Athena Systems: Perfecting the Investment Process for Hedge Funds

“Playing to your strengths and outsourcing the rest” is the current trend of the investment management industry, manifesting most notably in hedge funds. Hedge fund managers have left the operational bloat of investment banks or money managers behind to form their own streamlined firms. In many cases these firms consist of a team of 5-10 professionals who specialized in research, portfolio management, and trading (the “core competencies” of the fund) while all other roles have been automated or outsourced to third-party vendors such as Athena Systems as well as Prime Brokers and Fund Administrators.

In 2005, a team of senior software developers, integrators, and analysts started the financial technology firm, Athena Systems, with a revolutionary vision, to perfect the investment process for its clients. Athena’s growth is indeed a direct result of executing on this vision.

Athena provides vertically integrated systems that fully automates the front, mid, and back-office workflows of an investment management firm and does so for less than the cost of a new employee.  Athena provides a complete system that includes portfolio management, electronic trading, performance measurement, risk analysis, fund accounting, client reporting, and straight through processing.

The Dynamic Leader             

Mr. Stefano Guarnieri, the President and Director of Product of Athena Systems, has advanced the product to not only increase the level of automation at an investment management firm, but to do this at a more competitive price point in order to lower the cost of ownership for new hedge funds.

Throughout his career Mr. Guarnieri has demonstrated a deep understanding of the needs of the financial community and how to optimize their workflows. Stefano has 9 years of experience with Macgregor/ITG, where he worked as Platform Architect, Project Lead, and Development Manager. He created a competitive edge Macgregor/ITG by introducing many features to the Portfolio Management platform such as Multi-Asset support, a novel Multi-Factor Optimizer with real-time solving capabilities, Real Time Market Data Feeds supporting Reuters and Bloomberg, and Fixed Income Electronic Trading supporting TradeWeb and MarketAxess. These features were the key to winning the Waters Magazine 2004 Award celebrating XIP as the Best Portfolio Management platform.

Stefano holds a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Ancona, Italy.

For the last 30 years the founders of Athena have created award-winning systems that enable a small team of talented people, such as a hedge fund, to do the work of hundreds at a traditional firm.

Services and Sophisticated Strategies

Athena Systems provides an integrated investment management solution for hedge funds and other alternative asset managers. Athena gives an investment manager with 50 million to 5 billion in AUM the same level of automation, analytics, and controls as an investment manager with 100 billion in AUM. Athena allows a team of five to operate like a team of fifty; allowing investment managers to focus on generating returns for their investors.

Athena Systems develops and supports the Spark platform for hedge funds. Spark is the only system on the market to provide unified Front, Mid, and Back-Office Features. These features increase performance manage risk, save time, and lower operational costs.

Athena’s Spark Platform

Spark is the only system on the market to provide unified which covers all of the requirements at a hedge fund, including:

Realtime Portfolio & Trade Monitoring: Portfolio and trade monitoring allows managers to keep track of contribution to risk and reward on both the summary and detail level. These metrics include Holdings, Trade status, P&L, Risk and Stress-Tests, Flash-NAV, and Cash Monitoring.

Operational controls: Provides CEOs and Risk Managers with transparency into and control over various compliance requirements including Pre and Post Regulatory Compliance, Enforcement of Investment Guidelines, Notification of Share Ownership Filing Requirements, Enforcement of Trader and PM limits, and any custom rules or limits.

Automation: Automation gives fund employees the tools they need to work fast. These tools include Electronic Trading Connectivity, Automatic File Generation, Automated Positional Trade, Cash Reconciliations, and Trade Allocation, Calculation, and Optimization Engines.

Flexibility: Configurable systems such as Athena’s Spark and Athena’s Spark Platform provide both effortless workflows and top marks on investor due diligence reviews.

Investing on Investors

The research team at Athena works closely with investment manager and allocators as well as industry groups, to not only to stay on top of new regulation but in some cases to help craft it.  Athena has automated the controls and reporting requirements for recent regulations such as:  MiFID II/MiFIR, GDPR, Various Global Cyber Security Regulations, UK Takeover Panel, and European Ownership.

Implementation of AI

The consulting arm of Athena has already helped portfolio managers in creating research projects to explore AI.  The recent projects include machine reading electronic filings and correlating these to price movements as well as using machine learning to understand the liquidity risks of preferred stocks.

Source: The 20 Most Admired Tech Companies 2018

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