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Client Case Study

Family Office Meets Unique Needs with Advent Portfolio Exchange

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PROFILE Belfer Management LLC is a single-family office located in New York City. The firm manages millions of dollars in assets, including stocks, bonds, mutual funds, cash equivalents, foreign markets and private equity investments. BUSINESS SITUATION A long-time Advent Axys client, Belfer needed a more robust portfolio management solution that would enable them to consolidate all their investments onto a single system. The firm also needed easier and more flexible reporting capabilities and more timely reconciliation. SOLUTION After evaluating several options, Belfer made the decision to migrate to APX, Advent's next-generation portfolio management solution that simplifies information access with a SQL relational database and browser interface. In the conversion process, Advent's consultants customized APX to meet the unique needs of the family office, allowing for easier reporting and the addition of illiquid investments. Belfer now manages 100% of its investments in APX. KEY BENEFITS

When Belfer recognized the need for a more up-to-date, robust and comprehensive portfolio management solution, they did an extra measure of due diligence on the options available. The single-family office was familiar with Advent and was using the Advent Axys® platform. But Cindy Golden, Chief Financial Officer, instructed her team to look past the existing relationship with Advent and think of them as a brand new vendor that needed to articulate the quantifiable benefits of Advent Portfolio Exchange (APX). The end result? Advent Portfolio Exchange emerged as the clear front runner. "We had specific requirements--daily reconciliation, connectivity to our brokers, the consulting factor, as well as ease of use and reporting," Ms. Golden explains. "After looking at the three or four other systems that were out there, we felt that there was no reason to reinvent the wheel. Being able to go from Axys to APX--which gave us everything we wanted within our price range and leveraged our existing Advent relationship--was the only way to go."

Today's Data Today

Before migrating to APX, Belfer's operations team found themselves perpetually behind on reconciliation. "The way our system worked, we had to wait until all 100+ statements came in each month from more than 20 brokers before we could reconcile," says Ms. Golden. "Our reports would always be 30 days behind." This delay had repercussions for day-to-day functioning as well. "I wanted to give my investment team access to the reports, but I couldn't do that if we were always behind," Ms. Golden explains. "I would never know if the information they were seeing was up-to-date and reliable." Along with APX, Belfer added Advent Custodial Data® (ACD), which automates data feeds from custodians and brokers. This powerful capability not only improves efficiency and saves time, but also confers peace of mind. "Being able to print a report and know that it's reliable without having to double check it each time--that's a huge time and dollar savings for us," Ms. Golden says. "And the peace of mind I get from not having to wonder if someone is relying on information that hasn't been reconciled--that's worth a billion dollars to me."

Eliminates multiple systems for portfolio management Makes data easily accessible for portfolio managers without having to run reports Easier, more flexible and more reliable reporting Leverages daily reconciliation Provides a database for cost basis for tax return preparation Can be easily customized to meet the firm's unique needs

Consolidating Systems, Ease of Reporting

Belfer wanted a system that would meet their needs today and carry them into the next phase of growth. A major attraction of APX was the opportunity to consolidate all the firm's investments in one solution. Pre-

"Moving from Axys to APX--which gave us everything we wanted within our price range--was the only way to go." Cindy Golden, Chief Financial Officer Belfer Management LLC

viously, the firm used Advent's Axys to manage equities and fixed-income, and a series of spreadsheets to track mutual funds, foreign investments, private equity and cash equivalents. "I didn't want to deal with a Quicken situation, a general ledger system and investment software," Ms. Golden recalls. Working with an Advent consultant, Belfer was able to create a customized solution that could handle all the firm's holdings, including its illiquid investments. Another important area of customization for Belfer is reporting. "We are very specific about our reporting," Ms. Golden says. "I never know what someone here is going to want to see and how they are going to want to see it. A standard report that comes off the system might not be exactly what someone here needs." Working with Advent consultants and APX has made it much easier to get the level of customization Belfer's managers require, according to Ms. Golden. "With APX, we get the reporting that we've always wanted--that we've always needed --and it takes so much less time."

"Staying with Advent and choosing APX enabled us to keep doing what we were doing on a day-to-day basis without completely stopping, which would have been an issue had we not gone with APX," Ms. Golden says. "The migration was a lot smoother than if we'd gone through a complete conversion. And even if the dollars had been greater to stick with Advent, the savings in time would have made up the difference."

Room to Grow

To underscore Belfer's unique requirements and expectations, Ms. Golden explains, "People are stunned when I say we have 65 investing entities and 100 brokerage relationships." The scalability of APX, with its SQL-based platform, makes it less daunting to manage a complex structure. "APX's scalability means that we can take what is already a large and complex portfolio and add any type of entity or any type of relationship--that's very important," she says. "I think with the conversion to APX, we have given ourselves the ability to grow." The advantages of APX--consolidation of systems, ease of reporting and customization--allow Belfer to work with greater efficiency. In fact, other family offices have asked Belfer for advice on their systems, and Ms. Golden is happy to recommend APX. "The smoother operations we're seeing on a day-to-day basis with APX has been huge for us," she says. "I would definitely recommend APX from that perspective as well as for the ease of reporting. I've been very happy with the consultants that were here and involved throughout the migration. Finally, I would say to other family offices that do not have systems in place that APX is a good way to take all of their functionality--as we did--and put it all in one place."

A Manageable Migration

Although the familiar functionality of APX was a factor in its selection, Belfer knew that the system migration was not a do-it-yourself job. They relied on Advent Professional Services project managers to ensure a smooth overlap with no disruption in business. Advent's proprietary implementation methodology starts with a two-day workshop to define goals and assign responsibilities. "The workshop at the beginning was very helpful," Ms. Golden says. "It educated us as to the specific steps in the migration, what to look for and how the process would unfold over a six-month basis." Given that Belfer has some unique requirements, even relative to other family offices, Ms. Golden was happy with the way Advent responded. "We were able to communicate to the consultants what we do here, how we do it and what the owners want," she says. "So instead of getting a packaged conversion, the migration was geared specifically toward our needs and how we operate here." By choosing to stay with Advent instead of changing vendors, Belfer avoided the risks of working with an unknown entity. Migrating from Axys to APX meant that the office could maintain much of the customization and reporting they already used, as well as convert their investment history, without losing any time doing business.

To read more case studies, visit www.advent.com/casestudies.

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Copyright © 2008 Advent Software, Inc. All rights reserved. Advent, the ADVENT logo, Advent Custodial Data, Advent Portfolio Exchange, and Axys are registered trademarks of Advent Software, Inc. All other products or services mentioned herein are service marks, trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies. Information subject to change without notice.

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