The Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement System is tidying up its back-office operations as its investment program becomes more complex.
SimCorp announced Monday that PSERS has signed a licensing agreement with the investment management company to automate and consolidate data across multiple asset classes in real-time. SimCorp will provide the pension fund a single system for its middle and back-office operational needs, including “deeper analytics,” through its cloud-based service known as SimCorp Dimension. The firm’s “investment book of record,” or IBOR, is a core component of the service.
“Many of our competitors are adopting a front-to-back investment platform approach,” James Corrigan, SimCorp’s managing director and executive vice president, said Monday in an email. “The difference is, we have one platform, with an IBOR built since inception, delivering true integration, while our competitors are acquiring and piecing together multiple systems to achieve a form of integration.”
PSERS, which managed $59.1 billion at the end of June, joins other large pension systems and state treasury departments in using IBOR to integrate their operations, according to the announcement. SimCorp is combining its alternatives investments onto a single technology platform and will make the Pennsylvania pension fund’s underlying holdings transparent across the middle and back office.
[II Deep Dive: Can Anyone Bury BlackRock?]
In 2018, Copenhagen-based SimCorp told Institutional Investor that it is aggressively targeting the North American market, challenging BlackRock’s Aladdin. Corrigan said in the email Monday that SimCorp’s software has been “successfully deployed” across several pension plans in the region.
SimCorp’s North American clients include Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Alberta Investment Management Corp., according to an August statement from the investment management company. PSERS signed its agreement with SimCorp during the third quarter of 2019.
“PSERS’ operations professionals have been called upon to support a growing number of portfolios, trades, positions, and complex investment strategies as our investment program has evolved,” John Kemp, the pension’s managing director of investment operations and risk, said in the SimCorp announcement.