Rochdale Investment Management--a money manager with $750 million in assets--has signed a deal to use INDATA's I.M.S. for Windows suite of portfolio accounting, performance measurement, portfolio reporting and trading products. Simultaneously, Rochdale's broker/dealer arm has decided to replace its proprietary trading system with a trading application from Precision Trading.
Joseph Englander, Rochdale's senior manager of client administration, says the firm plans to install IMS in place of Advent Software's Axys-its incumbent-mainly because Axys' closed system architecture inhibited the company's ability to share data between ancillary systems. Meanwhile, Englander expects Rochdale's broker/dealer arm to install Precision Edge's trading system by the first quarter of 2000.
"It will be a gradual process for us, about six months to a year," he says. "There are fundamental operations that we built into our trading system that we want to make sure are available in I.M.S. Eventually, we would like to link to ECNs, but ultimately it's a workflow issue."
Speaking about Axys, Englander says, "We were not able to get data in enough ways to support the things that we wanted to do. Advent is a closed system, and didn't allow us to get data (from one module) without having to export it from another database."
As an example, Englander explains that if the firm wanted to present client account information on its Web site, it was necessary to do a daily batch export with all client information rather than just the data requested by the few clients that used the Web site on any given day. "We wanted to be able to access information on the fly, and we couldn't do that with Axys," he adds.
Officials from Advent did not return phone calls.
Noting the differences between the two portfolio accounting systems, Englander says that I.M.S. is an open architectured system. In fact, all the modules in I.M.S.-from performance measurement to client reporting - extract data from a single SQL database, according to Dave Csiki, vice president of sales and marketing at INDATA.
Rochdale also considered Thomson Financial Software Solutions' Portia and Princeton Financial Systems' PAM, but Englander says the firm felt more comfortable with INDATA's sales and support team. Another deciding factor was that Rochdale believes that it will be able to incorporate its business processes into I.M.S. rather than having to adjust them for the system, as was the case with PAM and Portia.
I.M.S. will serve as the backbone for the entire firm's processes. Along with all the modules-Paramount Accounting, Paramount Reports, APEX for performance measurement and Precision Trading-Rochdale is expecting to link the system to its custodian, as well as integrate it to a contact management system, which the firm has yet to select.
"We currently use (Microsoft's) Outlook for contact management, but we need a more robust system that we can tie into the portfolio management system and tie into our custodian," Englander says. "We want to get to a true straight-through processing situation, where trades are generated, sent to the broker, sent back to us and then reconciled."