Business Agility as a Competitive Advantage for European Fund Administration

Faced with greater regulatory scrutiny, increasing workloads, more sophisticated client requirements and continued pressure on costs, the daily pricing operations of fund servicing organizations are heavily challenged. As a result, they need to do more with less. European Fund Administration (EFA) was no exception to this rule.
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European Fund Administration (EFA) is an independent third-party fund administrator managing 2,727 funds worth over € 86.8 billion on behalf of 226 clients. EFA leads the outsourcing market in Luxembourg, Europe’s largest fund servicing center. The firm was looking to improve daily operations across all portfolios, as well as to offer tailored NAV calculations as a key differentiator. AIM Software’s* GAIN Portfolio Pricing was the solution chosen by EFA to achieve the following goals:

Efficient business operations and exception management

  • Reduced manual workload and duplicated price validations across portfolios
  • Library of pricing checks and validations (e.g., benchmark, materiality checks)
  • Prioritization of manual tasks based on a range of parameters (e.g., cut-off times, impact on portfolio valuation)
  • Rapid publishing of completed portfolio valuations to the accounting team

Enable tailor-made NAV calculation offering

  • Tailored pricing, covering all client‘s asset classes, vendor hierarchies, checks, tolerances, and so on
  • Comprehensive user interface for pricing managers to create and accommodate pricing policies by portfolio and by client
  • Modular parameterization model enabling reusability

Central Pricing Application

  • Externalize the pricing activities outside of the accounting system
  • Single communication point for all external data providers
  • Central point of validation and data quality with detailed data lineage

The implementation of AIM Software’s GAIN Portfolio Pricing represents a key milestone in EFAs data management strategy. GAIN Portfolio Pricing forms the centerpiece of EFAs flexible fund pricing solution, which captures and processes pricing information from a wide range of sources including Bloomberg, Thomson Reuters and SIX Financial Information.

EFA has achieved a significant increase in business efficiency with the introduction of GAIN.John Glesener, CIO and Head of Organization at EFA

John Glesener, CIO and Head of Organization, highlights: “EFA has achieved a significant increase in business efficiency with the introduction of GAIN. Building on a more targeted and enhanced task handling process, exceptions can be worked off much more efficiently. Most importantly, however, the flexible rule sets, which also use benchmarks and conditional workflows, already greatly reduce unnecessary exceptions and focus our team of experts on what is really relevant.”

After the implementation of GAIN Portfolio manual exceptions were significantly reduced while quality controls have been improved. EFA now offers tailor- made NAV calculation services with the highest accessibility and data transparency. In addition, prices are consistent across all types of funds and securities and EFA can provide an improved transparency level to auditors.

According to Frederic Bilas, COO at EFA: “The new application allows EFA to further differentiate in a highly competitive market environment by being able to flexibly respond to changing client needs, allowing a high degree of customization of the NAV service and the shortest on-boarding and turnaround times in the industry.”

Furthermore due to GAIN Portfolio Pricing, policies can be accommodated per fund or per client and new services offered to provide further access and transparency on pricing policies. Overall, the costs of ownership have been lowered through use of packaged solution from AIM Software.

 

*As of August 1, 2019, SimCorp acquired AIM Software. The GAIN platform is now SimCorp Gain.