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Milestone broadens pControl’s reach among big investors

In Practice

Milestone Group has extended the rollout of its new pControl asset allocation offering to Asia-Pacific to service increasing demand due to greater complexities of front and middle-office requirements in the use of funds-of-funds and other third-party investment structures.

The ‘pControl Asset Allocation’ product is based on the platform built by the Australian-bred global group’s pControl unit pricing system, which has become ubiquitous among custodians and fund managers around the world.

The new product was launched last year in North America and EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) markets targeting outsourced CIO strategies employed by smaller funds, insurance companies and family offices, as well as the core market of big pension and sovereign wealth funds.

  • The APAC rollout, scheduled to be announced tomorrow (February 3), is being overseen by Marian Azer, who joined the group as managing director for Asia-Pacific last September. Sydney-based Azer joined from RBC Investor and Treasury Services, which had earlier signalled its intention to depart the Australian market.

    She has had a long career as both an adviser on and user of pControl and other back-office systems for custodians, super funds and fund managers. Before RBC she spent five years at J.P. Morgan as an executive director in securities services, and before that was a senior consultant and principal with Mercer Sentinel, Mercer’s specialist investor operational and trading support division.

    She said in a statement: “Within Asia-Pacific, portfolio management technology is being driven by what’s becoming an insourcing trend… There is a growing demand from Australian superannuation funds, of all sizes and complexities, for an enterprise-based technology to manage daily asset allocation parameters and to be able to effectively model, monitor and transact in near real-time.

    “Most solutions cannot fully support the increasingly complex product and multi-portfolio fund-of-fund structure and complex product-led asset allocation decision making activities – from modelling, pre-trade compliance, cash forecasting, to execution.”

    Milestone was formed in 1998, at the start of the dotcom boom, by Geoff Hodge, who remains executive chairman in Sydney. Prior to COVID, he spent much of his time travelling to the UK, US and throughout Asia, where the group has built substantial operations.

    Milestone is one of the few Australian investment systems companies which did not go public in the early 2000s after expanding internationally.

    Hodge said: “This is another example of the flexibility that a process and data-driven platform can deliver to the market, and of our commitment to working with clients across multiple geographies to solve common problems at scale.

    “We have developed and refined these capabilities in partnership with some of the world’s leading asset allocators. Globally, we are focused on being a specialist provider to asset owners, managers and asset servicers, delivering digital solutions that change what is possible, and often, how organisations think about what they can achieve with modern technology in a changing world.”

    The new product inherits pControl’s integrated investment platform design enabling it to leverage common product structures, shared data and process-driven capabilities with pControl’s fund processing and oversight, including backup NAV solutions, on the platform.

    Greg Bright

    Greg has worked in financial services-related media for more than 30 years. He is a former economics writer for the Sydney Morning Herald and assistant editor and business editor for the Australian Financial Review. Greg has founded many magazines, newsletters and conferences in the funds management industry. Titles he has launched include: Super Review, Investor Daily, IFA, Investor Weekly, Investor Supermarket, SMSF Magazine, the Blue Book, Investment Magazine, I&T News, Professional Planner, Top1000Funds.com, IO&C News, Investor Strategy News and New Investor.

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