Sarah Underwood: Hello, my name is Sarah Underwood, and I'm the editor of data management insights at A-Team Group, I would like to welcome Will Stevens, Product Management Director at IHS Markit, and congratulate him and his team on winning A-Team Group’s Data Management Insights Award 2021, for Best Corporate Actions solution. Will, tell us what challenges your winning data management solution addresses.
Will Stevens: Yeah, thanks, Sarah. So our solution, on the software side, is an end-to-end enterprise solution, which really services all segments across the securities processing chain. So, whilst I say we have the enterprise solution, we also have lightweight solutions for smaller firms looking for a fast implementation with a quick turnaround as fast as four to six months. So, we really cater for both the buy and the sell side, across multiple asset classes in a very efficient way, using the exception-based solution with brand new dashboards that have been recently developed across the whole modern user experience. We have a single codebase as well, which means all of our clients across our user community would benefit from all of the features and functions that we develop across the system. And this is a very, very popular aspect of the solution. It certainly suits firms as I mentioned that are looking for more basic processing and also those for more complex processing across synthetic and AP derivative positions, if they want to process those alongside their equities or fixed income funds. So that's really the solution, Sarah.
Sarah: Okay, that is great. So, moving on, what does this award mean to IHS Markit and the team?
Will: I mean, it's obviously great to win any award for the solution, but it really goes back to our belief that we really are best in class for corporate actions processing, end-to-end, because it is such a mature and continually evolving solution, which really does serve the industry very, very well. But yeah, it's great, it's always great to get the feedback and to hear that we've been servicing our customers in the way that they need us to, whether that's solving automation issues, regulatory issues, strengthening their controls framework and reducing risk in the operation space. it really is great, great for us to hear that. So, it's kind of onwards and upwards for us and we really wanted to keep partnering with our client base and delivering more on the solution across not just software, but data as well, and our managed services to offer our clients scalability so they can really grow their business.
Sarah: Okay, so on that point of sort of further development, what are you planning for the solution over the next year or so?
Will: So we've got lots in the pipes. I mean, really focusing on growing into this sort of more digital space and making sure that we can service clients as their businesses evolve and new products are onboarded. So, keeping abreast with those developments in the market is very, very crucial for us. And again, when we think about some of the newer asset classes that are sort of coming to market, there's a lot of interest - whether it's institutional, or even the retail space, investors are really looking for us to help them get on board with that and leverage themselves in those markets as quickly as possible. So, another key area for us is helping our clients retire legacy technology. So this is an area that we've put a lot of focus on recently, and we've done a lot of work with clients to understand; what their legacy infrastructure looks like, and how we can help them move away from that and on to more future-proof solutions, such as ours.
So alongside legacy technology, and new asset classes, we are really breaking through in the managed service space now. And what that means is looking at ways of offering centralized solutions to help clients really focus more on what's important to them and hand over some of the basic stuff to us, where we can leverage economies of scale and deliver those services much more efficiently across our clients. So, the managed service space is certainly growing, it's something we are very, very prominent in and we do plan to expand in that space over the next 12 certainly 12 to 24 months.
And on the topic of scalability, again, something, we're very aware of, going back to the digital assets, other asset types, the growth in the retail investor space - Scalability is such a big thing now, and this is where our solution is very, very strong. We plan to work even more on that in the future, allowing clients to take on more clients themselves, offer out new products, new investment initiatives, new trade ideas, whatever it may be to their end client base. So, having a scalable solution that really takes care of the bread and butter only really highlights the exceptions and the risk and the key areas that they want to focus on, is really key for us. So, growing in that space is something that we will be focusing on over the next 12 months.
And regulations is another area where we see demand and pressure, for clients, it’s not something that they're always planning for, and these things kind of come out of the blue. So again, we like to make sure that we're staying on top of that, and we engage with our clients on a frequent basis to understand, what requirements they have, and what demands they need to meet, to see what we can do to work with them to help them in that space as well. And then finally, I guess, integration IHS Markit, as you know is a big firm, and we have lots of other products across the financial services space, and we do a lot of work internally to partner with other products, other lines of businesses to see how we can, I guess, connect the dots between the front and back office, CSDs, issuers and right the way through to the end investors to see what we can do to help them across the securities processing chain. So, again, right now, we’re partnering on lots of different initiatives, industry initiatives, and that's something that we expect to ramp up quite aggressively over the next 12 months. Again, keeping an ear in-tune with the market to see exactly what's needed out there and what we can do to help them. So that's really the focus for next 12 months, Sarah.
Sarah: Excellent, thank you, Will, and once again, congratulations.