Outsourcing to the fore as Asian brokers automate to differentiate

Source: BNP Paribas

Asia's brokers have highlighted the paramount need to differentiate themselves to clients, and automate their operations in a survey commissioned by BNP Paribas Securities Services and SWIFT in April and May 2011.

Most respondents cited the need to set themselves apart from the competition, and the impact of regulatory and market changes as the two most important priorities in light of increasingly challenging market conditions this year. In this context, more than 75% saw outsourcing as a viable way of managing complexity and the cost of the post-trade process.

The survey also reflects how brokers in the region are concerned with the mounting pressure of limited investment spend, as well as the need to focus on areas which directly generate revenue for them. In particular, third party clearing appears to be growing in popularity although the survey showed that the market was still in the nascent phase of fully understanding its benefits.

Commenting on the survey results, Barnaby Nelson, Head of client development at BNP Paribas Securities Services in Asia said "We see that brokerages in Asia are increasingly under pressure to find new answers to the age-old questions of how to maximise investment spend.

"Traditional custody-centric offerings no longer seem to be enough for many established brokers, and new entrants are equally looking for much more substantial partnerships with providers that can really impact their bottom line," Mr. Nelson continued.

Steve Bernstein, CEO of Asia at Oppenheimer and Co said "When coming into Asia last year, we knew we didn't have the time or the funds to build everything to a level where we could compete. We made the conscious choice to focus on what we do best - and to outsource all of our Asian back office operations to BNP Paribas Securites Services."

The growing trend towards back office outsourcing in Asia is further supported by BNP Paribas Securities Services' recently formed agreements with UOB Kay Hian, GFI Group, and Religare Capital Markets.

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