During the first years the major focus from our customers was to get a solid solution for the back office and accounting needs. This meant that we built a strong reputation in the market as a back office and accounting provider, and while we are of course proud of this heritage and expertise, that perception continues in some of our markets.
But we are no longer only about back and middle office functionality.
Yes, we have an extremely strong back and middle office offering, but we have worked hard to expand our footprint to include the front office – to such an extent that we now regularly replace front office-only providers (a.k.a. best of breed) at many customers. On a functionality basis, we are now on par, or better.
With a strong back office, a strong middle office, and now a strong front office, we can confidently differentiate ourselves with our front-to-back offering.
Some big names such as AXA Investment Managers, Generali, Swiss Life, Nordea, and most recently, UBS, have all selected SimCorp and our front office solution. The list is growing, and we are therefore accommodating multiple tiers of institutional asset managers on our platform. We have made it easier for smaller clients to implement and operate our front office solution, without the need for a robust in-house IT infrastructure.
Key to our success has been a front office technology that offers:
- Real-time position/transaction information, inclusive of investment level attributes, across all asset classes
- A 24/7 global operation, allowing data capture across multiple geographies
- Simplification of the operational infrastructure, lowering cost, mitigating risk and enabling growth
- A single source of scrubbed investment data with real-time analytics to the entire trade lifecycle, across front, middle and back office
The last bullet merits a bit more explanation, as it is not an easy task. Without a true IBOR (Investment Book of Records), this cannot be accomplished. All front office components, and in fact, all SimCorp Dimension components across the investment value chain, utilize the same data source and have immediate access to it. It is this design feature that supports the rest of the above benefits, and is core to our effectiveness.
Historically, point solutions were chosen for their feature focus and simplicity, but in the current environment, those are the very things now presenting limitations.
Increasing complexities of data volumes, regulation, reporting and transparency, to name a few, all require flexible technology to meet new and ever changing requirements. Without flexible technology, manual workarounds and other inefficiencies manifest.
Multiple systems to address various feature needs within the front office have also contributed to the current operational issues such as numerous internal points of reconciliation, data latency in getting information transferred from one place to another, different data sources, and frequent data accuracy issues.
The game has changed and a new era of investment management has emerged. To compete effectively, firms need to be more efficient than ever. This has become quite a challenge, particularly as asset volumes and complexities continue to grow. The front office is no different in this regard and the more that a technology can be leveraged across the business, the higher the potential margin. This has been the premise behind our front-to-back offering and remains our strategy for serving the interests of our clients.