The Innovation Process

In the 2014 Global Innovation Index, produced by Cornell University, INSEAD and the WIPO¹, it states that in the process of innovating “…creative and critical thinking, and the appetite for taking risks and thinking entrepreneurially, often matter at least as much as technical qualifications.”

The ingredients for innovation

There is no manual that can teach you how to innovate. Yet when we created AlphaCert the powerful combination of creativity, critical thinking and risk taking were essential components. AlphaCert is a data management platform for the investment management sector, addressing the need of today’s investment manager. We employed some of the most qualified, experienced IT talent we could find to develop AlphaCert: critical thinkers who were ready and willing to challenge the status quo. We built the platform in the aftermath of a global financial crisis. Enough said on the risk front.

Tried, tested and proven

While we founded the AlphaCert Labs company just over a year ago, the development pot has been simmering away for the last seven years with the software engineering company I started with my business partner Bain Hollister – ClearPoint. In fact ‘Tried, tested and proven’ could well be an apt tagline for AlphaCert.

From innovation to recommendation

In 2008 ClearPoint designed and built a data management platform for the New Zealand Superannuation Fund that in their words, makes the fund a, “… powerful user of technology”. In 2010, the Australian Future Fund contacted ClearPoint on the basis of a recommendation by the New Zealand Superannuation Fund. In 2011, recommendations from both organisations led to designing and building a data management platform for ACC Investments, the investment arm of the Accident Compensation Corporation of New Zealand.

Treating investment manager headaches

Through developing systems for clients, we saw a real need for AlphaCert and identified several common issues for investment managers. Investment management organisations receive multiple data feeds, daily, from several sources that are then loaded into disparate data systems. There are often time delays in receiving and processing data. There is often too much reliance on manual manipulation of data and inconsistent formatting of that data. All this creates significant room for error and wastes valuable time for highly paid people. AlphaCert resolves these issues and more. It can be customised to the specific needs of organisations and scaled up to changing market needs, technology advances or changes within a business.

The global storm of regulatory change

Providing the backdrop to the development of AlphaCert was the Global Financial Crisis of 2008, which shipwrecked the asset management industry. Since then, the industry has been refloated and is scrambling to regain public trust while “an unrelenting storm of regulatory change… continues to drive industry transformation and restructuring in markets around the world.”² Termed a “Brave New World” by PwC ³, the market conditions we see now create a new set of challenges for investment managers.

The AlphaCert belief

At AlphaCert we believe it’s just as important to understand the evolving global marketplace for investment managers and implications for the future, as it is to identify the most pressing issues today. This helps us tailor the technology accordingly. If you share that belief, then stay tuned for the next blog and a summary of trends in the global asset management industry. ¹ World Intellectual Property Organisation. ² KPMG. Industry Insights: a snapshot of the key trends, issues and the challenges facing the investment management industry. March 2013. ³ PwC. Asset Management 2020: A Brave New World.

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