Software development house T-Scape has announced that global investment management company Loomis, Sayles & Company, L.P. has begun the roll out of T-Scape’s recently developed corporate action application iActs™ to its decision makers. It is anticipated that approximately 70 portfolio managers, portfolio specialists and traders shall have direct access to iActs™, enabling them to view corporate actions of interest and provide responses as appropriate to the corporate actions team.
Head of trading at Loomis Sayles, Chip Bankes commented, ‘The introduction of iActs™ has provided us with a single window through which we can view and act upon pertinent corporate actions. This level of transparency is something we have not had until now and provides for a much easier and secure exchange of information between us and the corporate actions team. This is especially relevant to elective corporate actions, and with iActs™ we have effectively eliminated any risk of miscommunication.’
iActs™ was created to fulfil what T-Scape perceive to be an industry ‘gap’. T-Scape Managing Director David Baxter stated, ‘Before development began on iActs™ we took a good look at the market and realised that only a few asset management organisations had actually managed to successfully implement an industry solution. There were many reasons why this was so, but what was immediately apparent was the lack of solutions developed specifically for the asset management community. We wanted to change that, and the result is iActs™.’
The roll out of iActs™ at Loomis Sayles provides numerous functional capabilities including the ability for decision makers to directly enter elections from which Agent instructions are automatically generated. This replaces the typical market process of e-mail exchange between portfolio managers/traders and the operations team and effectively eliminates any risk of error due to either misinterpretation or erroneous re-key.
Chip Bankes continues, ‘One of the great things about having a central repository for corporate actions is the transparency it provides our trading teams, research analysts and respective portfolio managers. The ability to view ongoing corporate actions on a real time basis via iActs™ means we are no longer dependent upon the ops team for daily reports. With automated alerting also in place to advise us of necessary actions to be performed and a user-friendly interface through which to process elective corporate actions, we can now take a hands-on role in improving internal processing of corporate actions.’
The Operations team are also realising the benefits of iActs™. Steven Chittenden, director of operations at Loomis Sayles comments, ‘Generally speaking, corporate actions processing is viewed as an operations problem, and as such, the focus to-date has largely been upon trying to assist the ops team with typical functions such as data cleansing and golden record creation. However the decision-makers are an integral component in the functional process. Providing iActs™ as a mechanism by which we can share information in a far more effective and timely manner means not only do we reduce risk of errors and the associated costs of manual processing but perhaps more importantly, we also improve the level of service we can provide to the decision-makers and other relevant parties.’
As part of a commitment to improve corporate action processing still further, a migration exercise is also in full swing to move all remaining functional processes outside of election management from the incumbent solution to iActs™. Client Services Director Siobhain Hayden stated, ‘Our early engagement with Loomis was to work with the existing solution and improve functionality where possible. This was completed a few years back but like many of the solutions on offer today, the incumbent was hindered by legacy code that at some point would need to either be ditched or undergo a rewrite. Built upon today’s technologies and having already been successfully deployed, iActs™ will provide the means by which the incumbent solution can be retired.‘
T-Scape is not stopping at just corporate action end-to-end processing though and plans are already in place to deliver value add wherever possible in the corporate action space, including risk management, optimised decision making, securities lending to name a few. Baxter adds, ‘With the introduction of ISO15022 in 1999 as a catalyst for automation, the number of project success stories of deployed vendor solutions that have delivered tangible benefit, I could count on one hand. We aim to change that. The market deserves better.’