Pzena Investment Management Relies Upon ECI for Outsourced Technology Support
Pzena Investment Management (Pzena) (NYSE: PZN) is an investment management firm that employs a classic investment approach. The firm has a solid return record and a reputation for business integrity, research excellence and devotion. As of December 31, 2014, the firm managed $27.7 billion in assets for leading corporate, public and individual clients. With 90 employees between the New York headquarters and representative offices in London and Melbourne, Australia, the company relies upon its IT department and technology consultants to oversee its 90 computers and 30+ virtualized servers running on the Windows platform.
As a public company, Pzena must be assured that its portfolio accounting system, INDATA, is operating properly 24x7. The same is expected of Pzena’s email service, Microsoft Office applications, Swift Connections, and other applications, to ensure client needs are addressed promptly.
About Pzena Investment Management
Pzena Investment Management is a global investment management firm that employs a classic investment approach. The firm manages value equity portfolios for leading endowments/foundations and pension plans, and for individual investors from around the world.
Employing 90 employees, Pzena is based in New York City and has offices in London and Melbourne for business development and client service.
As of December 31, 2014, the firm managed $27.7 billion in assets for leading corporate, public and individual clients
Launched in 1996
New York, NY
Pzena began working with ECI in 2009 when the firm wanted to replace its existing technology consulting company. In its search for a new partner to handle day-to-day technology operations, Pzena reviewed the qualifications of several firms and gathered referrals from other companies in the investment management market. Based on this research and feedback, the firm chose ECI for its deep technology knowledge across various topics, its global support and the ability to leverage ECI personnel as on-site system administrators. Since the relationship began, Pzena has expanded its work with ECI to move its disaster recovery (DR) services from its previous IT consultant to ECI Disaster Recovery (ECI DR).
"ECI ensures that all IT projects are done correctly and fit within the overall strategy of our business. ECI is a true business partner, an extension of our firm,
and its team is extremely helpful and responsive."
- Chief Administrative Officer, Pzena Investment Management
How ECI Helped
Outsourced IT Operations
Pzena’s IT staff consists of three individuals, and the firm outsources much of its technology responsibilities. When Pzena’s system administrator resigned from his position, the firm seriously considered hiring another individual. However, to increase IT efficiency and realize cost savings, Pzena chose to leverage the ECI technology team. An ECI engineer spends several hours each day on site handling IT administration tasks and employee tech support.
In addition, the ECI engineer assists with larger projects which include implementing a new voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) phone system, video services and backup tape machines, revamping servers and organizing data center cabling. Additionally, Pzena is subject to numerous investor audits, including those related to SSAE 16 technology, operational and security procedures. ECI engineers are integral in completing these audits and ensuring the firm remains compliant.
Disaster Recovery Services & Testing
Pzena engaged with ECI to handle its disaster recovery (DR) services, a natural progression in expanding the relationship. Data for critical systems is replicated in real-time to an off-site DR facility in Massachusetts, ensuring that the information is available should an incident occur. Although ECI works with Pzena to test the DR plan quarterly, the company recently assisted Pzena with an in-depth DR service test that was requested by a Pzena client.
ECI engineers, along with Pzena executives, shut down the entire production system and switched to a live DR environment and then back to the normal production environment. Pzena’s IT department predicted that the fail over and fail back of the data and applications would take close to 12 hours, but ECI was able to complete the process within a few hours, showcasing the firm’s DR services, successfully testing the DR plan and fulfilling the client’s requirement.
Global Support and Services
Pzena benefits from ECI’s 24x7x365 Global Support Desk, which continuously monitors the Pzena data center and solves IT issues for employees who work overseas outside of New York business hours. Since Pzena’s Australian employees work when the New York office is closed and vice versa, if an issue arises when either office is closed, ECI’s support desk can step in to quickly resolve any problems. The responsive support for the Australian office or employees who are traveling overseas is extremely helpful and has ended middle-of-the-night calls to the Pzena IT staff. Additionally, the ECI team proactively monitors the Pzena data center and quickly informs Pzena’s IT staff if an issue arises such as a short in the APC or elevating temperatures in the server room. Pzena views the quick responsiveness of the ECI team as an advantage to its operations.
Pzena’s relationship with ECI has afforded the firm numerous benefits and has helped improve its overall operational efficiency. ECI provides Pzena with proven, high-quality IT services on a 24x7x365 basis to ensure peace of mind for Keith Komar and his team. In developing this strong relationship with ECI’s engineers and administrators, Pzena also benefits from the ability to leverage the ECI IT staff as an extension of its IT department and a trusted partner for the long term.
“Everyone at ECI has been extremely professional and has gone out of their way to ensure all of our projects are completed in an effective and efficient manner. We view the ECI team as a true business partner. We look to them to help us make sound decisions regarding which systems are most appropriate for our business strategy. Everyone we have worked with at ECI has been great; we know that we can call them anytime and trust that they will provide good suggestions and honest feedback. We look forward to continuing this long and mutually beneficial relationship.”
- CAO, Pzena Investment Management