Asset Managers & Hedge Funds
Asset managers and hedge funds pursue a wide range of business strategies. Those who are focused in mature asset classes are well supported with software applications. However, more complex strategies with unusual asset classes do not readily fit existing applications and money is scarce for costly customization. Add to this the drive to move the business forward and it is not surprising that the speed and flexibility of spreadsheets and MS Access® databases make them a key part of the business infrastructure.
The control agenda is, however, subject to conflicting pressures. They are commonly staffed by executives with investment bank experience to whom the issues of risk and control are well known. But they are not yet as explicitly regulated as more mature financial institutions and so external drivers are more muted. Add to this a low ratio of people to assets and high staff turnover and it is clearly easy for internal control agendas and associated technology to fail to keep up with business growth and complexity.
As a result, the history of business decisions is often poorly recorded. Questions such as ‘How did we get here?’ are all too common. Getting to the answers requires a long painful process that can tie up many hours of valuable employee time and hold back the business.
ClusterSeven removes these obstacles. With automatic versioning and change management, we structure your data as it is created. A wide range of business information from within your changing spreadsheets is also available in the form of business trends and key performance indicators. Your employee time can now be spent on finding the next opportunity, not gathering data an old one.
At the same time it becomes easy to demonstrate a high level of business governance for your next round of expansion, be it raising more funds, completing strategic partnerships or moving to IPO.
The speed of ClusterSeven's analysis and error detection can also move beyond monitoring just end users. Many risk assessment processes require the central aggregation of information from multiple systems (such as trading, limits and back office systems) through the extraction and combination of various flat data files. ClusterSeven can automatically validate these processes, ensuring that risk calculations are properly calculated. Find out more in our Data Validation Case Study.
“Within minutes of a spreadsheet being saved, ClusterSeven will tell you if something needs closer inspection.George Flynn, business analyst of product control, European Credit Management (ClusterSeven client)
We have set up alerts to notify us of specified changes to spreadsheets at a cellular level. If a value goes above or below a certain level or someone deletes something they should not, an e-mail or an instant message is sent to the designated administrator.”