Like many independent advisory firms, Williams Jones has grown in part by bringing on experienced portfolio managers with established books of client business. Some of those advisors, however, brought along the software they were accustomed to using in their prior jobs, making for a complicated technology puzzle. “It was very fragmented,” recalls Hoa Le, the firm’s Managing Director of Operations and Technology. “Williams Jones recognized the need to put everyone on the same platform if we wanted to grow and manage our business effectively.”
The Manhattan-based firm made a decision to consolidate with SS&C Advent, specifically Advent Portfolio Exchange® (APX), the integrated portfolio and client management solution, and the Moxy® trade order management system. “There was some complexity in moving three or four different systems that had to be normalized into one,” Hoa recalls. “That took some time to solve. But the migration went very well overall, and we as a firm felt it was a great decision.”
The move has made life easier at the firm from an operations standpoint. “We’ve seen great benefits in almost every single area of operations – reconciliation, trade settlement, reporting, performance calculation, portfolio analytics, and billing,” Hoa says. ““We can standardize our processes to what we consider industry best practices and we’re able to scale, meaning we can add more accounts and more portfolio managers without necessarily having to add administrative headcount.”
Leveraging SS&C Advent Professional Services for Smooth Transitions
Williams Jones also called on SS&C Advent for help with another challenge, namely keeping its technology platform current. An experienced technology consultant himself, Hoa found in practice it wasn’t worth the drain on time and resources to manage the system upgrade in house. As a result, he has relied on the SS&C Advent Professional Services team to ensure smooth transitions from one version to the next. “Of the vendors we work with, Advent has the most dedicated and knowledgeable staff overall,” Hoa says. “It’s a very complex business we’re in, and the services team has never let us down.”
It makes sense. These are the people who know SS&C Advent products the best. They follow a proven project methodology that has resulted in hundreds of successful installations and upgrades. Clients can be confident the system will be working properly right from the start, and they can start taking advantage of the new functionality immediately.
Hoa also welcomed SS&C Advent’s move to an agile development process with releases at regular intervals. “Advent has improved tremendously as far as the ease of conversion,” Hoa notes. “As you go through the whole software cycle from the earliest version to the latest, Advent has made the product much better and the upgrade process much smoother.”
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.