Royal London Asset Management (RLAM) was established in 1988 and specialises in providing investment management solutions for both the Royal London Group and a range of external institutions. These include listed companies, local authorities, universities, charities, wealth managers and financial advisers. RLAM manages £78.4 billion of assets and employs more than 50 experienced investment professionals in its London office (as at 30 September 2014). RLAM also manages assets on behalf of its parent company, Royal London Group (the UK’s largest mutual life and pensions company).
How it all began
The withdrawal of RLAM’s core performance engine from the market in 2012 was the catalyst for a wider performance systems review within the firm. In fact RLAM’s performance team had already been taking steps to expand its reach whilst consolidating the number of its analytical tools, to improve operational efficiency and reduce cost. With only a short period of time before the existing system would be switched off, the performance team had to consider an in-house build as a stopgap measure, should they not be able to find and deploy a suitable vendor system as a replacement. The withdrawal of the performance system would also impact their strategic outsource partner which made it even more critical that the new performance vendor was able to integrate its system into this wider outsourced technology landscape without disruption.
With a very short timeframe available and the need for integration an imperative, the task for Rakesh Kumar, RLAM’s Head of Fund Operations and Performance Measurement, was very challenging indeed.
RLAM shortlisted seven vendors before ultimately choosing Teknometry, due to the flexibility of its performance solution and the successful track record and experience of its team.
Teknometry offers an end-to-end service enabling clients to easily upload portfolio data and calculate returns, attribution and risk statistics. These can be viewed using a range of query and reporting tools that are accessed via a web browser. Teknometry is a multi-currency solution that is totally cloud-based, so there are none of the installation and operational burdens associated with locally installed software. Indeed, when compared with the total cost of ownership of locally installed software, Teknometry offers a lower cost, yet scalable, solution to organisations of any size from a single portfolio to thousands of portfolios.
Results and Reaction
Rakesh Kumar: “Teknometry was able to integrate existing data and workflows in a very short timeframe, with very little procedural change. This made migration relatively pain-free. Using its library of pre-defined templates, Teknometry replicated the functionality we were accustomed to without any issues and they incorporated most of our development suggestions. The system went live seamlessly at quarter end and met or exceeded all of our reporting deadlines. This really was the acid test.”
One major benefit accrued from the deployment is a substantial reduction in manual reconciliations. This had previously been an onerous task for RLAM’s outsource partner, but Teknometry’s auto-reconciliation tool has significantly improved efficiency in this area. “Teknometry also has a very effective workflow engine, exception reporting capability and an excellent API tool that automatically draws data into the system. The whole reporting process has become far less labour-intensive,” says Kumar.
“To develop, test and implement a core performance engine inside six months is very rare. As this shift to the cloud was a bold step for us, there were understandably some initial reservations about latency and security. Once the system was deployed, however, these concerns were swiftly dispelled. Indeed, we have all been impressed by the detailed performance analysis that Teknometry delivers. The user interface is also very intuitive and my team required very little training. We have increased our control as a result of our internal team and outsource partner now operating on a single platform, saving time through automation and reducing our operational risk.”
Additionally, Teknometry’s development programme has dovetailed neatly with RLAM’s strategy for expanding its analytical capabilities within performance. “We look forward to hearing more about Teknometry’s ideas for future functionality enhancements. The Teknometry operating model is a good fit with the way in which we acquire services across the business,” concludes Kumar.