Who's the Best Middle Office Outsourcing Provider?

dartsI was having lunch with a client the other day.  We were chatting about a variety of topics, when one of my all-time favorite questions came up.  What / who is the best …?  In my career, I've gotten many variations of this question:  What is the best OMS?  Best portfolio accounting system? Best performance engine?  And the list goes on … In this case, my client was asking who is the best middle office outsource provider.  He wanted the short answer to what he believed was a simple question.  Which provider could simply plug into their operating environment, and solve all of their challenges in the middle office.  

As with most questions related to investment management operations, the answer isn't quite that simple.

Although there are many strong middle office service providers in the marketplace, and Citisoft has strong relationships with them all, there is no best middle office service provider.  There is simply the right middle office service provider for your situation, for the foreseeable future.  In order to figure out which provider that is, you need to fully understand your requirements, beginning with answering the following questions:

  • What are our fund / portfolio structures
  • What asset classes and markets do we trade in?
  • What are our unique data and reporting requirements?
  • Do we need daily or monthly performance & attribution?
  • Do we have unique performance and attribution needs?
  • What level of service do we require (timing, customization)?
  • What is our preferred method of engaging with business partners / service providers?
  • What changes do we envision in our business over the next few years (markets, products, asset classes, etc.)?

The list of questions above represents merely a sample of the questions an organization must think about, in determining their true needs / requirements of a middle office service provider.  In order to determine the right choice in a service provider, an investment manager must fully understand what they require to support their business, and then thoroughly vet the providers to determine which one offers the most complete solution, to support their unique needs.

In my career at Citisoft, managing the evaluation and selection of service providers has represented some of the most fulfilling projects that I have been able to participate in.  I enjoy partnering with our clients to ensure that they fully understand their unique requirements, and that they also fully understand the capabilities of the available service providers, so that they are positioned to select the provider that represents their best partner moving forward. 

If the selection of a middle office service provider seems a bit more challenging than simply answering the question, Which one is the best?, that's because it is.  Evaluating and selecting the right middle office service provider for your organization requires a thoughtful process, and Citisoft has extensive experience guiding our clients through this process.

To learn more about Citisoft's Outsourcing Evaluation and Selection service, please visit www.citisoft.com/services/advisory-services or email info@citisoft.com.