There are a multitude of source systems that are used by front, middle and back-office teams in buy side firms. For the purpose of portfolio accounting, one of the most popular systems that is used is SS&C’s Advent Geneva, which allows funds to build their entire accounting book of records (ABOR) by feeding investments and reference data directly into the system.
While Geneva comes with a whole suite of reporting capabilities, many funds prefer to own the data from Geneva by downloading it into their data warehouse automatically. Here, the ability to easily and flexibly communicate with the Geneva server using RSLs (Report Specification Language) or Geneva queries is needed, meaning it should:
- Support the download of all accounting datasets – positions, transactions, trial balances,
- Download the data in closed period or dynamic mode and provide the ability to pull data on a trade and settle date basis
- Allow users to fetch user-defined fields
- Provide the ability to bring in data via faster and better protocols – Samba, FTP, SFTP and NFS
- Be completely configurable from the user interface
- Throttle downloads based on license availability
- Provide the ability to pass custom parameters to the RSL
- Capable of triggering partial loads as per data quality checks
It’s important to note here that, when performing downloads in closed period modes, data volumes can be very large. One way to handle this is through the use of multiple licenses provided by Geneva to perform parallel downloads, but this is not a feasible method during the work week since the licenses might be in use by other business users. This means that the downloads must be done on the weekend, creating a small window of opportunity.
In order to perform quick downloads of large quantities of data, the automated Geneva integration requires the use of all available tech licenses and the ability to leverage them by a factor of 5-6x. Users should also have the ability to leverage burstability of computing power, which would enable them to exponentially scale their downloads while keeping their costs at a minimum.
There are other supporting methods that help with the scaling of downloads such as balancing portfolio data loads so that light portfolios are downloaded in one batch and heavy portfolios are downloaded in another.
Finally, the automated Geneva integration should be able to download and merge daily/monthly/quarterly and yearly P&L data as well as provide the ability to support and schedule multiple intraday downloads to help get relevant data to end users on demand.
Once the data has been successfully downloaded from Geneva, it must be standardized using data dictionaries to ensure that (a) the entire firm is speaking a common language, (b) they have the ability to define reporting fields as compared to actual technical attribute names and (c) reporting in both base and local currency is supported. For instance, RealFXMTDBook, an incoming attribute from Geneva, can be presented across the entire firm as Realized FX MTD (Base Currency). Also, while Geneva gives you the ability to house your security data, a lot of funds tend to have separate systems for their security and operational datasets. The ability to seamlessly merge your operational and security datasets is imperative.
From here, the data must also be governed. Data governance on ABOR datasets should support the ability to:
- Monitor downloads on a real-time basis and get notified – via Slack, chat, email, etc. – of any breakdowns
- Handle prior adjustments and track P&L integrity breaks
- Perform cross-dataset checks to ensure cash activity rolls up correctly to the cash balances, the trial balance is in sync with positions, and so on
- Close out/Lock the data at the end of the month once all exceptions have been cleared so that further adjustments are not possible.
- Sign off on the clean datasets so that end users have confidence in the data
Coinciding with the industry’s evolving needs over the years, IVP EDM’s Geneva Connector has gone through multiple iterations and has been battle-tested at various funds. With automated integrations that are supported by an experienced team of consultants to cater to client-specific requirements – such as custom RSL development, Geneva upgrades and migrations, change management on RSLs and managed services – IVP is the perfect partner to assist in building out your accounting book of records.
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