ING Investment Management uses Microsoft technology to rebuild reference data system

Source: ING

ING Investment Management Americas, the U.S. investment arm of ING Group, one of the leading financial services companies in the world, today announced that it has implemented a unique database solution built on Microsoft technology to help its employees easily manage, access and analyze investment data from an array of data sources.

Leveraging Microsoft Windows Server System products including Microsoft SQL Server 2005, .NET Framework 2.0 and ASP.NET, ING created the Relative Value Application, which analyzes securities to determine their investment potential to streamline how investment firms manage and use reference data. The computationally intensive application gives ING employees the opportunity not only to retrieve data from multiple places, perform complex transformations and distribute the data to multiple destinations, but also to fulfill stringent reporting requirements.

ING Investment Management needed to be able to access proprietary market data quickly and efficiently, and accelerate time-to-insight by applying computational analysis to business processes across the organization. ING Investment Management's complex data infrastructure made it difficult for executives, credit analysts and portfolio managers to access and analyze important business information.

To tackle the problem, ING Investment Management developed a framework for its Relative Value Application based on SQL Server 2005. SQL Server was chosen for a number of reasons, including developer efficiency, performance and scalability improvements. Through the development, rollout and implementation processes, Microsoft worked closely with ING Investment Management to ensure that the solution met its immediate business requirements as well as its long-term business plans.

"Retrieving high-quality, up-to-the-minute reference data from multiple sources is crucial to the success of trading institutions," said Brian Timberlake, senior analyst for the quantitative risk management division of ING Investment Management. "We needed to create a clear and concise solution for retrieving and analyzing business data from multiple sources, without sacrificing our robust reporting capabilities. We were able to meet these increasing demands by deploying the innovative and scalable Microsoft technology."

With the Relative Value Application in place, ING Investment Management has a mechanism that allows investment professionals to easily access and analyze investment data from an array of sources. Microsoft SQL Server 2005, along with SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services, creates a platform through which employees can retrieve data from multiple places, perform complex transformations and distribute the data to many destinations. Because the application is easy to set up and scale out, it will serve as a model for future applications at the company.

In addition to providing ING with additional functionality, the Relative Value Application performs more quickly and is more flexible than previous systems. In ING's previous application, employees had a fixed set of data choices that were computed and then stored in a database; with the Relative Value Application, employees have virtually unlimited data choices. The application's framework performance enhancements and use of asynchronous operations to perform parallel processing allow it to compute information on the fly and present it more quickly than previous systems.

"Financial institutions such as ING Investment Management are increasingly adopting real-time, scalable risk and analytic business intelligence solutions for getting timely and accurate data," said Craig Saint-Amour, industry solutions director of the U.S. capital markets industry at Microsoft. "By using next-generation features provided by the Microsoft Windows Server System family, ING Investment Management demonstrates tremendous thought leadership, and is providing its employees with versatile, intuitive tools to improve customer service."

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