Success Story: BNP Paribas Securities Services

Operational intelligence with Axway Decision Insight

  • Headquarters

    Paris, France
  • Industry

  • Challenge

    Deploy an operational intelligence solution to monitor key business processes, enabling the firm to anticipate and react to events that could put its business at risk, while delivering a high quality of service in an extremely time-sensitive business

  • Solution

  • Results

    • Enhanced efficiency for business processes, cutting execution time in half
    • End-to-end view enables business users to anticipate, pinpoint and resolve problems
    • Reduced risk, fewer errors and improved KPIs, so cut-offs aren’t missed and SLAs are met
    • Reliable, flexible solution designed to incorporate changes to parameters and inputs

“Axway Decision Insight helped us optimize the business process… and cut execution time in half.  Compared to other solutions on the market, the Axway product is the most mature and the easiest to implement.”

A Global Player in the Securities Industry

A business with follow-the-sun capabilities

BNP Paribas Securities Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of the BNP Paribas Group, is a leading global custodian and securities services provider with a local presence in 34 countries across five continents and a global custody network covering over 100 markets. With USD 1,862 billion in assets under administration and USD 9,046 billion* in assets under custody, BNP Paribas Securities Services protects and secures assets for all players in the investment cycle while offering follow-the-sun services to businesses in any time zone.

A Time-Sensitive Business

Where quality of service is a must

In its role as a securities services provider for institutional clients, BNP Paribas Securities Services must maintain an exceptionally high quality of service in an extremely time-sensitive business, in which many processes are associated with absolute cut-off times. With large volumes of high-value information transiting its systems, even the slightest delay or error can have a major financial impact on the firm and a serious impact on its corporate image.

To enable the firm to anticipate and react to events that could put its business at risk, BNP Paribas Securities Services needed a powerful operational intelligence (OI) solution to monitor key business processes and enable the firm to meet its service level agreements (SLAs). The OI solution needed to:

  • Integrate key data from multiple, heterogeneous systems
  • Provide a centralized view of business processes in real time
  • Identify the processes that are at greatest risk
  • Establish relevant controls over those processes
  • Issue warnings proactively when cut-off times are at risk of being missed
  • Anticipate problems and enable intervention when needed

“The Axway solution helped us optimize the business process ... [and] enabled us to cut execution time in half.”

Optimizing the Business Process

Meeting the cut-off, every time

The trailblazer for operational intelligence at BNP Paribas Securities Services was its Fund Dealing Service (FDS), a broker-neutral service that gives buy-side players (asset managers, insurance companies, pension funds and private banks) a single entry to all asset classes and markets, while complying with all regulatory requirements. Managed out of Luxembourg for institutional customers worldwide, FDS needed to monitor the fund execution process to ensure that orders are transferred with very short turnaround.

Starting in 2011, BNP Paribas Securities Services deployed Axway BusinessBridge as its operational intelligence solution. In the fund-execution process, execution time (i.e., the time from when an order is received to when it must be transferred) is measured in minutes. To meet the cut-off, any potential delays must be immediately flagged and efficiently resolved.

“The Axway solution helped us optimize the business process,” said Gilles Jamann, now Head of Market & Financing Technology for BNP Paribas Securities Services, who was Head of IT for Securities Services in Luxembourg at the time. “The Axway solution enabled us to cut execution time in half.”

In addition, the Axway solution enables BNP Paribas Securities Services to detect problems on the customer side. For example, when the volume of activity from a given customer differs significantly from the norm, Axway’s solution can flag the anomaly, alerting BNP Paribas Securities Services staff to a potential issue so they can phone the customer to inquire whether there is a problem. Because of this, customers have been able to correct system problems on their end — and have given very positive feedback to BNP Paribas Securities Services.

Expanding the Perimeter

Monitoring new business processes

Having seen the powerful impact of Axway’s OI solution in optimizing the FDS business, BNP Paribas Securities Services began to systematically review other areas where business-monitoring services could be critical to improving the bank’s business processes.

The company established a steering committee to prioritize the new OI targets, and initially its sights on two high-value business processes that are associated with strict daily cut-offs:

  • Net Asset Value (NAV) calculation
  • Over-the-Counter (OTC) valuation

Going forward, BNP Paribas Securities Services has decided to deploy Axway’s next-generation operational intelligence solution, Axway Decision Insight. The new solution is designed for very rapid rollout, with just three days needed to build a customized monitoring application for all the different business users, without any programming.

In fact, BNP Paribas Securities Services is migrating its existing OI deployments (such as FDS) from Axway BusinessBridge to Axway Decision Insight to take advantage of the latter’s powerful capabilities, which include:

  • Real-time monitoring and historical analysis 
  • The ability of business users to configure and modify the solution themselves, establishing dashboards, thresholds, alerts, etc.
  • A function to wind back the clock, pause and replay the same scenario, for use in prototyping, simulation and ex-post facto investigation.

Axway Decision Insight was selected by BNP Paribas Securities Services following a proof of concept that demonstrated its capability to deliver a complex OI solution in a very short time. “We looked at other solutions,” said Jamann, “but Axway proved their ability to deliver.”

Moreover, Axway’s OI solution was already the in-house standard, having passed a rigorous selection process with flying colors. “Compared to other solutions on the market, we found that the Axway product was both the most mature and the easiest to implement,” said Jamann.

Calculating the NAV

Deploying Axway Decision Insight

In the Fund Accounting business at BNP Paribas Securities Services, calculating a fund’s net asset value is a crucial, time-sensitive task. Every day, for every fund, BNP Paribas Securities Services must calculate and deliver the NAV to its customer, the fund manager, before the cut-off time established for that fund.

In the NAV context, Axway Decision Insight collects information from all systems that contribute to the calculation, providing appropriate views for the various players in the process. In addition to a large control-room-style dashboard visible to all, dedicated views are provided for individual roles, such as:

  • The accountant, who sees a detailed view of each the funds he or she is managing, with their current status and alerts if there is any risk of missing the cut-offs
  • The manager, who has a global view of all funds, including those are at risk of missing the cut-off, transactions still in the pipeline, etc., enabling the manager to intervene to choose which transactions must be handled first

“With the Axway solution, the manager can better manage the operational platform, allocating the workload based on the value of transactions, anticipating events in order to deliver the service level required by the customer and meet the cut-off,” said Jamann.

Both of the new deployments — the NAV calculation and OTC valuation — are in the testing phase at BNP Paribas Securities Services and are slated to go into production in 2015. A single instance of the Axway solution is running all the implementations, enabling BNP Paribas Securities Services to capitalize on its investment and reduce costs by sharing the solution among various departments.

Enhancing Business Process Efficiency

Reducing risk and supporting growth

With an increasing number of OI implementations already in production — or soon to be so — BNP Paribas Securities Services has seen many of the benefits of Axway’s OI solution, including:

  • Enhanced business process efficiency: “Axway gives us an end-to-end view of the business process, enabling us anticipate issues and reduce the number of controls needed,” said Jamann. “If a problem does occur, we can pinpoint its source and intervene to resolve it.”
  • Reduced risk and improved quality of service: “The Axway solution helps us reduce errors and mitigate their impact, thereby reducing risk,” said Jamann. “Overall, it enables us to improve our KPIs and meet our SLAs.”
  • Support for growth of the business: “Over the past few years, we have significantly increased the volume of our activity and onboarded new customers,” said Jamann. “Axway’s OI solution is supporting the growth of our business.”
  • Reliability and flexibility: “Axway’s solution is highly reliable,” said Jamann. “The quality of its output, however, depends on the quality and relevance of the data we provide, as well as the thresholds and warnings we set. As our business evolves, we need to regularly review and update those settings.” A highly flexible solution, Axway Decision Insight is designed to incorporate changes to parameters and inputs.

When asked about his company’s relationship with Axway, Jamann said: “For us, Axway is a partner that understands our business and the challenges we face. They listen to us, respond to our needs — which are often very demanding as regards timing — and take the actions needed to get the job done.”

“Our aim is to be a center of excellence in our business, which means we have to continuously ensure and strengthen the quality of service we provide to customers.”

Industrializing the Process

Creating a center of excellence

Looking to the future, Jamann said: “Feedback from our operations staff is very positive. They see this solution as a tool for helping manage their business activity and for managing risk on a daily basis. Feedback from customers is also quite positive. The result is a snowball effect: we now have many projects in the pipeline to extend OI capabilities to new business processes.”

The BNP Paribas Securities Services steering committee is setting priorities for new deployments of Axway Decision Insight, and has selected as the next target the Currency Overlay process, which is used to manage currency exposure and risk for the company’s institutional customers.

“Our activity is transaction-based, and OI can be applied to a plethora of processes — because that is our business,” said Jamann. “In fact, we’re just at the beginning. Our goal is to industrialize the OI solution to enhance quality of service across every business process.” 

“At BNP Paribas Securities Services, our aim is to be a center of excellence in our business, which means we have to continuously ensure and strengthen the quality of service we provide to customers,” said Jamann.

* as of 30 June 2015

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