Equinor Asset Management ASA (formerly known as Statoil Kapitalforvaltning) is a Norwegian-based energy company operating in 36 countries. To manage their financial assets for their pension plans and insurance captive, they established a fund management company, Equinor Asset Management. In 2001 they selected SimCorp Dimension to support them and today they manage approximately EUR 10 billion in AUM.
We caught up with Inger Martha D. Engø, Head of Control & Risk Management, Pål Gjerden, Principal Analyst, and Trond Todnem, Senior Portfolio Manager, to hear about their journey towards an integrated front-to-back solution.
Life before SimCorp
In the beginning, Statoil used separate front and back office applications and several in-house built solutions to support their investment management. As Trond explains, “We came from a world with a lot of manual processes and spreadsheets, we did all the deal matching and had manual interfaces with the banks where we had to upload the transactions, and had spreadsheets, calculating exposure, running compliance models, and so on. We had spreadsheets for basically everything.”
This struggle with manual workarounds and disparate systems led them to look for a solution that could support them overcome these key challenges, first in the back office, then the middle office, and now increasingly in the front office.
According to Trond, things have really “picked up pace in the past 5 years, as we have sought to automate more and more processes and that has lead us to expand our business. The use of SimCorp Dimension has been an important tool in this transformation.” Most recently Equinor Asset Management has begun using Asset Manager and Compliance Manager in their front office.
Front office success
Trond, a Senior Portfolio Manager managing a portfolio of US equities uses the Asset Manager component for all his daily work, while the fixed income side use Asset Manager for position control (as well as Bloomberg). Going forward, Equinor Asset Management plans to expand their front office suite by adding real-time updates and the Order Manager. Trond explain, “by having an integrated front office solution we have the benefit of one version of the truth, less integration and interfaces and a simpler front office workflow from simulations of positions to order creation and booking of transactions.”
Why did they expand their use of SimCorp Dimension? Inger says that the “main goal was to collect all functionality into one solution in order to automate operations and minimize operational risk by reducing use of personal spreadsheets and remove interfaces between the different solutions.” In addition, compliance, exposure and results can be monitored and reported in a more efficient way. From a compliance and control perspective, the monitoring is automated and can now be performed effectively by a minimum number of employees.