Blending Expertise: Financial Services and Technology
From fund services to trust services and private clients to institutional clients, financial services businesses are embracing the advantages of technology at an accelerating rate - especially during a year in which businesses have transitioned to remote and flexible working while making every effort to maintain client service. Against this backdrop, Managing Director Matt van Sanden outlines how a technology provider can act as a supporting centre of expertise, and discusses the added value that a provider can bring to their clients’ operations.
Expertise isn’t shared by all
In leading international finance centres such as the Channel Islands, one would be forgiven for thinking that most people have knowledge of accountancy, banking, trust services or fund operations. But the truth is that, outside of the financial services businesses themselves, experience and expertise are thin on the ground. Successful finance businesses dedicate years to developing and training their staff, equipping them with specialist knowledge and a deep understanding of their clients’ needs.
In this highly qualified, expert environment, it’s vital that finance firms dig deep and search for supporting partners that speak their language, understand their challenges, and can proactively assist them with finding solutions and identifying opportunities. It’s one thing for a technology provider to supply and maintain leading systems such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 and build custom software for clients, but the long-term value comes when the provider’s team can boast previous careers in accountancy, banking and other finance-focused roles. Not only will the team need to spend less time learning about their client’s businesses and be more immediately productive as a result; they’ll also act as an independent sounding board and trusted advisor, able to recommend solutions without the day-to-day distractions that being part of an in-house technology team can bring.
Regulations don’t sit still
Knowledge of finance firms’ operations is one thing, but understanding their governing regulations is quite another. From tax reporting standards to FATCA and economic substance legislation, regulations are introduced and developed at a rapid pace, with financial services businesses in need of partners that have a strong grasp of compliance needs and can keep up with the changing landscape.
While technology providers may not be the regulatory experts, a bit of experience can go a long way. An accountancy firm, trust company or fund administrator will gain significant value from a provider that has direct experience of regulated industries and of working in an environment where outputs have to be produced to exacting standards enshrined in legislation. And if that provider has developed software specifically for tasks such as filing returns or complying with various regulations, the client will benefit from working with a partner that has developed operational nuts and bolts that fit into the larger regulatory machine.
Digital transformation matters
Where business transformation is concerned, digital is very much the here and now. For finance firms, digital transformation is much more than enabling remote working and plugging clients into online services; in short, it’s an opportunity to connect people, processes and data to truly understand the bigger picture of their business. Those that do so in a constructive way will be able to anticipate insights quickly, and act fast to mitigate risk while capitalising on opportunities.
But there’s a catch. Digital transformation involves more than people, processes and data. Effective transformation requires a breaking down of siloes and an efficient web to link the disparate systems and platforms that once existed. Working with a provider that can implement and customise leading ERP systems such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is a starting point, but the next level requires a partner that understands the nuances of different financial services businesses and how an ERP solution can be tailored to each business’ individual needs.
No client is the same
And that’s the key point. No two businesses are the same. One trust company may appear similar to the rest, but scratch the surface and there are firms with their own groups of unique people and processes that have evolved at different paces, with various technology solutions in play. By partnering with a technology provider that can also act as a trusted advisor and a supporting centre of expertise, financial services businesses can benefit from best practice applied specifically to their sector and tailored for their unique needs - freeing up their time to be productive and focus on their clients’ needs.
Get in touch
If your business is in need of a new technology solution or a complete transformational overhaul, we might be the partner you’re looking for. Get in touch with Matt van Sanden on 01534 780183 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’d be delighted to learn more about you and your business.