New York-headquartered Imagine Software celebrated its 23rd birthday this July. Still privately owned and run by Scott Sherman, Steven Harrison, Dr Lance Smith and David Miller, Imagine has long been viewed as one of the financial industry's leading provider of real-time portfolio, risk management and regulatory systems.
Imagine supports the industry's blue-chip hedge fund managers, fund-of-funds, pension plans, money managers, asset managers – and the major banks and brokerages. Imagine was the first to offer a cloud-based ASP solution to the industry in 1999. "Today, we have a combination of functions that make Imagine the most powerful risk system in the market," says Scott Sherman (pictured), Co-Founder and Global Head of Business Development & Sales.
"Two years ago, we launched our Imagine Financial Platform (IFP), which is unique in the industry in that it allows users access to all of the analytics and data in our system. Using a simple Java script, users can build their own applications (apps) to create bespoke financial calculations."
Highlighting the dramatic adoption of Imagine's app technology, Sherman adds: "Imagine has approximately 40 off-the-shelf applications that our users have turned into more than 500 unique applications."
Imagine's clients use these apps in every segment of their workflow – automating repetitive operational tasks, building optimisers, stress testing, identifying arbitrage opportunities, etc.
"Our biggest development this year is our new system called RRC – Real Time Risk and Compliance," confirms Sherman. "In the years following 2008, as regulatory compliance became one of our clients' most important challenges, creating a solution to help them address this need became our most important focus.
"Societe General Prime Services was our first RRC client, and we have enabled them to post millions of trades per day across thousands of accounts in real time and manage their global limits monitoring."
In addition, Imagine can create risk portals for the SocGen managers to show hedge fund clients their calculations in the SocGen system, in real time.
The SocGen clients can log in and get a clear insight into their risk exposures and, using the same underlying risk models, perform "what-if-scenarios" to manage their margin requirements. This, says Sherman, "represents a great transparency advance for all market participants".
"The RRC high-speed functionality has applications for the major prime brokers and vendors such as OMS/EMS, clearing houses and data providers," says Sherman. "We can give data providers a large feed that Imagine will populate to give users price data on, for example, IBM, along with some 35 pre-configured shocks. This will allow clients of the data provider to see the impact of those shocks in real time, offering valuable hedging information," explains Sherman.
Imagine's RegTech expertise covers not just the regulations that impact hedge funds dealing with 40 Act requirements, but all of the risks associated with compliance and position limits.
When a manager is running a regulated fund, Imagine sets them up with the built-in capabilities to run the stress tests and scenarios that show the impact of different market shocks and allows them to proactively determine whether specific events would move them in or out of compliance.
On winning this year's award, Sherman comments: "We are enormously honoured that the Hedgeweek readers selected Imagine for this terrific award, and we remain dedicated to delivering the innovation and service that makes us worthy of this distinction.