Project Description

Top 10 Global Insurance company builds out a central data management function using GAIN

In 2014, this global insurance company accepted the challenge to introduce a centralized financial data management platform to facilitate the delivery of high quality data to its numerous entities around the globe.

As is the case at most global financial institutions, this global top 10 insurance company faced common drawbacks due to a decentralized data management organization. Operations were regionally based with each subsidiary independently sourcing data and applying their own validations, resulting in significant overlap and redundant work. Most processes were manually driven, and different data interpretations across the different regional subsidiaries made it difficult to get a clear overview of global exposure and regulatory requirements.

Furthermore, this customer faced increasing volumes of instrument openings, with more complex instruments leading to a higher complexity of work. Business Operations Teams were under enormous pressure and expected to employ increasingly complex analytical skills. Moreover, regulatory pressures were increasing and it was of crucial importance to find a system that allowed the firm to trace back every process in order to achieve compliance.

In order to realize the vision of a centralized financial data management function, three key success factors were identified:

  1. Flexibility: Business users have to be empowered to respond quickly to changes required either by business operations or certain regulations, for instance by adding a new data model or conducting changes to the target system feed. Furthermore, they need to react to local requirements in a short time frame, for instance to implement new fields for local compliance. Responsiveness is of utmost importance: Onboarding of new data feeds has to happen quickly.
  2. Ownership: Transition from local to global data management by determining proper ownership of data and responsibility for validation workflows. Ownership defines who is allowed to change a field or to access data from data vendors.
  3. Governance: The Company’s data governance ensures that controls with the highest possible degree of automation are applied and that policies are followed. The key driver is to control the data quality before it is ready for use for daily business operations.

A step‑by‑step approach was chosen: The first phase was to focus on an initial set of asset classes, encompassing a wide range of equities, bonds, derivatives, commodities, hedge funds, indices etc. AIM Software’s Agile Development Approach onboards key business users throughout the Project. This includes frequent design and review sessions of the software every few weeks as well as sitting together with the development team.

“GAIN ensures operational efficiency underpinned by better quality data in a consistent and centrally managed way across the whole organization.

Head of Market & Master Data at Top 10 Insurance Company

By choosing GAIN, the customer established a single point of data entry ensuring centralized data controls to avoid redundant steps in the process. GAIN Security Master is the central file for all instruments and issuer data, supporting all asset classes in which the company has positions.

After the implementation of GAIN, the customer has achieved the following benefits:

Business operations efficiency: The customer drastically reduced the manual effort: GAIN is used as a “data firewall” ensuring that data exceptions are resolved before reaching the target applications. In addition, thanks to GAIN, the company adopted an exception‑driven process that allows the business to focus on and prioritise the most complex and urgent tasks.

This combination of exception-driven process with a high level of automation has resulted in significant time savings, enabling business operations users to concentrate on those more complex issues which require a deeper analysis.

Flexibility: The Business Operations team is now autonomous in extending the system, as GAIN allows online configuration without needing to call on specialist IT resources. This means that they can quickly respond to change and adapt to individual data requirements at a local and/or global level.

Moreover, Business Operations can configure business exceptions by themselves and act efficiently based on tailored validation rules. This improved business agility leads to more effective responsiveness in order to enable further growth and scaling of the business.

Governance and centralization: The customer now has a central system that helps evolving towards global data management. This ensures that local and global set‑ups of different controls are applied. The system ultimately helps to ensure the correct set-up and enforcement of data policies.

The controlling function is always available; a user can intervene at any point in time if necessary. GAIN’s centralized dashboards and automation means minimal manual input and re‑keying of information. The result is higher quality data, which is managed centrally and consistently across the whole organization. This leads to higher operational efficiency and lower operational risk.

Auditability and data lineage: The customer now benefits from a solid framework that provides full transparency on process steps and data provenance. This has helped to address the regulatory pressure faced by this financial institution.

Cost-effectiveness: The customer now identifies the most efficient subscription set‑up for its asset universe. This helps to control and reduce costs on data procurement as well as on the business operations side across the organization. This is achieved by launching multiple targeted requests for specific data types and user‑defined attributes in order to save data acquisition costs.

In the next phases of the project, the customer will continue to improve the existing central system by increasing the levels of automation with GAIN. The ultimate goal is to exceed 95% of validated high quality data without requiring any manual intervention. Furthermore, as the customer’s Financial Data Services team will take over more duties and complex tasks, the usage of GAIN will increase, including additional business applications such as portfolio pricing.

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