Los Angeles Capital is a global equity firm engaged in managing assets for leading institutions around the world. The firm is recognized as a pioneer in dynamic equity management, utilizing proprietary technology to engineer equity portfolios that adapt to today’s equity market. The firm manages approximately $29 billion in assets amongst a wide variety of public equity strategies designed to meet institutional client return and risk objectives. Los Angeles Capital was ranked four years in a row by Pensions and Investments as one of the “Best Places to Work in Money Management”. *
Too many data sources – Users need to retrieve data from 5 or more sources.
Confusing data – Real-time data across multiple tools/applications was often inconsistent. Users had difficulty keeping track of the most accurate real-time data.
Inefficient process – Users were forced to run different tools/applications to retrieve and update data.
Non-validated single-user process – The portfolio management tool can only be run by one user at a time and there is no validation process which can result in multiple errors.
Users need one single portal that could help them run and monitor their daily workflows.
During my 6 month contract with LACAPM, I worked closely alongside three developers (including the project lead), a research analyst, project manager, and an incredible team of portfolio managers to design an enterprise web application for their team.
As I was the only member of the team without prior experience in fin-tech, my process began with me being quickly indoctrinated into a world of financial terms and processes. I spent the first few days shadowing various members of the Portfolio Management team (the users). Observing their daily process helped me gain an understanding of their current workflow and identify various breaks and pain points.
I then worked closely with a research analyst who had gathered the technical requirements. Together, we defined and initial work flow of each feature which we kept iterating throughout the design process.
As the only designer on the project, I was solely responsible for developing sketches, wireframes, mockups, and prototypes. I took ownership over the product design and worked with two developers to ensure the design would work properly within its technical constraints (and their workload).
The project manager, lead developer, research analyst, and I met with the Portfolio Management team when needed to present designs, perform user tests, and gather additional requirements. Every once in a while the CTO and/or President would drop in to follow our progress.
In the end, I delivered around 200 final screen designs to the development team along with a design system.
The Portfolio List module allows users to view account information and upcoming related events. This module serves as a portal for the majority of PM processes, including account rebalancing, running simulations, managing constraints and policies, accessing calendars and corporate action events and viewing account settings.
It receives real-time data from multiple back-end sources, displaying only the most up-to-date data.
Users can select single or multiple portfolios and perform related tasks.
The Advanced Search features were a unique challenge. Users needed the ability to use multiple data sets as search filters. But with dozens of data sets, selecting multiple filters can be overwhelming if not presented properly.
It was a challenge creating a powerful search screen with low information density. We went through multiple iterations (a few failed attempts) to land a solution which allowed each user to customize a search using autofill dropdowns as well as save those parameters for later use.
The Scheduler is an essential part of the portfolio management process. It begins with a “Pre-Opt” check, allowing the user to quickly view, edit, and validate various trade statuses, holding exceptions, and security details. They can then perform calculations and set optimization and trade options before choosing to execute the changes immediately, at a later date, or at specific time intervals.
There are various corporate level events (such as a company announcing a dividend or stock-split) that can effect a company’s performance in the market. This in turn effects how a portfolio item (such as a company’s security holdings) should be treated.
With the Corporate Action tool, the user can view corporate action events in real-time and use that data to manage holdings and set system-wide action alerts.
The users on the Portfolio Management team were highly technical, often writing their own expressions to calculate and manage various portfolio constraints.
Constraint Management is where the user creates and edits constraints and policies, and organizes them into libraries.