Data Management Advisory

Background:

An Investment Manager with approximately $40 Billion AUM, at the time the relationship was established, has ambitious growth plans but recognizes that a range of existing data and process limitations are constraining efforts to scale their business.

Increasing demands for data from internal and external parties, along with the ability to meet those demands, led the client to establish a new strategic plan for systems and an operating model embodying industry “best practices” with an initial focus on data management.

The client reached out to Reformis to assist in defining and realizing these goals with the intent to:

  • Draw on Reformis’ wider industry knowledge
  • Obtain implementation specialists who can direct and assist with the development and integration of newly selected platforms, as their internal resources were already overstretched
  • Augment internal talent and capabilities with subject matter experts from Reformis

Business Drivers:

  • Growth Plans– requires scalability of all operational processes
  • Increased data demands from internal & external parties
  • Move towards more “self-service” data availability
  • Consistency and accuracy of data
  • Generation of coherent and historically complete investment story for all strategies

Reformis Solution

In response to the client’s requests, the following were delivered as part of our advisory services.

Discovery Assessment

Reformis initiated a discovery assessment to research the nature of the issues to be addressed. This included targeted questionnaires for each business function and follow up interviews to discuss responses.

In addition, sessions were held with the technical teams to understand and analyze the current state of the client’s environment, architecture, and systems.

Solution Outline and Vendor Selection

Following the discovery assessment, Reformis spent 10 weeks on “Phase 1” which resulted in the proposal of IHS Markit EDM as a data management solution for the client after a thorough vendor selection process.

Phase 1 included validation and understanding of the solution shape, investigation of specific issues, gathering of detailed requirements, progressing to product selection and detailed planning for the implementation phase.

Specific Issues that were investigated included:

  • Corporate Actions – ability to trace back positions historically to visualize the “investment story” of holdings as companies go through a series of corporate actions events.
  • Classification – ability to capture security classification changes automatically from data sources as well as applying custom internal classifications as defined by investment teams.
  • Matching – consolidate and match securities across multiple data sources to create the master record
  • Data Governance – creation of a single version of truth, data stewardship of data assets, transparent audit trails, and the segregation of tasks by business functions.
  • Pricing – automation of daily multi-sourced pricing validations for a variety of investment instruments with a custom rules-engine for derivation of prices for different regions and security types.

Upon completion of the advisory phase and the proposal of IHS Markit EDM, Reformis also led the implementation of the product starting with Security & Issuer Master.

The implementation started off with our consultants being onsite and eventually transitioned to completing the project remotely.

Evan Fire, COO of Pzena Investment Management…

“Philosophically we look to establish real partnerships with any third-party we choose to work with. Reformis was no different and we quickly found the quality of their people and their associated work ethic to be a fantastic match with our culture. We worked side-by-side to build a complex data solution that lays a foundation for our future. We couldn’t be happier with the work that was done and now have a team that we know we can call on anytime we need help in the future.”

Rav Swamy, CEO, Americas of Reformis…

“Pzena and Reformis were able to create a great working relationship, working as a single unit to achieve innovative solutions to complex issues. We are ecstatic with the outcome of this partnership and are honored that Pzena chose Reformis to be part of their extended family.”

About Pzena Investment Management
Pzena Investment Management is a global investment management firm that employs a classic value investment approach. The firm began managing assets on January 1, 1996 and became listed on the NYSE in 2007. We believe that we have established a positive, team-oriented culture that enables us to attract and retain highly qualified people. We have built a diverse, global client base of respected and sophisticated institutional investors, sub-advisory relationships and Pzena product offerings. Our offices are located in New York, London, and Melbourne.

About Evan Fire
Evan Fire, Managing Principal, Chief Operating Officer, and member of the firm’s Executive Committee. Mr. Fire joined the firm in 2003 and has held several roles during his tenure, including Chief Information & Operations Officer and Chief Information Security Officer, responsible for the oversight of the Portfolio Accounting, Portfolio Implementation, Trading & Settlement, and Information Technology groups at the firm. An impassioned leader, with a reverence for the pursuit of excellence and an unwavering commitment to teamwork; he carefully balances the ever-changing global relationship between corporate operations, IT and cyber security. Throughout his career, Mr. Fire has helped Pzena Investment Management by implementing innovative, technology-first, solutions designed to create operational efficiency and has been instrumental in developing strategy to meet growing regulatory demands. Prior to joining Pzena Investment Management in 2003, he served as a Relationship Management Assistant at Brown Brothers Harriman and prior to that he worked as a Client Service Representative at Sanford C. Bernstein & Company. He earned a B.S. in Management and Finance from the School of Management Honors Program at Binghamton University.

Click here to get in touch with Reformis