Safer, faster corporate actions* management

Timely, accurate two-way communication around corporate actions is vital to the financial and reputational health of fund managers and custodians.

An investment operations team, or in-house corporate actions team, is responsible for communicating corporate actions to portfolio managers and relaying their decisions to custodians.

The problem – moving beyond a manually updated excel solution

Our investment operations team managed corporate actions via a manually updated excel workbook. As the business grew and the number of portfolios, custodians, and portfolio managers increased, this solution was an obstacle to scaleability and risk mitigation.

The excel workbook was updated manually in response to
Emailed information from portfolio managers and custodians
Portfolio information retrieved via a Microsoft Query connection to a database.

In addition, the investment operations team had to log into multiple custodian portals to complete corporate action elections.
The system was time-consuming and offered a widening margin for potential error.

The solution – a SaaS solution configured for fund managers’ requirements

We sourced and implemented a centralised environment where data received from multiple custodians was represented consistently and readily accessible.

Furthermore, we tailored the system to ensure that the team only saw the information they needed to see. No more wading through oceans of emails and data to extract the relevant information.

Two transformational upgrades

  • A SWIFT messaging mechanism streamlined communications between the operations team, portfolio managers, and custodians. No more cumbersome logging into a dozen different portals to elect on corporate actions or to confirm stakeholder decisions
  • An automated SSRS mechanism provides portfolio data from the in-house database to the centralised SaaS solution via scheduled file drops

The result – the big picture

In essence, this straightforward, cost-effective upgrade gave our operations team:

  • effortless access to a system that updates them on their specific corporate actions
  • an efficient integrated system for notifying custodians of mandatory portfolio manager decisions

The detail – what changed

We implemented a centralised SaaS solution that automated:

  • All processes for receiving corporate actions into a centralised SaaS solution – replacing manually updating the Excel workbook with information retrieved from emails
  • All communications between the operations team and custodians via SWIFT – replacing operations team and custodians communicating via email and a dozen different secure portals
  • All updates on corporate actions sent by configured system-generated emails – replacing operations team members constantly watching out for emails from custodians so they could manually update the excel workbook

Portfolio managers now receive system-generated emails requesting decisions instead of manually generated emails from the excel workbook via VBA code (macro).

Finally, SSRS queries the database and executes file drops to refresh portfolio holdings data. Previously data updates happened via Microsoft Query to the database whenever the workbook was opened.

This relatively small project made a big difference.

It saved a sizable chunk of admin time, reduced risk, and freed the investment operations team to do what they do best, managing the multitude of stakeholders who rely on them.

It proved that letting go of legacy tools needn’t cause chaos. It gave my team confidence and a framework for further future-proofing adaptions.


*Corporate actions invite or instruct shareholders in publicly listed companies to respond to changes in the company’s activities. They cover a wide range of actions, including

  • Routine financial and investment activities such as paying dividends, buyback offers, rights, or bonus issues
  • Transformational business activities such as mergers, splits, acquisitions, and rebranding

Could your business benefit from simpler, more streamlined corporate actions management?