SMONIK SOLUTIONS FOR INVESTMENT MANAGERS
Goal:
Automating data retrieval, managing complex derivative data, and streamlining reconciliation workflow to increase efficiency and add control over data in an investment operation.

Challenge:
Time consuming tasks such as manually downloading data files from broker and/or custodian FTP sites or websites, manually cross-referencing security identifiers for derivatives, or translating fund numbers to account numbers are all data management issues.

Smonik Solutions for Investment Managers:
These issues are solved by Smonik’s platform. While other reconciliation products may focus on position and cash reconciliations, Smonik goes far beyond that, allowing for reconciliation of any data sets such as dividends, interest, swap financing accruals, portfolio P&L, etc.

Many investment operations teams rely heavily on Excel to reconcile or verify data. Using Smonik to perform these reconciliations not only automates the process but adds a significant element of control as well. Users can configure any number of reconciliations with the ability to set matching criteria, grouping, and tolerances at various levels. Smonik can also be used to verify certain calculations such as commissions and management fees.
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Download Broker/Custodian Data Files
Standardize/Normalize Data
Reconcilliation
Management Reporting
  • Set up schedules to automatically retrieve broker/custodian data files from FTP, SFTP, websites, email and network locations.
  • Smonik can automatically decrypt files with provided keys.
  • Intuitive Control Center allows users to easily monitor the status of incoming files. Filter by custodian, file type (e.g. cash or position,) or date range.
  • More powerful and significantly less expensive than Advent Custodial Data (ACD).
  • Users control data management using the intuitive user interface. No development required.
  • Smonik allows users to normalize data to meet any standard format for integration with accounting systems or other reporting databases.
  • Map and transform any Excel, CSV, text delimited (pipe delimited,) fixed position, XML and PDF file formats.
  • Data can be extracted from structured and unstructured PDF documents such as capital statements, capital call notices and distribution notices.
  • Ability to view the life-cycle of data before and after applying filters and translations.
  • Reconcile any two data sets.
  • Many reconciliations (cash transactions, cash balances, positions, tax lots, dividends, interest, P&L, trade activity, commissions, restricted trades) are pre-defined and ready to use, or, users can define Recon and set rules for matching, tolerances, grouping, and numerous other settings.
  • Powerful options for managing Recon breaks including approvals, adding notes, escalation workflow and an intelligent “Suggested Match” process.
  • Users can define the grouping and filtering of data to coincide with internal work assignments (i.e. view recon breaks by brokers/custodians or by asset class or by fund) as well as define the approval workflow.
  • Numerous reports and dashboards are available.
  • Users can configure their own reports with simple configuration steps.
  • Complex reports and dashboards can be customized quickly.
  • Smart dashboards provide users with snapshots of key performance indicators.








Investment Managers - FAQ


How do you retrieve broker/custodian data for reconciliation?

Broker/custodian data files can be scheduled to be automatically retrieved. The user can set up a recurring schedule with file parameters and the file watcher service will check the FTP site, website, or email inbox every 2 minutes for the specified file. Once files are captured, any user-defined filters or translations are applied before the data is automatically loaded to Recon.



Can Smonik handle “encrypted” files or files with password protection?

Yes, we support PGP encryption. We can decrypt files and handle password protected files.



What if my scheduled file does not come in?

If, for some reason, the scheduled file is not received, the user will see an “Error” appear on the Control Center dashboard. Once the reason for the non-delivery is known and resolved, the file can easily be rescheduled simply by selecting “Reschedule”.



For my investment operations team, can I configure the workflow to view reconciliations and exceptions by broker, or by fund, or by asset type?

Yes. The Recon Status view and the Break Details view are configurable to view all aspects of a recon (including matched and unmatched items,) with filtering and grouping established by the user. Within the Recon Configuration screens, the user can set up which fields are available for filtering and grouping.



Am I able to view data before and after filters and translations are applied?

Yes. From within the Control Center dashboard, users can open data files both before and after any filters and/or translations are applied. Users can see a 360° view of their data.



Most of my reconciliations have zero breaks. Is there a way to hide those so I don’t have to waste time reviewing recons with no exceptions?

On the Recon Status screen (in the top right corner,) there is a checkbox “Hide Zero Breaks:”. When selected, the recons with zero breaks will be hidden from the list of recons below. Alternatively, the user can sort by any column header. By sorting the “Outstanding Breaks” column in descending order, the recons with the most breaks will display at the top of the list.



Is there a way to “lock” the recon once all breaks for a given day have been researched and resolved and/or notated or approved?

By selecting the “Review” or “Sign-Off” button on the far right of the Recon Status screen, not only does it show who (based on Windows ID) Reviewed or Signed-Off, but it also locks the recon and does not allow any additional changes unless the Review or Sign-Off is removed. In addition, a user can right-click on the Review/Sign-Off button and add any notes or attach files to support the recon.



Can data be exported to Excel?

Data can be exported to Excel (with or without header rows) or PDF from either the Recon Status screen or the Break Details screen.



If I know an exception is going to exist for some period of time, how do I handle it in Smonik? I do not want to have to address the same break every day.

For situations where the user knows a break is going to exist for a period of time, the user can “Approve” the break and assign a date the approval will be effective until. For example, a break exists on the cash recon and I know the broker is not going to process their side of the transaction for two weeks. I can approve the break on the Break Details screen and assign the approval until a date two weeks out. Every day until then, the break will appear in an “Approved” status with no need to research it over and over again. If not cleared by the end date of the approval, it will revert to a break status.



Will Smonik Recon match one-to-many and many-to-many transactions?

Reconciliations can be configured to allow for exact matches (one-to-one), one-to-many matches, many-to-many matches, and/or matches within a specified tolerance. Not only can users define which of these match types to allow, they can also control the order of how these matches occur.



Can you apply tolerances when matching items?

Smonik has extensive tolerance settings which can be set at the most granular level. For instance, if you are reconciling cash transactions, you could set a tolerance for each currency or a separate tolerance for each currency by broker.



How does Smonik address the issue of security identifiers not matching? What if I have a derivative where my internal identifier is not the same as the broker’s identifier?

There are two methods for resolving this issue. One is to use the cross-reference functionality to associate the internal identifier with the broker’s identifier. Once the position is added to the cross-reference database (which is a simple right-click function,) they will forever be associated. The alternative is to attempt to re-create the internal identifier using the data sent in the broker file. Although this is dependent on the data sent from the broker, this can usually be accomplished through the use of advanced translations.



Does Smonik track Aged Breaks?

Smonik does track the number of days an exception item is aged and displays this on the Break Details screen. We also provide Aged Break dashboards and reports.



Can a user configure different views in the Break Details screen?

By selecting the “Arrange Columns” icon on the Break Details screen, users can modify and/or create any view. They can move columns or add/delete columns to provide the specific view desired. Once a view is named, it can then be saved and made available for anyone to see or only available to the user who created it. A user could create one view for a position recon, another for cash recons, and a specific view for Forward Currency Contracts, for example.



Does a user have the ability to manage (e.g. notate or approve) the same exception across numerous clients/funds?

Yes. Due to the various ways users can view data, a user can apply notes, approvals, etc. to any group of recon exceptions. By selecting the “Show All” button on the Recon Status screen, the user can then filter for any group of exceptions and apply any of the break management functions.



How does Smonik handle “As-of” recons for Hedge funds?

Smonik includes functionality to perform an “As-of” recon. For example, a hedge fund or fund administrator performs cash and position reconciliations daily. Upon reaching month-end, they must continue to perform the daily recons but also set aside the recon for the last day of the month and update it. The recons for the last day are copied to a month-end version, which is then maintained separate from the daily version. Any notes, approvals, etc. from the daily recons are carried forward to the month-end version.



Is Smonik capable of handling large volumes of data (positions and/or transactions)?

Smonik is designed to handle large volumes of data. Our data retrieval, ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) and reconciliation components are capable of processing over 1 million transactions, end-to-end, in minutes.



What if the broker/custodian changes the format of the file they send?

File formatting and mapping changes are easy to accommodate in Smonik. Because all of the ETL components are in the User Interface, users can quickly make any necessary updates to mapping data from broker/custodian files. Smonik staff will also support any changes required.