ABSA – increasing efficiency, and that’s a fact.
ABSA Fund Managers has improved fund factsheet throughput, shortened delivery timescales and streamlined handling of reporting data while increasing quality – thanks to Factbook Factsheets.
The provision of regular, timely and informative communications to the industry, advisers and investors alike is vital to the success of investment management companies both locally and internationally.
The challenges faced to achieve this generally revolve around a number of key areas – efficiency and accountability of data management, workflows and processes; compliance with both regulatory requirements and best practice guidelines; content and brand consistency; the responsibility to inform and educate all stakeholders with meaningful, factual and relevant data and information.
Ensuring that fund factsheets for collective investment scheme portfolios, are delivered with accurate and required content, in a timely fashion every month, far too commonly, proves to be an error prone, manual and iterative process, resulting in an unnecessary resource drain and an increase in operational risk.
This is a challenge that impacts upon the business operations of every single management company in South Africa and, with new regulations looming, is a challenge that management companies can ill afford to take lightly.
ABSA Fund Managers selected Factbook as their partner to assist them in the task of automating their factsheets.
At the heart of the project was the issue of very disparate data coming from many sources.
ABSA Fund Managers also wanted to improve on the timeliness of their factsheets. They wanted to be “hands off” the production until it came time to validate the factsheets.
It was important to them that they not only had sign-off functionality but also the ability to spot edit any factsheets to ensure small errors in data did not hold up production.
Absa wanted the project to be a single phase operation with integrated system training and also to have the ability to call on Factbook’s industry leading on-going support services if needed.
Having a modern automatically updated dashboard showing the current status of all their reporting was also something they were looking for in a provider.
“Absa Wealth and Investment Management is South Africa’s first truly integrated, full service Wealth Management company combining the best of local and global expertise through its membership with the Barclays Africa Group.
We understand that true wealth extends beyond mere money, and our client-centric mandate embraces both scientific elements of investment decision making and emotional comfort.
This approach is supported by access to world class technology and product expertise. Intimate knowledge of local market dynamics ensuring solutions which are appropriate and competitive within Sub-Saharan Africa.”
Source: ABSA Fund Managers.
With ABSA, the challenge was multi-dimensional – we had multiple data sources in differing formats, we also needed to upgrade the design of the factsheets to show the ABSA funds in their best light and also provide ABSA with a cutting edge dashboard to enable them to see exactly what was being produced, when it was produced and all the intermediate stages along the way.
By deploying our Studio 10 platform as a hosted environment, coupled with our Factbook Factsheets™ solution, the latter was particularly easy for us, as our modern dashboard system is self-building, based on the workflows that the client specifies. Not only is the dashboard working in real time, but any changes to the workflow are automatically displayed in the dashboard.
Again, utilising Studio10’s inherent flexibility, the various data sources were easily handled by its industry-leading plug-in technology.
Many of the data transformational plug-ins were already utilised by other clients, which diminished implementation time significantly. Data sources that were new to us, simply had new plugins written for the various sources, meaning we did not have to change any core code whatsoever.
With close client relationship we were able to take ABSA’s design guidelines and corporate palette and create some visually beautiful factsheets, which we feel updated their current factsheets from a design perspective.
So what has changed?
Time to market had been reduced. ABSA now have real time status updates of the production cycles and they have modern looking factsheets that look superb.
Karen Coleman, Director of Business Development at Factbook said, “It was a pleasure working with ABSA. The fact they chose Factbook during a rigorous selection procedure strengthens and highlights our position as the leading provider of choice in the South African marketplace.
We are adding more and more clients in South Africa, and look forward to working with ABSA for the foreseeable future. We are already in discussions to increase the number of Factsheets we are producing for ABSA this year.”