Posted by Cognito on Tue, Sep 15 2009

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Live Blogging - TSAM North America 2009

Photo of Ben KeelerToday is the inaugural TSAM North America Convention - sister event to TSAM (Technology Solutions for Asset Managers), the premier buy-side operations and technology convention in Europe. The audience is made up of influential members of the buy-side community, who have come together to deliberate and discuss the major operational issues facing the industry today. The day is organized into three topic streams: Client Reporting and Servicing, Performance Measurement and Attribution, and Tactical IT Governance and Data Stewardship. I am starting my day in the Client Reporting Stream, chaired by Ben Keeler (in photo), Director at investment management consultancy Citisoft.

9:02am - The room is becoming quite crowded - it's good to see such aturnout at the inaugural TSAM NA event! Not only should today beinteresting and informative, but it's definitely a great networkingopportunity.

9:05am - Heike from Osney Media just gave an intro encouraging peopleto really communicate and participate in the discussion around clientreporting. People are seated at round tables to encourage conversationand discussion, which will then be reported back to the entire group.It should be interesting to hear what all these teams of industryprofessionals come up with!

9:10am - Ben Keeler, Citisoft, gives introductory remarks. He highlights the importance of client reporting, as well as how it can sometimes be difficult to "sell" it within an organization, as everyone knows it is necessary, but no one is ever sure who should be responsible for it. According to Ben, client reporting is still quite a timely topic, and Citisoft is seeing a significant amount of activity in the space.

Ben also offers a few questions to consider throughout the day: Does your firm have appetite to have client reporting supported oroutsourced to service provider? Is there a movement to push technology closer tofirms? Is there now closer integration between service providers and investment managers?Are you comfortable outsourcing to third party service providers? Areyour requirements generic enough to outsource?

9:35am - Patrick Moore, MetroWest, presents on using effective communication in volatile times

A year ago, when Lehman failed, there was an intense demand for good communication, as people were acting irrationally. One of the lessons of that time was to use communications effectively and efficiently to fulfill the objectives of an investment manager, which are to add value abovewhat people can get for free and to do it in a consistent fashion thatinstills confidence - so when there is volatility in the marketplace,your client will trust you.

Client reporting can help communicate that poorshort-term performance will be recoverable when market conditions normalize.Delivering this message can enhance client decision-making, resulting inmeasurable value-add in portfolios. Projected expertise in affectedmarkets instills confidence, leading to expanded assignments, etc.

Reporting can keep clients on board and focused on the strategic game-plan.  An example here is when ratings agencies have issued widespread downgrades.Transparency in communicating behavior to clients provided a platformto advocate continued holding of downgraded issues to realize a closeralignment of pricing and fundamental value.

These measures taken last year have paid off - in 2009, investor sponsorship has returned,especially in high-yield. The market hasn't seen any flights to safety this year,and those areas that were hard-hit last year have experienced recovery.

Client Reporting, Conferences, TSAM,
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