Last month, we circulated a Barclays POINT user survey to a number of select POINT users in order to gauge the industry-wide reaction to its recent sale. For those who aren’t familiar with these market events, a little background: in December, 2015 Barclays PLC agreed to sell its Risk Analytics and Index Solutions (“BRAIS”) to Bloomberg LP. At the time of the announcement, Barclays indicated that POINT would be supported for 18 months post deal completion, at which time users will need to have an alternative solution in place. Bloomberg offers their own Portfolio Management and Analytics Platform, Bloomberg PORT, and has acquired the intellectual property of Barclays POINT.
Barclays POINT is a widely-used platform in the fixed income market with robust capabilities for performance attribution, risk analytics, scenario analysis, and portfolio management, among others. POINT is firmly entrenched in the operations of large investment management firms across the globe and its retirement has come as a surprise to many. In response to our own questions and those of our clients, we wanted to find out how the industry views the transaction and what the next course of action is for asset managers who currently depend on POINT in terms of replacement/search and selection. Because Bloomberg offers PORT as an alternative solution, we were also interested in finding out what general views were of PORT functionality and whether it stands as a viable alternative to POINT in its current state.
After analyzing the survey results, one thing is clear: asset managers who use POINT were blindsided by the planned retirement of the platform. Seventy percent of survey respondents view the transaction as negative to them and the fixed income industry. Respondents cited a number of concerns including unknown pricing, lack of communication, short timeframe, access to historical information, uncertainty over how migrations will occur, and perceived limitations in PORT functionality. In terms of functionality, uncertainty of how risk analytics would be impacted was the most clear. Over 92% of respondents use POINT for risk analytics, but 0% of respondents believe PORT can fully support their risk analytics needs for fixed income. Similarly, no respondents believe PORT fully supports performance attribution, and nearly 40% of respondents believe that the retirement of POINT will have a critical impact on their ability to perform the performance attribution function for fixed income.