PB Treasury service was developed in response to demand for a turnkey, daily cross-fund margin and financing reporting solution. It relieves the fund firm from having to gather, manage and load multiple files from different PBs in different reporting formats. Consolidated reports are delivered every morning detailing all margin and financing activity by counterparty. Because it’s in the cloud, it requires minimal set-up and IT resources on the client’s part.

The new PB Treasury service is part of the SS&C suite of Middle Office Solutions, although it can be set up as a standalone service. Either way, it offers hedge funds a measure of cost control that may have been missing, and can help bolster the bottom line at a time when every dollar counts. Contact Ben to learn more about this true synergy.


Benjamin Simmers is a Solutions Consultant at SS&C Advent. Mr. Simmers has been working with the Syncova Margin and Financing product for six years where he has worked with Hedge Funds and Brokers in both pre-sales and implementations of margin, financing and collateral solutions.

Posted in Traditional and Alternative Asset Management

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