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Rimes Wins Award for Best Buy-Side Managed Services Platform in A-Team Group’s Data Management Insight Awards Europe 2023

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Rimes has won the award for Best Buy-Side Managed Services Platform in A-Team Group’s Data Management Insight Awards Europe 2023. These annual awards recognise leading providers of data management solutions, services and consultancy to capital markets participants across Europe.

Rimes’ buy-side managed services platform was selected as an award winner by A-Team Group’s European data management community.

Justin Brickwood, Chief Product Officer at Rimes, explains the challenges the company’s award-winning platform addresses, its use cases, and the benefits it can deliver. He also discusses the development roadmap.

A-Team: Please tell us about Rimes and the types of capital markets clients the company works with.

Justin: Rimes works with about 450 financial institutions, representing $50 trillion of global assets under management. These financial institutions trust Rimes to provide exceptional data quality and deeper insight into their investments. Clients include leading asset managers, institutional investors, insurance companies and service providers. Examples include LGIM, Northern Trust, Redwheel, Pzena, BNY Mellon and J.P Morgan Asset Management.

A-Team: What challenges are your clients facing at the moment?

Justin: Key challenges include:

  • Huge volumes of complex data
  • Urgent need to leverage new technologies
  • Pressure to cut operating costs
  • M&A activity
  • Emergence of new asset classes, such as bitcoin
  • A volatile global economic environment
  • Increasing regulatory pressure
  • A war on talent.

The investment management community is undergoing wholesale change as increased competition and market volatility continue. As a result, some of the largest asset management and asset owner firms are merging with rivals to ensure a more sustainable future. At the core of this change is the need to leverage innovative technologies, such as cloud and AI, the wealth of new data sets and emerging business intelligence – without taking on the enormous costs associated with the traditional in-house management model.

Currently, we are experiencing increasing demand from firms that see the many benefits of working with an expert partner that can provide streamlined access to future-proofed, cost-effective data management solutions and new data sets in a standardised format. Additionally, many large investment management companies are actively seeking to outsource their entire back-office operations to focus on the front office and empower their investment teams with the quality data they need to gain alpha.

A-Team: How does Rimes help customers address these challenges?

Justin: Drawing on nearly 30 years of experience, Rimes supports enterprise-wide data management requirements, delivering normalised, validated and enriched data across multiple domains, operational systems and workflows.

Our data management office provides a scalable managed service model with complete oversight and audit capabilities for those firms requiring enhanced levels of support, while our Matrix investment management platform simplifies the management of complex, multi-level investment and product structures, bringing clarity to portfolio management and investment decisions.

A-Team: More specifically, what does the company’s award-winning managed services platform offer to users and how does it work?

Justin: As above, Rimes’ data management services support all enterprise-wide requirements, delivering normalised, validated and enriched data across multiple domains, operational systems and workflows.

The company addresses the challenges associated with sourcing, storing, validating, linking and distributing large quantities of complex financial data across the workflow of a financial services firm, as well as to third-party solution providers. Since our inception in 1996, we have built relationships with more than 800 data providers, from which we source a broad array of index, pricing, reference, analytics, ETF, ESG, and market data.

Every day, Rimes performs more than two million validation checks against rule hierarchies, contribution, attribution and mapping requirements. Additionally, more than 100,000+ daily data and feed failure remediation checks are made ensuring our clients onboard fit-for-purpose, quality data into their complex systems. We also provide a best practice library, client-specific quality checks, and a comprehensive data mastering service.

A-Team: What are the benefits of implementing the Rimes platform?

Justin: Rimes’ 800+ data partners are connected and integrated for inbound and outbound workflows. They include data vendors, exchanges, third-party systems and platforms. Event-driven processing enables Rimes to connect and manage a variety of integrated workflows through synchronous and asynchronous communication mechanisms.

The company provides distribution of data at varying levels of quality/validation, balancing the time versus quality challenges associated with enterprise data management distribution using a combination of market-leading functionality and services.

We have two defining features that separate us from the rest:

  1. People – we have teams of experts available on a 24×7, follow-the-sun basis. These teams constantly check and validate data from all our data vendor partners.
  2. Technology – for nearly 30 years, we have been building robust technology to check every aspect of the data flowing through our platform for potential issues and flag it in real time. The technology enables business teams to receive datasets on time with the right amount of validation according to their business requirements.

With the acquisition of Matrix in 2021, Rimes expanded its offerings to more fully serve institutional investors needing to modernise and automate investment data management, better understand their exposures, and efficiently rebalance and allocate assets.

The Matrix investment management platform uniquely manages complex fund-of-fund structures and the business workflows associated with these setups. The in-built data management and reporting capabilities seamlessly work across all data needs and flows, unlike other legacy EDM offerings that cannot support these specialised requirements.

A-Team: Please run through a short case study of Rimes buy-side managed services platform.

Justin: An institutional asset manager needed to significantly improve data quality for its portfolio and investment analysis and reporting, and enhance its ability to scale for a planned expansion across asset classes.

The challenges:

  • Increasing index volumes
  • Some reliance on legacy manual processes
  • Coverage of new diverse asset classes including:
    • Fixed income
    • Bank loans
    • Emerging market debt
    • International equities
  • Support for expansion into new equity strategies.

The solution:

  • Using our deep data expertise across all asset classes, we worked closely with our client to fully understand both current and planned future benchmark data requirements.
  • We partnered with the client to manage its existing benchmark data, resulting in improved data quality and ready access to historical data.
  • We helped the benchmark selection process by sourcing and onboarding relevant benchmark data using our extensive index catalogue.
  • We warehoused and distributed the data through our private, client-specific data lake house, that is built on a dedicated Azure infrastructure and streamlines the client’s processes, freeing up valuable resources to concentrate on more productive tasks.

A-Team: How will you develop this award-winning platform over the next year?

Justin: Future objectives include:

  • Expanding our capabilities in enriching listed fixed income instruments
  • Further development of data discovery/dashboard capabilities, including desktop tools and analytical APIs to support back-testing of model scenarios
  • Expanded distribution of data to client downstream systems through portals, APIs and FTP, or directly into applications
  • Advanced query capabilities using the Neo4j graph database
  • Embedding proven AI capabilities to enable more intelligent decision-making and improve customer support services
  • We have recently launched the AI Lab and invested in talented people to spearhead this new initiative.

A-Team: Finally, what does winning A-Team Group’s Europe 2023 award for best buy-side managed services platform mean to Rimes?

Justin: We are delighted to accept this award as it recognises our commitment, unrelenting hard work, and passion for delivering outstanding client services and support. As a business, we continually evolve, but our shared priority is always ‘making investment data work’ for our clients.

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