Los Angeles-based Waite & Associates has decided to upgrade to INDATA's front- to back-office suite of portfolio management systems, I.M.S. for Windows. The investment management firm, with about $650 million under management, wanted a new system that could automate a good deal of the back-office processing, and one that could meet the needs of the firm's portfolio managers, traders, compliance and operations personnel.
"It was very important to us that we find an enterprise-wide solution," says Diana Calhoun, principal and managing director. "It was very important to us to have everything in one package that seamlessly worked together instead of piecing together different vendors' products. We didn't want to deal with multiple vendors if we didn't have to."
Calhoun declines to name the other vendors considered, only saying that two provided a suite of front- to back-office systems, and one was primarily focused on portfolio accounting.
Waite will be installing all of the modules included in I.M.S., including Paramount for Managers, a portfolio modeling tool set, Paramount Accounting, Paramount Reports, and APEX for performance attribution. Calhoun emphasizes that one of I.M.S.'s distinguishing features was its "flexible" performance analytics system. "The other packages out there weren't as comprehensive," she says. "INDATA's system provides attribution analysis, which is something that everyone today needs and wants."
Although Waite is installing the electronic trading component, Calhoun says that the firm is going to hold off on interacting electronically with its brokers.
As Waite has been an INDATA client for years, the installation of the new system will be relatively easy, with migration of historical data being far simpler than if Waite was moving over to another vendor that employs a different backend database.
"One of the other products we looked at would have cost us a lot of money to get our data into their system," Calhoun points out. The firm should be up and running with I.M.S. in about a month.
On a separate note, INDATA has released a Web-based reporting system that enables users to upload portfolio information to the Web. The system, which can be used in conjunction with I.M.S. or any portfolio management system that relies on a relational database, provides money management firms with the means to offer real-time client account access on the Web, and, for the first time, effectively compete with the "big boys." INDATA has yet to set a price for the new module.