By Thomas Fink, TCS Financial Solutions
Investec Bank (Switzerland) AG, a boutique wealth management provider based in Zurich, specializes in serving entrepreneurial clients and self-directed international clients with private banking, investment consulting and discretionary investment management.
In 2007, the bank began to see a marked change in what its clients were requesting beyond its traditional private banking services. “When we saw increasing demand for business transactions in wealth management, we realized that our product range had to be more flexible,” says Peter Gyger, CEO, Investec Bank (Switzerland) AG. “Our banking solution had to be able to cater to all types of clients and transactions,” adds Gyger. “We had to be able to cover specialist areas including private equity investments, hedge funds, special types of trust contracts and cash management.”
To meet the evolving requirements of its customers, Investec Switzerland conducted an extensive search of the available solutions on the market, while also considering the possibility of in-house development, application service providers (ASPs) and business service providers (BSPs). “It was an enormous effort to compare the various solutions and to find reliable evaluation criteria,” says Gyger.
The search team looked at the following key factors:
- Guaranteed stability of the core functions of the banking solution
- Guaranteed availability of accurate and up-to-date account balances and positions
- Ability to safeguard the business with a small IT department
- Lowest possible operational risks
- Technical and specialist support from a provider with high visibility in the industry
- Ability to automate specialist areas of work within a practical timeframe
- Experienced implementation partner
- Cultural fit
TCS BaNCS soon became the clear choice, and Investec went forward with a collaborative partnership with TCS at the start of 2009. “TCS offered us exactly what we needed, from one source and on affordable terms,” says Gyger. “TCS was able to understand our needs precisely and offer us only the capabilities of TCS BaNCS that our business required, delivering from the standard product what felt like a customized solution.”
In addition, the financial stability of TCS matched the duration of Investec Switzerland’s longstanding customer relationships. “TCS is a sound company that will be around in the future,” says Gyger. “The company has experience and know-how from its existing client base in our business domain, and will continue to invest in the solution and to support our own development.”
In the initial phase of the implementation, Investec Switzerland’s internal team worked closely with the TCS project team to identify the business requirements. “We had to bring together and coordinate the specialist knowledge of both teams,” says Gyger. “There were a few 15-hour days, but luckily we have good people who all pulled together towards the common goal.”
The migration onto the TCS BaNCS solution was complete by August 2009. “The implementation was carried out quickly, and thanks to TCS’ professional project management and preparation, it went through more or less without a hitch,” says Gyger. “Exceptional demands were made on everyone involved, but the effort certainly paid off in the end.”
“We very rapidly recorded an overall efficiency improvement as well as a reduction in our operational risks,” adds Gyger. Investec Switzerland’s TCS BaNCS deployment includes core modules for Wealth Management; the “ePortfolio” front-end tool for consultants and clients; Cash Management and Restrictions modules; and a custom designed Private Equity module.
The straight-through processing and process optimization enabled by TCS BaNCS has delivered greater efficiency, improved quality, tangible cost savings and a reduction in operational risk. Business processes covered as part of the TCS BaNCS solution include:
- Investment processes
- Execution of securities transactions
- Foreign exchange and money market transactions
- Private equity
- Credit monitoring
- Counterparty risk monitoring
- Payment and settlement processes
- Tax reporting
Based on the deployment, Investec Switzerland can now offer its customers a full menu of financial products and services aligned with the current shift in the market.
The ability for Investec Switzerland to adapt to the market has come at a critical juncture for Switzerland’s wealth management industry, which is facing cost increases due to higher compliance and tax burdens. “The Swiss financial services market is in a major consolidation phase, and many of the smaller private banks are fighting for survival,” says Gyger.
“We must recognize and exploit the right opportunities at the right time.” The collaborative partnership with TCS has enabled Investec to counteract the consolidation trend with a solid strategy for growth. “We are convinced that our partnership with TCS will continue to deepen with the increasing growth of our business,” adds Gyger. “The goals set at the outset of our collaboration have been achieved, and we look forward to our future together with TCS.”