The Benefits of Best of Breed

Kevin Mahn, chief investment officer for Hennion and Walsh Management, discusses his firm’s decision to use a best-of-breed approach when it comes to product solutions and client support.

It seems like everywhere you look in financial services the common theme is consolidation.
Banks with massive legacy systems are looking to streamline old platforms. Regulators want institutions to have enterprise-wide control of all of their data.

Kevin Mahn, chief investment officer for Hennion and Walsh Management, is of a different mindset. When it comes to technology solutions and client support systems, Mahn is just interested in implementing the best possible technology at the Parsippany, N.J.-based firm.

That kind of approach doesn’t come easy. Mahn explained a bit of the process at the Buy-Side Technology North American Summit 2015, which was held in New York.

In his office, Mahn says his team develops spider webs with either product solutions or client support issues in the middle. The web is made up of different systems used to support key functions of what sits in the middle. Currently Mahn says there are 23 of these types of webs for Hennion and Walsh, which has approximately $4 billion in assets under management.

“If you looked at the spider web I described, you’d probably all suggest that we’re pretty decentralized and a consultant could come in and make us much more efficient for a few hundred-thousand dollars and a six-month project,” Mahn said. “But with that being said, we believe in best of breed.”

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