Transamerica Investment Management has implemented an enterprise-wide front-office-technology suite in order to enhance its straight-through processing. The Los Angeles-based asset manager, with nearly $15 billion in assets under management, selected investment-management vendor Indata, for its I.M.S. for Windows solution, replacing other disparate systems such as solutions from Financial Models Company.
"Our overall look and feel has changed since we first began. We had to look at what would be most appropriate and best fit our needs, not only for what we've grown into, but what will grow with us as we continue on our path," explains John Riazzi, the chief executive officer of Transamerica. "Indata's open architecture and flexibility allows us to take the ball and run with it in terms of our own customization and changes as our development continues."
I.M.S. for Windows, which was implemented by Transamerica earlier this year, is providing the firm with portfolio-management and reporting, trade-order management, and performance measurement and attribution. In addition, Transamerica implemented Indata's InContact, a front-office Web-based customer-relationship-management solution.
Riazzi says that the solution goes beyond the portfolio-management, trading and execution functions, though. In addition, he says, Indata has allowed for enhanced, real-time communications between Transamerica's multiple offices. "We are in four different offices, so it requires a real effort to communicate and share information," he explains.
Prior to 2000, Riazzi says that Transamerica functioned as simply one arm of an insurance company, so its use of technology relied on what was supplied by its parent organization. "As we spun out, we were left to fend for ourselves and find out our own functionality needs," he says.
In addition, he notes, Transamerica began as a predominantly institutional investment manager. While he maintains that is still the firm's main business, new distribution channels developed including advisory and private-client services as well as a separately managed-accounts business.
Riazzi says that the firm explored vendors that could meet the need of its varied business lines and growing size, including vendors that Transamerica was already working with, as well as others on the market. Indata, he says, was already performing portfolio accounting in one segment of the firm. "When we first started searching, we thought we'd terminate vendors that we'd used for bits and pieces," he says. "Indata was kind of a dark horse, but as we evaluated the flexibility that they brought to the table, they moved to the front of the list."
A spokesperson for FMC had no comment on the replacement.
Riazzi says that the cost structure of Indata's products is an improvement over the firm's previous solutions. In addition, Indata was able to integrate with Transamerica's current market-data providers and runs on one sequel-database system. The implementation was seamless, he says, allowing for functionality immediately after "plugging in."