Those who remember their periodic table of the elements from Chemistry lessons will appreciate why the investment management firm AgFe Management is so named. And while it doesn’t claim to turn base metals like iron (chemical symbol Fe) into precious metals like silver (Ag) the firm does have a track record of growing investments on behalf of its clients.
In the area of asset management AgFe is currently managing more than £1 billion on behalf of insurance companies and pension funds across multiple investment types. In the area of private placement, it has placed more than £30 billion of assets for a range of clients including hedge funds, asset managers, banks and family offices. In addition, it has advised central banks, regulators, institutional investors, funds and corporations on transactions valued at more than £110 billion. The firm also designs, builds and invests in technology solutions for the financial industry.
Having already made the leap from on-premise PBX to hosted telephony in the cloud, IT staff at AgFe Management were soon having doubts about the precise direction of that leap. Far from the trouble-free and reliable solution they’d expected it turned out to be less than satisfactory. Problems were badly handled by the service provider, promises were broken and expected support just wasn’t there. “Let’s just say it was a very bad advert for voice over IP.” says AgFe Management’s CTO, Kevin McIntosh. “But one good thing did come out of it – it was a learning experience for the future.”
When the time came to find a new VoIP provider, after much research Kevin McIntosh and his team arrived at a short list of five potential suppliers. In discussions with all of them it soon became apparent that Gamma was the more knowledgeable and the more experienced. Gamma was also able to meet AgFe Management’s key requirement for MiFID II compliant call recording.
We supplied AgFe Management with our Horizon cloud hosted phone service together with multi-channel cloud-based call recording. The recording option is a basic component of the Horizon platform and meets the requirements of the MiFID II directive. In addition to VVX411 desk phones and IP5000 conferencing phones from Polycom, we also supplied our custom Horizon desktop and mobile apps for use by AgFe Management’s team when homeworking or otherwise working away from the office.
AgFe Management’s standard way of working is for incoming calls to be answered by office-based administrators, who then transfer calls to appropriate staff extensions. This process is managed on Horizon by equipping each administrator’s phone with an extension module featuring line buttons and busy indicators. This permits full call control and handling across AgFe Management’s entire Horizon deployment, including those staff who may be working remotely or at home.
Gamma’s service has been much more reliable and easier to use than the system it replaced. Gamma’s self-service web portal allows management and configuration tasks to be performed easily in house. For example, phones can have configurations erased and reapplied with ease. “We can do pretty much everything with Horizon we want to do by self-service,” says Kevin McIntosh. “We only have to consult Gamma very rarely when there’s a gap in our own knowledge.
But most of all he appreciates the Gamma service’s reliability. “I have absolutely no regrets about signing up with Gamma. We’ve never had a problem apart from one outage and we know the support is there if we need it. I find working with them very reassuring.”