Automating Portfolio Commentary: 3 Ways to Simplify Your Workflow

April 7, 2016 Scott Kohlhoff

Portfolio Commentary Automation

Part of being an asset manager is complying with a regular reporting cadence which also means that time-consuming, repeatable tasks come with the territory.

But what if it didn’t have to be that way? Most of those mandatory, low-value obligations can be simplified by automating portfolio commentary steps. In fact, firms that embrace this trend are experiencing unprecedented returns

From data gathering and organization, to data analysis and interpretation, to publishing and distribution, there is technology available to automate these tasks. Once your firm has invested in the idea of automation at an organizational level, aligning the technology to optimize workflow processes is the easy part.

Applying Automation to your Portfolio Commentary Workflow

Below are the three key steps in creating portfolio commentary and the automation technologies that can be aligned with each step, enabling you to reallocate resources to more mission-critical initiatives.

Data collection and Retrieval

Each firm’s department tends to use different systems for data organization and the data ends up being siloed. We recommend implementing a solution that blends these siloed databases into a user-friendly dashboard.

The data is much easier to retrieve, organize and share externally when needed. Some examples of such data management systems include Eagle’s PACE or SimCorp’s Data Warehouse Manager. Clients use these systems to organize, store, and retrieve attribution data that originated from systems like FactSet and BlackRock’s Aladdin.

Portfolio Commentary Creation

Additional pieces of the “automation puzzle” are easier once the data is available, namely the opportunity to automate portfolio commentary using natural language generation (NLG). Our platform, Quill, is ready to write your commentary within seconds whenever you need it, eliminating writing and compliance bottlenecks that occur.

The result? High-value resources can be focused on high-value activities, not buried in drudging through spreadsheets.

Publishing and Distribution

After the commentary is written, particularly mandated quarterly and annual commentaries, comes the laborious task of compiling the multi-page compliance and marketing-approved document into a publication ready for distribution to the investing community. This process can involve time-intensive yet simple tasks such as inserting tables and charts into templates or double-checking that font colors align with brand guidelines.

Publishing and distribution - you guessed it - can also be automated with client reporting software such as Vermilion Software or Seismic, enabling firms to successfully accelerate this final step.

Automating portfolio commentary workflows can equal big business benefits such as allowing teams to scale their operations, create and manage more strategies and products, and ultimately, get to market more quickly.


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