MiFID II Best Execution Podcast PART 3: What Makes MiFID II So Challenging?

MiFID II Best Execution Podcast PART 3: What Makes MiFID II So Challenging?

In the previous two episodes of this podcast series we talked about MiFID II's top 5 on and off venue reporting requirements and the need to demonstrate best execution across all asset classes for the reporting year. In Part 3 of this podcast, find out why MiFID II is so much more complex than MiFID 1, and what firms can do to comply on the fixed income front.

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MiFID II Best Execution Podcast PART 2: Demonstrating Best Execution

MiFID II Best Execution Podcast PART 2: Demonstrating Best Execution

Welcome to IMP's MiFID II Podcast. Joining us in our discussion is Jon Gold, Managing Director at IMP, and Alex James, a Project Manager at IMP.

In PART 1 of this podcast series, we discussed the top 5 on and off venue reporting requirements of MiFID II. In this next episode we will delve into achieving the second requirement, that being the need to demonstrate best execution across all asset classes for the reporting year.

Listen to PART 2 of our MiFID II podcast now!

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MiFID II Best Execution Podcast PART 1: Top 5 On and Off Venue Reporting Requirements

MiFID II Best Execution Podcast PART 1: Top 5 On and Off Venue Reporting Requirements

Welcome to IMP's MiFID II Podcast. In the first episode of this series we will be discussing the top 5 on and off venue reporting requirements. Joining us in our discussion is Jon Gold, Managing Director at IMP, and Alex James, a Project Manager at IMP.

Listen to Episode 1 of our MiFID II podcast now!

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How MiFID II Could Change Front Office Workflows

How MiFID II Could Change Front Office Workflows

Retooling your Order Management System may be one requirement that you won’t be able to overlook if MiFID II applies to your firm.

From decision support, to trade execution, to reporting and the long-term retention of records – the impact on order flows spans the entire trade life cycle. In this short video, Jane Stabile walks through a basic fixed income flow and highlights just a few of the areas where MiFID II can create obstacles.

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Will You Be MiFID II Compliant? Five Areas of Focus

Will You Be MiFID II Compliant? Five Areas of Focus

Slow down! That was the number one request that IMP heard after our webinar, MiFID II: US Asset Managers Brace for Impact.

IMP heard you, loud and clear. As a result, we’re rolling out a slower, more detailed video series to help you to either prepare for the January 3rd deadline, or educate yourself on the basics of what this massive directive entails.

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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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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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The “Plain English” Myth of Coding a Compliance Rule Library

Compliance Rule “Coding:” What does it really mean to “code” a compliance rule?  If you have a home-grown system, it may mean that it is written in a SQL-like fashion, and some programming skills are necessary.  If you have a commercial system, however, “coding” the rules is a bit of a misnomer. It is shorthand for the tasks involved in turning the “plain English” legal definitions in a prospectus, SAI, client agreement, indenture, or regulation, into a logical statement that can be processed by your compliance system. Most of the market-leading systems have a “plain English” interface that facilitates rule coding by non-programmers.

Why, then, is rule coding so challenging?

The issue is that the commercial interfaces, while helpful, do not alleviate the necessity of crafting precise, logical statements.  In fact, most of the logical thinking about how to translate a compliance mandate should take place before the rules are written. 

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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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A look into the future: What may the SEC have in store for Rule 38a1?

As with all business decisions, there are pros and cons to implementing a major change to the way that your firm’s operations work. With today’s trend towards outsourcing to managed service providers in the front-office, such as OMS and compliance systems, the obvious upside is that asset managers are able to refocus their energies away from the day-to-day operation of their systems, with the downside being that transparency into systems is lost. With that being the case, if asset managers do not have a clear grasp of their provider’s process and controls, they risk losing money, clients, their reputation, and perhaps their company. Do you want to be in this press release in the future?

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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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Hand me that jump rope

Hand me that jump rope

By Jane Stabile

You’ve heard the experts tell you, “before starting this fitness program, check with your physician… blah, blah, blah.”  Why would anyone do that?  We already know everything about our current state, and focusing on where we are now delays the implementation of our self-improvement plan.   Focusing on the future is inspirational and exciting!  Focusing on our current state is depressing and a large bore.

After many months of the same old (read light and occasional) workout routine, I decided to step up my game.  I needed a harder workout, so I could burn more calories and maintain my business-travel-eating-out lifestyle without suffering the inevitable consequences.  In other words, business as usual, but looking and feeling better.  Having watched several infomercials on getting into shape in only 30 days, I knew that that should be my goal—whip myself into shape in 30 days.  I didn’t need a video or a trainer, though, since I already knew exactly what to do.  I used to follow a rigorous exercise routine many (many) years ago, which involved jumping rope, martial arts kicks, jumping jacks, etc., so I would just go back to that.

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