SIZE OF FIRM:
Nicholas-Applegate Capital Management
WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE AS AN IT PROFESSIONAL?
WHO IS THE MOST ADMIRABLE TECHNOLOGY EXECUTIVE OUTSIDE OF THE FINANCIAL COMMUNITY?
What I have seen in the last year or so is this collaborative technology. I'm starting to get it, and we're using it. Specifically, Sharepoint is the tool that we're finding is catching on like wildfire. There was this hypothetical discussion of the need for collaboration, but now it's finally coming to fruition. It centers around people needing efficient data management and content creation, and we have people geographically dispersed. This addresses all of those impediments to communications and sharing of information.
IT Budget:$7.66 million.
Key Technology Management:
Size of Technology Team:22 in-house employees (plus 18 outsourced).
Percent of IT Projects Outsourced:None. We work with vendors for delivery of major functionality using their products and ASP arrangements.
Key Technology Partners:Bloomberg, LatentZero, Financial Models, Microsoft, Sybase and Factset.
Success Metrics:For major projects we conduct a post-implementation review, and we look at how the project goals were met or missed.
2008 INITIATIVESCapstone Initiative It's one project I've already mentioned that will be coming to fruition. That will get our full attention in 2008.
Security Master Sharing Allianz owns Nicholas-Applegate and also six or seven other firms in the U.S. that are doing investment management. One of the other affiliates is undertaking some major portfolio management and accounting system upgrades. It was a great opportunity for them to look at our security master application and our corporate data store and leverage it. We'll continue to look for ways to further share that technology with our other affiliates.
System Upgrades There's concern with upgrading to Microsoft Office 2007 and Internet Explorer 7 because of the tremendous differences in the interface and the training curve associated with that. The interface is so fundamentally different that your basic intuition is not helping you map your way through.
TOP 3 CURRENT PROJECTS
Centralized Matching and Settlement MessagingThis is a project to simplify and streamline our various matching and settlement systems into a single platform. We'll get improved manageability and (projected) cost reductions to the tune of $800,000 saved over five years.
Revamping Trading SystemWe're continuing with Capstone, a suite of trading and portfolio management tools from Latent Zero. We already have compliance software, Sentinel, and we are going to move ahead with implementing their Minerva and Tesseract; Capstone covers all three.
Reporting ServicesWe're retiring costly and complex business intelligence software and focusing on [Microsoft's] Reporting Services. Some of the other business intelligence vendors have somewhat of a proprietary platform with their products, but we're a Microsoft shop, so we look for ease of integration and a strong handshake between vendor products and how Microsoft's applications work.