Skip to content
Business people arm wrestling in an office

Bloomberg AIM vs Charles River

Feature Comparison: CRD IMS vs Bloomberg

Bloomberg AIM and Charles River Development (CRD) are two systems investment managers use. But how do they differ? Are they even comparable in scope? Which one is right for your firm? To help you answer there questions we start with a comparison of some Investment Management Capabilities of Bloomberg AIM and CRD IMS. We've also added a third option, Limina.

New Logo Cenetered Original
Charles River IMS
Bloomberg AIM
Limina IMS
Portfolio management
Risk analytics & risk management
Pre-trade & post-trade compliance
Order management and trading connectivity
Portfolio accounting (ABOR)
Order planner
Import-export engine
Note: Vendor information publicly available as of June 18th, 2024 is the only source of information for writing this article. Sources include company websites, review sites (G2, Gartner, TrustRadius and Capterra) and industry publications.

Non-functional considerations

It's not just features that matter when you're considering an institutional Investment Management System. Other considerations include:

  • 01 Customisation
  • 02 Automation
  • 03 Connectivity
  • 04 External managers

Ability to customise the system

Charles River IMS has historically been known for its strong customisation capabilities, allowing clients to adapt the platform to their unique investment processes and workflows. However, with the move to an enterprise Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offering, it's unclear how much customisation will be possible going forward.

Bloomberg AIM doesn't allow customisation. The solution is part of the terminal and "is what it is".

Investment Management Solutions Designed to Fit Your Operating Model


Exception-based workflows

Exception-based workflows are when the system performs tasks automatically and alerts your team when something unexpected happens. From online sources, it's unclear whether AIM or CRD supports exception-based workflows.

At Limina, we measure the time it takes to perform workflows in the system. We then try to minimise that time. The more efficient workflow we enable, the less time users spend on the platform.


Integrations to Other Systems

Bloomberg wants you to stay in their ecosystem, and connecting to other systems or vendors isn't as easy as with Charles River. Systems you might want to connect to include external execution management systems or service providers such as custodians.

Since 2023, there's a new approach to connectivity available. It makes integrations faster to build, cheaper to maintain and more stable than ever before.

Limina import export app dark background lowres


Enabling external portfolio managers

An external manager can be a manager for entire funds (e.g. as Avanza is doing) or for sub-portfolios (sleeves) of funds. In either of these setups, it's essential to control operations centrally. External managers should only be able to make investment decisions on their portfolios, within certain limitations. They shouldn't be able to alter compliance rules, see the entire security master, etc.

Bloomberg's setup with AIM enabled within terminals struggles to support this model. Charles River can cater for it.

More details on

Bloomberg AIM vs Charles River Development (CRD)

While Charles River and Bloomberg AIM are both focused on the Front Office, they service clients of different sizes.

  • AIM has 900 clients, with an average AuM of $24bn
  • Charles River has 315 clients, with an average AuM of $187bn

When choosing between the two, your AuM is an essential consideration: does it match the average of the vendor you're looking at?
If you're below $24bn, we'd strongly suggest looking at Limina.

The choice between CRD IMS and Bloomberg AIM ultimately depends on your unique priorities. Review both in detail, check references (direct and indirect), and compare them with other vendors.

  • 01 More on CRD
  • 02 More on AIM

Overview of Charles River Development

Charles River Investment Management Solution (IMS) serves a broad buy-side audience, including asset managers, wealth managers, and institutional investors. It's been owned by State Street since 2018.

State Street has bundled Charles River with Middle and Back Office Services in a holistic offering called State Street Alpha.

With 315 clients and $59tn of assets, the average client of Charles River Development has an impressive $187bn Assets under Management (AuM).

Overview of Bloomberg AIM

Bloomberg Asset and Investment Manager (AIM) is a Trade Order Management System (OMS) from Bloomberg. AIM starts from order entry or rebalancing, covering the workflow all the way to trade affirmation and confirmation.

AIM is an integrated part of the Bloomberg terminal; it unlocks new screens and new functionality within existing screens. The benefit of this approach is that market data from the terminal is reused for AIM. In reality, other systems offer the same benefit, albeit at a small additional cost.

The downside is that all users must have a terminal, which increases cost and limits flexibility regarding who can be given access (more about this limitation later).

Bloomberg says 900 clients are using AIM, with average Assets under Management (AuM) of $24bn. That means a total of $22tn is managed on the AIM system.

History and Recent Developments of Bloomberg AIM

AIM was initially launched in 2008. 15 years later (2023), Bloomberg introduced PMGO (or "PM <GO>") as a portfolio rebalancing tool. It connects data from other applications, such as Bloomberg PORT, into one application.

Why not add a 3rd option?

Limina as an alternative

The team at Limina, as former investment managers, understands the challenges of comparison systems. While we offer modern, powerful investment management software that competes with AIM and CRD, we believe in providing unbiased information. To that goal, we've created two articles:

Limina Devices

See a modern system in action today

If you're looking for a modern alternative, why not schedule a no obligation demo with us at a time to suit you?