Due to the high volatility and shere number of funds and investment management businesses looking to acquire, sell or merge, we thought it would be a good idea to write an article to highlight some key take aways to consider when acquiring and integrating two investment firms.
When it comes to integrating two investment firms from a technology and systems stand point, there are several factors to consider. Here are some of the best practices for technical integration:
Conduct a comprehensive technology audit
The first step in technical integration is to conduct a comprehensive audit of both firms’ technology systems. This will help identify any redundancies, compatibility issues, and areas that need improvement. The audit should cover hardware, software, networks, and data centers. This is a good time to highlight each companies unique platforms which comprise of:
- Order management system (OMS) and trading platforms
- Investment management and risk analytics systems
- Enterprise Data Management and performance
- CRM platforms (usually Salesforce in buyside clients)
- Data visualization and business intelligence (usually PowerBI, Tableau or Alteryx).
- Any financial advice platforms
- Who do they outsource fund administration to and also does this cover custody, fund accounting and transfer agency services?
Choose a platform for data consolidation
After the technology audit, the next step is to choose a platform for data consolidation. This platform should be able to accommodate data from both firms, as well as any future acquisitions. It should also be secure, scalable, and able to integrate with other systems.
Establish a project team
To ensure a successful technical integration, it’s essential to establish a project team. This team should consist of representatives from both firms and should include IT professionals, project managers, and other key stakeholders. The team should be responsible for overseeing the integration process, including setting timelines, managing budgets, and communicating progress to stakeholders.
Prioritize integration efforts
Given the complexity of integrating two investment firms, it’s important to prioritize integration efforts. The project team should focus on critical systems first, such as trading platforms, order management systems, and risk management systems. Once these systems are integrated, the team can move on to less critical systems.
Effective communication is essential for successful technical integration. The project team should communicate regularly with stakeholders, including employees, clients, and vendors. This will help ensure that everyone is aware of the integration process, any changes that will affect them, and when they can expect the integration to be completed.
Test and validate systems
Before going live, all integrated systems should be thoroughly tested and validated. This will help ensure that the systems are working as intended and that there are no critical issues. Testing should include end-to-end testing, user acceptance testing, and performance testing.