Since the announcement in December that Barclays has agreed to sell its risk analytics and index solutions business to Bloomberg LP, there has been an underlying tone of skepticism in many of the articles, reports and commentaries that have popped up. Of course, a healthy dose of caution isn’t necessarily a bad approach; but the Barclays POINT® to Bloomberg PORT conversion doesn’t have to mean that the sky is falling in portfolio analytics.
Let’s keep our heads about us, and review what we know. Barclays will continue to operate POINT for 18 months after the deal completes to help clients transition to other providers. This leaves a bit of lead-time prior to the deal completion plus 18 months to take the proper steps to ensure the right planning, budget and resources are in place. Focusing on the known entities can help you to prepare and persevere.
A system search and selection is not a new process and the same principals apply whether you are evaluating an OMS, accounting or performance system. However, evaluating and selecting new systems can become a long and winding road, rife with potential pitfalls and costly mistakes if not done properly. As with any well-planned project, adequate preparation can mean the difference between meeting project milestones on time, on spec and on budget versus exceeding time estimates, defining too narrow of a scope and experiencing cost overruns.
For the POINT conversion, both good and bad news comes with an 18-month lead-time. The good news is that there is plenty of lead-time to conduct the proper prep work. The bad news is that there is plenty of lead-time and it can give some firms a false sense of security that they can get started much later.
The timeline for your firm’s roadmap depends on many different variables including competing initiatives across the organizations; your skills matrix amongst your employees (i.e., do you have the right people in place and if not, how long will it take to get the right people in those seats); the ability to stretch already existing resources (i.e., can employees realistically accomplish both their current day job and this); the number of accounts you have to recon within the given timeframe; the need for automation and so on. When considering the roadmap, these are all variables to keep in mind so that your firm doesn’t fall into the trap of waiting until the last minute to start the conversion process (i.e., month 17). You can contact IMP to help assess a realistic timeline based on your firm’s specific variables.
The next article in this series will focus on the top three prep items that you can start today in order to be ready for the pending upcoming performance system conversion.