A Word About IBOR: A Few Critical Items You Need to Know

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22 June 2015


The Investment Book of Record (IBOR) has become the architectural vision for the buy side. That is definitely good, but of course comes with caveats. One size does not fit all, and asset owners and asset managers need to be careful of being oversold and over-engineered. This report categorizes who really needs the IBOR architecture, the different definitions of IBOR, the different levels of functionality, and some of the critical issues clients need to know about IBOR capabilities.

The perfect Investment Book of Record (IBOR) definition reads as follows:

The Investment Book of Record is the real time golden copy of all transactions that comprise all the portfolios of owned and managed assets. Transactions can consist of all historical events from the beginning of financial conception to the end of financial life. All transactions can then be aggregated into asset positions, concluding in an aggregate portfolio view for the complete financial firm.

In reality, virtually no asset management firm can cleanly meet this real time universal definition of an IBOR. However, it helps to start at the top of the pyramid and then work toward more realistic scenarios matching actual buy side firms’ needs and requirements with practical technology.

The architectural blueprint vision of an IBOR is exactly what is needed within the buy side technology portfolio. But firms need to execute careful analysis and supplier assessments to ensure that they don’t overbuy or over-engineer a burdensome solution.

“IBOR is a great concept but has also become a marketing phenomenon,” says Jay Wolstenholme, a senior analyst with Celent’s Securities and Investments practice and author of the report. “Not only are there now multiple vendor IBOR solutions to be evaluated and vetted, but sourcing options must be matched to your current and future business model. The concept is what the industry needs, but smart, realistic evaluations are critical.”