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Investment Metrics: Behemoth for Institutional Investors

CIO VendorSanjoy Chatterjee, Founder & President Numerous disruptions in the last decade have enforced institutional investors and their advisors to re-evaluate their overall investment decisions making process to meet their objectives. Fundamentally the approach to asset allocation, diversification, alpha generation and access to investment strategies has had to evolve to keep pace with meeting investment goals and liabilities. Additionally with the advent of better tools and technology has led to more transparency for institutionally investors to be proactive in managing the changes in the landscape. Today, in the investment space, traditional ways of allocating assets are becoming obsolete when compared to the market index of S&P 500, Dow, and NASDAQ. The major trends affecting asset management include existential challenges in the current business model and core investment industry. Amidst these, rising asset prices have brought forth marginal profits to investors despite the market shift to low-cost investment strategies and product solutions. But as that tailwind has subsided, asset managers find themselves in doldrums owing to clients’ increasing demand for lower investment fees, changing regulations, and closer scrutiny in every investment decision.

Enunciating the same, Sanjoy Chatterjee of Investment Metrics says, “There is a lot of scrutiny on how asset allocators are making investment decisions and whether they are bringing desired results or not.” As a part of investment management, modern asset allocators require tools that would assist them with the appropriate analytics and reporting to arm them with information that drives key investment decision making. Proactively managing a beta policy, hiring the right investment manager, going active or passive, managing investment expenses and plan levels. Investment Policy Statements are crucial for most fiduciaries involved in the institutional investment segment. Investment Metrics based upon its years of domain expertise in the institutional advisory space is a provider of solutions to the asset allocator market segment to address their current needs of managing their investment goals.

"Enriched with insightful market data, Investment Metrics solutions creates value-added insights against other peers of the industry that enables its clients to analyze the portfolio performance efficiently across various parameters"

Headquartered in Darien, Investment Metrics renders comprehensive investment performance, attribution, risk analytics, portfolio optimization/construction and reporting solutions to meet the dynamic requirements of the institutional investment community. With its suite of solutions, the firm renders unique insights to investment consultants, asset owners/plan sponsors, asset managers, and private wealth advisors that enables them to advise their clients and underpin them in making informed investment decisions. The Chief Marketing Officer of the firm, Mark Bell says, “Our powerful database of traditional and alternative strategies combined with our robust peer groups and unique plan sponsor universe dataset steers us ahead of other emerging players of the market.”

An Exemplary Product for Portfolio Analytics and Reporting

“We offer products to simplify data aggregation and unleash the power of analytics to aid asset allocators to make the right investments, manage the portfolio within a framework of investment policy, and to measure performance,” adds Chatterjee.

Investment Metrics renders comprehensive investment performance analytics and reporting solutions to meet the dynamic needs of institutional investment community

Investment Metrics provides an end-to-end platform for portfolio analytics and reporting that helps asset allocators with an integrated access to robust market data that includes institutional funds, mutual funds, ETFs, hedge funds and majority of market benchmarks by investment. Enriched with insightful market data, Investment Metrics creates value-added metrics against other peers of the industry that enables its clients to analyze the portfolio performance efficiently across various measures and categories. The platform taps into asset manager information gained from asset managers across the globe and lays a foundation for ranking and rating investment strategies for the client portfolio against their peers. Asset allocators can compare the performance of their existing asset pool with other similar incumbent asset owners across various metrics like asset allocation, performance, fees and investment objectives that provides them an alternative view of their investment decision making process versus their peers. Asset owners can also calibrate the performance of fund managers and asset class composites with options to customize the benchmarks for each fund or composite that meets their plan specific IPS. With access to detailed reports for asset allocation, compliance, attribution, peer groups, portfolio holdings, and portfolio risk analytics, clients can be on top of key issues to proactively manage their investments to meet their investment goals. As Investment Metrics renders a clear view of crucial investment related business data to asset allocators, they can report the information to the client and help them comprehend the events that warrant scrutiny. It also aids asset allocators to monitor the investments and examine if it is adhering to the existing regulatory guidelines.

A Robust Charting and Analytical Engine

Albeit data, analytics, and reports ease the job of asset allocators, comparing different products often becomes a tedious task in the investment realm. Investment Metrics has a robust charting and analytical engine that simplifies the comparison of similar investment products and helps to determine differences among investment options with criteria based searches, visualizations, and reports. The offering features a repertoire of intelligently structured charts and tables which can be printed, copied, or exported instantly. With a click of a button, users can have a graphical view of investment performance presented on charts. Users can also tailor any chart with a dynamic charting engine that is embedded into the profile of every investment profile. “Our powerful manager screening and research platform enables our asset owner and investment consulting customers to compare investment strategies across various return and risk metrics as well as benchmark their current investments versus like peers with the crafted style based peer groups that are a robust representative of the complete market opportunity set,” states Chatterjee. The firm also offers an outsourced reporting service for clients who don’t have the required infrastructure or analysts resources.

The firm also powers asset allocators to choose the preferable investment manager with its proprietary investment manager database offering. With Investment Metrics asset manager database, investors can get instant visibility to the global institutional investment management community. Chatterjee asserts, “The asset managers provide their data to Investment Metrics as they view Investment Metrics as key source to tap into the Asset Allocator market for visibility in raising capital for their respective investment strategies.”

An Exemplary Approach for Problems in Hand

Investment Metrics combined solutions, together, empower users to decipher voluminous data and make data-driven decisions.
The firm’s holistic solutions have brought a sea change for its gamut of clients that include Mercer, AON, Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley, T. Rowe Price, and several other prominent names. Chatterjee cites an example of a major institutional advisory firm to give a comprehensive picture of the firm’s capabilities. With multi-billion dollars of assets under advisement, the client was caught up in the maze of conventional reporting practices and everyday tools like Excel sheets and PowerPoint presentations to calibrate the fund performance. After deploying Investment Metrics’ solutions, the client was able to zero in on the areas that had to be improved. Eventually, the client improved the business decision-making process and garnered higher ROI.

A Peek into the Journey

“In early 1990, we started as an internal development group of a major investment consulting firm,” points Chatterjee. This group goal was to address data management, research, and reporting challenges of a consulting firm. “But, as the solution matured we reached out to other consultants of the market, we were able to solve some of the ubiquitous workflow challenges of the asset allocator community based upon the complexity of the different asset classes and various facets of customized reporting.” In 2006, the business unit branded themselves as Investment Metrics and started functioning as a subsidiary of the investment consulting firm. “Four years later, we separated from our parent company and started working as an independent entity—Investment Metrics.” Since then, the firm has doubled its number of clients, users, and revenues by playing a crucial role in meeting the needs of the institutional investor community. “We are also investing in senior talent in our group to effectively grow our client base from sales and distribution perspective and subsequently augment our competencies in areas beyond the asset allocator community,” adds Chatterjee.

Bell highlighted that, “With our recent merger with InvestorForce, we are committed to delivering best in-class portfolio reporting and analytics solutions for our clients and the institutional investment industry.” He adds, “As a combined entity, we have a broader set of capabilities to enable our clients to continue delivering differentiated investment insights, analytics, and reporting.”

The Competitive Edge

Chatterjee points out, “Our clients come from disparate needs that involve creating reports that drive insights across various asset classes which is again a profound challenge to address,” he adds. “To this end, we have capabilities to delve into providing transparency into each asset class individually and also as a combined total asset pool to meet the challenges of each the asset allocator’s unique needs for managing their investment decisions to meet their investment goals.” The other noteworthy factor of the firm is that it brings an open architecture to aid its clients in creating customized reporting solutions. “This enables our clients to leverage analytics and data from our platform, bring external content from other providers and subsequently create insightful reports with our analytical engine.”

Over the years, the firm has set up several best practices to understand the pain points of aggregating data and converting that into useful information and reports with its myriad of solutions. “We review the existing data nomenclature and categorize them based on the flexible taxonomy of the platform to solve for complex reporting issues with easy to use workflow tools.”

The Roadmap Ahead

Today, solutions by Investment Metrics are trusted by majority of the top 100 investment consultants in North America. As part of its plans, the company aims to expand its horizon to Europe, Canada, and Asia Pacific region. The Investment Metrics team keeps pace with the technological trends and plans to harness the power of big data, data science & deep learning to automate the decision-making process in the institutional investment world.