Bad Recs Can Halt Office Growth: Q&A

Bad Recs Can Halt Office Growth: Q&A

FTF News by Eugene Grygo

John Landry, CEO of Electra Information Systems, talks to FTF News about industry issues and why the company won the Best Reconciliation Solution award for the third time in a row in 2018.

(Growth can be a double-edged sword for some securities firms as it will bring in new revenues and the potential for more profits. However, incumbent systems and operations will have to be adjusted to meet the new demands of the front office. So says John Landry, CEO of Electra Information Systems, in an interview with FTF News. The need to scale operations to manage the growing demands of portfolio managers and others in the front office has been a big driver for overhauls of reconciliation systems. Landry spoke to us about Electra's selection as Best Reconciliation Solution for three years in a row, and other matters.)

Why did Electra embark upon four major client-driven changes in 2017 — enhancements for pending trades, approval workflow, auditing and historical data accessibility, and event-driven reconciliation? 

Electra views our clients as an extension of our own product management team and the features added in 2017 were the result of that partnership. Our clients identified areas of opportunity that could provide maximum time-saving for their staff and we worked closely with them to enhance Electra Reconciliation to address each.

How is the market responding to these enhancements? Please quantify if you can – new clients, more business, greater market share, etc.

Our latest enhancements have had an overwhelmingly positive reception among both our current and prospective clients. For prospective clients these features further underscore the unique value that Electra provides.  As a result, our sales pipeline has expanded significantly.

The reconciliation market saw many changes in 2017. What would you say was the biggest factor swaying voters last year to give Electra the honor of Best Reconciliation Solution?

Electra has won the FTF News Technology Innovation Award for Best Reconciliation Solution three years in a row, continuing our leadership in this category.  We are now well established as the industry leader in the buy-side reconciliation market.  We believe that we continue to excel because we provide an exceptional and comprehensive application supported by outstanding client service.  With the award selected by popular vote, having a satisfied client community yields results.

Electra has also been active in working with other providers. Why is Electra building and reinforcing third-party ties?

The marketplace demands that vendors work with one another to ensure that integration between vendor applications is well supported.  We have formal ties in place with several other vendors and we have deep experience with all major vendors.  In either situation, Electra works diligently to streamline integration, freeing our clients from this burden. 

What does Electra foresee as the top reconciliation challenges of the industry over the next year or more?

The need to scale operations to manage new business is a big driver. Back offices need to be prepared as front offices extend trading and investment strategies to include new asset classes and increased trading volumes Many investment managers are struggling to scale their business due to highly inefficient reconciliation and exception management processes. Electra Reconciliation provides unmatched scalability, allowing managers to adapt to changes in business quickly.

Over the past few years, much has been made of disruptive technologies. Are there emerging technologies that excite you? If so, which ones are they and why?

RPA (robotic process automation), ML (machine learning) and AI (artificial intelligence) have all shown strong potential as disruptive technologies. Several of our clients have coupled RPA technology with our reconciliation solution to address many of the manual tasks being performed by end-users. These include updating security master information in a system that doesn’t offer support for APIs or file-based communication. Machine learning and artificial intelligence could be game changers as investment managers look to automate the investigation and resolution activities assigned to staff today.

August 7, 2018 FTF News, by Eugene Grygo 

You can read the article here

Eugene Grygo

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