MiFID II Best Execution Podcast PART 4: How One Of Your Peer Firms Addressed The Challenge

MiFID II Best Execution Podcast PART 4: How One Of Your Peer Firms Addressed The Challenge

In this final episode of the series, Jon Gold asks Alex James about his experiences working on a MiFID II project for an IMP client. Listen to how one of your peer firms rose to MiFID II's challenges and succeeded.

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Putting the Agile Into Practice: IMP's Thoughts on the 12 Principles

Putting the Agile Into Practice: IMP's Thoughts on the 12 Principles

All methodologies work if you are dedicated. With Agile, the focus is often on its mechanical and operational components (daily stand-ups, sprints, etc.). What frequently falls short is the implementation of its greatest doctrines. Here, we’ve analyzed “Agile’s 12 Principles” to help you decide if the Agile Method is right for your project.

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Heat-mapping Skill Sets – Creating high-performance teams for investment management projects (Full Transcript)

Heat-mapping Skill Sets – Creating high-performance teams for investment management projects (Full Transcript)

When it comes to OMS and Compliance systems upgrades, do firms typically have all of the right resources within their walls?

JS: Typically, no, because firms don’t do that every year. It’s something that they do every few years, so it’s unusual for them to have all the right staff on board at that time.

When these projects take off, how many of them involve initial analysis of the assigned team members, current skillsets as well as their ability and readiness to actually work on the project right now?

JS: It’s something that firms typically don’t do. Often times, they don’t know when they are going to get the budget. It can be somewhat fluid. The piece missing most is a dispassionate look at what they really need for the project. What often happens is that the firm will look around and see who is available and then just put those people on the project because they are available, rather than saying, “what does this project need,” and evaluating the people that they have on the team.

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Using Agile for Vendor Implementations: Good idea or bad? (Part 1)

Using Agile for Vendor Implementations: Good idea or bad? (Part 1)

Has this happened to you? Your firm decided to use the Agile methodology for the implementation of a vendor product, like your trade order management system (OMS). You’ve obviously heard of Agile before, and perhaps even worked on a team using it, yet you still find yourself engaged in the proverbial Google search to learn more about it.  Your gut tells you it just doesn’t fit right with projects having little to do with development. In your search, you get lost with the numerous flavors of Agile from ones that use Post-It notes for requirements, to no written requirements at all. You ask yourself “If Agile is for development projects,  why are we using this for an implementation?” Well, you are certainly not alone.

Why are more and more firms leveraging Agile you ask? The advantage of Agile lies in its twelve fundamental principles that were agreed upon at the turn of the century.  While these principles are noble in their cause, the reality is, not all projects align perfectly with them.  In addition, as the interpretation of Agile has expanded over the years, many of these core principles have lost their punch with the day-to-day mechanical operations of running an Agile team taking priority.

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Best of IMP’s Blog for 2016

Best of IMP’s Blog for 2016

If you made it to midnight on New Year’s Eve, you may have kicked off 2017 by asking (or singing) the traditional first question of the year, “Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?”

That answer may be a resounding “yes” for most of 2016’s news, events, politics and even celebrity deaths (from David Bowie to Carrie Fisher) – but for IMP’s blog, we think that there are ten top posts worth remembering in the coming year.

In the countdown to the most popular, the top 10 posts of 2016 are as follows:

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If You’re Sticking with PORT – Don’t Just Sit There!

If You’re Sticking with PORT – Don’t Just Sit There!

It’s the first day after the cut-off for the POINT transition, and you are just settling down at your desk with the Wall Street Journal and a cup of hot coffee. You log in to your beloved performance system, expecting everything to look the same as the day before, and…surprise! You dropped the ball on the POINT to PORT transition.

Rewind back to January 2017. What could you have done differently?

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The Trade Order Management (OMS) Crossroad: Which way do we turn?

The Trade Order Management (OMS) Crossroad: Which way do we turn?

In today’s markets, many small to mid-sized asset managers are realizing substantial growth for the first time in over a decade. They are finding themselves at a crossroad, facing a decision on the direction they should turn for a long-term cost effective Trade Order Management (OMS) solution. With the abundance of choices nowadays from Application Service Provider (ASP) models, SaaS (Software-As-A-Service) models, and traditional self-hosting models, the cost versus value debate has become more complex and extremely difficult to dissect. The ultimate question is:

“Should we invest more in outsourcing our software and technology support (while reducing staff, sacrificing customization, and potentially functionality), or should we own the software and technology support?

The debate is similar to the lease versus own argument for an automobile. This article will help you identify if you are in this position and identify 3 key questions you can ask yourself to navigate you to the next phase.  

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Proof-of-Concept for Performance System Implementation: The Road Best Traveled

Proof-of-Concept for Performance System Implementation: The Road Best Traveled

If you were standing before “two roads diverged” and 50% of returning travelers warned you that one road took longer and drained more resources than the other, which road would you take? Short of any Robert Frost fans, most may decide based on the advice of their peers, that perhaps it is not about selecting the road less traveled, but rather, selecting the road best traveled.  

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Heat-Mapping Skill Sets – Creating High-Performance Teams for Investment Management Projects

Heat-Mapping Skill Sets – Creating High-Performance Teams for Investment Management Projects

Topic: Heat-mapping Skill Sets – Creating high-performance teams for investment management projects.

Jane Stabile, President of IMP Consulting, is interviewed about the importance of putting the right team together before any investment management project.

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Preparing for Barclays POINT® to Bloomberg PORT – The Top 3 Tasks That You Can Do Today

Preparing for Barclays POINT® to Bloomberg PORT – The Top 3 Tasks That You Can Do Today

As we learned in the initial announcement, 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.

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Barclays POINT® to Bloomberg PORT – Why The Sky Isn’t Falling

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 POINT to PORT conversion doesn’t have to mean that the sky is falling in portfolio analytics.

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OMS Implementation: Top Six Pitfalls from a Compliance Perspective

Implementations and conversions present many challenges in the form of unexpected gaps, regulatory or business changes that must be accommodated, and complex problems that can tax the skills of your team. In our previous article, we took a look at the overall pitfalls for implementation. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the top six pitfalls from a compliance perspective.

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Top 6 Pitfalls of Implementation

Every year, the rescue workers of the White Mountains have to fetch hikers who started out their climb on a bright and sunny day in their shorts and tee shirts, with minimal supplies and little or no experience with the terrain. It was happening so often, that the New Hampshire Fish & Game Agency launched the “hikeSafe” program that has checklists for required gear, discussions of weather, technology recommendations, etc. Hikers who ignore the recommendations may find themselves with a bill from the Agency, for the tens of thousands of dollars expended during the search and rescue.

Technology professionals, under pressure to deliver on project deliverables, often bypass the tedium of inventorying the current state of systems, interfaces and data quality in favor of getting an immediate start on the project. They spend little time questioning the end users on the current terrain–which can be rife with disagreements about the goals of the project and competing needs–and fail to account for the changeable “weather” of regulatory requirements. Advocating for the time and budget to do a thorough current state analysis can be tough, but skipping it can often leave a project in need of an expensive rescue.

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The Best of IMP’s Blog in 2015

If you’ve been following IMP’s blog over the last year, you’ve seen our team of experts leverage their hands-on industry experience to share information and insight on relevant topics ranging from compliance to implementation to “managing” managed service providers. 

We’ve taken a look at the ten most popular blog posts of 2015 and provided our subscribers with the list below in case you missed one or you would like to read it one more time. If you’re new to IMP’s blog and wish to subscribe for 2016 please click to subscribe.

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Advice From the Other Side of Implementation

Unfortunately, despite the best intentions at the starting line, not every outsourcing project crosses the finish line as a success.  IMP and TSAM asked survey respondents what they would do differently if they could do it over again.  Not surprisingly, most responses had one key theme in common:  firms would conduct a more thorough requirements analysis of their own needs; in conjunction with conducting a more in-depth validation of the vendor’s capabilities, including the vendor’s resources and qualifications.

Most notably, 50% of respondents said that they would conduct a Proof-of-Concept (POC) before signing the contract.

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Compliance Software: Five Keys in Buy vs. Build

If your firm is evaluating a build vs. buy decision regarding compliance software, you may find yourself facing many of the same decisions that you’d face when deciding on whether or not to buy or build a new home.  Here are five keys things to consider when making that decision.

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Q&A with Bryon Williston

Bryon Williston is featured in a TSAM Boston 2015 article, Q&A with Bryon Williston.  He discusses the growth and advantages of outsourced operating models.

IMP Consulting is a Knowledge Partner for the upcoming conference.  We look forward to sharing more insights with you there. 

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Managing "Managed" Service Providers: Five Tips for Converting to a SaaS Trade Order Management System

The Managed Service trend continues and is clawing its way into the front office with the availability of more cost-effective Software-As-A-Service products and services. A paradigm shift in how these project implementations are managed continues to evolve. Many investment managers and technology teams that we have spoken with are often facing a difficult time with this transition - specifically with how to “manage” their service providers and control costs. If you feel the same way, then you’re not alone.

So, what is a Managed Service Provider? Is it an Application Service Provider (ASP)? A Software-As-A-Service (SaaS) Provider? Is it on the “Cloud”? All of the above? 

We hear this question a lot. To make it simple, a Managed Servicer provider is any firm that provides either a service or software (or both) for something that has traditionally been executed in-house. For example, companies that offer to outsource your middle-office or companies that host and provide accounting and trading systems as software-as-a-service (SaaS) can both be grouped as managed service providers. 

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Buy vs. Build?

Buy vs. Build?

Recently, I visited friends who had relocated to Virginia.  Two months ago, they sold their home in Rhode Island to begin a new chapter in their lives. They had several good reasons for wanting to do so: a warmer climate devoid of snow (and the requisite snow shoveling), more land for their growing family, and a slower paced life.

Deciding where to move was an easy decision. They had been to Virginia several times, and liked the countryside around the Fredericksburg area.

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Q&A with Osney-Buyside/TSAM and Jane Stabile

In a series of interviews with thought leaders on Tech & Ops Strategy in the Investment Management industry, the team at Osney Buy-Side & TSAM sat down with IMP's President, Jane Stabile.

Osney Buy-Side: Tell me a bit about your role at IMP Consulting.

As the President and founder of IMP Consulting, my role is to work with our team to constantly investigate and improve on our best practices. Working with dozens of asset management firms of all types over the years has enabled me to gain a broad industry perspective. IMP stands for “Implementation Management Professionals;” when I started the firm 10 years ago, I spent most of my time helping asset management firms with OMS implementations that had gone off track. Seeing the same patterns emerge at multiple firms led us to create an implementation “toolkit” that made it easier and faster to implement OMS and compliance. Read more on TSAM's website.