PlusFunds.com, a new Web site launched last week that provides real-time information on hedgefund performance, is relying on Advent Software's global accounting system, Geneva. The system, which is serving as the core accounting engine for the site, has been customized by Ernst & Young to include features that parse out investments on a per-share basis and track hedgefund manager incentive fees.
PlusFunds, with its development partner Ernst & Young, first approached Advent in September, after surveying the entire marketplace, and found Geneva to be the only truly, real-time international accounting system, says Christopher Sugrue, PlusFunds' CEO. In fact, the real-time component was the feature that attracted him to the system.
"We needed the most scaleable package out there and Geneva fit the bill," Sugrue explains. "It's an amazing product. One of the important things is the real-time component. We couldn't run a batch-processing product as our core engine, and all the other products out there run on a batch cycles."
With hedgefund managers trading in markets located around the world, batched performance reports can come a day or two after the trade is made. Geneva foregoes the batch cycle, accepting market data coming in from any number of providers and providing real-time NAV's for the funds included on the PlusFunds site.
The new site is significant in that it portends to be the single source for hedgefund ratings. PlusFunds will provide Standard & Poors with data on the hedgefunds participating in its site, which will calculate various risk management indicators, like Value-at-risk and concentrations.
"The current market environment for hedgefunds is that the investor receives, once per month, a measure on the current investment. They receive no risk information," Sugrue explains. "As an investor, you have information on your returns, but it's important to know how much risk you took to get that return. S&P takes the information from us, once per day, runs mathematical measures on the risk and publishes it to the Web site."
PlusFunds went live last week with its alpha site, and is planning its full release for the first quarter of 2000. The complete site will include various kinds of correlation analysis as well as more content. Only up for a couple of days, the site already received 3,000 hits on Wednesday alone.
Only 35 hedgefunds have agreed to sign up with PlusFunds thus far, but Sugrue believes that it will capture a "significant" part of the market.