Here are some key quotes from my latest podcast with Alan Meaney, CEO & Co-Founder of Fund Recs, discussing automation of the fund reconciliation process, data management and the fintech movement:

“We’re basically taking the latest technology to help automate reconciliations of data in the funds industry, something that everyone assumes should be really straightforward.”

“Our goal was to get reconciliations being straight-through as the norm, which we hit in terms of a milestone last year. And really, that was our initial goal.”

“We’ve added a new product line called Fusion. And Fusion allows the end user to take all those different data sets, bring them into the business, normalize them as a non-technical user. So that was the key thing for us.”

“[Using the Cloud] was an early decision we had to make that could have went either way.  I think we’d definitely be regretting it now if we had a went with that local install version, and then later had multiple clients trying to get everyone in the Cloud.”

“[As CEO] I’ve had to constantly let go of things and pass and delegate them down, which really is the key to scaling up.  Some founders see it in different, and we see that with some fintechs.  Some of the early teams will try to keep ownership of too much stuff, and it just holds them back in terms of being able to scale.”

“Seeing people that you thought would be fantastic in a small independent firm, like ours, coming from big company and seeing those people flourish. It’s like, they get their wings sometimes.”

“For example, you get through a trade file, and it’s in Swift format, but your investment book of record needs that in CSV.  Fusion allows your operations team to set up that transformation, mock those fields, and create an automated job to make that happen every day in the background. So that’s one pipe that we will help them build.”

“With Fusion we’re seeing the use cases being quite broad. So anytime a firm is receiving or sending data at some stage, and has to either transform the format of that data, or do enrichment or augmentation, Fusion can help. The key thing with Fusion is that there is no coding required.”

“The problem with [internal Software Development teams] is . . . they don’t have the capacity to be automating every little workflow. But they should be looking at the USP of the firm, like how can we help attract more clients? How can we help us be more profitable in terms of trading?  They shouldn’t be looking at the plumbing, the piping.”

“It all comes back to the Cloud and software as a service. I mean, it’s usually powerful for a business to have a subscription basis.  You can basically predict your future growth and cash flow, you can capitalize that future cash flow and grow your business without being capital intensive.”

“So being able to basically build out software functionality without having to write lines of code [in the new no-code environment] is a great place for someone who’s non-technical to get up to speed.”

“So if people are looking for ‘Well, how do I prepare myself for this new [no-code] work environment?’ It’s just get up to speed and play around with it as tools and create some little jobs yourselves and see what the potential is. Because you won’t have to necessarily know how to code to create solutions.”

“There is always going to be a role for people in the back office, partly because data on its own will only do so much.  You need someone to interpret it.”

“[Our Adminovate conference] will be back next January in Trinity College {Ireland] in their new conference center, COVID vaccines permitting . . . . We paused it this year. For us it was all about bringing people together. So we felt that an online conference just wouldn’t do that justice.”

Thanks also to our sponsor, DiligenceVault, creators of the first two-sided digital ecosystem for asset managers and allocators.