Client X is an investment advisory firm managing hedge funds, mutual funds and managed accounts. With more than $500 million in assets under management/advisement and over twenty year track record, ClientX’s asset management business was in the midst of another growth phase and needed a modern technology provider like Sabal Tech to facilitate its business transformation. Client X’s investment process was technology-driven— their main focus is a quantitative stock-ranking process that imports, analyzes and weights fundamental metrics on the largest 3000 U.S. listed equities by market capitalization. This system generates the buy and sell signals that are then implemented by the Firm’s investment team and advisory clients. The resulting equity portfolio(s) are then hedged with an options-overlay strategy.
Client X originally built and maintained its own trading infrastructure to protect its unique intellectual property and give its traders an edge in the market. Its infrastructure strategy required Client X to staff development and operations teams to make sure the business operated without disruption. The internal solution worked well, but was very expensive to support. With the shift to emphasize focus on alternative investment strategies and asset management, Client X also shifted its infrastructure strategy from building tools in-house to sourcing third-party technology to reduce cost and maintain cutting-edge trading tools.
During its discovery stage, Client X put out several Requests for Proposal (RFP) to manage the various aspects of its technology infrastructure, which included finding an options-focused Execution Management System (EMS) to replace its homegrown front-end; an Order Management System (OMS) and trade database; and portfolio accounting capabilities. Client X’s management team was confident this infrastructure shift would help the Firm meet institutional investor standards, which have grown from a short assessment of the investment team into a highly quantitative and detailed analysis of the fund, the risks taken to achieve performance, and the infrastructure in place to safeguard assets. The firm selected Sabal Tech to customize the platform because we were able to address requirements across the different projects through a single cloud-based solution as well as meet the standards for ‘institutional infrastructure’ from its larger investors.
As Client X's stock ranking methodology generates buy and sell signals, Sabal Tech customized a platform to initiate and manage its stock orders, as well as to check P&L and other security and portfolio level analytics. Sabal Tech boasts a broad skillset technology team that worked together with Client X to develop a custom front-end to manage its options strategies. Client X’s equity and options strategies are implemented and managed through a platform which allows the investment team to continuously analyze delta-exposures and make adjustments to holdings throughout the day. This allowed Client X to decommission internally built systems and servers, and re-allocate resources that supported the options overlay strategy.
During the consultative process, the business identified manual workarounds that kept the portfolio data up-to-date as a pain point. Replacing manual client processes, Sabal Tech’s Data-as-a-Service offering handles a range of trade lifecycle services on behalf of Client X, including customizing the reconciliation of trades and handling breaks across any number of counterparties to ensure the integrity of the firm’s portfolio data. The resulting data is continuously updated and stored in a secure repository that provides Client X with a single, accurate source of portfolio data for investing and reporting purposes.
Sabal Tech maintains connectivity between Client X and its counterparties, trading venues and market data feeds eliminating multiple points of failure and milliseconds of latency that can at times erode performance. It also allows Client X to execute and clear trades with the execution and prime brokers of choice, and update those relationships as Client X sees fit without relinquishing any parts of their infrastructure or data. Connectivity does not stop with the ecosystem of vendors supporting Client X—connectivity also extends to its investors. Through Sabal Tech, investors were able to get access to portfolio-related information which includes fund and account information, transaction history and performance. This clarity goes a long way in satisfying the transparency demands of their latest institutional investors.
Client X realized cost savings month over month by converting variable operations, systems and IT maintenance costs into a single fixed fee using Sabal Tech. In lieu of contracting with several different technology vendors that would incur significant costs, Client X relies on Sabal Tech to manage its investment workflow needs in a cost effective manner. This provided both short and long term savings, and more importantly more capacity to focus on the core business value.
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