Schroder Investment Management has gone live with the third and final tranche of portfolios uploaded into SimCorp Dimension, adding over 700 and bringing the total to more than 1100.
The system functions as the Portfolio Book of Records at the heart of Schroders' Target Operating Model, a systems architecture devised following Schroders' decision in 2005 to reverse its business operations outsourcing strategy.
SimCorp Dimension has replaced two older systems, one packaged and one built in-house, bringing all asset classes together onto a single platform. It handles real-time position keeping and lifecycle management across all portfolio mandates and reporting structures, transaction processing, investment accounting, income processing and corporate actions and it feeds all of Schroder's downstream systems. The results are simplified processing, dramatically improved operational efficiency and reduced risk.
Matthew Oakeley, Head of Group IT at Schroders, says: "Our Target Operating Model is specifically designed to accommodate change in our business, such as acquisitions, with minimum disruption. To achieve this we needed to deploy systems that allow us to move forward and SimCorp Dimension does that because SimCorp has invested in system development and continues to do so." Illustrating Oakeley's observation, Schroders has already done its first regular annual upgrade of SimCorp Dimension, which features enhanced derivatives processing among other improvements.
Expanding on the value of Schroders' architecture-led strategy, Oakeley explains how unnecessary complexity has been avoided: "Our component vision allows very clear definition of functions. We have implemented SimCorp Dimension very much in accordance with our model, so going forward we know where to implement required new functions to support business change. It avoids systems spaghetti but without insisting on a single system to do everything. With SimCorp Dimension implemented within our Target Operating Model the whole architecture works."
The impact of the implementation of SimCorp Dimension within the Target Operating Model, has been recognised outside Schroders as well. The firm has garnered the prestigious 2008 Real IT "Overall Winner" award for its implementation project and use of SimCorp Dimension was cited as a contributing factor to Schroders' upgraded Asset Manager Rating by Fitch Ratings in November. Schroders has received numerous requests for references from other investment managers too. "It's nice that people around the City have spotted it," notes Oakeley, "but more importantly we believe that it indicates that we are up to two years ahead of our peers if they are only now thinking of implementing the systems we have already installed".