A Word About IBOR: A Few Critical Items You Need to Know

by Jay Wolstenholme, June 23, 2015
Industry Trends


The Investment Book of Record (IBOR) has become the architectural vision for the buy side. That is definitely good, but of course comes with caveats. One size does not fit all, and asset owners and asset managers need to be careful of being oversold and over-engineered. This report categorizes who really needs the IBOR architecture, the different definitions of IBOR, the different levels of functionality, and some of the critical issues clients need to know about IBOR capabilities.


The perfect Investment Book of Record (IBOR) definition reads as follows:

The Investment Book of Record is the real time golden copy of all transactions that comprise all the portfolios of owned and managed assets. Transactions can consist of all historical events from the beginning of financial conception to the end of financial life. All transactions can then be aggregated into asset positions, concluding in an aggregate portfolio view for the complete financial firm.

In reality, virtually no asset management firm can cleanly meet this real time universal definition of an IBOR. However, it helps to start at the top of the pyramid and then work toward more realistic scenarios matching actual buy side firms’ needs and requirements with practical technology.

The architectural blueprint vision of an IBOR is exactly what is needed within the buy side technology portfolio. But firms need to execute careful analysis and supplier assessments to ensure that they don’t overbuy or over-engineer a burdensome solution.

“IBOR is a great concept but has also become a marketing phenomenon,” says Jay Wolstenholme, a senior analyst with Celent’s Securities and Investments practice and author of the report. “Not only are there now multiple vendor IBOR solutions to be evaluated and vetted, but sourcing options must be matched to your current and future business model. The concept is what the industry needs, but smart, realistic evaluations are critical.”

Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies. With a team of internationally based analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is a wholly-owned operating unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

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Table of Contents

Executive Summary



Key Research Questions





Key Research Questions


The Buy Side Players and IBOR



Who Really Needs an IBOR, and To What Degree


More on the Definition of IBOR



Getting More Complex



Why Isn’t an IBOR Just an EDM?


IBOR Issues That Can Put a Spanner in the Works




Leveraging Celent’s Expertise



Support for Financial Institutions



Support for Vendors


Related Celent Research


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