HS2011 Systems Analysis & Design Assignments
Note: The case study below may not provide all of the information necessary to complete the assignment. Students will have to use their personal experiences to complete some aspects of the assignment. Students may also seek clarification from their tutor during tutorials or office hours.
Allure Investments Pty. Ltd.
Allure Investments Pty Ltd is an investment company that manages portfolios and actively invests on the Australian Stock Exchange on behalf of their clients. It currently has over 150 clients who rely on Allure Investments to manage their Stock Portfolios. The wealth of Allure clients varies considerably and their needs will also vary, but Allure does not handle property or any other types of investments other than equity investments. Their client list is growing and Allure now needs software to help the portfolio managers maintain records and keep track of all investments for their clients.
Extracts from interviews with relevant persons:
Don Turner, Executive Manager
We have called you in to prepare a document specifying the requirements for the development of a Portfolio Management System. We intend to put the development of this system up for tender in November, if the project seems feasible. There is no existing computer based system, and this seems to be limiting the rate of our expansion and the workload that our portfolios managers can handle. One of the main difficulties that customers have expressed is the difficulty they have in quickly obtaining an update estimate of their portfolio value. We feel that providing customers with up-to-date information on their portfolios will enable them to react more quickly in a volatile market and foster better communication between them and their portfolio managers. In fact, I envisage being able to allow customers to hook-in to our new software System to view their portfolio. We could provide this service by a Web-interface or Android app, or other comparable interface.
Currently, each customer is assigned a portfolio manager, which is selected according to the customers’ needs and the portfolio managers’ expertise. Each portfolio manager will manage the portfolio of a number of customer by buying and selling equities according to stock market prices and predetermined buying and selling levels. Currently, without a software system to help keep track of all this, a portfolio manager can only handle a certain number of customers. We currently only assign a maximum of 12 portfolios to a portfolio manager, but I believe we can increase this number when the software system is in place allowing Allure Investments to expand more rapidly.
Jennifer Lee, Portfolio Manager
As a portfolio manager I spend most of my day reviewing the portfolios of my clients and deciding what stocks I should buy and what stocks to sell. Each client contributes a certain amount of money per month, this is determined by the client and the Accounts manager when the client first signs on with us, and is reviewed each year. The money is maintained in the clients personal account and is used together with the sale of their existing equities to by new shares. In this way, we increase the client’s wealth from year to year. It is important that we keep the equities of each client in a separate portfolio as many of our clients will have a lot of the same equities in common, and we must maintain separation or portfolios.
When I purchase a particular equity, I will place a stop-loss on the equity as well as a sell price and a further trigger for further purchases. When these events occur I need to quickly sell the stocks I have a stop-loss against or have placed a sell price against. If the trigger for further purchases occurs I need to check the client’s available funds and see if there are enough funds for further purchases. If there is then the purchases are made on behalf of the clients.
Additionally, I need to document all sells and buys and send the information to the Funds manager so that records can be maintained as to a client’s portfolio equity levels as well as which parcel the sell orders are set against.
Jason Little, Account Manager
My tasks are to interview new clients and maintain the relationship with clients on a day to day basis, or as needed. When new clients are signed on, I hold an interview with them to determine a number of things such as their risk profile and this will lead to what types of equities may suit them best. We try and determine if they have a preference for income equities or capital growth stocks, this will help determine the portfolio manager I assign to them. I also determine with the clients a suitable funding level for the coming year, that is, how much money on a monthly basis they will deposit into their portfolio account. I review this with them on a yearly basis. After the Interview I assign an appropriate portfolio manager to them who then begins to analyze their portfolio and take it into account in their daily analysis and buy-sell ordering.
I also review the performance of the portfolio managers by examining on a weekly basis the percentage growth of their individual portfolios and overall the growth or otherwise of the combined portfolios of each of the portfolio managers. We use this as an alert to quickly review specific portfolios of individual clients in times of volatile activity on the stock market. If one specific portfolio begins to show underperformance, or one portfolio managers overall levels shows underperformance we quickly analyze the holding to see if this is an individual case that needs immediate correction or just a market-place trend.
All sell orders are placed through our special account with the Australian stock exchange as the buy orders. Dividends are received through the various companies and we must report or client positions to the Australian Taxation Office on a half yearly basis.
It is assumed that the Software to be developed will be able to automatically trigger alerts on a much smaller timeframe to enable us to manage the client portfolios much more effectively
Julie Song, Funds Manager
As the Funds Manager, my role is to maintain all the records of the buy and sells for each client and to maintain the information on the different parcels as well as dividends for each of a client’s equities. This is a very time consuming activity, especially during times of high market volatility thus I manage a small team to undertake these activities.
Each Buy request created a parcel of shares, different to every other parcel. Records need to be maintained about each parcel, the number of shares in a parcel and the date the parcel was bought. This is because of the tax implications, capital gains tax is payable on all sell orders and the amount will depend on the age of the parcel. When a sell order is executed, we deduct the shares from the older parcel first, and if more were sold than were in the parcel, we then deduct of the next oldest parcel etc. This limits the Capital Gains tax payable. Thus a sell order may effect one or more parcels, but a buy always creates a new parcel.
A client’s equity holdings will contain a number of parcels for each equity they hold. Each client’s holding, parcels etc. will need to be kept in isolation from each other clients holding.
When dividends are paid by a company, we need to determine how many shares of the company are held by each client and proportion the overall dividend accordingly. The dividend received for each client is debited to their portfolio account, which will be used by the portfolio manager when purchasing new equities in the future. Additionally, records of each dividend per client need to be maintained so a complete tax report can be compiled for the client at the end of the financial year.
The new system will greatly reduce the time involved in maintaining the records of each client’s portfolio as well are reducing the time needed to produce reports on a daily, weekly and yearly basis.
Working with Allure Investments is usually very good, however there are some bottlenecks due to the lack of a Software system. One of the biggest problems is responding quickly to market movements. As a client I sometimes ring to enquire as the balance of my portfolio and this can take some time to get a response as it needs to be collated. Additionally, if the market has some cheap shares I can quickly deposit some more funds into my account so my portfolio manager can use these and take advantage of the value in the market. If the system was computerized, then as a client I could get information more quickly to take advantage of the situations.
At tax time I get all the reports I need from Allure Investments, however, again these can take some time to collate due to the nature of their current system. I anticipate quicker responses once the system is implemented, and I would additionally like to be able to log into their system to view my account details and status as I like to keep a close eye on my investments.