Data is the "fuel" of the digital age and asset managers that embrace the digital and data revolution will have a significant advantage. 

As business users have become increasingly sophisticated and tech-savvy, the tradition of IT departments who traditionally tried to restrict user-developed solutions needs to come to an end.

To truly empower business users firms need to embrace the three pillars of a modern data strategy:
  • Empower Business users
  • Provide Data Governance
  • Architect an Enterprise Platform
We help our clients define a business-driven data strategy and then leverage and transform their existing data capabilities into a competitive advantage and efficient business accelerator.

How can Olmstead help?

Is your data strategy in alignment with your business strategy? Is the business impact of your data platform causing you to struggle to just “operate” or efficiently enabling you to grow through mergers, create unique products, and find Alpha? Olmstead’s approach to helping our clients leverage data as a strategic asset and business enabler focuses on improving two primary capabilities:
  • Data Platform Maturity
  • Data Governance Maturity
Improving data capabilities will help your firm make better decisions, identify risk, execute strategy, create better products, and improve overall efficiency.
Is your firm ready for your next large data-intensive initiative? Client Reporting? IBOR? Middle Office outsourcing? Chances are, you are not. Olmstead helps our clients assess their Data Readiness and then prepares them for successful projects. Olmstead and our vendor partners have seen data initiatives & implementations delayed over 25% due to data gaps (consolidation, completeness, quality, availability, etc.).

Olmstead’s Data Readiness Assessment tool is used to conduct a point-in-time assessment of the readiness of your data for a planned system implementation. Outputs include a scorecard for all data in scope, ranking of key implementation data risks and proposed mitigation tactics.

Click here to learn more about how Olmstead's Distribution Data Model and Data Service Layer provides an accelerated Client Communications implementation. 

Improving your data platform (architecture) or building a centralized data warehouse requires experience and a well-thought out execution plan. Olmstead helps guide our clients to mature their data capabilities from application centric (all data in apps) to data centric (primary, centralized data solution) to data driven using our proven methodology and years of industry experience. We believe all data projects are business driven. We ensure business strategy is aligned with data strategy and business value delivery is predictable and scheduled, mitigating the risk of the “runaway IT data project."

We manage vendor tool solution evaluation, selection, and implementation (MDM, data quality, data catalog, data lake, database platforms, more). We also help you select the best data warehouse solution for your unique needs – vendor or custom, cloud or on-premise.

To accelerate design and development, Olmstead has pooled 20+ years of data architecture experience and has created the Olmstead Investment Data Model that can also be used as a blueprint to guide your data architecture modelling initiative. We constantly test and refine our data model in our AWS Lab.

Mastering data is an essential data capability providing the “single source” of accurate data in your data platform. Olmstead will apply our proven framework, use cases, and knowledge to efficiently lead your team through a vendor selection process from RFI (if necessary) through vendor scoring and contract negotiations (if desired). We are vendor agnostic and work with the industry’s leading solution providers. Our targeted systems experts have over 20+ years' experience with leading MDM solutions, including native and cloud-based providers. We will provide data analysis, business analysis, project management, and implementation support for your system implementation. 
From passive reporting, canned reports, and dashboards to visualization, predictive decision making, and machine learning, your firm needs the right tools and flexible data sourcing to compete in today’s data-driven industry. Olmstead maintains an enterprise view of data analytics to ensure the right tool is used for the right user and use case. Our data experts successfully guide firms in selecting and prototyping dashboards, reporting and data visualization tools (Power BI), data lakes, and platform selection. Olmstead also helps with tool adoption and change management. Through workshops and education, we can help your organization roll-out new analytics tools, data catalogs, and new datasets to ensure your organization gets the most from your data investment.
Data Governance is no longer a “rule enforcement” function and has become a critical component in firms aspiring to become data driven. Data Governance as a business function aligns data strategy with business objectives. A modern Data Governance operating model inspires an engaged and collaborative data culture necessary to speed data solutions and data quality. Our experts assess your firm's readiness to successfully establish a data governance framework using tools compiled based on experience and client engagements. We help firms improve five primary data governance capabilities: Stewardship, Data Quality, Master Data Management, Metadata, and Data Policies/Procedures. The primary design deliverables include a readiness scorecard, recommendations, and execution plan.

Olmstead has helped asset managers launch their Data Governance programs successfully leveraging our “stealth” methodology. We ensure the solution is right-sized for your unique needs and believe in an Agile delivery focused on building value one data domain at a time. Whether you choose an internal build or implement a third-party data governance tool such as Collibra, Infogix, Alation, Informatica or others, Olmstead can provide the required skills and experience to select, map, configure and migrate your data, metadata and lineages.

Olmstead's Data Strategy & Solutions

Olmstead’s approach to helping our clients leverage data as a strategic asset and business enabler focuses on improving two primary capabilities: Data Platform Maturity & Data Governance Maturity. We combine strategic design with practical Agile delivery to ensure value is continually delivered. 

Data Management 
& Analytics

Data Management 
& Analytics
 
Data Management 
& Analytics


Client Testimonial

“Olmstead’s data centric approach has been instrumental in assisting us with the assessment, design, and development of a technology platform to support the requirements under the SEC Liquidity and SEC Modernization rules. Because of this approach, we are ahead of schedule in our infrastructure build out and workflow preparedness.”

- CFO of Funds, Global Asset Manager


Traits of a Data-Driven Asset Manager:
  • Strategic: the business strategy and data strategy are aligned (business drives data solutions)
  • Accessible: having quick and easy access to existing data, including rapid onboarding of new datasets
  • Actionable: using data, analytics, KPI's, and dashboards to drive decisions and outcomes
  • Foundational: building solutions with quality data (single source of truth, Governance, MDM)
  • Cultural: data providers and consumers collaborate and share challenges and solutions
 
 
SAMPLE ENGAGEMENTS

The asset manager desired a comprehensive data strategy to enable advanced analytic capabilities, including AI and ML.  Provided uniform and secure access to data assets through Denodo, a data virtualization platform.  Roll-out of an enterprise-wide data governance program and utilities (catalog, glossary, lineage) improved data quality, accessibility, and availability.  Poor data warehouse query performance was addressed by migrating the data warehouse to Snowflake, resulting in a materially lower TCO.  Data science platform was selected and integrated.  Outcomes included improved business agility and innovation via self-service data analysis, significant reduction of technical debt, and citizen-development for advanced AI and ML. 
Olmstead is guiding a mid-tier investment manager's Portfolio Analytics team through the design and selection of a data warehousing solution with the end goal of automating and scaling their client pitch books and enhancing their client reporting capabilities. Olmstead has established an Agile methodology, including new processes and new tools (Jira, Symphony, BOX). Olmstead has lead the project kick off, educated the client, and coached the client throughout the process. Our team has managed the Agile process, including building and managing Kanban Board, Sprint Planning, Sprint and Story management, and daily scrum meetings. The project has also included Resource planning and management, resulting in burn rates and load balancing reports.
Our Client had spent five years implementing new solutions for areas including trading, accounting, collateral management, performance and attribution. Each new solution created a new "island of data" for the business which resulted in additional complexity in the environment and confusion about which data to use or trust. Olmstead was engaged to design and manage the implementation of a strategic data management platform (Markit EDM) and data governance program. The approach introduced an enterprise data architecture coupled with the rollout of a comprehensive data governance program and an integrated data information access portal.
Olmstead architected and implemented a modern data platform for an asset manager with low technical debt, inclusive of a new data governance framework. After a series of POCs affirming the target state, we have now moved on to implementing the tech stack and delivering over 30 governed data domains, 100+ Power BI reports, and key business use cases including, performance recons and cashflow processing workflow automation. The architecture includes Snowflake, Denodo, Azure Data Storage/Data Factory/Key Vault, Power BI, Power Automate, Power Apps, FactSet, Freshservice, and GitHub.​
Implementation of a comprehensive enterprise GIA platform (Eagle). Worked across multiple work streams, managing discovery and requirement sessions, the automation of the nightly batch cycle, disaster recovery, and documentation of processed and procedures through parallel. Led the upgrade of the Eagle platform and the User Interface design of a proprietary transaction management and distribution system.
 The asset manager’s business strategy was hampered by legacy technology, data challenges, and lack of data governance. Olmstead was hired to recommend a strategic data platform and deliver a migration plan to elevate data quality and accessibility. Desired outcomes are business user self-service and isolation of the legacy accounting platform. The target state includes AWS, Snowflake, data virtualization, new ETL/ELT tooling, a CAP (client, account, product) mastering solution, Tableau, and data governance utilities. The new platform enables the retirement of several systems, including the legacy data warehouse, and positions the asset manager for a higher quality implementation of a new client reporting platform and a less complicated migration away from its old portfolio accounting solution.  
Olmstead was asked to evaluate the scope of effort that a large Investment Management firm required to comply with the October 2016 SEC Modernization Act requiring RIC's to provide enhanced reporting and disclosures beginning June 2018. Olmstead's approach included conducting an "As-Is" assessment of their data environment including the IT architecture, data flows, Operations and Reporting. Olmstead then worked closely with IT and business stakeholders to define a future state business and IT architecture to support the new reporting requirements which surfaced gaps versus current state. We also delivered a detailed N-PORT and N-CEN data gap analysis down to the field level specific to the client. The gaps were used to build a roadmap and supporting resource and cost estimates which enabled the client to quickly seek executive approval to begin the project, without risk of delays and limiting risk of meeting their regulatory deadlines.

See more samples of Current & Recent Data-Centric Engagements


RECENT BLOG POSTS

Asset managers hire top talent and want to get the most out of them.  To do that, they need to be given the right information, tools, and culture to be successful. This includes freeing data and promoting a data culture where decisions and changes are made according to data-driven insights.  Data is a product that drives business outcomes.  Success comes from cultivating the best ideas and making the best decisions based on the best available data.   Read More
Data integrity, operational risk, and firm reputation are key considerations in how a firm develops its client reporting & pitch book production processes. To protect these interests, the standard practice is to create and manage a structured data such as performance, holdings, transactions, and attributions in a single source of truth. But what about unstructured data, which accounts for at least 50% of the content in these reports and books?  Read More

The latest evolution of front-to-back outsourcing is here: A new solution to the age-old problem of data management. These offerings bring a critical new class of service to front-to-back offerings and will certainly raise the bar; the service provider will assume accountability and must get it right.

  • Will service providers realize the same level of success when extending their data capabilities to clients?
  • Where will the lines be drawn between the provider and the manager, what infrastructure needs to stay behind?

Only time will tell the answer to these questions, but while this evolving service model seems poised for success in solving the “data left at the doorstep” dilemma, the devil lies in the details of execution.

  Read More
 
MEET OUR LEADERS

Anthony is a Managing Director, leading Olmstead’s efforts to empower data-driven asset managers. He is an accomplished technologist with 20 years driving technology and data initiatives for large and small asset managers.  He was  Head of IT Common Services at Western Asset, where among other responsibilities, he enhanced the firm’s data architecture and developed its cloud strategy, leveraging data virtualization, Snowflake cloud data warehouse, a data science platform, and data lakes. Anthony was CTO at Fischer Francis Trees & Watts (now BNP Paribas Asset Management), where he built a sophisticated global investment management platform that elicited digital transformation across the firm.  At his core, Anthony is a software and data architect/engineer driven to enable asset manager innovation and agility.  He is a problem solver who delivers and moves the needle.
Stephen's LinkedIn Profile
sonderegger@olmst.com

Stephen leads Olmstead’s Data Management services focused on Distribution – sales, marketing, and servicing. He is the chief architect of Olmstead’s AWS / Snowflake Data Lab, which houses our distribution data services and data model, providing accelerators for client communications systems implementations. Stephen leads client engagements providing data architecture, business & data analysis, data engineering, and project management. He has served as an architect and technical lead for client reporting, sales enablement, web, and CRM integration projects from requirements definition and planning phase to re-design and re-platforming. He has also managed the design and architecture of enterprise data hubs / warehouses / lakes, resulting in fast time-to-value integrated views of investment and CRM data.
Darcy has over seven years in front and middle office operations experience.  Throughout, she has been focused on process improvement and technology enablement.  She had a leadership role in the firm wide adoption of an enterprise-wide data governance initiative, including operating model design, technology assessments, strategic oversight, and program implementation.
Prior to joining Olmstead, Darcy was a portfolio analyst at Western Asset Management, where she was key to designing and implementing a cloud-based system for acquisition, surveillance, and securitization of residential whole loans.  Darcy holds master’s degrees in Financial Engineering from Claremont Graduate University and Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech.
Before joining Olmstead, Michael was with FactSet for eight years. He was a Senior Software Engineer in their Content Strategic Business Unit. Michael has distinguished himself as a leader and expert in data-centric software development through solving complex challenges to drive data value realization for FactSet and its clients. Michael possesses a broad technical skillset and a strong business knowledge of the investment management industry. 
Jeff Bellavance is a Manager and a Senior Data Analyst in the Data & Enabling Technology group. He has built a reputation for fixing operational inefficiencies, optimizing workflow, and reducing operational risks within firms. Jeff also has over 25 years of experience in the investment management industry. Jeff was a senior analyst in the Equity Portfolio Strategy group and the head of performance and analytics for PanAgora Asset Management. While at PanAgora, he led the transition to a new attribution platform, re-engineered and optimized the performance team, and was instrumental in transitioning the performance and analytics team’s perception as a process inhibitor to a value adding partner to the client reporting, factsheet generation and RFP process. He also has extensive experience working with, and managing vendor relationships such as MSCI, FTSE Russell and FactSet and was coordinated integration of ESG Analytics from MSCI and S&P Global Trucost for client reporting. Jeff also spent a large part of his career working for State Street Global Advisors as a vice president and head of U.S. Performance and Analytics where he managed teams across North America and outsourced work to India. Jeff is also a CFA charter holder.
Samuel Densmore is a Manager in the Data & Enabling Technologies Group for Olmstead. Consistently recruited by enterprise leaders to transform IT development organizations, craft impactful and effective technology strategies, and resolve complex business challenges, Samuel is a collaborative and innovative leader. He expertly drives the development, implementation, and adoption of new processes and deconstructs challenges into logical steps toward resolutions that increase efficiency, connect teams, and achieve company objectives. Most recently Samuel served as the chief technology officer at AlphaSimplex Group LLC. He assembled enterprise-wide IT staff into a single, centralized group serving the technology needs of this multibillion-dollar investment management organization. He was responsible for developing and articulating the company’s technology strategy, roadmap, and infrastructure, and led the teams accountable for their implementation.

Before AlphaSimplex Group, Samuel held vice president roles in two distinct Bank of New York (BNY) Mellon organizations; The Boston Company and Asset Management Operations. He built high-performing teams and developed technology strategies to support custom applications, services, and infrastructure for boutique business units within BNY Mellon. He has also led the conversion of Independence Investment’s legacy systems to modernized frameworks, trained cross-functional teams, and constructed business continuity programs across multiple organizations.
 Nick Taylor is a Senior Consultant at Olmstead Associates to empower data-driven asset managers. An accomplished data scientist with over a decade of industry experience driving business intelligence initiatives for small and large asset managers. His time at Ares Management and Genesis Capital / Goldman Sachs saw him develop multiple dashboards that are used throughout the firm. His time in LPL Financial saw him reduce manual entry by 90%, automate reports and reconciliations, and automate a key investment and strategy deck. Nick lives and breathes automation & data optimization, a data-driven problem solver who works towards a firm’s strategic goals.
 Robert Puffer is a Senior Consultant for the Data & Enabling Technologies Group for Olmstead.  Possessing over 25 years of experience in the buy-side technology space, Robert is an expert developing and architecting Data Solutions for different financial platforms.  Working for over ten years at Fidessa, expert level understanding was built implementing and integrating buy-side, portfolio management, trading and compliance front office systems.

In addition, Robert leads projects from a technical perspective to on-board and integrate middle and back-office platforms and understands the full trade life cycle process. In the last seven years, Robert has worked as a consultant and employee at large assets managers designing and developing Enterprise Data Management systems (Markit EDM/Cadis) and Modern Data platforms (AWS, Azure, Databricks etc.).  Robert also has many years of experience working with Data Governance groups to help make data secure, understandable, of high quality and available.  With a focus on designing and building Data Solutions, Robert will put his experience to work and leverage best practices around Data strategy, development and governance.

Request a Meeting 
Olmstead Associates is a leading specialized consulting firm to the investment management industry. For over 20 years, Olmstead has provided consulting expertise to help investment managers plan for, select, and implement solutions. Our Operations, Technology, and Data experts, proven methodologies, and leading edge tools help inform our clients to make better decisions and lower project risk.
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