AIM Software, the Swiss market leader for data management solutions, and Bank Sarasin & Co. Ltd, a leading Swiss private bank, today announced that they have entered into a partnership to enhance the automation of the Corporate Actions processing at Bank Sarasin.
With this move, Bank Sarasin will become a core member of a growing user pool for GAIN Corporate Actions Scrubbing within the Avaloq community.
As part of a strategic initiative to reduce manual overhead and increase quality, Bank Sarasin identified a need for streamlining the Corporate Actions process before entitlement calculations in Avaloq. At Bank Sarasin, as well as at many other Swiss financial institutions, such an improvement is perceived to be key, since the capture of the an-nouncement from custodians via SWIFT as well as from vendor sources (such as SIX Financial Information, ex-SIX Telekurs) is the first step and at the same time often the weakest link in securing quality of the overall Corporate Actions Process.
"The current situation on the financial markets and the increasing volumes of data prompt all banks to reconsider their processes in the operations departments. Manual data handling is a cost-intensive and error-prone activity that increases the operational risk", says Peter Sami, Head of Logistics and Member of the Executive Committee at Bank Sarasin. "The automatic capture, cleansing and scrubbing of Corporate Actions announcements is a good example of measures that can bring considerable quality and cost advantages to back-office operations."
After a thorough analysis of possible solution providers, Bank Sarasin selected AIM Software who had recently launched a new product line for the cleansing and scrubbing of Corporate Actions that was widely acclaimed by the market. The step is an important extension of the existing data management infrastructure at Bank Sarasin already running on GAIN for pricing and static data since 2002.
"AIM Software convinced us with the clear focus of the solution towards the integration into an already existing environment," continues Mr. Sami. "Avaloq is our main system for the core banking operations. The solution GAIN from AIM Software fits perfectly into this picture and comes with an already available best practice approach for the main software features such as VDF loading, matching and Avaloq interfacing."
GAIN Corporate Actions will help Bank Sarasin to reduce manual effort for cleansing and scrubbing the announce-ment data from different sources, enabling a higher data quality and a faster time to market of the Corporate Ac-tions information to the end customers. The reduction of manual work enables Bank Sarasin to invest more effort in the increasingly more complex Corporate Actions announcements, and reduces the overall operational risk in the whole Corporate Actions value chain.
In a first phase of the project, the high-volume mandatory events such as Dividend Cash, Interest Payments and Redemptions will be automated in order to realize a fast return for Bank Sarasin. These mandatory events represent more than 60% of the overall volumes processed by Bank Sarasin.
"We are aiming towards a STP rate of up to 90% of the data coming from the different sources," says Peter Sami. "This will enable us to drastically reduce the effort on the announcement capture side and invest it into the quality control towards our customers."
A first delivery of the GAIN solution equipped with the mandatory event processing is planned in Q4 2012.
In addition, Bank Sarasin has opted to become an active member to the GAIN Corporate Actions user community and by that will take a leading role in shaping the evolution of the product.
"The decision of Bank Sarasin is an important confirmation of our strategy which focuses on end-to-end business packages for specific user communities such as Avaloq, Apsys or SimCorp", comments Josef Sommeregger, Vice President | Business Development & Sales at AIM Software. "We are happy to see the excellent take-up and market feedback for our new product lines, which only became possible through the intensive involvement of key customers and partners as early as in the conception and development phase of the new product. This joint investment has ensured early and continuous feedback and has resulted in the probably most modern Corporate Actions Scrubbing solution in the market."
AIM Software is currently in discussion with other banks, which will lead to the rapid growth of a Corporate Actions-focused community around this core banking application.
AIM Software is the leader of data management solutions for institutions using the core banking system Avaloq. With the recent takeover of ABI Informatic in Urdorf/Switzerland, the Avaloq-based user community was extended to 10 banks—thus being the largest Avaloq user community. AIM Software continuously focuses towards best of breed solutions around Avaloq and other banking applications such as SunGard Apsys, GP3 or SimCorp Dimension in order to enhance the STP rate and to reduce the operational risks.