Following the signing of a partnership with investment management solution vendor ByAllAccounts last month, SmartStream has signed yet another partnership agreement, this time with risk and portfolio management solution vendor Misys. Alastair McGill, executive vice president of business development and alliances for SmartStream Technologies, explains that the vendors have been in discussions about the partnership for nine months and the goal has been to improve integration between their respective offerings.
Discussions began in October between the companies’ respective product development teams at which point McGill says it immediately became apparent that there were “significant synergies where adjacent product lines could benefit from integration and clients would end up with functionally richer solutions”. Misys was interested in SmartStream’s middle and back office focused solutions in the areas of reconciliation, cash and liquidity management, trade process management and corporate actions automation, he explains.
“The partnership was founded on a shared recognition that together the firms could offer stronger, end to end solutions to clients that would remove the integration burden from clients and deliver a faster ROI,” he continues.
The aim of the integration work has therefore been to improve operational risk controls and efficiency across the trade transaction lifecycle, according to the vendors. To this end, SmartStream’s reconciliation software is to be embedded into Misys Summit FT and Opics Plus to provide additional transaction matching, exceptions and investigations management to these solutions. The vendor indicates that customers using Misys Opics Plus will benefit from the cash management and nostro reconciliations improvements resulting from the partnership. Larry Mitchell, vice president of solutions management, Treasury & Capital Markets at Misys, adds that the improved management of liquidity and reduced costs will be the primary benefits in the short term.
The partnership extends Misys Summit’s reach further into the exchange traded arena with SmartStream components for reconciliation, exceptions handling, corporate actions coverage and links to industry third parties. It will also add to Misys’ cross asset buy-side solution, Summit Invest, by offering reconciliations capability, along with integration to services such as Omgeo and links to custodians and prime brokers.
For its part, Misys offers SmartStream a complementary route to market, helping the vendor expand its current customer base beyond the 1000 clients it already serves, says McGill. “Clients will end up with stronger, end to end solutions, where we have removed the integration burden from them, taking it on ourselves, upfront in order to deliver a faster ROI,” he adds. To this end, the partnership removes many of the integration elements for joint SmartStream and Misys clients that would previously been managed by in-house teams.
McGill reckons the integration work will be completed without any major issues: “As both firms have produced their solutions on open, standards based platforms the technical integration work isn’t a significant issue. The more challenging aspect has been to engage two development teams to work cooperatively to define the touch points and agree development plans that keep the products aligned.”
Given that corporate actions automation has risen up the priority list with regards to risk management within financial institutions, this integration work between a risk management solution provider such as Misys and SmartStream’s corporate actions platform should prove beneficial for both vendors. If, as a recent A-Team Group report indicates, the risk function is driving investment in corporate actions, then integration between two solutions such as these should take away some of the development work required by firms seeking a quicker and less costly rollout.