Case Study - Milestone Group pControl™ Asset Allocation
Milestone Group has launched its institutional asset allocation solution to APAC investors. The firm has developed a web-based portfolio front-end for its fund processing solution pControl™ to create the asset allocation tool and is currently in discussions with at least one potential Australian client for the service which it expects to finalise soon.
The development process
The product was first launched in the US three years ago after a client approached Milestone seeking to use pControl™ for asset allocation implementation.
“They were looking to unify their portfolio management and investment operation functions,” Milestone Group executive chairman Geoff Hodge told Industry Moves.
“In the first instance they were wanting to use the platform as is. [So], we basically built out a web-based portfolio front end.”
Milestone Group and its pControl™ platform has historically been seen as a middle and back office solution but this new application will help investment professionals in organisations which oversea macro asset-allocation decisions – like chief investment officers – streamline that process.
Milestone Group’s managing director for APAC, Marian Azer, has been visiting super funds who are seeking solutions for overall asset allocation implementation.
“A lot of super funds right now [have] very manual user tools…. that are clunky and not efficient,” she says.
“The poor guy who actually makes the decisions that generate most of the returns, he is on eight different spreadsheets,” Hodge adds.
There are also an increasing number of stakeholders within an organisation that want information around whether a fund or its investment products are moving outside of stated asset allocation targets in real time.
“The platform will automatically recommend to you - you’ve fallen out of tolerance for these products do you want t to do something,” Azer says.
The decision to launch now
Hodge says that they always look for signals that indicate whether or not a market is ready for a new product.
In Australia that signal has been more activity in superfunds around how they deal with data and multi-asset solutions.
“Really because of the unique platform solution we’ve taken we can come to one firm and solve multiple problems,” he says.
pControl™ Asset Allocation will also be a primary focus for new business generation for Milestone Group in APAC this year.
Pricing and support
“We are very mindful around the scrutiny and cost pressure people get in Australia,” Azer says.
Cost of the platform is tailored to the intended use. Hodge says it is based on the amount of the solution that is used, the size of a client’s business and the length of the commitment to the platform.
He stresses that while cost will be scaled up with the size of an organisation, there is no entry level cost, and it can also be scaled down for smaller organisations looking for a simple solution.
As a FinTech, Milestone look after the entire tech side of the product as well.
“We deliver that on a cloud-based solution …we do all the heavy lifting around implementation, maintenance, [the client] doesn’t have to worry about the tech solution as well,” Azer says.