Aussie software used for billion dollar funds management

Aussie software trawls commodity markets

Australian-based commodity future advisors Global Commodities has rolled out Aussie designed software to automatically manage customer investment funds without the need to hire more staff.

Global Commodities monitors 22 markets broken up into four commodities and specifically needed an application to interrogate data relating to commodity exchanges and determine if various prices show value and are a worthy investment.

In 2005 Global Commodities approached local development firm Groundhog to build an application to manage funds in excess of $1 billion so the company did not need to hire more staff.

The software, called Commager, had to be specifically designed to eliminate the risk associated with only one person within Global Commodities knowing how to use it, and one developer knowing how it was built.

Global Commodities CEO Greg Smith said essentially they wanted a robust, bullet proof application that does not need a team of people to extract information from it.

"Commager assists us in two ways; firstly it eliminates "key man risk" - the dependence on a specialist employee - because any member of our staff can run the application, and also it means we don't need a large workforce to manage the capital as we currently have a team of five experienced people," Smith said.

"Most boutique fund managers employ an in-house programmer which can be to their detriment, as they are dependent on usually one person and also I have found they would not deliver on time or worse not build what was required.

"Groundhog, however, had a team work on our project which neutralizes the risk associated with having one person and they documented clearly each stage of the build process, so we could monitor and comment as the project progressed."

Commager works by trawling commodity sectors such as Hydrocarbons and energy, grains, metals and soft commodities like sugar, coffee or cotton.

The commodity investments are benchmarked against the Goldman Sachs Commodity Index (24 commodities from all commodity sectors) and the Commodity Research Bureau (CRB Index 19 commodity future prices).

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