Better cashflow management for Implemented Investment Solutions (IIS) with a data platform for growth

Alphacert Customer Story

The Client

Implemented Investment Solutions (IIS) is a Wellington-based investment management company, managing over USD$3 billion in assets. It operates multiple business lines including a Fund Hosting business, the InvestNow digital retail investment platform, and Hunter Investment Management, a boutique funds management business.

The Challenge

IIS wanted to mitigate their risk in analysing and managing their investment data. They were manually manipulating data using complex spreadsheets, which was time consuming. They knew they had room to significantly improve their business processes and efficiencies. The Fund Hosting business was growing and needed a platform to help them expand, but also reduce the manual intervention of data processing for their investment operations team. Cashflow monitoring was a key focus area and they also needed to make more sense of their data models. Different spreadsheet models were hard to unravel and needed simplifying. Their goal was to consolidate the disparate data which was received in a variety of formats and organise it better to feed into downstream processes and spreadsheet models.

"Our business was growing rapidly, and we needed to move from a manual, email, and spreadsheet data model to a more automated and scalable environment. The AlphaCert team was instrumental in helping us identify, and move to, a model that allowed us to continue growing quickly, without data collection and access becoming a constraint.”

The Solution

IIS came to AlphaCert to look at how the AlphaCert platform could not only organise their business processes, but simplify their data processing, and improve monitoring and reporting.

The onboarding process for IIS was a phased approach. The first phase involved a discovery program, whereby AlphaCert initially mapped out the business and data processes for IIS. This helped to identify how to best standardise IIS data and produce sample files to take to data providers.

Assisted by AlphaCert, IIS relitigated their process and documented it. Their cashflow monitoring process was reworked and spreadsheet model optimised by connecting it to trusted, verified source data from the AlphaCert platform. Discovery workshops and consulting services directed data onboarding activities and process mapping. Setup of the infrastructure and environment was followed by testing and Go Live.

“It has been great to work alongside IIS to enable their vision for centralised and automated management of data. It’s satisfying for me to see ongoing improvements with reporting because of the AlphaCert platform and how it simplifies daily processes for the users.”

The core AlphaCert platform was implemented with a registry and reporting module. Around 20 daily files from providers (custodians and administrators) are fed into their AlphaCert environment. AlphaCert worked with IIS’s three custodians, BNP Paribas, Public Trust and MMC, to bring in their initial core data (valuations and unit prices). Data is validated, checked and the results are output as six extracts feeding data into a cash monitoring model.

Every day the investment operations team refresh their spreadsheet models and pull in clean data from AlphaCert. AlphaCert supported IIS to set up their own SFTP server working directly with data suppliers to deliver data directly into the AlphaCert platform. The IIS investment operations team uses AlphaCert to resolve more of their reporting problems by providing investment reporting for members that was previously unavailable.

After the initial deployment for automated file loading, ongoing releases extended functionality and automation to enable relevant data checks and reconciliations. The release strategy provided motivation to incrementally evolve operational efficiencies.

The Outcome

The AlphaCert platform enabled IIS to transform a full digital and data program. IIS gained significant efficiency improvements in business processes. This meant that IIS could go back to suppliers with confidence to standardise file formats and gain consistency of data across all of their providers.

Other key results included:

Time spent on cashflow models went from averaging 4 hours down to 30 minutes per day.

Individual spreadsheets from different funds have now merged into one spreadsheet model with multiple tabs with uniform data.

Data is now visible all the way through internal processes. Prior to that, it was manual and limited checks and balances were in place. It was hard to see where there were anomalies.

IIS has minimised their risk around their spreadsheet and manual processes.

IIS now has a platform for data governance and growth, which has significantly decreased risk. Time savings have allowed their focus to move away from heavily administrative to value add activities on behalf of their institutional investors.

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