Eagle Investment Systems is working on enterprise data management (EDM) projects with an increasing number of sovereign wealth funds across Asia, the Middle East and South Africa as they recognise the need to invest in financial technology and operate along similar lines to large institutional asset managers.
The drivers behind technology investment include the need to respond to the regulatory environment, manage more complex and diverse investment strategies, improve transparency, reporting and understanding of risk, and report to a wide network of sponsors, including government bodies, and custodians.
John Legrand, Eagle managing director for Europe and Asia, says sovereign wealth funds have changed considerably over recent years, moving on from having little functional demarcation and many Excel or manual systems, to having a trading desk, front-office team, risk department and sometimes a general ledger. With infrastructure in place and the need to generate the largest possible return for shareholders, as well as provide performance and risk exposure reports to government officials, the funds are selecting best-of-breed technologies including EDM solutions that can support consistent and accurate reference data and provide visibility of operational data covering positions, transactions, performance measurement and risk.
Eagle’s EDM platform is offered as a hosted solution and manages all types of investment management data, including big data. It includes about 400 business rules and well as support for users to make their own rules, and integrates Eagle analytics to calculate data on the platform.
While the secretive nature of sovereign wealth funds means Eagle cannot name its customers, Legrand says: “At the moment, sovereign wealth funds in the Middle East, South Africa and Asia Pacific are particularly active. Interest in performance measurement is growing exponentially as the funds are very large but have low trading volumes, which means they can’t afford to make a mistake.”
Eagle company says it does the majority of the consultation and configuration of the EDM platform for sovereign wealth funds, with the funds often wanting to mirror large and successful institutional asset managers.
Beyond sovereign wealth funds and in the more technology mature markets of the US and Europe, Legrand says asset managers are driven by regulatory change – the company’s EDM platform includes support for IFRS compliance and real-time accounting – and are pushing beyond reference data management solutions covering securities and pricing to adopt operational data management platforms with interactive dashboards that visualise risk exposure, investments and asset allocations.
With the next release of the web-based Eagle EDM solution due early next year, Legrand promises more business rules, an improved response to regulatory requirements and a faster, more aesthetic user experience.