Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo) is one of Canada’s largest and most diversified investment managers, committed to finding the best investment opportunities from around the world for its clients. To support its strategy of employing innovative, best-of-breed applications via a service-oriented architecture, it has chosen to use Nutanix Enterprise Cloud.
The Nutanix environment supports a wide array of specialized applications for the asset industry, delivering the performance, stability and processing power its teams require to gain rapid insight into the state of transactions and enabling traders to make more informed decisions. Nutanix enables AIMCo to save hours on overnight analytics and reporting processes, giving staff breathing room to discover and remediate potential issues. This, in turn, enhances accuracy while minimizing risk.
Identifying the Challenge
With more than $115 billion of assets under management, AIMCo is responsible for the investments of 31 pension, endowment and government funds in Alberta, collaborating closely with clients to meet their objectives. Analytics and reporting play a key role in enabling AIMCo to deliver the best possible performance to clients. Each day after markets close, the firm consolidates its data to perform a net asset value (NAV) calculation overnight in order to populate reporting data for its traders and portfolio managers to use when trading begins the next day.
AIMCo is 10 years old as an organization and five years old from a refreshed technology point of view. Over time, the firm’s volumes have grown, complexity has increased and it has become more difficult to respond to outages, breakages and business needs.
AIMCo also experienced an increasingly limited time window to perform critical NAV calculations. “As the volume of data and computations escalated, we were finding that we did not always have time to complete all our processes on time,” said Tony Payne, v.p. of business technology at AIMCo. “This created delays in preparing our traders to execute.”
To keep pace, AIMCo required architectural changes to its primary infrastructure. The firm was seeking to change its point-to-point interfaces and convert to a service-based architecture. AIMCo also sought to implement a multi-cloud system and position the organization for hybrid cloud. At the same time, the firm sought to boost the processing power, availability and responsiveness of its systems and its capacity to deal with incidents.
AIMCo deployed a hyper-converged solution built on Nutanix Enterprise Cloud. It helped that AIMCo already had experienced significant benefits supporting its Quant team with improved computation, processing and modeling capabilities.
“We adopted Nutanix and realized good gains, with performance improving up to 30% to 60% in different areas,” said Payne. “If the Quant group is happy in the company, a lot of people are happy. The ability to do computations, analytics, calculations and modeling is very much dependent on processing power.”
To further increase efficiency, AIMCo migrated additional applications and processes to Nutanix Enterprise Cloud, including its daily reporting data distribution and its risk data operations, as well as the process of moving files to its critical SimCorp accounting and reporting systems.
Migrating to Nutanix has saved AIMCo hours in its nightly batch window, allowing staff more time to maximize the quality of its NAV calculation processes. “In our overnight NAV process, we previously had 11 minutes to remediate any issue,” said Payne. “With Nutanix, we now have 159 minutes, so we have gained more than two hours.”
The time that AIMCo is saving has enabled it to set up a pre-validation team that ensures AIMCo has accurate data before it runs a NAV report. “When we find errors now, we actually have the time to remediate them without causing delays down the line,” Payne added. “Over the last quarter, we have seen our SLOs rise to the highest level we have ever achieved. The whole downstream process is running more smoothly, and with more stability.”
Nutanix has also helped AIMCo to control costs and, more importantly, free up staff to be more productive and strategic.
Nutanix is a global leader in cloud software and hyper-converged infrastructure solutions, making infrastructure invisible so that IT can focus on the applications and services that power their business. Learn more about Nutanix at https://www.nutanix.com/solutions/financial-services or follow us on Twitter @nutanix.