01.04.2019
By Rob Daly

Outlook 2019: Jason Morris, Enfusion Systems

Jason Morris is president of Enfusion Systems.

Jason Morris, Enfusion

How should the new year be known?

It should be known as “The Year of Comprehensive Real-time Solutions.”

As margin compression continues across the board, the inefficiencies of a bifurcated infrastructure (i.e., several different systems) and/or portfolio managers utilizing incomplete or stale information to make investment decisions, won’t be tolerated. Real-time portfolio management across asset classes will evolve from a niche competitive advantage into a critical need for traders and fund managers alike.

A real-time view of a portfolio’s net asset value, cash balances, risks, exposures, and sensitivities, allows institutional asset managers to forecast inflows and outflows better; see the total cost of ownership across their portfolio at all times; and capitalize on market movements for higher returns when entering and exiting positions.

Which hot topic should be retired at the end of 2018?

That would be niche “best in class” systems.

When capital markets technology was less mature five to ten years ago, there were niche “best in class” systems that serviced a sliver of functionality.  Investment managers were comfortable with numerous systems because the pros of “best in class” outweighed the cons of several systems, numerous data sets, and batch processes stitching it all together.

However, in the last five or more years that has flipped entirely.  There are now capital markets platforms- Enfusion probably exemplifying this the best-that facilitate front-, middle-, and back-office functionality across asset classes on newer technology in a single comprehensive system.

The value proposition and cost efficiency of the newer technology in a single platform dwarfs anything else out there.  As margin pressures prompt the industry at-large to cut down on costs and “middlemen,” professional investors will need to make a choice – consolidate their business or consolidate their systems.

What changes do you expect to see regarding cloud computing in 2019?

The walls of skepticism surrounding cloud technology in asset management will crumble as more managers recognize the merits of removing single points of failure within their organization.

As more front- and back-office professionals realize the risks of measuring activity and performance on spreadsheets, the concept of using “make-do.” non-standard techniques that colleagues have difficulty understanding, will be realized for the inefficient business practices that it is.

Tangentially, investors are requesting more risk controls as fundamental criteria for parting with their capital. Cloud-based systems not only mitigate the risks of holding data on-premise, such as susceptibility to natural disasters or electricity outages, they proactively address concentrated employee risk – especially for smaller firms where light personnel numbers can amplify the negative impact of a departure and trigger fund redemptions.

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