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How Fund Administrators and Fund Managers Use Checklists to Manage Workflow

How Fund Administrators and Fund Managers Use Checklists to Manage Workflow

As a fund manager or fund administrator in a private equity, hedge fund, or other alternative investment firms, the number of tasks that are assigned has grown significantly and for most has become cumbersome, unwieldy, and worst of all risky. What I mean is that with front, middle, and back-office responsibilities including operations, accounting, risk, and compliance the number of tasks in a firm’s workflow at any one time is unmanageable without transparency, reminders, or triggers to notify responsible parties. The risky piece is that if tasks slip through the cracks it may pose a significant issue for the firm.

In a previous blog post, we discussed data warehouse solutions for fund managers and administrators; we made the point that pulling all the firm’s data into a single repository provided the ability to collect, aggregate, and present the data in a form that would be useful in making timely, accurate decisions. Software solutions that sit on top of the data warehouse that can further analyze, control, and manage that data can provide additional benefits to fund managers and fund administrators.

Checklist functionality is one of those additional benefits. To be clear, checklists are the product of software adding intelligence to the data in your data warehouse, transparency to the jobs across a firm’s workflow, and ultimately an ability to track those jobs from start to finish.

Before we get into specific examples let’s think of a sample of tasks or jobs that a firm has to manage at any one time; performance measurement, valuation, risk, accounting including month-end NAV, compliance, and investor relations just to name a few.

 

Operations Checklist

Operations within funds is dependent on managing workflow, tracking jobs, and creating a streamlined process so as to keep each task from in process from start to finish. Ryan Eyes provides a streamlined workflow with visibility to your firm’s critical operations jobs and tasks. The checklist feature delivers proactive reminders and tracking to prompt action across your operations team including:

    • Profit and Loss – Provides the ability to send end of day emails with attachments. Email requires acknowledgment (Run Report, Save File, Attach the file to email)
    • Month-End Pricing Process – Run Report, attach the report to file, require sign off via email and continue with automated workflow, track broker quote communication
    • File Transmission, Receipt – FTP Fund Admin, counterparty, Prime, or others. Extract information. Notify on process failure
    • File Transmission, Receipt via email – Parse and save email attachments from your Fund Admin, counterparty, Prime, or others, Extract information. Normalize data; Notify on process failure
    • Automated Email Confirmation Check Scenario – Several nightly emails are sent from your fund admin. Check to confirm that those emails are received. Save Files from those emails if received
    • Credit Facility Closing Process Scenario – Track documents between agent bank, borrower, and others; Lien Searches; wiring instructions, etc.
    • Search Emails and Provide Signoffs and Tasks via Email – Incorporate email searching as a means to identify tasks that should be performed
    • Margin Files – FTP or Email Scenario: Save margin call notices from an email attachment, scrape the data from a PDF and upload to a central database
Figure 1 – Actual Screenshot of the Ryan Eyes Checklist Feature Compiling and Listing Critical Tasks

We provided a screenshot of how the checklists are assembled and ultimately presented in the Ryan Eyes software. Our clients tell us that while the checklist feature seems simple enough, the value add is immeasurable as fund managers and administrators are alleviated of the painstaking task of managing each of the dozens of tasks, jobs, and correspondence manually.

 

Accounting Checklist

The accounting team is constantly challenged to handle daily, weekly, and monthly reporting while infusing those reports with external data. Ryan Eyes’ origins start with their Geneva consulting; that intellectual knowledge has been leveraged by the firm to integrate with Geneva, seamlessly pull the accounting data into the data warehouse to be analyzed and presented by Ryan Eyes software to generate reports in an automated, timely fashion.

The capabilities and tools of Ryan Eyes software allow the accounting team to populate critical accounting data into the firm’s multitude of reports and statements including:

  • Month-End NAV Reporting Process – Track supporting reports, trial balance and sign off at various levels
  • Web Scraping – Periodically log into a web page, scrape information, and save to a database
  • PDF Scraping – Statement received from a counterparty. The job will scrape the PDF for data and save it to a database
  • Investor Relations Requests – Log Request via Email; Query fund of fund data from backstop; interface with backstop, send the file for review
  • Track Daily Success in Delivering Reports vs SLA Requirements – Identify failures for fund admins by report and client. Escalate critical items to appropriate parties; track manual tasks; report on SLA compliance
  • Month-end Capital Statements with Shared Workflow Monitoring – Obtain and input month-end capital statements, share checklist between fund admin and hedge fund
  • Custodial Interfaces – Watch for files on FTP; download and process files; load to Axys and/or Geneva (Goldman, Goldman International, Morgan Stanley, UBS, Credit Suisse, JPM Morgan, and many others) File Transmission also available
  • Reconciliation / Data Warehouse Interfaces – Extract Transactions, positions, and other reports from Axys; process in SQL and then FTP files to Electra or other providers

Integrating with Geneva allows Collimate, the Ryan Eyes Data Warehouse, and the Ryan Eyes Software to collect, normalize, and aggregate the data so that Ryan Eyes software can generate accounting reports in an automated, timely fashion.

 

Risk Checklist

As fund managers know risk is quantifiable in both absolute and in relative terms. A clear understanding of risk using various calculations can help fund managers better understand the opportunities, trade-offs, and costs involved with various investment approaches and ultimately choices. Our post The Efficient Process Frontier discusses how risk calculations are critical to fund managers choosing investments for their client’s portfolios that “offer the highest expected return for a defined level of risk; or the lowest risk for a given level of expected return.” Managers have the ability to model portfolios to adjust risk based on various market and equity scenarios, however, it is critical that they have access to a variety of risk calculations to understand the level of risk an investment carries in real-time. Ryan Eyes allows fund managers to select the right risk-adjusted investment choices by providing near real-time calculations on the following risk measures:

  • Monte Carlo Analysis
  • Shock Analysis
  • Risk Triggers on the Greek values
  • Sharpe and Sortino Ratios
  • Drawdown
  • Portfolio Optimization
  • VaR
  • Factor Triggers

 

Compliance Checklist

Regulations and compliance have increased exponentially over the past several years in the financial and asset management industry. Executives were already overwhelmed with strategy decisions, so fund administrators took the lead on compliance. However, staying current on legislation in the various areas around the globe including the firm’s own compliance rules has become overwhelming. Ryan Eyes’ automates and provides transparency to compliance reporting. Through integration with Eze Castle, the impact of trades on various internal and external regulations are tracked and status delivered in near real-time including:

  • Form 13F, 13G and 13H – Security Number of Shares to Shares Outstanding
  • Concentration holdings
  • 12d-1 rule
  • Form PF Tasks
  • Form N Port Tasks and Data
  • SSAE-16 Compliance
Figure 2 – Ryan Eyes Handles the Tracking and Completion of Jobs Across Firm Funds in a Single Pane of Glass

 

Conclusion

Technology through data warehouse and intelligence software solutions provide the asset management industry a comprehensive workflow management application across operations, accounting, risk, and compliance. The data warehouse collects, aggregates, and analyzes disparate data critical to making front, middle and back-office decisions.

Software like Ryan Eyes brings visibility and actionable insights to the data in a single pane of glass solution. Productivity and fund performance improve when value-added features like “Checklist” provide asset managers and fund administrators the capability to monitor data, workflow, and jobs with perfect visibility and proactive capabilities.

To Learn More About How Checklists Will Spur Productivity in Your Firm – Contact Us, We Are Happy to Help – 1 (347) 759 0105.

You Can Also Fill Out Our Contact Us Form Here to Talk with a Ryan Eyes Consultant – https://www.ryaneyes.com/contact-us/

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