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A-Team Insight Blogs

Rainier Investment Management Selects Charles River as Data Source

Rainier Investment Management is delivering improved and more timely data to its portfolio managers and traders as a result of switching its data source from an incumbent supplier to the Charles River data service and upgrading its implementation of the Charles River investment management solution (IMS).

The employee owned, Seattle-based investment bank went live with the Charles River data service in November 2011, the first user to do so just two months after the service was introduced. Since then, two more unnamed financial institutions have gone live with the data service and Charles River is working with a further four through a three-month implementation schedule that is likely to see three go live in the second quarter and one in the third quarter of this year.

Brad Haigis, director of data services at Charles River, says: “Rainier has used the Charles River IMS since 2006, but when it upgraded from version eight to version nine late last year, it took the opportunity to think about data.”

This led the bank to consider a number of alternative data vendors to its incumbent vendor and a decision to ditch the incumbent and move to the Charles River solution, not only because it met the bank’s needs, but also because of the high level of support on offer. The bank is using the data service for reference data and real-time equity and fixed income market data, giving its portfolio managers and traders data that is aggregated, mapped and fed directly into the IMS for their use.

Real-time data is available from more than 180 exchanges worldwide and gives the portfolio managers pricing data necessary for real-time portfolio valuation and analysis, and traders the ability to improve evaluations of volatility and liquidity. Before moving to the Charles River service, the bank was using interim price snapshots through the day.

Combining the Charles River IMS and data service also offered rewards.

As Haigis explains: “We developed the data service as people implementing our IMS needed to make sure data was coming into the system properly and some were having difficulty with that. The Charles River data feed works well in supporting customers’ workflows and it gives them an alternative choice of cost and support around data. We think taking data and applications from one vendor can reduce cost. For Rainier this has been the case as it benefits from a lower total cost of ownership through the simplicity of the combined solution and a high degree of support and customisation.”

The combined solution also plays well into compliance and risk management, with the data service delivering a data hierarchy and the IMS running compliance rules across the data at the ultimate issuer level so that individual firms and exposure to them can be identified.

According to Ian Sale, director of IT at Rainier: “The Charles River data service offers us a solution to increasing data costs and data management complexity. By using Charles River’s data service, we now have a single point of contact for order management system data and software. The one-stop-shop model simplifies support and increases the value we get from the company’s IMS portfolio management and compliance functionality. Upgrading to the latest version of the Charles River IMS and implementing the data service has resulted in improved and more timely data for our portfolio mangers.”

From Charles River’s point of view, the data service is an element in its effort to develop a broad solution for the front office and other additions can be expected over coming months. It suggests its closest competitor with a combined front-office IMS app and data service is Bloomberg, but hopes to build out its market share from small and mid-sized firms, which frequently opt for the company’s hosted software solutions, into larger organisations in its own client base and beyond.

In terms of developing the data service, which currently comprises a single feed of aggregated data from Interactive Data that covers all asset classes in North America, Haigis says: “Our focus is on developing a core set of reference data. So far we have most around fixed income, but we will soon have the capability to deliver benchmark data. We will do that directly from a benchmark data vendor. In the second quarter of this year we will add data for global fixed income and corporate and sovereign debt. The data service is architected to support multiple data vendors. Interactive Data is the first, but there will be more.”

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