Product insights

Systems to reconcile differences

Recently, I had the opportunity to host a webinar on Reconciliation and presented to more than 50 engaged clients and partners.

Reconciliation continues to be a vital feature for investment managers around the world. At the start of the webinar, we posed several poll questions to attendees. Not only did we find that Reconciliation is high up on the agenda of most of our clients, but we also found that the reconciliation ‘problem’ is impeding front office personnel from making the best informed investment decisions. In other words, it is now clear that a previously perceived back office problem, can impact the entire organization.

Understanding the effect of the problem enables us in starker terms to value the cost and thereafter prioritize the need to do something, or not. From a systematic perspective however, only through gaining real insight of the cause of the issue can we ensure that an identified solution is appropriate and fit for purpose.

But is a software solution necessarily the right one to address the problem here?

Digging deeper into the problem

As system developers, we are always interested in the root cause of our customers’ problems.

At the webinar, we invited participants to lodge their questions and some common themes arose which I want to share with you here.

Specifically, I was asked about our approach to working with clients more actively during analysis and development stages, i.e. before we release solutions. We have worked with two global clients, as early adopters to validate and challenge our assumptions around our foundation, as well as following us through into design, development and (currently) adoption. Of course, one size – albeit validated twice – may not fit all, but it is a solid foundation nonetheless.

Another set of questions concerned the challenge of reconciling a more complex and diversified range of data, and the overhead of onboarding new reconciliation types. A comprehensive array of instruments is desirable to ‘plug-in’, out of the box, making onboarding quick and the ongoing challenge of responding to evolving regulations achievable. Ideally, these new reconciliations should be integrated fully, making interrogation of breaks and resolutions fast and accurate, providing perhaps the most powerful benefit and further strengthening the business case.

Confirming critical needs

Those of us who are participants in our fast moving financial services sector are aware of just how quickly requirements can change. Although SimCorp released the new Reconciliation Manager in Release 5.9 in February 2016, it was gratifying from this webinar to hear customers’ enduring priorities. Continually revisiting this is of incredible value. From the single system perspective, SimCorp Dimension is well placed to meet these challenges.

I look forward to running more of these events, and to seeing our client community at the forthcoming SimCorp IUCM in Hamburg. Here, I will be presenting a hot topic session, Reconciliation: A pillar of IBOR.

To continue the dialogue, feel free to leave a comment below, or connect with me on LinkedIn.