As Siepe’s Vice President of Sales, can you tell us more about your role?
Siepe brought me on to establish institutional discipline and processes for our sales and business development efforts. My primary goal is to build out the structure of the sales team to help expand Siepe’s platform and footprint within the investment management community by keeping the buy-side’s needs and perspectives top-of-mind. This will help ensure our software, service and analytics solutions are addressing the needs of the current market.
Before Siepe, you worked across the structured finance and credit markets landscape for over fifteen years. What initially attracted you to this space?
In college, I received a liberal arts education, which opened the door to many different areas to study. When I entered the workforce I started as a Trust Associate at JP Morgan Chase in the Structured Finance group. I supported clients in managing and structuring Mortgage-Backed Securities, Resecuritizations, and Collateralized Debt Obligations. In 2012, I moved into a sales and relationship management role, which put me on the path I am on today.
What challenges have you encountered in your time leading up to joining Siepe?
There were a lot of regulatory challenges after the 2008 financial crisis. The implementation of post-crisis regulations, such as Dodd-Frank, the Volcker Rule, and Risk Retention, all created unique challenges and opportunities within the Collateralized Loan Obligations (CLO) sector. Despite those changes, the leveraged loan market has seen incredible growth and CLOs have proven to be a staple investment for institutional investors. These market dynamics led to the accelerated adoption of technology and automation to manage these vehicles. As we have recently seen, the market is never stagnant, and it is our job to respond to the market and regulatory changes. We continue to evolve, helping our clients make the best decisions possible when those moments arise. That challenge makes this job exciting.
What initiatives excite you the most at Siepe?
One thing about Siepe that has stood out is its clear vision and strategy. Many managers in the credit space struggle with clean, accurate, and reliable data. All investment activity is dependent on timely and accurate data. The Siepe platform combines front, middle and back office on a single user interface. It brings the whole investment life cycle into perspective, providing users with a single source of truth. I can’t stress the importance of data integrity enough. So we ask the question, what does “getting it right” look like? The answer is the front office needs to have confidence in the data, and when they do, it presents opportunities to gain insights into the portfolios they manage, as well as the market and companies they’re investing in.
What are Siepe’s roadmap priorities?
Our primary focus is ensuring alignment between our client’s objectives and our own. Traditionally there has been a mentality of viewing operations as a cost center, and there is typically a lag between asset management growth and investment in ops and IT. We are flipping this concept on its head. As a result, some more sophisticated managers are realizing the benefit of investing in ops and IT in order to create new efficiencies and gain an advantage over their peers. For example, for a pool of credit investments, when a Portfolio Manager or Analyst can view current financial statement information and run trends analysis on KPIs and attribution analysis against industry benchmarks, they can prioritize which credits to research if something significant changes right when that data becomes available. Our platform delivers this value by finding mutually beneficial partnerships and placing the quality of data and service above all else.
As we’ve seen instability in the markets over the past few years, what topics are most important to fund managers? What opportunities are out there for fund managers to optimize their operations?
A continuing trend in the market is the disintermediation of the banks and increased capital flows to private assets, particularly private credit. Also, given the recent volatility, credit selection will be of first and utmost importance. There is already dispersion among managers, in which some have built a track record of being the best credit pickers. Knowing what is happening with the borrowers you have exposure to is vital to obtaining a competitive advantage and seeing what has changed period-over-period. Although there is a risk-off mentality at the moment, I expect this to only last in the short term, and the second half of the year will offer opportunities for continued growth. However, now is the time to analyze your technology infrastructure and ask yourself if you have the proper platform and partners in place to enable that growth.
What is a fun fact about yourself?
Not many people know that I am a musician. I am a multi-instrumentalist and play a number of instruments, including classical guitar, ukulele, mandolin, harmonica, banjo and drums. I love playing music with other people. Also I have two beautiful daughters, and I’ve been happily married for eight years. It’s important to balance family life with work, both of which keep me highly motivated and always on my toes.