For a fund manager, picking stocks to buy or sell means sifting through hundreds of pages of reports, a like amount of e-mails and countless phone calls, every day. That's before choosing what algorithm and trading venue to use.

Afterward, the fund manager has to figure out which firms provided the best research and allocate commissions to those brokerages and other research providers. Last, but not least, the fund manager needs to keep track of who was paid how much and when.

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