Imagine’s I/O Service users will delight in using the SITKA I/O Services Dashboard. This dashboard has the ability to easily setup and run I/O services without dealing with command lines and batch files while showing real-time progress. Check out this short video that demonstrates the SITKA I/O Dashboard. Also, for more information, read our Q&A with Michael Moncada here.
Clients needed a solution to handle both portfolio and risk management while maintaining government compliance. The liquid alternative investment arena has grown rapidly, catching the attention of the SEC. Imagine’s ’40 Act Solution provides critical information managers want (and need) to view within a flexible, customizable dashboard.
Watch our short demo to see the dashboard in action.
If Imagine clients want to learn more about the ’40 Act Dashboard, they can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Imagine maintains a comprehensive database of their client’s portfolio data. What we’re best at is figuring out how to aggregate that data for an investor or the government in a way that allows us to provide limit data and transparency. We’ve become adept at reacting to the government and clients quickly with new aggregations of information.
One way Imagine has recently reacted is the development of our ’40 Act Solution. Bridging the gap between traditional and mutual fund requirements, this innovation provides flexible risk management solutions for a highly-regulated investment environment.
Clients were looking for a solution that handled both the functions of portfolio and risk management while maintaining government compliance. The liquid alternative investment arena has grown rapidly, catching the attention of the SEC. Imagine’s ’40 Act Solution provides critical information managers want (and need) to view within a flexible, customizable dashboard. The dashboard performs essential functions like:
- Drills down to see and correct real-time limit breaches
- Creates alerts for positions that are nearing limits
- Tracks trades that keep the fund in compliance
- Creates a watch list to capture risk across an entire portfolio
- Stresses the portfolio against many historical market events to see how they would impact the portfolio
We collaborated with Larch Lane Advisors to address the technological challenge of implementing a flexible system that could monitor compliance with specific regulations for liquid alternatives. Our focus was to provide a solution that combined traditional risk management with accounting capabilities, a combination not typically found in most risk management software.
We’ve been doing this for twenty-one years and Imagine really leads the way in reacting and evolving to the constant changes occurring in the market. Our consultants make sure clients turn those changes into opportunities.
Trever Evans has been with Imagine Software for eleven years and has been participating in scoping, development, and implementation of larger scale initiatives for Imagine. He holds an MS in Quantitative Financial Economics from Oklahoma State University. He is currently Director of Consulting for Imagine.
Contact Trever by email or phone: 646-827-4483.
A Q&A with Anatoliy Salman
What is UCITS?
Investment funds authorized for sale in Europe are governed by a set of regulations. These regulations are called Undertakings for the Collective Investment of Transferable Securities (UCITS).
Why did you create the UCITS dashboard?
It just made sense for us to do this–Imagine is a trusted source for our clients. We created a dashboard that frees our clients to meet the challenges presented by UCITS (and other regulatory requirements). We see it as a great tool that provides transparency and flexible monitoring in one clean visual representation. Our dashboard eliminates the need for–and the potential risk involved with–using manual methods of limits calculations.
How does it work?
We customize the UCITS dashboard on a client-by-client basis. So there’s a quick set-up period where we create all the necessary custom reference tables, appropriate tagging, and the definition of limits the client wants to include–which by the way, don’t have to be UCITS-specific.
The dashboard is powered by an app that performs all the required aggregations and calculations. The data is pulled from your UCITS portfolio in Imagine. Once in Imagine, you load the dashboard like any of our dashboards. It updates in real time, providing intraday information with PDF reporting available for end of day reports.
How does this dashboard help clients?
This dashboard helps our clients:
- Perform real-time, trade-by-trade risk analyses, including “what-if” simulations to add, reduce or increase positions to view portfolio and enterprise risk
- Deliver daily UCITS-compliant reports on VaR, CVaR, relative VaR, leverage, counterparty risk and delta-adjusted exposures
- Optimize allocations and strategies based on cross-asset class and pre-calculated market data (including derivatives) for selected time periods
With the dashboard, clients can:
- Drill-down to view and correct limit breaches in real-time
- Create alerts for positions that are nearing limits
- Create a watch-list to capture risk across the entire portfolio
- Efficiently monitor funds and fund expenses
About the Author
Anatoliy Salman is a consultant at Imagine’s New York office. He has been with Imagine for four years and is responsible for business intelligence. He was integral in the development of solutions for ’40 Act, AIMFD, UCITS, and RRC. He holds a Bachelors in Business Administration with a major in finance from Baruch College.
Contact Anatoliy by email or phone: 646-827-4486
A Q&A with Michael Moncada
Imagine’s I/O Services are an indispensable command line tool that invokes Imagine’s APIs for uploading, processing, and downloading data. This tool is a critical component of virtually every client’s use of Imagine, providing nearly one hundred different services. But have you heard about the SITKA I/O Services Dashboard? Mike Moncada, Senior Implementation Specialist for Imagine, says, “I would use this with any implementation.” We sat down with Mike to ask him a few questions about the dashboard.
Hey Mike, what is the SITKA I/O Services Dashboard and why would you use it so broadly?
It is a one-stop command center for running, monitoring, and reviewing results of I/O Services jobs. It is powerful, lets you come away from viewing the long and somewhat tedious batch files, and gives you a tool for setting up jobs and monitoring them. A partner of Imagine, Sindex Financial Systems, wrote this dashboard management program for our I/O Services.
Wait, what’s the problem with batch files?
Some people (like me) like using commands like this:
“%absPath%..\..\..\Bin\IOServiceClient.exe” -f %inpFile% -o %outFile% -ios %service% -log %logFile% -d
But I understand there are people who don’t care for that, and this tool lets them avoid that entirely. Here’s a screenshot of what they would get instead:
What else does the Dashboard offer other than an escape from batch commands?
Lots of things. For example, it:
- helps you set up new jobs, with search-as-you-type, to find the right I/O service,
- gives you sample templates to help get the input files right with clickable links to online support for detailed help,
- allows you to watch the progress that jobs are making, each input that’s successfully processed, or each item that’s rejected,
- shows you the history of each job complete with when it ran, the input, output, and log files for that job,
- and lets you re-run jobs by copying their setup with a single click.
The Stress Test App is the latest addition to the current collection of customizable apps available in the Imagine Marketplace. Similar to the other simulation tools in Imagine, the Stress Test App uses archived data to stress current portfolios and generate robust historical simulations that estimate how a portfolio would perform under documented periods of extreme risk volatility.
The Stress Test App provides value-added features on top of regular historical stress testing abilities: advanced control over your inputs coupled with the ability to analyze your output in great detail. The App:
- creates output that clearly explains the variables used to calculate the theoretical values
- offers greater user-control over the logic and defaults to generate simulations
Additionally, a companion dashboard provides at-a-glance simple views that clearly identifies a portfolio’s strengths and vulnerabilities under a pre-defined stress scenarios.
The stress test app is built on Imagine’s Consulting Team’s modus operandi, “Tell us what your risk technology need is and we can tailor whatever Imagine has to offer for you.”
The idea of developing a separate product for stress testing came to life when we observed our clients and general end users of financial tech products. Both groups, when using historical stress testing for estimating how their portfolios would perform during documented periods of extreme market movements, had the same two major pain points: ease of use and transparency.
Ease of Use
Our studies showed us that end users were getting lost in complicated setups. They also wanted more control over the scenario designs and stress factors and models. We addressed this concern and created a comprehensive infrastructure on which the app runs and stresses the positions. With initial setup from Imagine Consulting team, users are able to alter the setups by modifying scenarios, risk factors, and fallback strategies depending on their asset types, investing styles, and risk management needs without having to write a single line of code. On top of this, if the user wants a completely different way of shocking positions or seeing the results – for example seeing the worst of or best of scenario for a period – this is also possible as the app is very flexible.
Users wanted two things; transparency in their results and the ability to visualize analysis with graphs, tables, and smart dashboards. These were vital for our clients, and our product makes it easy to drill-down into complex portfolio structures and multi-layered aggregations. We designed the app so users have the ability to see results in a factor-by-factor detailed data table and a fully configurable set of data visualizations that enables the user to identify trends and discover patterns. This way, what looks like a very straightforward historical stress test will help the decision makers see the “stories” hidden behind historical data available to everyone else.
About the Author
Murat Sen is a Consultant in Imagine’s New York office working on consulting engagements and client-facing product management projects. A native of Istanbul, Murat holds an MBA degree from Cornell University.
Murat can be contacted by email or phone: 646.827.4433
A Q&A with Eric Pearl
Eric Pearl is the Director of Platform Marketplace and Consulting at Imagine. We sat down to ask him a few questions about the Excel Add-in.
Hey Eric, first, can you give some background on what Imagine Apps are?
So is the Excel Add-in an App?
Can you give us an example of how it works?
Sure! Our add-in provides an Excel UDF (User Defined Functions) named IMAGINE() which can be used like other Excel functions like AVERAGE() or SUM(). Below is a screenshot showing how to use IMAGINE() in a formula to invoke an Imagine App named myApp. (We also demonstrate this in our demo located here).
The IMAGINE() formula passes the user’s input (the contents of A1 and B1) to the function with the exported name getVolSurface in the Imagine App myApp. Naturally, inputs and outputs can include Excel cell ranges as well.
In addition to the IMAGINE() UDF, we also provide IMAGINE.VBA(), which is easier when you are writing macros or VBA. See our demo for an example of how this works.
Where can I get the App? What if I want to write my own App?
Want to write your own App? Great, more details on the process are included for you here. Rather have Imagine Consulting write the App for you? The Imagine Consulting team can do that—contact us at email@example.com.
About the Author
Eric Pearl was an early employee at Imagine Software and has been developing risk and portfolio systems for over twenty years. In 2000, he helped launch the industry’s first and leading SaaS solution and in 2012, he launched Imagine’s Platform Marketplace. He is currently a Director in Imagine’s Consulting organization, and wants to help you use technology to do better and easier risk and portfolio management.
Eric can be contacted by email or phone: 212-317-7639
Our client, a large asset manager, found the uploading of numerous OTC trades throughout the day too time-consuming. Their front office had to switch focus from the business they knew to becoming technology experts, which forced them to place heavy demands on their support team. The front office staff were not seeing positions flow into their portfolios in a timely manner, which could leave them exposed and affect trading decisions.
The IFP Excel Add-in now allows the front office to quickly enter OTC trades into Imagine and focus on managing risk while also freeing up our client’s internal resources. Also, having the front office staff manage trade uploads, instead of their IT department, reduced the possibility for error since they are more versed with changing security types and markets—they understand the business.
Flat Learning Curve
Another service we provided for our client was to deliver a set of customized spreadsheets that replicated the tools and applications they have used in the past–tools they know inside and out. Our IFP Excel Add-in customization services dramatically reduced any downtime associated with learning a new application as well as the demand placed on their internal support teams when transitioning from one system to another. Now they had screens that mimicked what their screens have always looked like—which allowed for an almost seamless transition.
With all their Imagine information now viewable in Excel, our client could easily leverage Imagine’s data with Excel functionality for reporting, analyzing, and third-party reconciliation.
Targeted and Focused
We took the robust Imagine system and excised the market data and risk management information that they wanted to see in the form they already recognized. And now they are viewing and working with it in Excel—a powerful program that enables them to easily focus on their expertise, the business of trading.
About the Author
James Andrecovich is the Head of Consulting, Americas, for Imagine Software. James’ focus has been on implementation of new clients as well as consulting engagements for some of Imagine’s largest global macro clients. James has been integral in the testing and implementation of Bloomberg pricing and continues to advise on enhancements to Imagine Trading System for optimum client user experience.
James holds a Masters in Mathematical Finance from Rutgers University. James can be contacted by email or phone: 646-827-4479
Should you use the IFP Excel Add-In?
You already know Imagine Software is the award-winning and leading provider of real-time portfolio management and risk and regulatory solutions for financial firms worldwide. And on nearly every desktop is the powerful Microsoft Excel—arguably the optimum application for data analysis with an unmatched ability to visually organize data in charts or graphs and easily view trends and patterns.
Now you can combine two powerhouses – Imagine and Excel – and the resulting possibilities are nearly endless.
- Do you want to streamline your business processes and perform the same functions as I/O Services but with a simplified process and in one file?
- Do you want to leverage your Excel expertise and easily import real time Imagine data, access data/price feeds, calculate Greeks and run risk/stress analysis?
What exactly does the Excel Add-in do?
The options range from simple standalone functions you can type into a cell – like a standard formula – to custom spreadsheets and apps developed for you by the Imagine consulting team that rely on IFP Apps, enabling you to easily:
- download position or pricing information from Imagine
- manipulate and/or graph derived data within a few moments
- incorporate proprietary data and update Imagine with the click of a button
The IFP Excel Add-in is fast, powerful, and configurable. Use your current apps, apps available on the marketplace, or contact us to create a custom app or spreadsheet specific to your workflow process and needs. Watch our demo to get an idea of what’s possible with the Excel Add-in.
About the Author
Brian holds a Masters in Quantitative Finance from Rutgers University. Brian can be contacted by email or phone: 646-827-4418