JPMorgan, Envision, PFPC Take Top Honors
June 20, 2005
WELLESLEY, Mass. - JPMorgan Funds, Envision Financial Systems and PFPC Worldwide took top honors in SourceMedia's 2005 Fund Operations Awards. Now in its third year, the awards program is sponsored by Money Management Executive, judged by a panel of leading industry consultants and presented annually at the National Investment Company Services Association (NICSA) general membership meeting. As in the past, MME honored industry leaders in three categories: Leadership, Innovation and Efficiencies/Streamlining.
1st Place Winner
Stephen M. Wynne
A 25-year veteran of PFPC, who became president of PFPC Worldwide, with oversight of $1.8 trillion in assets, just this year, Stephen M. Wynne's (see photo on page 6) client-centric focus has been on developing new technological automations and portfolio system breakthroughs. The net result is to enable portfolio managers and their back-office supporting teams to concentrate on their investment management business at hand, with minimal error.
In 2002, for example, Wynne spearheaded the creation of fully automated transaction processing and reporting software to alleviate fund managers' manual wash sales processing. An efficient solution for any type of mutual fund, this advanced capability is particularly well suited for index and other high-volume, high-turnover funds.
As Wynne himself noted, the software also offers portfolio managers the ability to decide which security lots should be sold, and at what time, to ensure tax optimization.
Wynne is also co-author of the Fundamentals of Mutual Fund Accounting textbook (Widener University Press, 2004), which has been picked up by five U.S. universities, including Philadelphia's St. Joseph's University, and two in Ireland. A Widener graduate, Wynne returned to his alma mater last year to teach a graduate course on the mutual fund industry.
As Mike Scardina, vice president and chief financial officer of Dimensional Fund Advisors, said of Wynne: "He has truly made this his life's work."
2nd Place Winner
Divisional Vice President Process Improvement Office
BOSTON FINANCIAL DATA SERVICES
As divisional vice president in charge of the Process Improvement Office at Boston Financial Data Services, Jane Brennan is responsible for transfer agency operations units servicing Dreyfus, Phoenix Investments, New York Life Investment Management, Davis Advisors, Selected Funds and other leading clients with more than $760 billion in assets under management.
As seen through the eyes of her colleagues, Brennan is an enthusiastic, inspirational leader committed to excellence. In the past year, she has addressed the immediate challenges wrought by the trading scandal, while never losing sight of her devotion to the inventors of the future.
It was Brennan's own idea to create the Process Improvement Office, where, as she says, the goal is to "reduce cycle times by streamlining processes and reducing steps." And unlike so many others in the investment management industry, Brennan says she also embraces the details of "hands-off, non-value-added activities, while improving quality and reducing rework.'"
At this office, where BFDS partner teams are also brought in to present their strategies, Brennan leads her team to focus on continuous improvement through what she calls "Lean Thinking" and Six Sigma. She also recognizes her team's excellence with five-star ratings, as developed by the National Quality Review, and the firm's own "Black Belt" certificates.
The net result is impressive, a mere three defects for every million transactions, and in the case of a simple change for one client, annual savings of $400,000.
3rd Place Winner
President & Compliance Officer
BISYS FUND SERVICES
MME's panel of judges this year honors Chuck Booth, BISYS Fund Services senior vice president and compliance officer, for his integral role in developing the BISYS ComplianceEdge program.
Launched only a year ago as a flexible chief compliance officer outsourcing support system to help investment advisors meet the Oct. 5, 2004 CCO deadline, nearly 40% of BISYS clients now make some use of the program's independent services. Another 70% of BISYS' full-service clients make use of the program's core functions.
ComplianceEdge can trace, test and report on 600 identified and monitored compliance procedures across transfer agency, administration, fund accounting and distribution activities - using up to 30 different tests for each procedure each year, with reports delivered to CCOs on a monthly basis, including aggregated statistics.
In explaining the intended breadth and reliability of the program, Frederick Schmidt, CCO for several BISYS full-service clients, commented: "Greater accountability is a cornerstone of the compliance rule. The transparency and testing BISYS' state-of-the-art program provides keeps me and the boards of directors fully informed."
INNOVATION - TIE
1st Place Winner
Envision Financial Systems
For the second year in a row, Envision Financial Systems received first place for innovation, this year for the PowerFolio component of the PowerAgent transfer agency system. While the Fund Operations Awards judging panel selected PowerAgent in 2004 as first-place innovation winner for its scalability functions, it is similar, but more specific, aspects of PowerFolio that earned it the same high honors for 2005.