Alex Strekel joined Clearwater in 2015 and leads a team of business development professionals who specialize is solving operational, accounting, and reporting challenges for asset managers. Alex and his team focus on the key trends impacting the markets and help managers find custom solutions that address both market- and firm-specific needs to provide scale, accelerated growth, and improved margins.
Alex has more than 15 years of experience in financial services, allowing him to consult with all aspects of asset management operations. His career began in market data with Thomson Financial, transitioning to operations and trading with Fidelity; prior to Clearwater, he managed fixed-income portfolios at a Connecticut-based asset manager.
Alex is a graduate of Bates College in Lewiston, Maine and lifelong Connecticut resident. He currently resides in Old Lyme, Connecticut with his wife, son, and daughter, along with their two cats. When not working, you can find him spending time with his young family, keeping active, or attempting his latest “home improvement” project.
This is one of the reasons we try to stress that making a move to an operational platform like Clearwater has to do more than just change and improve your operating model. It has to be accretive to the business, creating a benefit in terms of ROI through the lens of a total cost of ownership.
In short, it can’t just improve client reporting, speed up reconciliation, or more accurately invoice. Often to drive change, it needs to run across multiple groups.
Amidst the stress of year-end, closing for Q1, and setting strategy for 2020 – and myriad other priorities – why do firms move to new operational platforms in Q1 and Q2 versus waiting until the end of the year? The answer is simple: It’s SaaS.
Too often we find SaaS to be conflated with cloud. Cloud is a storage model, and while certainly superior to hosted, onsite software, it is merely a mechanism of moving storage from onsite to a vendor. Five years ago many firms struggled to move to the cloud due to a perceived lack of cyber controls, but now with enhanced audit controls, authentication and access oversight, and rigorous threat testing, most solutions have been successful in overcoming this rebuttal.
Many solutions are now cloud-based, but to be cloud-based and SaaS involves several key elements you don’t get just by moving your servers to the sky. These are the features that set SaaS apart:
Returning to where we started, change is hard – so why not get it right. In our survey, 99% of respondents indicated that the corner office would be the one making the decision, and the primary reasons for doing so would be operational efficiency and cost. SaaS allows you to make the case to do both – and with most of these processes taking anywhere from three months of consultation and six months for implementation (depending on size), having these conversations now positions your firm to move to SaaS for 2021 and gain all the benefits cited above.