In December 2021, SS&C Eze launched a fully interactive and embedded cloud Marketplace for investment management apps and services. Jenny Kim DeSmyter, Managing Director at SS&C Eze, tells Markets Media how Eze Marketplace addresses common challenges faced by asset managers today.
What is Eze Marketplace and why have you launched it?
Eze Marketplace empowers asset managers to create their cloud-based ecosystem by offering plug-and-play access to a wider range of solutions and services within SS&C Eze platforms.
Many firms use a pay-as-you-grow model and mix-and-match solutions as they expand their enterprise platforms. However, with different needs at every firm, implementing and integrating a new product into the overall tech stack is often timely, costly and fraught with inherent risks associated with disparate data.
We started this project early last year because we wanted to create an elevated “one-stop-shop” experience for our clients by giving them more control and flexibility. With Marketplace, we can deliver more, faster, in a single platform. As a result, we have already rapidly expanded the capabilities and services offered to our clients, ranging from event monitoring, portfolio analytics, data visualization, AI-driven content delivery to risk management and more.
We built an open, secure, real-time integration architecture that allows FinTech partners to develop their apps and solutions inside our platforms. This changes the buy-side experience entirely. Users can subscribe to additional applications directly in Marketplace and start using the embedded offerings almost instantly without worrying about implementations or data integrity. Once subscribed, the partner solutions will interact with the client’s existing SS&C Eze data and workflows. For example, as a client trades a new name, they can look at news feeds about the company or run a risk scenario against the portfolio with the adjusted positions.
What are asset managers looking for when designing an investment ecosystem?
Like any buyer, asset managers want and need the power of choice without compromising data integrity, efficiency, or security. Unfortunately, to date, integrated solutions in fintech require lengthy implementation and UAT periods, which ultimately result in “the swivel chair” effect. Eze Marketplace is a game-changer in that we’ve significantly evolved both the approach and delivery toward addressing these needs.
Whether a startup or emerging manager is institutionalizing their investment processes as they grow or an established manager adding more specialized tools to accommodate complexity, all clients have equal options to select solutions in a one-stop-shop container. It also saves them
the time, the hassle and the effort in every part of the buying journey: sourcing options, going through sales processes & negotiations and implementations.
Efficiency cannot sacrifice data integrity and security, especially when investors are uncompromising on issues related to information security. Therefore, the Marketplace framework is backed by the same rigorous security and risk programs as our award-winning investment management platforms, including our ISO 27001 certification.
What are the limitations with custom coding and traditional integrations? / How is Eze Marketplace helping to solve this problem?
Traditional integration and custom solutions or coding are often time- and resource-intensive to implement and maintain. Moreover, business objectives, priorities and focuses can change over time, so the challenges of normalizing, cleansing and mapping data sets across multiple and growing platforms can compound these challenges and costs for asset managers and vendors. The result of the time and resource commitment isn’t always fluid and intuitive – requiring cumbersome workarounds and delays due to disjointed processes and data across workflows.
With Marketplace, we strive to remove these headaches for asset managers and our fintech partners by standardizing a secure way of communicating data in real-time. As a result, clients won’t be burdened with mapping or cleaning data when they add a new product to their ecosystem. This development allows for much deeper and faster integration of new products into the overall investment process.
Our partners can embed parts of their code directly into our platforms, so it doesn’t feel like you’re looking at two different vendor products. In addition, with the data architecture, our partners have little to no additional work to onboard every client. We also leverage single-sign-on (SSO) for clients to access additional features with a single click to present one delivery mechanism across as many products as the clients choose.
How does Eze platform improve overall efficiency?
Eze Marketplace has all the benefits of a best-of-breed solution in a one-stop-shopping container. Clients can access a much wider scope of features and functionality in a single, seamless experience, alleviating workflow inefficiencies and friction caused by swiveling between systems and applications. Some of the key benefits include:
1. Speed: Managers have little to no implementation work, so they save time going back and forth with vendors and can focus on incorporating new products into their production processes faster.
2. Security & Consolidation: Clients can access additional products and services through a single SS&C Eze ecosystem, either directly embedded inside the Eze platform or accessed via SSO, simplifying their operational and technology stacks. This cuts down the time spent managing third-party providers and time spent on vendor evaluation and due diligence since all Marketplace partners are pre-qualified. For end-users, this also removes the need to remember and type in your login credentials for every system.
3. Power of Data: The data our clients are building and enriching inside our platforms is incredibly powerful. We see Marketplace meaningfully helping them better harness the power of this data across even more capabilities.
Eze Marketplace gives our clients the ability to design a unified and customized investment experience that fits their unique investment operational needs, allows them to make better decisions, and be their most efficient and effective.
What ready-to-enable solutions are already available on the platform?
We limited our initial partner set based on the highest value asks from our client base. The current offerings cover needs like capital events monitoring with AI and ML components leveraged for enhanced content access, risk analytics and stress testing, data visualization, customized performance reporting, data warehousing capabilities, and portfolio intelligence. Wealso worked with one of the largest FX dealers globally to provide the ability to trade FX for need with full RFQ, which will be made available before the end of Q1 2022.
What other solutions are you planning to launch in 2022?
We are actively engaged with a rapidly growing list of prospective partners to join the platform. It’s been exciting to see the engagement from the broader industry since the launch, with prospective clients and vendors reaching out consistently. We expect to be adding new products for our clients throughout the year, both from within and outside of SS&C Technologies, to meet our clients’ range of needs, including fixed income analytics, TCA, portfolio optimization, research management, alternative data providers, regulatory services and more.