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Thursday, January 8, 2015

The DST-kasina Vision: Outsourcing Your Biz Intel

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

On January 1, DST Systems bought kasina. The vision is to help asset managers' distribution arms outsource as much as they want of their business intelligence efforts.

"We had a very clear vision of what we wanted to do with our clients," Steven Miyao, co-founder and CEO of New York City-based kasina, tells MFWire. "Clients wanted to have a partner, a distribution partner that could work with them where they could really outsource their business intelligence efforts to that organization."

"We very quickly realized we needed a lot more processing power and a lot more technology investment," Miyao adds.

On the DST side, vice president Kyle Mallot points to kasina's "deep domain expertise" as fitting into a relatively new effort in the Kansas City, Missouri-based back office giant's asset management support business.

"We have been pursuing what we'll call the servicing opportunities with the mutual fund or asset manager's distribution company," Mallot tells MFWire, describing DST's focus on solutions involving "deep analytics" and technology. "We were missing one component, which is really what kasina does."

DST and kasina were already "very closely working together on a couple of projects," Mallot says.

"Through that process, we understood two things: we really did need the type of expertise that they have, and kasina was, in our estimation, the best at what they did and really the only answer for us," Mallot adds.

"Now we have the processing power and also the ability for us to really do the servicing of the data as well which gives us a tremendous leg up in the marketplace," says Miyao, who now serves as president of the DST Distribution Solutions Group. "There's no firm that can compete with us on a broad level."

Miyao confirms that kasina's 20 existing staff will remain on board. And he's adding more, in Boston and Kansas City as well as New York.

"There will be significant hiring of key people" in analytics, servicing and sales, Miyao says. "We're very excited about the expansion together."

As for the kasina name, it's not going anywhere, at least for now.

"The brand will live on, not indefinitely," Mallot says. "At some point we will retire the brand, only when that makes sense. Reputation is a big part of why we made the acquisition." 

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