IBOR (Investment Book of Records)

02 December 2014

IBOR - A Renewed Approach To An Old Dilemma?



Author: Stuart Owers
Published: December 2014

About Me:
Co-Founder Aerice: - "Redefining the Business of Consultancy"

IBOR - A Renewed Approach To An Old Dilemma?
We have heard the term IBOR in the City a great deal in recent months, to the point that it is the latest investment management acronym to appear on many 2014 / 15 books of work.  IBOR is now seen as  a critical operational requirement to ensure the integrity of data for the Investment Management community and its associated portfolio managers.  Is IBOR itself a buzzword designed to satisfy the requirements of the FCA?  In its most simplistic form it is about being able to reflect an accurate and comprehensive investment view. Is the investment world re-labelling an old approach or just implementing common sense?  Should it be seen as an operational cost or perhaps a way of building end-to-end up to the minute operational insight from front to back office, whilst keeping the regulators happy as a secondary consequence? 

So What Have We Already Got?
Many organisations already have comprehensive data at their disposal, available by either collating various internal or off the shelf platforms or by already having implemented a combined solution, of which there are a myriad of options.  Given the margins in which to realise success and return a profit are tighter than ever given the past few years within the financial industry, perhaps the only way to achieve this is to use what is already at our fingertips and so tantalisingly close.

Driving Benefit, Solving Challenges…
The essence of IBOR is about the provision of accurately and timely data.  To gain a competitive edge it is imperative that Investment managers have the most up to date information in which to base their decisions on.  Coupled with any IBOR requirement will be intra-day pricing and positions files and the need to accurately report on these.  For the larger investment house or outsourced provider willing to spend a considerable amount of money and time on implementing such a solution the decision may be clear and the option to buy an expensive off-the-shelf solution, is tempting.  For those who wish to protect existing infrastructure or reduce excessive costs and implementation lead times it may be the case of taking a phased and pragmatic approach to identify what is to be solved and how best to integrate that with existing practices and processes.  For organisations that leverage outsourced service providers there will be added complexity to ensure that the provision of data and information flows seamlessly, something that would also need additional reconciliation processes to ensure data integrity.

Untangling Complexity - The Organic "Ball of String"
When looking at the market, working on projects like these and tackling the complexities, a number of things have become very clear.  Firstly, we all know that Asset Management Firms can be complex in terms of their business systems, associated workflow, reporting requirements (both internally and externally, regulatory, financial or otherwise) and their IT estate.  I have heard the term "organic" used many times to describe the design of the multiple business systems and the way in which over the years, the platforms upon which they sit are structured.  Indeed, the growth in mergers, new business units, the City getting busier and a lot of restructuring has resulted in a matrix of regulatory complexity (upon which the larger software giants lie trying to make what is complex, simple).  Some would debate the value really derived from these systems but that is not for debate in this article.  Of significant relevance is how does the Asset Management firm fulfil its reporting obligations..?

Creating Longevity In Our Solutions
Although many of the issues that IBOR sets out to resolve are not new, the guise and way in which they need to be implemented and dealt with is very different.  Whilst getting IBOR right presents a series of challenges to overcome, it is up to the organisation to determine the level at which it implements these practices.  One thing is clear, IBOR is here to stay, but the interpretation of how to implement it will be the difference for each organisation and heavily depend on business model, risk appetite, fit, timing, and cost.

No one IBOR approach fits every organisation due to operating complexity (locations, accounts, clients or processes).  This is why Aerice work with its clients to define tailored IBOR needs to deliver structured solutions, drawing upon the business and IT capital already in place whilst consolidating management and maintenance overhead.

Coming Up …
Over the coming months, both myself and my co-founder Dev Sharma ( will be writing a series of articles as a commentary and providing insight into the world of Asset Management and the innovations we are seeing in our industry.  If you wish to discuss any of the above article further, please contact me at


Thanks for reading…

Stuart Owers
About me:


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