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Automatic instrument opening from Avaloq for Bank Sarasin & Co.

The data management platform of AIM Software, the GAIN DataDesktop, was the key for Swiss private bankers Bank Sarasin & Co. to enable the automation of opening instruments directly in their Avaloq banking application, writes AIM Software.
Bank Sarasin & Co., a Basel-based private bank with a strong international focus, has been using the data management solution GAIN DataDesktop from AIM Software since 2002 for the processing of Telekurs Financial’s Valor Datafeed (VDF), which included a fully-fledged reporting system for all VDF data.

Dr. Buytenhuijs, Financial Instruments & Quantitative Methods, Bank Sarasin & Co., says, “We greatly appreciate the easy handling of the GAIN DataDesktop, giving us the possibility to build up queries and to extract data coming from any type of data feed. GAIN allows us to quickly elaborate all new requests on our own, offering a wide range of functionalities.”

By the end of 2003, Bank Sarasin & Co. decided to start a pilot project for having an interface created with GAIN for the opening of instruments from the VDF feed in Avaloq. Future expansion of the system might include adding additional sources through the same interface.
Automatic opening of instruments a key demand
Whenever a bank adds a new instrument to its portfolio, it must first be opened in the banking application, such as Avaolq at Sarasin. The request for the opening of an instrument may come from either the trading room, a client using the internet banking platform or any department that needs information on an instrument.

For this purpose, banking applications demand a set of mandatory fields. They are still often entered manually by an employee in the back office department who has to search various sources for the data

– a time-consuming and error-prone process. The automatic opening feature of GAIN delivers all necessary fields from a data feed without manual interference. This ensures significant time and cost savings for the bank and eliminates the risk of flawed inputs.

GAIN DataDesktop enables checks on all imported data prior to export to the banking application, and can produce control reports, which improves data quality. In case of exceptions, an intuitive interface provides a view on the data flagged as faulty and risky or where the bank has specified the data must be checked manually.

“The automatic integration from VDF data into Avaloq through the GAIN DataDesktop provides an added value to Bank Sarasin & Co. Ltd, since the trading room can start trading the instruments earlier,” says Dr. Buytenhuijs.
Instrument opening in Avaloq through the GAIN DataDesktop
The automatic opening process comprises the following steps: As GAIN runs in the background the user starts the opening directly in an Avaloq dialog.

Once initiated, the instrument opening process is executed using the “adhoc delivery” function in the GAIN DataDesktop sending the requested instrument identifiers to GAIN by Avaloq. GAIN forwards this request to Telekurs Financial and waits until the data is delivered by the Telekurs server. Once available, the data is downloaded and imported in GAIN.

In the course of processing the Telekurs Financial data, several VDF code domains are mapped to Avaloq code domains by the GAIN DataDesktop, such as asset types, interest calculation methods, option types, currencies or domiciles.

GAIN then creates an XML output for Avaloq and transfers it using the Avaloq message interface. An additional control report for the imported data is created automatically, enabling the end user to perform a final check before definitively importing the delivered data, thus ensuring highest quality.
Trends and tendencies in automation
In most institutions, the level of automation in data processing is still very low. This finding is underlined by the recent AIM Global Data Management Survey, which was conducted amongst over 1,700 banks from more than 60 countries. In fact, 29% of all approached banks worldwide state that they currently plan to increase the level of automation for static (reference) data. Thirty percent of the banks in Western Europe and a significantly high percentage (42%) of Swiss banks claimed to have the same plan.
Due to the growing need for the reduction of cost and of operational risks, more and more clients of AIM Software are scaling up their data integration and automation efforts. This is being supported by the integration philosophy of AIM Software: A step-by-step integration of data management in order to achieve higher efficiency and lower project risk for the banks.

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