In early 2006, with the help of external consultants, the search began for the right system. Asset Management One International has always supported its business with leading technology but also recognizes that technology moves forward all the time, so the search began with a comprehensive review of the current market in front and back office asset management systems. The pros and cons of upgrading existing installed software were also considered.
Choosing the right software
Initially the idea had been to implement one system for the front office and another for the back office. However, if a single system could be found that could support all requirements, a potentially complex reconciliation process and lengthy implementation could be avoided. This kind of solution would mean that from the start there would be only a single supplier relationship to manage and on completion, the headache of daily reconciliation between systems would be a thing of the past.
Asset Management One International concluded that there was just one front-to-back investment management system in the market that could both do the job required and do it at an acceptable cost – SimCorp Dimension.
As SimCorp Dimension is an extremely flexible system, it was important to assess carefully what would be the best configuration for Asset Management One International and so the implementation project commenced with a detailed analysis phase. The implementation progressed smoothly, staffed by a team comprised of both Asset Management One International personnel and SimCorp staff managed out of SimCorp’s London office. “It was a surprisingly good project”, says Jan Weber, Asset Mangement One International’s Chief Operating Officer.
Working with the new system
When the new system went live Asset Mangement One International found immediate benefits in running with the new system. Although operational staffing levels have remained unchanged, transaction volumes are up 50% and the business has been able to cope with that increase. Furthermore, the operational processes are more robust.
Particularly helpful is that compliance rules are now checked automatically pre-trade by the system. System outputs in this area are very clear and the daily burden on the compliance team has been significantly reduced. Also production of client reports, a complex process as Asset Management One International is very focused on client service and many reports are tailored to individual client requirements, is increasingly driven directly from SimCorp Dimension’s core Oracle™ database using Crystal Reports™. The potential for flexibility and transparency in this area is the direct effect of the single-system approach Asset Management One International has chosen, as all the system’s data is in one place and, subject to individual authorization, is available to all users simultaneously.
We’re confident we’ll be able to adapt to changing requirements of our clients, no matter how demanding they might be.
For Asset Management One International, the potential for meeting diverse future reporting requirements more efficiently is one of the biggest differences between the old operating platform and the new one. SimCorp Dimension’s design, with all functionality based around a core database will simplify the implementation of new functions. All the data in the system may be commonly accessed by all modules, so the implementation of new functionality does not have to involve setting up new databases or interfaces with those SimCorp Dimension modules that are already in use. Such flexibility is key for Asset Management One International, with Weber stating that, “We’re confident we’ll be able to adapt to changing requirements of our clients, no matter how demanding they might be.”
The investment management firm also derives comfort from SimCorp’s ongoing investment in product development, which is controlled for each broad business functional area by industry expert domain managers within the company. ”Some things we’ve tried to do, say involving less commonly used instruments, have presented challenges, but none insurmountable. We have liked SimCorp’s response though. The domain managers that we’ve met are on the ball and very aware of market pressures,” notes Weber, ”and a big positive for us is that we know there are three hundred plus developers working on the system full time.”
We have been very pleased with the personnel SimCorp have brought in.
In summary, Asset Management One International's decision to implement SimCorp Dimension has resulted in automating pre-trade checking today, while at the same time insuring against potential difficulties in dealing with future requirements. ”The best thing is that previously any new business requirement involved another add-on system or a complicated work-around, but implementing SimCorp Dimension has opened up the whole of the front and back office for us so we have a lot more flexibility in the business,” says Weber, ”overall we can be more forward-looking with the system we have now.”
Name: Asset Management One International (formerly DIAM International)
Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan
Industry: Asset Management
AUM: USD 139 billion
Established: Integration of DIAM International 2016
About Asset Management One International (formerly DIAM International)
Asset Management One International Ltd. (London based subsidiary and formerly DIAM International), has been serving institutional clients in EMEA since 1979, offering Japanese and Asian investment strategies and liquidity solutions to pension funds, financial institutions, endowments and other large institutional and corporate investors throughout the EMEA region. We are renowned for our local client service and commitment to building lasting relationships with investors.
Asset Management One is a joint-venture between its two parent companies, leading global bank Mizuho Financial Group and the Dai-ichi Life Holdings, Japan’s oldest insurance company. Asset Management One International Ltd., is co-located in the Mizuho London offices and benefits from a high degree of integration with our Mizuho colleagues.