Invesco Ltd., the large Atlanta-based asset manager, has picked Portware Enterprise as the asset management firm’s centralized hub for execution management across all of its asset classes around the globe.
After an extensive evaluation process, Invesco, an active institutional investor with $787 billion in assets under management as of Dec. 31, 2013, selected Portware’s EMS based on the system’s multi-asset coverage, global reach and ability to create complex and highly efficient proprietary trading solutions, according to the release.
“Their view was that Portware was the only platform that was open enough, scalable enough and had the long-term strategy that made sense for them,” said Alfred Eskandar, CEO of Portware in an interview. He noted this was an exhaustive vendor process that included everybody on the street and it went through massive testing. “This is a major commitment, so these guys really kicked the tires,” he said.
The firm’s buy-side traders will use Portware to execute trades in options, futures, fixed income, equities and FX from multiple locations in North America, Europe and Asia. One of the things they liked is that Portware works with all the different broker algorithms. “We continue to work very closely with the street,” said Eskandar.
Invesco is moving from an unidentified EMS over to Portware’s hosted solution, which is more like a private cloud environment that is not necessarily shared.
At the same time, consolidation of the number of EMSs on the buy-side desktop has been a theme for the past five years.
“Portware allows us to consolidate our global trading activity across all asset classes into a single EMS, standardizing technology, workflows and processes,” said Saurabh Srivastava, global head of electronic trading, Invesco, in the release. “Portware allows us to consolidate our global trading activity across all asset classes into a single EMS, standardizing technology, workflows and processes,” he said.
“The system offers a rich set of decision making support features that will enable our trading desks globally to navigate a highly complex execution landscape,” said Srivastava, who left Credit Suisse Advanced Execution Services to head electronic trading at Invesco last winter.
Invesco is making a major commitment, which is why the team really kicked the tires. “This is not an off-the-shelf solution,” said Eskandar. “They have a very ambitious goal of having the most effective, automated and advanced trading group,” he said.
Invesco wants to customize the technology and to automate certain workflows within Portware, which was not possible with other EMSs, according to Eskandar, “They’re really going to push the envelope of analytics embedded into trade decision support. They’re going to push the envelope on automation and engineering new workflows,” said Eskandar.
The EMS’s ability to automate the buy-side’s most complex workflows is a key reason for its selection. Workflows are building tools for the trading desk to make faster decisions, more accurately and consistently, said Eskandar. “The trick is to make a fast decision, or make an accurate decision and make it all the time,” he said.
Portware’s AlphaVision acquisition from Aritas (the former Pipeline Trading Systems) enables buy side firms to use predictive analytics to automatically select and implement the optimal execution strategy. It “is embedded in Portware EMS and that will be customized to their needs, said Eskandar. This allows a firm to switch between different broker algorithms, adjust to changing market conditions and to seek alpha capture while minimizing transaction costs. “The key point is that with the acquisition we have a new category of EMS powered by artificial intelligence that speaks back to the trader to make more informed decisions,” explained Eskandar.
“We provide the analytics and then those analytics are customized to the end user’s profile and then it’s utilized within the software,” he said. “The investor is using the analytics for decision support and to help them identify trading opportunities faster and more consistently,” he said. Visualization tools are also part of the Portware EMS to enable traders to “trade the graphs, and sort, filter and see their orders in a way that enable then to see the alpha, see the risk sooner, said Eskandar.
“We have an automated way to manage algos, we have real time venue analysis, we have real-time commission manager and we have visualization components. Traders don’t read their blotter; they see it in a picture.”