07.09.2013
By Terry Flanagan

Buy Side Hikes Data Requirements

Buy side firms are wrestling with data management issues arising from regulations and investor demands for greater transparency.

Markit, a global financial information services company, has announced that Aegon Asset Management will roll out Markit’s Enterprise Data Management (EDM) platform (formerly Cadis) across its operations.

Aegon Asset Management, which has €250 billion in assets under management, will deploy Markit EDM to support data management processes across multiple business units.

“We’ve been a Markit EDM customer for over seven years via Kames Capital in the U.K.,” said Keith Rake, global chief operating officer at Aegon Asset Management. “The value already being delivered to the UK unit from its implementation convinced our U.S. and Dutch operations that it was the best choice for our long-term global data management strategy.”

Aegon Asset Management became a Markit EDM customer in 2005 when Kames Capital, previously Aegon Asset Management UK, implemented the platform to take control of its data management operations. Markit EDM also acts as the firm’s Investment Book of Record (IBOR) and historical database for reporting. Markit EDM’s central data hub will be deployed in Aegon USA Investment Management (US), Aegon Asset Management (Netherlands) and TKP Investments (Netherlands).

“One of the key trends we’re seeing with buy-side firms at the moment is the push to create a centralized data hub in order to gain a consistent view of data across the organization,” said Daniel Simpson, managing director and head of Markit EDM. “Aegon Asset Management is operating in four different regions, each with its own data management challenges.”

Many buy side firms have outsourced components of their data management operations, and are now seeking to regain control of their data, noted Jeremy Skaling, head of product management at Eagle Investment Systems, a subsidiary of BNY Mellon.
“Being able to bring data management back in-house in to support internal processes is a challenge,” he said.

BNY Mellon utilizes Eagle Investment Systems to integrate and streamline the investment process in support of data management, investment accounting and performance measurement requirements.

By consolidating, validating and enriching financial data, investment managers can create accurate, quality investment information which can be delivered to key decision makers and clients in a timely manner.

MoneyMate, a specialist provider of investment data quality management services, conducted a data management poll earlier this year to gauge the buy side’s focus in 2013 and what actions will be taken in data management initiatives.

In the poll, 85% of respondents stated that their firms would be investing more in fund data management in 2013.
When asked which factors were primarily driving data management initiatives within their companies, over 69% of respondents cited regulation as the key driver. Approximately 63% of respondents stated that client servicing was also driving investment.

“In order to expand business opportunities, buy-side firms must invest in the infrastructure required to demonstrate the transparency and accuracy that regulators, along with investors, are demanding. Our poll results validate this demand,” said Ronan Brennan, chief technology officer at MoneyMate.

Growth was a key focus with 46% of respondents rating it as the most important priority this year. Nearly 30% of respondents stated that increasing efficiency was one of their top three priorities. Dodd-Frank (51%) and FATCA (42%) were the top two regulations selected as having the most impact on firms’ operations.

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