Taking the Bore out of IBOR

Startup Stock PhotoExecutive Summary

For those firms trading in the Global Markets, the past few years have been a time of fantastic innovation and investment growth amidst the implementation of ever more demanding regulatory responsibilities for fear of largely as-yet-unknown penalties. Two ideals have remained true; (1) we trade with the intent of positive financial returns, and (2) we perform operational processes supporting these investments with the intent of mitigating risk wherever possible. While trading decisions can be largely relative to market conditions in the short term, risk neutralization in the trade support lifecycle for the long-term is requires careful consideration of design and breadth of scope. The value and success of this risk mitigation is directly enabled by the context of the information (e.g. the data) along with the security, validity, and availability of the information (e.g. infrastructure technology). Knowledge is information in context and perhaps the best and most important example of this intersection of technology, operations, investment support, and data governance is the Investment Book Of Record (IBOR).

The IBOR-related papers that you’ve read before have probably focused on the general drivers and the architecture options for establishing an IBOR. However, finance is not general and consistent, ever-more-rapid technology innovations are rendering traditional architecture options as suboptimal (we won’t go so far as to say obsolete) and challenging operational processes that have largely remained untouched for decades. Here we put the IBOR in context, outline the attributes/features that make it valuable, outline how existing operational functions are enabled by the IBOR given its central role and how various investment process functions are empowered by it, and also go beyond the traditional buy-side focus to address the heart of the subject: why a central position management solution is equally relevant to Funds, Fund Administrators, Investment Banks, and Custodians. The situational uniqueness presented herein is the simultaneous importance of both internal and external information communication needs. Finally, we also talk about the way forward for a firm that may be looking to put a solution like this in place and outline criteria for measuring success , along with an eye towards what the future may hold. Our intent is to tie in these approaches for the enablement of cross-practice excellence at any given financial firm engaged in trading or a related need of operational, accounting, and regulatory support.


New Technology Breeds New Collaboration

David K DonovanThere have always been the naysayers. Since the first societal shifts towards digital emerged into our collective consciousness, many have voiced their concerns over purported disconnection, joblessness and depletion of skills that accompany this automated new world. While some cling to the notion that we lose something by following this move towards all things digital, others embrace this movement towards automation and new technology as a natural progression. Regardless of one’s opinion on the value added (or removed) by digital processes, all industries are incorporating automation due to the explosion of growth within the tech sector. Although it may seem like we are undergoing a period of human extraction, one can’t ignore the ways in which these technologies actually bring us closer together and allow a greater reach for who and how we communicate with each other. How we communicate and in turn collaborate with each other has changed significantly over the past 50 years, owing to great advances in technology. While the value of these changes may remain hotly debated among some, the fact remains that technologies exist now that allow people to communicate and collaborate – at scale, regardless of location. When considering all of these new ways of communicating in the context of a company, however, one quickly notices the need for intention behind how companies function as collaborators both internally and externally. From a technical standpoint, companies need to evaluate how to support the needs of the employees. To facilitate collaboration among employees, management needs to figure out what kind of infrastructure best supports this. Spending time and money investing in the proper network capabilities and appropriate software and hardware is critical. Additionally the size of the company and the growth rate are also important factors when considering both internal and external communication. Today’s workforce includes non-traditional workers such as temps, free-lancers, people who work from home, and millenials – who are accustomed to communicating digitally. This means that the “work space” can really mean anything, from a coffee shop to a home office to a traditional work space. However, even the look of the traditional “work-space” is evolving. Especially when looking at startups and newer companies, open work spaces free of cubicles or closed off offices are becoming the norm. Knowing that the look of the traditional workspace is in flux, it’s up to company heads to consider how to best support collaboration through truly planning out the physical and digital landscapes of the “work space”. Collaboration will always be an important part of the work environment, and we are living in an exciting time of transition that allows companies the chance to experiment with supporting collaboration through well-considered digital and physical work-spaces.