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WSO Services Reaches New Heights

29 September 2020 Elina Gokh

In July, our loan portfolio administration business, WSO, reached a huge milestone: our services business broke through the $500 billion AUM mark. In this Q&A, Elina Gokh, head of WSO, discusses what reaching this milestone means for our business, our clients and the industry.

Q1. Why is reaching 500 billion AUM such a big milestone for WSO?

It's a fundamental milestone for the industry and in the growth of the asset class, but reaching this point during the toughest year to operate in is that much sweeter. For the business, it means that our products, our data and our people provide an exceptional and deeply rooted value to our clients and industry. Over the years, we have been able to scale, reduce manual processes and focus our investments in liquid and illiquid strategies by leveraging our technology and market expertise. While we reflect and take immense pride on what was accomplished, we must now embark on a new journey and pivot to the new dimension of asset class complexity, scalability requirements, transformative technology as well as providing more complete solutions to the alternatives market.

Q2. What does hitting this milestone mean for our clients?

We launched WSO Services in 2001 with one client and $7 billion in assets under management, identifying a critical need in the industry and rallying to solve it. Today, our collaboration with clients as partners is more important than ever, zeroing in on ways to solve new challenges, enabling them to influence our roadmap and investment initiatives. Our clients keep raising the bar for what it takes to compete, whether that's recognizing how real-time access to complex datasets is vital, or why connecting the workflows from portfolio management to accounting and reporting is paramount to our future. Our clients' success is directly measured by our collective ability to influence industry transformations together, supporting growth, diversification and scale.

Q3. What do the next 12 months hold for WSO Services?

Industry transformation: With impending LIBOR reform, the next 12 months will hold a vital transition period where we'll be guiding our clients and market through successful implementation of new calculation methodologies, new terms that inform deal structures and new processes that reduce the operational burden associated with this change.

Technology evolution: We've been investing thoughtfully in our product development and deployment transformations and now will expect to directly translate this into the client experience. We will be bringing new features to market on a more frequent basis - quarterly and monthly. We are also expanding our integration capabilities, moving away from batch processes and adopting API-driven connectivity as well as event-based real-time architecture, which will be a game-changer for clients. Our transition to AWS for cloud infrastructure will also enable critical scale.

Solutions experience: Clients will start to see some changes in how we frame our product portfolio. We want to draw a much closer alignment between our offerings, directly correlating to the market segments that our clients operate in; whether they are buy-side or sell-side institutions, service providers; investing in liquid or illiquid strategies. We've recently launched our new, integrated Private Debt Solution that enables credit managers and direct lenders to streamline workflows and enhance performance. We will be also exploring new opportunities, particularly focused on the growing need for additional oversight and reconciliation.

Posted 29 September 2020 by Elina Gokh, Managing Director & Global Head of Credit Solutions, S&P Global Market Intelligence

IHS Markit provides industry-leading data, software and technology platforms and managed services to tackle some of the most difficult challenges in financial markets. We help our customers better understand complicated markets, reduce risk, operate more efficiently and comply with financial regulation.

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