What are the Main Challenges Facing Buy-Side Firms?

In this Q&A, Rohan Douglas, CEO, discusses the challenges facing buy-side firms and how Quantifi can help clients respond rapidly to market shifts, minimise risk and take advantage of new opportunities presented by market change.
2 Aug, 2020

Quantifi won Best buy-side Pricing/Valuation Service, Best Integrated Middle-Office Platform and the most highest-profile category of the night; Best Overall Buy-Side Product at the Waters Buy-Side Technology Awards. In this Q&A with WatersTechnology, Rohan Douglas, CEO, discusses the challenges facing buy-side firms and how Quantifi can help clients respond rapidly to market shifts, minimise risk and take advantage of new opportunities presented by market change.

Which key functions within Quantifi PMS are the firm’s buy-side clients finding most useful right now? In other words, what are Quantifi’s buy-side clients’ most pressing needs right now and how specifically does Quantifi PMS address them?

More firms are also moving all, or part, of their applications and processes to the cloud. This presents a major transformation to how to best use new technology to support fast changing business requirements. Quantifi’s cloud-based portfolio management solution (PMS) provides clients with an environment that optimises operations for greater flexibility and agility with efficient use of capital investment. Quantifi can also easily scale processing capability up or down to accommodate a client’s demands and business needs.

The buy-side industry is changing on many fronts. Investor behaviour, new regulation and expanding competition are just a few of the drivers. We are seeing a growing trend of buy-side firms looking for client-centric solutions that can adapt to their particular investment strategies and processes, rather than forcing a one-size fits all approach. Firms that adopt solutions-centric software, like Quantifi, are able to implement faster, reduce risk, reduce costs and more rapidly take advantage of market opportunities. By selecting Quantifi, our clients are able to focus on their core skill-sets of delivering enhanced returns for their clients and investors.

Clients are focused on increased automation and reducing costs. There has been consistent downward pressure of fees resulting in investment managers looking to reduce operational costs. Quantifi helps in a number of key areas. Our modern and flexible technology allows clients to automate more of their processes. Our data management tools, like automated corporate action processing, reduces manual steps. Our ease of use and light-touch technology further reduces the effort required to run and manage the solution.

Fuelled by market developments and shifting investor preference, investment managers continue to explore ways to develop and expand investment strategies and be innovative with the design of their portfolios. At Quantifi, we have extensive experience supporting the investment mandates of some of the most sophisticated investment managers by providing the tools to make more informed investment decisions, improve transparency and reduce risk. Many of our buy-side clients cite our strength in modelling techniques and risk methodologies as key reasons for selecting our PMS. Our valuation library supports models for all major asset classes and our models, coupled with institutional quality infrastructure, enables users to have a consistent set of analytics enterprise wide.

What are Quantifi’s immediate plans with respect to adding new buy-side-specific functionality to Quantifi PMS?

Quantifi has a long track record of working with existing clients to build out new functionality. We continue to do this with a number of ambitious projects in progress.

Clients are looking to integrate and automate more of their operational processes into Quantifi. To achieve this we are adding functionality to automate and support more of the trade life-cycle. Our goal is to be a single solution for an increasingly broad range of Investment Managers.

Clients are looking for a better cloud experience. To achieve this we are leveraging some of the latest technology proven outside of finance to provide a more flexible and richer user interface experience and a more flexible cloud deployment.

Clients also want to more with less hardware. To achieve this we are working closely with Intel FasterLab to stay on the leading edge of performance tuned to the next generation of Intel hardware.

Any other plans for the business that WatersTechnology’s readers need to know about?

Last year was a landmark year for Quantifi, with strong revenue growth, high retention rate, numerous industry awards, and notable global client wins. To maintain future growth we continue to invest in new technology. Our expanded usage of Microsoft Azure Cloud is a prime example of this type of innovation. With Microsoft Azure we can offer cloud capabilities to firms that have traditionally used on-premises implementations. We have successfully migrated a number of clients to our cloud solution with no disruption to their existing processes. Azure is also a key enabler for our microservices architecture. By utilising a cloud infrastructure, individual or multiple services can be dynamically unplugged and replaced as needed. Using Azure gives Quantifi the agility and hyper-scale capabilities it needs to support even the largest and most complex of portfolios and allows us to be even more agile, offer a more faster time to market, and further reduce our client’s capital investment.

Our open innovation plays a key role in developing technology that satisfied our clients’ demands for ultra-fast, flexible technology that can improve operations and drive efficiencies. Our corporate strategy and priorities position us well to continue collaborating with clients to better support their business.

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