Home SMART 100 2016 Jacobi Storyboard

Jacobi Storyboard [SMART 100, 2016]

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This SMART 100 profile and the information it contains is a duplication of content submitted by the applicant during the entry process. As a function of entry, applicants were required to declare that all details are factually correct, do not infringe on another’s intellectual property and are not unlawful, threatening, defamatory, invasive of privacy, obscene, or otherwise objectionable. Some profiles have been edited for reasons of space and clarity.

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1. THE BEGINNING

This innovation initially came to life when…

In his previous role as chief strategist of QIC, the $70-billion superannuation fund, Tony Mackenzie bridled as technical work took the investment team too long and wasn’t comprehensible to clients. Why shouldn’t complex portfolios be faster to design and easier to comprehend? Tony left his well-paid job, recruited a high school mate, and set to developing a new service called the storyboard. The concept earned its spurs in a recent downdraft: a Jacobi customer aced panicky client calls because with storyboards he builds ’super clear’ strategy reviews ‘in less than 2 minutes’, and so spends his time actually engaging clients.

2. WHAT & HOW

The purpose of this innovation is to…

Do for investment what computer-aided design did for architecture: streamline technical work while involving investors in the key decisions about strategy and risk. Our motto: ‘What’s important is not what you know, but whether the client understands why it’s relevant’.

It does this by…

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Jacobi marries an advanced modeling engine to dynamic visualization tools. Using our computational framework, the investor’s objectives and the manager’s market views (the inputs) drive forward-looking simulations and comparative scenarios (the outputs). Built-in charting brings the data to life.

3. PURPOSE & BENEFITS

This innovation improves on what came before because…

One, our modeling engine provides firms a forward-looking structure that many lack. Often investment managers settle for historical averages. Second, workflow improves. No more ’spreadsheet spaghetti’ causing errors and uncertainty — new portfolios don’t means starting over. Third, the client can ’see’ the technical details, and so get more involved in conversations about strategy, risk, and alternatives.

Its various benefits to the customer/end-user include…

Forward-looking computation is valuable because investors care about what could happen, not what happened. Visualization is superb for evaluating allocation and scenarios (e.g., normal, inflationary, crisis). Scalable investment process means Jacobi’s customers can handle more clients while delivering better service.

4. COMPETITIVE LANDSCAPE

In the past, this problem was solved by…

20th-century office productivity software. Spreadsheets and application mashups are difficult to properly configure from start to finish, and hard to revise. To our knowledge, there is no commercial visualization product — charting relies on PowerPoint, and so does not automatically update. In effect, the technical side has been disconnected from the client side of investment management.

Its predecessors/competitors include…

Products addressing part of the problem. Some lack modeling, others omit investment views, no one makes portfolios intellligible to the client. There are also consultants, which investment managers would prefer to shed (to cut costs), but cannot for regulatory reasons.

5. TARGET MARKET

It is made for…

Professional investors dealing in multi-asset, multi-strategy portfolios, including mid-sized asset managers, endowments, superannuation funds, higher-end wealth managers. We expect to serve firms with more than $100 million but (probably) less $50 billion AUM – those with a sizable business but dynamic portfolio design needs and limited technical staff and IT capabilities. Although founded in Australia, our service applies globally and we have already won clients in the US. As such, there are as many as 25,000 firms worldwide.

It is available for sale through…

Storyboards are Software as a Service (SaaS), sold by by annual subscription. We directly work with each prospective client, so as to precisely tune to the investment manager’s needs, and to preserve confidentiality. Channel arrangements create security risk.

Our marketing strategy is to…

Leverage word of mouth. Customers using Jacobi to upgrade their investment processes and win new business are superb endorsements, so we’re focused on customer success and product development geared to expanding value for clients. As 100% of our staff have backgrounds in investment management or financial technology, we may in the future explore thought leadership (speaking engagements, blogging, etc).

FINE PRINT: This SMART 100 profile and the information it contains is a duplication of content submitted by the applicant during the entry process. As a function of entry, applicants were required to declare that all details are factually correct, do not infringe on another’s intellectual property and are not unlawful, threatening, defamatory, invasive of privacy, obscene, or otherwise objectionable. Some profiles have been edited for reasons of space and clarity.

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