RedBlack's Peter Giza gives RIABiz a look under the hood of its Rebalance Express software
New Hampshire-based software maker competes with a lower price and an easy-to-use interface
I think the industry leader and the largest one is Moxy by Advent – why no review to see how these newer ones stack up to that?
That is a fantastic suggestion. What do you say Brooke? Let’s bring Moxy into the mix. Maybe there are some firms out there willing to participate in a rebalancing / trade order “bake-off”? Could be fun!
Bryan and Peter,
Moxy goes under the moniker of 'trade order management’ so I hadn’t thought of of it as a head-to-head, apples-to-apples competitor with iRebal, Tamarac and RedBlack.
It also isn’t clear to me whether Moxy is primarily for advisors — or whether it’s something made more for hedge fund and other asset managers?
In any case, it may be worth reviewing. I could use more input.
We’ve seen the demo of the next Moxy releases, and in my personal opinion (and not speaking for the firm), Moxy does not and will not come close to providing what any of the other three do. Moreover, the UI is the opposite of intuitive, one of the things that really appealed to me about RedBlack.
I think Morgan answered it well from the advisors perspective. Institutional trader like Moxy for what it does and does not do. It is geared to grid view day trading environments, not modeled asset allocation. I am sure Advent is far more capable of clarifying for your readers.
I think a bake-off or shoot-out would be a great story and a great service for many firms currently looking or thinking about rebalancing systems. Many of the Advisors we work with are highly interested in enhancing efficiency, reducing rection times and providing better trade execution – a number are looking for rebalancing systems.
If you really are considering a shoot-out, you should also include National Advisor Trust’s AdvisorDesk platform that incorporates a rebalancing solution from SunGard. National Advisors Trust worked with SunGard to incorporate multi-custodian and RIA specific capabilities into a comprehensive and robust rebalancing system used by well over a hundred banks. Banks have been using rebalancing systems for years to drive efficiencies into their operations. National Advisors Trust is focused on introducing this system to the RIA community.
In fairness to all vendors who would like to participate in a bake-off I believe you must keep it focused on a specific application(s). We are not discussing an all-in-one platform in this context. What we are discussing is rebalancing and trade management.
I agree. A bake-off should compare apples to apples – the rebalancing and trading system in AdvisorDesk is just that – a rebalancing, trading and trade order management system. This system does not perform accounting functions found in apps like Axys or Portfolio Center – it is directly competitive with Tamarac, iRebal and Moxy – maybe with RedBlack as well. It can be purchased without other services. If there is a bake-off it should be included.
Great! Now that that is settled we just need to find qualified sponsors for such an event. Maybe the custodians will pick up on this thread and sponsor such an event:)
How about an RIABiz-moderated “bake-off” track at a conference like T3? There could be a session for each major RIA-tech category. I picture every vendor with a projector of their own, simultaneously going through a pre-determined set of demo steps specific to that type of software, with opportunities to showcase what they think they excel in.
Peter, do you think we could get a critical mass of vendors to do a live, parallel showcase of functionality? I had this sort of idea a while ago and Brooke pointed out that many vendors might be afraid of sticking their necks out there.
I had brought this up with Joel and Dave last year. Unfortunately there was no one to take up the flag. Having a competing vendor act as flag bearer and/or moderator on any panel, forum or bake-off is not generally well received. I believe than RIABiz will get more traction either directly or by guilting vendors into it:) Perhaps you could poll the RIA community and use their petitions as a way to make this happen. There has to be thought put into classifying results. It would be unfair to put a system designed for <1000 accounts up against a system that is capable of handling 100,000+ accounts in a performance match. They may compete on a UI quality, workflow or other perspective, but not on performance. There is a significant amount of thought and planning involved.
PS. And yet Brooke was correct, many vendors may be unwilling to air their laundry so to speak.
Peter, I have been looking to upgrade my rebalancing solution. Regarding your pricing range, what level of support is included? Do you offer additional support/training and if so, how is it priced? If I chose a local install, does the software require a dedicated server or can it run on a workstation running other apps? Is the pricing and support level the same for local installations? If not, now is it different. Looking forward to your responses. Thanks.
The above questions were answered directly via phone
Peter, the rest of us readers would be interested in the answer to this. And can you answer what the additional cost is if you host the application for us?
Here are my comments on Brian’s questions:
Q: Regarding your pricing range, what level of support is included?
A: 20 hours of remedial telephone, unlimited online support and core product updates during license term
Q: Do you offer additional support/training and if so, how is it priced?
A: 2 hours of no additional cost personalized web-based training with license. Additional training is provided via web at $100 / hour in 4 hour blocks
Q: If I chose a local install, does the software require a dedicated server or can it run on a workstation running other apps?
A: For most firms with less than 2000 accounts and 2-5 users, our product runs great on standard desktop hardware that has adequate performance head-room to support SQL server. Larger firms with 10,000 accounts or greater we recommend Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 due to the limitations physical memory access of previous Microsoft operating systems. We have very successfully rebalanced 10,000 accounts, creating 150,000 trade orders on a Windows 7 Intel i6 platform with 4GB of physical memory in 10 minutes. That represents a hardware cost outlay of $1K.
Q: Is the support level the same for local installations?
A: There is no differentiation is support cost for the application.
Q: Is the pricing the same for local installations?
A: Local and “fixed” cloud installation are on par with each other on pricing. Enterprises with a large number of users or firms that wish to use the cloud environment as a secondary virtual desktop for disaster recovery, remote office, etc., have additional costs associated with that platform. The cost/benefit analysis presents a strong ROI argument for cloud based operations. We will be happy to provide more information via live demo.
I hope that helps clarify things.
Brian, Brooke, Heather and Peter,
There is a new system out called BlazePortfolio. In my eyes their product, Atom Align, is going to be a top competitor in a year or less. Atom Align integrates model re-balancing, electronic trading and portfolio management all in one. There are endless features that promotes customization while on a user friendly interface. BlazePortfolio’s team is eager to teach and train new clients free of charge. It is a new system that tailors to client needs and is constantly improving. Check it out!
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