For an institutional investment firm, technology can be considered the tie that binds.
“Our team aspires for a great partnership with our business to enable their goals and our clients’ goals,” said Ian Peckett, chief technology officer at Neuberger Berman, which manages $240 billion. “We’ve built partnerships with our internal business, our platform providers like Charles River, and our trading partners.”
“It’s the combination of those three things that allows us to differentiate ourselves,” Peckett told Markets Media. “It’s a mutual relationship where we challenge and push each other to do hard things.”
Neuberger Berman is said to be a high-quality asset manager with strong trading technology and infrastructure. The firm is the 2016 Markets Choice Award winner for Best Buy-Side Trading Technology.
Peckett joined Neuberger Berman in 2013 after almost five years at Bridgewater Associates, where he was most recently manager of trading technology, and 12 years at J.P. Morgan. Among Peckett’s chief deputies is Shawn Ailawadhi, head of equity trading technology.
To optimize trade efficiency on behalf of clients, Neuberger Berman leverages relationships with third parties who are leaders in their respective areas. For example, the 77-year-old New York-based money manager uses Markit’s transaction cost analysis on its own data compiled in the Charles River system.
Regarding the buy-side technology suite in a broad sense, “being in the pack is relatively easy these days, as to some extent, this is a commoditized function,” Peckett said. “Differentiating yourself is harder.”
Specific recent initiatives include helping a client to integrate its service bureaus, and working with counterparties to refine capabilities pertaining to actionable indications of interest, with the aim of improving execution.
“It’s also about how we make the integration of some of the newer, more esoteric instruments as seamless as possible,” Peckett said. “We’re doing more swaps and we want to make that process as efficient as possible. We’re making enhancements to our Charles River system to support that.”