An account of the panel discussion led by Naresh Subramaniam at the August 2016 Superannuation Fund Investment Operations and Member Administration Services conference.
To a packed forum at the Grace hotel in Sydney, Cogility’s Director, Financial Services, Naresh Subramaniam led a thought provoking and interactive session on how today’s progressive financial service firms can attain an operating model to enable their business to reach full potential and deliver superior outcomes for their clients and stakeholders.
More about the panel discussion:
Naresh was joined on the panel by Adam Tucker, Manager Investment Operations at Suncorp and Ross Gulliford, Head of Investment Operations at Challenger. The panel covered the importance of operational due diligence and risk reviews of Managers; optimising technology to streamline and centralise processes; and out- or in-sourcing to meet fund resource capabilities and objectives.
Naresh opened the session by presenting a client case study on how Cogility worked with one of Australia’s most respected financial services organisations to deliver a world class operating model. This enabled the client to deliver market leading debt and investment products to its clients as well as quickly respond to new business opportunities across funding, investment, cash and debt management.
Naresh highlighted the benefits the client realised from their new operating model including lower operational risk and higher productivity. However, he did caution the audience to resist the temptation to pump their existing operating model with steroids (i.e. short term solutions) and then claim ‘best practice’.
He went on to describe how his client’s approach was ‘whole of enterprise’ which means delivering operational excellence across People, Process, Technology and Data. It is not just a technology play.
Naresh attributed the success of the implementation to his client’s excellent leadership that drove change from the Board and Executive. For example, leaders reinforcing behaviours in line with the change and promoting a positive change culture. For example, encouraging 10 reasons why we can rather than why we can’t. He also highlighted that change was business led rather than technology. Technology partnerships were critical enablers and the client was advised to adopt ‘out of the box’ functionality rather than customise.
Ross presented Challenger’s operating model and his thoughts on achieving best practice via insourcing as much as possible and using a single end to end system with specialised systems only where necessary. He also highlighted the importance of having experienced IT and operational teams and the segregation of business as usual from change management functions. Ross attributed success to a strong risk focus and senior management oversight.
Adam presented Suncorp’s journey from being a full insource to an outsourced operating model. He highlighted how Suncorp leveraged the knowledge from its previous insource model to develop a comprehensive program to monitor and streamline the services from its outsource providers. Adam also mentioned the growing interest in operational due diligence from both internal and external stakeholders and how Suncorp are keeping abreast.
The session concluded with an interactive discussion and questions from the audience on several topics including insourcing versus outsourcing and challenges to achieving operational excellence.
One of the key themes to emerge from this year’s forum – innovation – is now mainstream. Hence, a very exciting time for investment operations with an increased use of sophisticated analytics, building the next generation of integration and working with multiple parties to co-create best of breed applications.