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SS&C's first big act as Advent Software's new owner is to put RIAs using Axys and APX under Black Diamond

Pete Hess will be the asset management czar and David Welling will rule all things RIA in the new framework

Thursday, July 23, 2015 – 6:32 PM by Brooke Southall
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Dave Welling will now get his crack at giving Advent Axys a clear way forward.

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Mentioned in this article:

SS&C Advent
Portfolio Management System
Top Executive: Robert Roley

Technology Tools for Today
Consulting Firm
Top Executive: Joel Bruckenstein




Dave Welling

Dave Welling

July 23, 2015 — 10:44 PM

Thanks, Brooke. We are very excited to be part of SS&C and to bring the best of Advent and SS&C’s capabilities to bear to help advisors succeed. With regard to Axys, I want to clarify that there are no plans to migrate clients away from the solution if it is the best fit for their business. To the contrary, with the acquisition complete, we are moving into a period of heavy investment and enhancement of all key offerings, including investments that will benefit our clients using Axys, Black Diamond, and APX. For those clients who do want to migrate from Axys to Black Diamond, APX, or another Advent or SS&C solution, our goal is to make that as easy as possible operationally, technically, and economically. We will approach any transition like it is just a natural evolution of the relationship. The intent of the new organizational structure is to align ourselves around what our clients do versus around what products they happen to use. This puts us in the best position to listen and act on what they need to grow. I’m thrilled to be leading the charge as Advent takes a more integrated and aggressive approach to serving the advisory market. Our aim is to be a complete technology partner for the advisory market, and as part of SS&C, we’re in a great position to make that happen.

Dave

Pete Giza

Pete Giza

July 24, 2015 — 2:06 AM

Brooke,

It certainly helps advisors see a bit more clearly what Advent’s tech succession path is. Advent Direct aside (still don’t get that one), it colors the brick road a bit more yellow or should I say Blue. Now advisors will be able to chose whether or not to have control of their data or hand it over to a-soon-to-be all-in-one (AIO) solution. AIOs are companies like Black Diamond, Envestnet/Tamarac, Advent On-Demand, etc.

Firms get a big surprise when they wish to leave the AIO platform and are denied retention of historical pricing data for the term they have been on the AIO. The reason: “we don’t own it, we just let you use it, due to our IDC (pick your favorite pricing source) contract we cannot… I have yet to hear of a custodian saying “you have to give us your pricing data” when a firm moves to a new custodian. But that is just one of the data access issues experienced by firms joining these platforms.

For the genre of clients we serve control and access of data is big issue and that is why win the firms we do. Its all about control and I think this move by Advent gives the industry a far clearer vision of where the advisory product division is headed. Its a natural progression for Black Diamond especially since they have been working to add broader AIO functionality such as rebalancing, trading, etc. As I said in a previous post, we have seen a very significant increase in Advent departures to other platforms – 35% more than the same time last year. That is not a coincidence and the trend continues upward. I believe Advent knows it has to move Black Diamond onto center stage with the continued delay of the release of Advent Direct and the less than expected migration to APX.

As to Joel’s comment: “Black Diamond probably understands the needs of RIAs best.” I think there are a lot of firms that would take exception to that. How did they win the brass ring? Is that based on fact or conjecture? And “Also, if an Axys user is contemplating leaving Axys, their natural migration in most cases, assuming they want to stay with the firm, would be to Black Diamond.” We all know what happens when we assume:) Facts show that there is a significant number of firms moving away from Axys and it isn’t to APX or Black Diamond. (sorry Joel I couldn’t resist:)

What with robopalooza in full swing all firms will be leveraging those technologies in ways that were never originally intended but with a little innovation could conquer an industry. More news at eleven.

Cheers!

pete

bROOKE

bROOKE

July 24, 2015 — 4:22 AM

Pete,

Interesting points and coinage of AIO.

One thing: You are reading Joel a little out of context. I believe he just means BD is the best for RIAs
in a contest between BD and Advent.

Thanks,

Brooke

Cameron

Cameron

July 24, 2015 — 1:45 PM

Pete,

First, Black Diamond is not an AIO. Even if you count their rebalancer I would argue there an AIO is not just reporting and trading.

Second, I agree advent departures continue to increase, but where on earth do you get actual numbers? It just seems made up.

Lastly, you make it appear that firms using Envestnet Tamarac do not own their data (including prices) and that statement is 100% false and I ask that you take it down.

-Cameron

Cameron

Cameron

July 24, 2015 — 2:06 PM

That is in response to Peter Giza, not Pete Hess.

Pete Giza

Pete Giza

July 24, 2015 — 2:30 PM

Cameron:

BDR has been making technology moves in the AIO direction. Maybe they get there, maybe not. But they are in direct competition with Tamarac, Orion and the list goes on. If you don’t think so go ask the sales teams of each organization and see who they are competing against.

On Advent departures Those numbers come from the number of Advent data conversions that we provide. And this year is up considerably over last year. That is where I get those numbers.

Lastly I did not say “do not own their data”, what I did say was “control and access of data is big issue” – big difference. As for pricing I personally witnessed a firm having to fork over $86,000 for its historical pricing data. And within the past month I have seen two firms have to find alternative pricing because one of the AIOs wouldn’t cough it up.

Pete

Pete Giza

Pete Giza

July 24, 2015 — 2:34 PM

Brooke:

AIO developed out of my laziness having to type “all-in-one” more than once:) As far as my Joel critique, the context wasn’t clear.

Pete

Pete Giza

Pete Giza

July 24, 2015 — 3:03 PM

Brooke,

A bit of color to my “data access” comment. There are firms that require near real-time access to all of their data for business analytics, CRM, etc. Under those circumstances AIOs represent a significant data access challenge. It is all moot if I don’t have my own infrastructure. If a firm wants its information infrastructure 100% outsourced then there is nothing to be worried about until it doesn’t want it to be outsourced. This has always been the case since the days of AT&T data centers pre-Internet and always will be.

Pete

Cameron

Cameron

July 24, 2015 — 3:04 PM

So your advent conversion sales are up, not advent departures to other systems as stated. I just feel like there is a big difference.

As for the pricing, you need to clarify because you are misleading the readers. You say Envestnet Tamarac is an AIO and AIO’s hold pricing data. If you witnessed this first hand, please be fair and clarify the specific company. You cannot blanket a group of firms together in a comment about one firms practices because they have similar software services.

Pete Giza

Pete Giza

July 24, 2015 — 4:30 PM

Cameron:

When I state “Advent conversion” I don’t mean from Advent to another Advent platform. I mean from Advent to another platform. I thought that was obvious.

I am not misleading the reader. I didn’t name names and for obvious reasons I am not going to either. If Brooke thought I was even stretching the truth on this he’d have pulled my comments before you even had a chance to get your hackles up.

I like blankets. They are warm and fuzzy and give you a warm, well motherly sense of security.

Pete

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