The regulatory scrutiny of data quality is driving firms to join in with the second wave of outsourcing that is sweeping the market, according to Colin Close, CEO of hosted data management solution vendor Netik. Close reckons that firms should not wait for standards to be set, either by the regulator or bodies such as the EDM Council, before tackling their data management challenges and that a new level of pragmatism is evident in the market.
Of course, the vendor has a vested interest in encouraging the outsourcing model, given its data management solution’s model and the investments it has made over the last couple of years in developing its Netik Container component. But Close is confident that there is “clamour” from the industry with regards to outsourced solutions such as its re-launched Global Securities Master (GSM) offering. “The first wave of outsourcers had foresight and are now in good enough shape to act as case studies for the second wave,” he says.
Data management outsourcing solutions can provide asset managers with the flexibility of an added boundary between their asset servicers and their own systems, so that they are less locked in, claims Close. “I believe we are moving to a world where firms will begin to use a range outsourced service providers that are specialists in their particular fields,” he continues. The need for better risk management and the desire to tackle inefficiencies are the two main drivers for firms to join the second wave of outsourcing in the reference data space, says Close.
To capitalise on this wave of investment, the vendor has been working on upgrading another of its solutions, following the launch of the Netik Container offering last September. Close explains that it has been revisiting its offerings for the middle office and will be announcing a series of new products for this space over the course of 2010.
Most recently, the vendor has been working on its Netik Analyser solution, which is targeted at the managing the pain point of storing accounting and performance related data. The focus of development has been on adding new analytics capabilities in order to better leverage this data, says Close. There will be a formal product launch from the culmination of Netik’s work in this space over the last two years in the second quarter, he promises.
Close also highlights one of Netik’s recent client successes: the rollout of its InterView solution at Investec Asset Management (IAM), the investment management operation of South African investment bank Investec, in London at the end of last year. The vendor first signed the client up to its solution back in 2004 for its Cape Town operations but last year added London to the list. Reference Data Review will be speaking to Waldi Schoonraad, UK head of IT at Investec Asset Management, in the near future to find out the details.