Not all IBORS are Created Equal

One of the biggest challenges facing institutional managers today is merging the front and back office into one investment-centric machine, capable of providing real-time investment information across the entire trade and investment account lifecycle.

In fact, a Chief Compliance Officer of a large, global institutional investment management firm highlights this dilemma in sharing her firm’s immediate, tactical goals:

  • Improve efficiencies in communicating trades to multiple executing parties
  • Normalize portfolio analysis and reporting across multiple products and channels
  • Speed the trade affirmation process to facilitate intraday IBOR updates
  • Efficiently produce accurate reporting for investors and regulatory bodies

First, let’s discuss the systems and data component. According to Cutter Associates, “The core purpose of an IBOR is to help the front office make informed investment decisions” and that “…it’s clear that investment managers are realizing the benefits of embedding the IBOR concept in their data and applications architecture, and we expect adoption only to increase.”1

While this is certainly an exciting prospect, it also produces another predicament. Which vendor is capable of giving its client a holistic solution? Many third parties can provide an imbedded IBOR sometime after trade date and at varying levels of integration, and implementation. However, the key is unifying trading and portfolio accounting intraday. The CCO’s remaining goals cannot be reached when IBOR systems and data are considered independently of these functions.

In my view, a true multi-currency, intraday IBOR is simply an efficiency tool for institutional investment managers. Executed correctly, automation is rigorously applied across all IBOR-supportive processes and closely connected with counter-parties. The human part of investment operations becomes an intuitive, troubleshooting function. From here, institutional investment managers have the flexibility and speed to meet investor needs. That’s the true IBOR distinction.