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How 4 Firms are Using Portfolio and Risk Technology to Gain a Competitive Advantage
By Rob Garfield | August 23, 2017

A fiercely competitive landscape means that financial organizations need to move fast on any range of promising investment opportunities. To do this successfully, firms must have flexible and powerful portfolio and risk technology that enables them to rapidly model, price and trade even the most complex instruments. 

Below are examples of four leading firms, from varying backgrounds, that are using such technology to generate quick, accurate valuations, and achieve rapid model development. Each is carving out a real and lasting competitive advantage in their own unique way.


Industry: Audit, tax and advisory services

Business Objective: Accelerate derivative valuations for banking and corporate clients

Requirements: KPMG required an Excel-based valuation and risk solution backed by a trusted provider that could help them perform timely valuations of complex derivatives.

Results: KPMG selected FINCAD because of its robust functionality for generating complex valuations and the solution’s ability to integrate with Excel. Leveraging FINCAD’s fast and accurate valuation and validation results, KPMG has been able to significantly reduce modeling and computation time, and reliance on internal development resources. “I foresee that the FINCAD solution is going to save us a lot of time. And we all know that time is money,” stated the Associate Partner of Risk Advisory at KPMG South Africa.

Read more about KPMG.

2. Prescient Funds

Industry: Provider of specialist outsourced administration and platform services to asset managers, multi-managers and other institutional investment providers

Business Objective: Introduce an instrument valuation and trade solution capable of pricing fixed income and derivatives instruments.

Requirements: Prescient required software that provided flexibility for modeling a diverse range of instruments, and was easy to use with comprehensive documentation.

Results: Prescient selected FINCAD because the solution is user-friendly and offers extensive cross-asset coverage of derivatives and fixed income instruments. “FINCAD was an attractive option because of its extensive library of functions that cover the full instrument universe that we need to price for investment accounting purposes,” commented Brett Kalil, Valuation and Risk Specialist at Prescient.

“Additionally, we could be sure that as new and more complex instrument types crossed our path, FINCAD would have all the functionality we need to value these instruments.”

Read more about Prescient Funds.

3. First Swedish Pension Fund

Industry: Pension fund

Business Objective: Gain access to a powerful analytics library for pricing bonds and yields, able to integrate with an existing investment management application

Requirements: First Swedish National Pension Fund required an analytics library for generating bond and yield calculations. The firm also wanted a solution with a robust development toolkit to help developers build out the application.

Results: First Swedish National Pension Fund accelerated accurate bond pricing and yield calculations, and boosted efficiency through using FINCAD’s prebuilt market conventions. “FINCAD’s powerful analytics help us improve the speed and accuracy of our calculations and we have also been pleased with FINCAD’s robust development toolkit that will make further enhancements simple,” remarked Angelica Diehn, Fixed Income and FX Analyst at First Swedish National Pension Fund.   

Read more about First Swedish National Pension Fund.

4. Safe Bulkers

Industry: A publically traded company, Safe Bulkers, Inc. is an international provider of marine drybulk transportation services.

Business Objective: After listing with NYSE, Safe Bulkers was required to generate quarterly reports showing the market value of its positions.

Requirements: Safe Bulkers wanted to work with a trusted partner that could cover their extensive valuation requirements. Specifically, the company needed a solution that could accurately price its interest rate derivatives portfolio, and effectively hedge interest rate exposure.

Results: Safe Bulkers researched several different options but ultimately selected the FINCAD solution, an automated and affordable web-based platform that was recommended by its auditors. “As a CFO, one concern that ‘keeps me up at night’ is the potential for errors to creep into our valuation numbers and data. This type of thing can be shattering for any firm, but especially a listed one. Using FINCAD automation gives our firm the confidence that our results are going to be accurate every single time,” said Constantine Adamopoulos, CFO at Safe Bulkers.

Read more about Safe Bulkers.

To learn about other firms carving out a competitive advantage using powerful portfolio and risk technology, check out the case studies section of our website.