The events of recent years have driven the need for further regulation. The financial industry will have to keep revising their rules and regulations. And many institutions are finding that they are ill-equipped to meet the new requirements efficiently and transparently. Vontobel faces the same challenge: It wants to automate complex fee calculations. And has therefore chosen to rely on the data management software calculo - a good decision for the future
Vontobel is an internationally-oriented Swiss private bank, founded in 1924 in Zurich.
For this interview, we spoke to Mr. Christoph Meili, Head of Financial Management at Bank Vontobel AG.
Vontobel calculates complex fees for over a hundred institutional investors. These fees run calculations are conducted manually. This is a time consuming and error prone process. Now the fee calculations processes should be automated step by step and adapted to the current needs. Firstly, the business processes in the billing will be addressed: A fee management software with flexible configurable data integration is needed.
To implement an efficient and standardized fee management software with automated calculation and individual additional functions.
calculo is a solution based on "Business Rules Management (BRM)" technology. It is easy to extend domain-related fee calculations without affecting the other operational processes.
Read an excerpt from the interview with Christoph Meili, Head of Financial Management at Bank Vontobel.
What are the major challenges for the daily management tasks in Asset Management?
One important question is the tension between regulatory-related expenses and the need to manage in a cost conscious manner. We still have to work on efficiency and especially transparency. The overall cost structure in Asset Management and the efforts to optimise it will occupy us for many years to come. We have started to tackle this area and rapidly implemented the first changes.
What significant measures to increase cost efficiency have you already implemented?
In our analyses, we discovered some processes that are still being conducted manually. Not only are these work-flows time intensive, but they are also prone to human-error. Automating them requires a relatively small investment compared to the huge savings that can be achieved. We have decided to automate billing processes in stages - starting with the processes in the billing: there is a lot of costly administrative effort in the institutional investment field — from basic fee calculations to the large number of special cases and exceptions.
What did you have to do for the harmonization of your data structures and formats? Process automation requires that you have straight forward access to all the available data.
That is very true, from the IT perspective. That is why independently configurable data integration was a key criteria. It is only possible to extensively automate fee calculations, if you work uncompromisingly on the automation of the input and export processes. Incidently, that involves much more than automation of master account data and in flows and out flows. It affects transactions, foreign exchange rates, fees and supporting documents alike. After an exploratory and evaluation phase, we chose to partner with Sowatec AG to implement the solution. They were able to deliver the best evidence of their competence in this vital point.