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DBS: Helping Asian investors make better decisions

DBS Bank takes relationship management to the next level with a pioneering client investment platform.


A call for change

The world of investing is growing more and more complex. For even the most savvy of investors, keeping up with the latest financial instruments, derivatives and multi-asset class funds can be a daunting and time-consuming process.

Step forward relationship managers. Armed with the knowledge required to help clients make informed decisions that generate returns and grow portfolios, the best relationship managers enjoy a challenging role that combines personal experience and insight with artificial intelligence and reporting software..

DBS, a leading financial services group in Asia, has long been at the forefront of intelligent investing, working hard to diversify its investment products while mitigating risk. But with so much investment opportunity on offer, the bank needed a single client investment platform that could house a diverse portfolio exposure, return analytics and generate portfolio reports on demand. Such a platform would drive efficiency, boost transparency, make compliance more straightforward and increase the level of engagement between DBS and its clients – all the while generating greater returns for clients.

The bank needed a single client investment platform that could house a diverse portfolio exposure, return analytics and generate portfolio reports on demand.

When tech meets human ingenuity

In April 2019, DBS engaged investment software specialists Edgelab – whose risk engine technology helps banks measure market risks – and Accenture Wealth Management to develop and deliver such a platform, all within a six-month timeframe.

Alongside Edgelab, teams from Orbium, an Accenture company acquired in 2019, began by examining the bank’s existing wealth advisory offering, paying close attention to its comprehensive portfolio and reporting methods.

It quickly emerged that the diversity of the product coverage and the accuracy of the risk methodology were extremely important to the bank, and any new solution would need to both support and enhance these elements. As a result, the teams paid particular interest to assessing the overall impact of derivatives, structured products and multi-asset class funds on client portfolios. The new solution would need to bring together these diverse products and integrate them with the bank’s core banking platform, Avaloq.

With our proven project delivery capabilities and exhaustive Avaloq knowledge, Accenture was the natural partner for the project and appointed as system integrator – responsible for building the end-to-end interface between the bank’s Avaloq system and Edgelab’s new advisory solution. A cross-functional team of subject matter advisors, business analysts and platform specialists was brought in to work with DBS and Edgelab to successfully design the new solution.

Within this challenge our teams worked hard to improve the existing client reporting with more comprehensive risk information. To do so our subject matter advisors, business analysts and platform specialists worked with DBS and Edgelab to successfully deliver functional validation, solution design, configuration, quality review and solution delivery.

A valuable difference

From compliance through to customer service, the bank’s new solution is already making an impact on the wealth management that DBS offers clients. At one end of the spectrum – and largely unseen by clients – are regulations such as MiFID II that financial organizations must increasingly adhere to. By having a precise risk classification at both the portfolio and product level, and across all asset classes and currencies, the bank’s client funds can be invested in a reassuringly compliant manner.

With so much new software and functionality in place, one might expect the need for significant onboarding or even retraining, but thankfully, this hasn’t been the case. By keeping the platform cloud-based and integrated into the bank’s Avaloq platform through an API, the existing user experience is protected with minimal need for any ‘new’ input from relationship managers and other users.

And with minimal onboarding required, relationship managers are already leveraging the new technology to make better investment decisions. Managers can now generate bespoke investment proposals and engage clients with enhanced reports and insights personalized to that client’s unique objectives and preferences. New risk metrics can be analyzed and viewed in seconds, so that clients can be served faster and more efficiently. Relationship managers can better understand what drives risk of the portfolio and measure its impact across any dimension – granular or aggregated. DBS can then use this data to trigger immediate actions and optimize portfolios. This was the first of its kind in Asia.

As a result, DBS can now deliver the insights that relationship managers and clients need to make informed decisions based on real risk and performance drivers.

An enhanced reporting of a client’s portfolio can be generated in less than five minutes, using just one-fifth of the time it takes to compile it manually.