10.24.2011
By Terry Flanagan

Hedge Funds Move to Cloud

Technology eliminates need for in-house administration and accounting.

Hedge funds and other money managers are clamoring for technology that enables them to perform fund accounting and other administrative chores in a cloud-based environment, relieving them of the need for in-house technology.

That’s the premise behind iCon, a cloud-based environment for investment operations that’s been launched by Conifer Group.

By porting investment support processes into a single cloud environment, Conifer iCon gives fund managers a better understanding of their risk and performance characteristics, enabling them to control their portfolios more effectively.

“Hedge funds, family offices, and pensions utilize in-house systems for trading, order management, accounting, reporting, and risk management, yet have been unable to aggregate this information to make it useful for portfolio, technology, or investment purposes,” Jack McDonald, CEO of Conifer Group, told Markets Media.

Cloud technology enables functional enhancements to be completed at a
fraction of the time and cost typically required by an enterprise-based system.

“This system [iCOn] functions as an overlay on top of all of those components, providing a data repository and in-depth attribution reporting, from one customizable portal,” he said.
Conifer iCon’s cloud-based infrastructure was developed by InvestCloud Solutions, the company’s joint venture with InvestCloud LLC.

“This represents the first collaboration between a cloud-based technology company and an asset servicing company,” said McDonald. “The combination into one relationship is a powerful value proposition.”

The technology draws upon Conifer Group’s experience successfully servicing a diverse range of asset managers, resulting in a powerful new product that didn’t exist before, McDonald said.

The iCon platform strengthens Conifer’s existing middle- and back-office offerings to create a complete, cloud-based outsourcing model for money managers that removes the need to run multiple in-house hardware and software systems.

The platform is product agnostic and has the scalability to integrate a vast array of external prime broker, custodian and other third-party data feeds.

“Users can leverage Conifer systems as well as those of other providers,” said McDonald.

Core to this new venture is technology powered by Advent Software’s Geneva suite of accounting and reconciliation engines for real-time P&L, performance and risk attribution reporting, trading, operations, accounting, market data and interfaces to counterparties as well as third-party service providers such as prime brokers/custodians and fund administrators.

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