If there ever were a time for analysts and portfolio managers to get their ducks in a row, that time would be now. Any analyst or portfolio manager who isn't questioning and rethinking his own investment theories, strategies and philosophies is fielding questions from investors and managers.
That's why Advent Software's timing is good for its official launch today of the Tamale Research Management System it bought last October. Tamale RMS is document management and workflow software specifically geared toward managing financial research. RMS comes as a plug-in for basic office tools such as Word, Excel, Outlook, Adobe Acrobat and Internet Explorer. Analysts create reports, notes and models as they normally would, click on a Tamale icon, choose identifying tags for the content (such as company, sector), and save it in a shared repository. Portfolio managers go into Tamale and pull up all the research done on a company. The software also integrates with external research sources such as CapitalIQ, Thomson StreetEvents, market data feeds and broker blast emails, for instance automatically indexing and tagging the blast emails so specific information is easy to find. It can be accessed via BlackBerry, iPhone, or other wireless devices.
"People are telling us they need this tool so that at a moment's notice they can pull up all the information they have on a company," says Mark Rice, senior vice president and general manager of the Tamale group at Advent. "It allows them to show they have a rationale behind their investments. On the fund of funds side, where they're expected to do research on underlying funds, we're finding a surge of interest, especially since the day the Madoff scandal came to light." One client, he says, was able to go into their Tamale database and unearth all 41 of their exposures to Madoff within a few hours.
Advent considers the Tamale research technology a key addition to its other software programs that support accounting, risk management and other middle- and back-office functions for portfolio managers. Today's 4.0 release of Tamale RMS allows for more customization and integration than has been possible in the past, Rice says. "A lot of clients said this was a good basic research tool, but we need mashups, data from other sources, we would like to see everything in one place," he says.