SS&C: A Unique Model in a Fragmented Industry

Dec 15 2015 | 7:26pm ET

Editor's Note: SS&C Technologies is well known to many alternative investment professionals. It was founded nearly 30 years ago and has since grown into one of the largest fund administration and technology service providers in the industry. However, despite the company’s stature and size, it has maintained the same entrepreneurial spirit and focus on technology that put it on the map back in the late 1980s. While startups are the more standard fare in our FINtech Focus series, companies like SS&C show that established firms are equally able to deliver cutting-edge technology to their customers.

Company name: SS&C Technologies

Locations: 65 global offices 

Website: www.ssctech.com; www.advent.com 

Fintech Sector(s): Alternative asset management, institutional asset management and advisory. 

Elevator Pitch: SS&C provides mission critical technology for investment managers, helping them increase operational efficiency, accelerate decision-making and improve client service.

Year Formed: 1986

 No. of Employees: 5,700+ 

Stage: Public on NASDAQ, symbol SSNC 

Tell us a bit about your company and what it does. 

SS&C has become a market leader by providing innovative, scalable software and solutions that address core front, middle, and back office needs for buy-side investment managers around the globe. 

Our growth has been fueled by strategic acquisitions like that of Advent Software, which we closed in July of 2015, and more recently, Varden Technologies, which provides cloud-based client and advisor communication solutions for wealth managers, mutual funds, and fund administrators. As we grow our footprint and diversify our capabilities, we continue to offer more holistic and cutting-edge solutions and services to the market. 

We have become particularly entrenched in the hedge fund space over the last 10+ years and our acquisition of fund administrator GlobeOp Financial Services in 2012 was a major milestone, making us the third largest fund administrator worldwide. With the acquisition of Advent, which was already relied upon by hundreds of top hedge funds, we cemented our position as one of the most comprehensive providers of technology and services to the alternatives space. 

Advent has also increased our capabilities for serving traditional asset managers and took us into the advisory market for the first time – a space we view as very exciting and where we look forward to growing our presence. 

How are you different than other companies in the same space?

We’ve spent years creating the most comprehensive powerhouse of software technology in the financial services industry and our clients have been at the forefront of driving the direction of our product development, making sure that we are delivering the enhancements they need and expect from a world class technology provider. We are intensely committed to innovation and invest about a quarter of our revenue from software licensing to R&D. 

What is your revenue model? How does the company make money?

SS&C’s main revenue sources include the development, marketing, and sale of outsourcing services, software products, SaaS hosting services, data interfaces, and related maintenance and services that automate, integrate, and support mission-critical functions for investment management organizations around the world.

Who is your target market?

We serve traditional and alternative asset managers, institutional asset managers, insurance and pension funds, and the advisory space. SS&C is a go-to technology partner for hedge funds, fund administrators, RIAs, and wealth managers of all sizes.  

How big is the growth opportunity?

It is significant. Investment managers are increasingly looking to technology to help them navigate a period of unprecedented change, creating major market opportunities for SS&C. A number of trends have coalesced including an intensified and continually evolving regulatory environment, new demands from investors for transparency, globalization and a blurring of traditionally separate lines of business.

These factors make it more important than ever for investment managers to build a technology infrastructure that allows them to be efficient and stay focused on delivering value to their investors. 

Why are you and your team capable of succeeding?

We have three decades of experience understanding market trends and the challenges facing investment managers. We’re constantly tapping into our client base for feedback, which results in consistent investment into new technologies, including cloud, mobile, and social, as well as smart, successful acquisitions. In a fragmented industry, SS&C has developed a unique model that sets us apart.  

What is your company’s next target/milestone?

Today, we are focusing on integrating newly acquired solutions and leveraging complementary functionality to bring new enhancements and value-adds to our customers.  For example, with Advent’s Geneva solution, which primarily serves alternative asset managers, we are working to leverage SS&C’s capabilities in data analytics and regulatory compliance to provide longtime Geneva clients with new, more holistic enhancements they never had before so they quickly experience some of the benefits that bringing Advent and SS&C together will reap over the longer term. 

We also recently completed the acquisition of Primatics Financial and are awaiting the completion of the Citi Alternative Investor Services acquisition, which will make SS&C the second largest fund administrator in the market once finalized. Going forward, we expect to continue pursuing smart acquisitions that grow our share of the market and our portfolio of innovative offerings.

Can you tell us one unusual fact about your company?

After 30 years of business, numerous acquisitions and significant growth, SS&C remains a founder-led company, with CEO and Chairman Bill Stone at the helm. This combination of depth of experience and the laser-focused vision of a founder continue to guide SS&C to keep ahead of the competition and deliver solutions that truly help investment managers succeed.  

 

(This article has been updated from the original to reflect closing of SS&C's acquisition of Primatics)


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