Our Founder

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Sethu Bijumalla

Sethu Bijumalla is principal and founder of Smonik Investments Systems, and is responsible for the company's overall Strategy and Structure. He founded the company after identifying a pressing need within the operations of fund companies for greater automation to increase efficiency, reduce cost and operational risk. Sethu has over 20 years of experience in designing and building software tools to help financial services clients become more efficient. He was instrumental in developing the financial industry's first Windows NT back office straight-through processing (STP) system. Prior to founding Smonik, Sethu spent nine years at Citi Hedge Fund Services, holding various engineering posts, including as a senior member of Citigroup's Windows Architecture Group, which established Windows strategy across the entire Citi organization. Sethu holds one Master's Degree in Computer Science from Rutgers University, and has completed coursework for a second in Chemical Engineering from Mississippi State University. He is also a Bachelor in Chemical Engineering from Osmania University, in Hyderabad.

Sethu Bijumalla has nearly 20 years of experience in computer engineering and business management, and was instrumental in building the financial industry’s first Windows NT back office straight through processing system. Prior to founding Smonik Investment Systems, Sethu Bijumalla worked at Citi Hedge Fund Services for nine years holding various engineering positions including a senior member of Digital's Windows NT technical marketing group. Sethu Bijumalla finished two masters degrees one in Computer science and other in chemical engineering.

Stephen Hixon

Stephen formally joined Smonik as a principal and co-owner in September 2016. He brings over 32 years of investment operations and back-office expertise including significant experience in software design, program management and implementation.

For the past 6 years Stephen was a Senior Vice President leading the Product and Program Management efforts within the Alternative Investment Solutions group at State Street Bank. His team of 20 managed numerous large-scale, strategic efforts related to improving back-office efficiencies and client onboarding activities. Stephen led the effort to acquire a managed account platform company in 2011 and developed and implemented a regulatory reporting service solution which generates significant revenue.

Before joining State Street in 2010 Stephen spent two years at Highfields Capital Management LP, a $13 billion alternative asset manager in Boston, MA, managing a major system conversion and the selection and implementation of a third-party administrator. In 2007 and 2008 he worked as a consultant managing a system implementation for a hedge fund in Boston and assisting a private equity manager launch its first hedge fund. Previous to that he was Chief Operations Officer at Sowood Capital Management LP, an investment firm located in Boston, who managed hedge and private equity funds with assets over $5 billion. In this role he was responsible for all accounting, trade operations, tax and technology functions.

In 1998 Mr. Hixon co-founded the US operations of Hemisphere Financial Services, LLC; an administrator to alternative investment funds. Hemisphere was subsequently sold to BISYS, then Citi, and is now the Alternative Investment Services division of SS&C. During his eight years there he served as Managing Director with involvement in all strategic and operational decisions for the business. From 1988 to 1998 Mr. Hixon was a Director at Investors Bank & Trust Company where he established and managed offshore operations in Toronto and Dublin and was involved in numerous strategic initiatives. Mr. Hixon spent 5 years in the Mutual Fund division at State Street Bank after graduating from Bentley College in 1983. His responsibilities have focused on all aspects of running large operations with specific emphasis on accounting, operations and project management activities.