Advent announces arrival in Singapore

The investment management software firm expands to accommodate its fast-growing, hedge fund-heavy Asian client base.
Advent announces arrival in Singapore

US investment management technology provider Advent Software opened its third Asian office yesterday, in Singapore, following the signing earlier this year of two new clients in the city-state.

The San Francisco-based vendor already has bases in Hong Kong (the firm's two-year-old Asian headquarters) and Beijing. It expects to have 12 to 13 staff across the Hong Kong and Singapore offices by the end of the year, on top of the 50 in Beijing, says Chris Momsen, New York-based general manager of global accounts. Advent will transfer existing employees to Asia to fill that quota, then start hiring and training more junior staff locally.

Zack Sung, current director of product management and solutions for Advent's Tamale research management solution, will relocate from Boston to head the Singapore office. He has also cross-trained on Advent's portfolio management system, Geneva. Guillermo Orselli, director of sales and marketing for Asia-Pacific, has been in Hong Kong since the office opened in 2008 and remains there.

Current clients in Hong Kong include multi-billion-dollar hedge funds Penta Investment Advisers and Keywise Capital Management. Advent has also had two clients in Singapore for a couple of years, says Momsen, and earlier this year signed a "major strategic" hedge fund client for Geneva and a capital provider firm for Tamale.

Advent has doubled its client base in Asia in the past 12 months, and the new office will help accommodate this momentum, says Peter Hess, president of Advent. It will also support the growing number of clients in Asia who use Geneva, the firm's portfolio management and fund accounting solution, and research management solution Tamale RMS.

Advent can provide its software as a locally installed system or on a hosted basis. "A lot of our clients want their data within their own walls," says Momsen, adding that this is the case for most of its Asian clients.

The need for local server installations -- which tend to more flexible (and expensive) than hosted products -- suggests larger and more sophisticated hedge fund clients. In terms of cost, Advent's solutions sell "upwards of the low hundreds of thousands of dollars", says Momsen.

"We're definitely appealing to the category of funds that make more use of derivatives and have more complex requirements as to how they manage P&L and legal entity structures," he says. "Our [hedge-fund] clients tend to be multi-strategy with at least $1 billion in AUM; the $50 million long/short guys won't be buying our stuff."

Advent is also easily compatible with other systems, he says, noting that over half of the firm's clients globally also use the Eze Castle order management system.

The expansion of other investment tech providers in Asia, such as Sophis and Thomson Reuters, supports the view that firms in Asia are growing in sophistication and are increasingly ready to spend to improve their system capabilities. 

Geneva provides portfolio management, accounting and reporting, client investor management and light trade capture and risk capabilities. Tamale helps standardise the research process, streamline workflow and improve the investment decision-making process.

In addition to Asia, Advent has offices throughout North America, Europe and the Middle East.

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