Design Axys Custom Reports
Breathe new life into old portfolio management software
If your firm is one of the estimated 3,000 investment management firms using Advent Axys as its primary portfolio management software system, there are actions you can take to increase its value and give your firm greater incentive to remain on the platform. One of those areas involves client reporting.
Why Don’t We Just Use Something Else?
Most established firms currently using Axys have a significant amount of historical data that can make converting to an alternative platform that uses a modern, relational database structure, quite expensive and time consuming. Further, if your investment management team has used Axys for an extended period of time, there may be measureable reluctance to migrate to another platform. In my experience, most long-term users are quite comfortable with Axys and believe the platform handles portfolio management very well.
What’s the Real Problem?
But the client reporting aspect of the platform could definitely use an upgrade. The problem is the software was originally built back in the 1980’s (The Professional Portfolio) using a proprietary reporting language, and we are somewhat restricted, ultimately, by the fact that we are dealing with a flat file database structure. And this is largely the reason why the appearance of Axys reports really hasn’t changed over the past 30 years. When compared with reports produced from newer systems, the client reporting deficiencies in Axys become readily apparent.
What’s the Solution?
However, if you approach the issue from a perspective that uses Axys to feed its data to an external reporting solution, then a whole new world of potential emerges. In fact, this is exactly what Advent has done with its own Advent On-Demand product for Axys users. Axys data is exported to a relational database that permits presentation options within a mobile app that are simply not available in Axys.
Why Is this Important?
In my opinion, firms that provide client reports that answer the following four questions (depending on the client’s circumstances) can provide significant value over and above the custodial statements clients receive:
- Am I meeting my long term goals? (Performance Reporting)
- What types of assets do I own, what are their weightings, and how are you investing my wealth? (Asset Allocation)
- What are you doing with my portfolio – are there any immediate or future tax consequences? (Activity)
- How much income can I expect and when will I receive it? (Projected Income/Cash Flow)
How Do We Do It?
Specifically, I modified several Axys standard and catalog reports that will now optionally export Axys data into text files that an Excel workbook automatically parses into specific sheets that dynamically build the reports. The entire process is automated through the use of a script that calls Axys report macros and macro-enabled Excel workbooks.
The exact presentation I created is not really important. It merely represents my take on modern investment management reporting that permits an advisor to segue into a broader discussion designed to enhance client/advisor engagement. You may have an entirely different perspective regarding how to most effectively present periodic client results. And that’s perfectly fine. The important takeaway is the fact that the process to completely re-tool client reporting while leveraging your firm’s historical Axys data is well within reach.
If you would like to design your own client reporting package using your firm’s Axys data, we would be happy to help expedite the process!