Data management solution vendor Aim Software is planning to launch a scrubbing module for corporate actions in the first quarter of next year, according to Josef Sommeregger, vice president business development and sales at the vendor. The move is a reaction to client demand and also proved a deciding factor in SimCorp’s recent decision to partner with Aim Software.
Aim Software has seen a lot of demand this year for corporate actions management and therefore was prompted to begin development of the new module, the focus of which will be on the benefits of an integrated approach to corporate actions data and securities master files via the Gain platform, says Sommeregger. “The solution is currently being tested in a development partnership with a strategic client in Switzerland, which has been very helpful in providing feedback on the solution,” he explains.
“This development was also of interest to SimCorp in its selection process and many of the current prospects we are talking to are interested in the plan. We have seen interest from outside of our normal geographic reach of continental Europe: we have seen interest from the Middle East, the UK, the US and Canada,” he continues. To this end, the vendor currently has a ‘go West’ strategy for this year that Sommeregger hopes will be boosted by the corporate actions module, as well as attracting attention in the Nordic markets.
The aim of the new solution is to provide a fully fledged corporate actions scrubbing solution that can produce golden copy records before sending it either to SimCorp Dimension or to other downstream systems for further processing and entitlement calculations. In order to boost the vendor’s chances of success in the corporate actions solution space, it has also recently hired specialists from other providers in this corner of the market.
“Our strength in the market is our ability to focus on golden copy management for all areas of data, including pricing, corporate actions and static data. We are not looking further down the corporate actions processing chain; we are focusing on the golden copy record. We are also able to easily process bulk data feeds and integrate these with any other external reference sources,” contends Sommeregger.
As for the strategic decision to partner with SimCorp earlier this month (following in the vein of its numerous partnerships in the market, see Cetrel last year for example), the main appeal was in the potential to promote further integration into downstream systems and the vendor’s client reach in the buy side community. “The asset management area is also of key interest to us as a client base with a lot of potential; traditionally we have clients in spaces such as fund admin and custodians. SimCorp is an industry leader in the asset management industry and this gives us much more access to this market,” he explains. The vendor also has similar partnerships with vendors such as Avaloq in the core solution space.
At the start of the year, SimCorp initiated a software selection process to choose a corporate actions scrubbing solution to further improve its offering in the field of corporate actions processing. “While offering a broad range of functionalities in a front to back approach, SimCorp has embarked on a new strategy to excel in each field following a best of breed approach,” says Sommeregger. “In January they looked at the available solutions on the market, of which there are around 20, then they conducted workshops and reduced the list to around three or four. We were selected and in July we signed a strategic agreement.”
The benefit of the longer selection process was that Aim Software was able to begin some of the integration work ahead of time, according to Sommeregger. Gain is currently being integrated into Dimension and the interface between both solutions will be maintained in a joint product management process. SimCorp will offer Gain to both existing and potential customer as a standard component of its offering.
While Gain is already deployed with a number of clients using SimCorp, the data management solution vendor is hopeful the new partnership will allow for a very deep and more formalised integration between the systems. SimCorp informed its clients about the new strategic partnership at its annual user group meeting in Berlin earlier this month.
“One of the paramount reasons why Aim Software was chosen is the strong technological fit between the two solutions: they are aligned in terms of product evolution and architecture. One of the outstanding features of Gain is that SimCorp will be able to take over system ownership being autonomous in conducting implementations at clients. This becomes possible due to a broad range of parameterisation tools available in Gain which expose all functions of the platform to power users,” says Sommeregger.
Thus far, the vendor has experienced what he calls a “good year” in terms of achieving 25% growth and he expects the same to be realised next year. He notes that projects in the market seem to be much more focused on lowering the total cost of ownership (TCO) by increasing the level of automation and reducing unnecessary redundancies. “I am confident that our tie up with SimCorp will help us to do this for clients out there. We are in negotiations with a number of clients to sign on for the solution before the end of this year and we expect to be able to start the implementations for one or two of these before the end of 2010,” he concludes.