Data warehouse of 256 billion Euros
In 2011, a British pension fund with assets of around 256 billion Euros realised a state-of-the-art data warehouse with an emphasis on the performance of different funds and portfolios.
Highest possible return
All kinds of reports and analysis were used to achieve the highest possible return at an acceptable risk. For investment in shares, the front office – the people who commission stock market trading – used different operational systems that were linked to the systems of the brokers at the stock exchange. The performance was monitored daily and where necessary assets (shares, derivatives, bonds) were acquired or disposed of, via the operational systems.
It did not always run very smoothly
The actual responding – changing the mix of assets and shares – did not however always run very smoothly. Main reason for this was that too many actions had to occur before there was any response, actions such as entering data in several systems, filling out forms, spreadsheet calculations, following procedures and in some cases waiting for authorisation.
Complex transactions took four days
The time between knowing actions were needed and actually executing these actions was, on average, about a day. This would vary from a couple of hours in case of simple transactions to four days where it concerned complex transactions. The latter in particular is much too long in the current investment market. The chance that other large asset managers will carry out similar transactions earlier increases and funds will have already risen or dropped in value.
The portal was ready for use
Late 2012, a team was formed to investigate whether a portal would be a solution in bringing together information, knowledge and applications. At the start of 2013 – after overcoming various challenges – the portal was ready for use. The portal offers much functionality: users can quickly obtain information about the performance of different assets; they can start up functions within the business applications, run reports in Business Intelligence tools with integrated possibilities for what-if-analysis and forecasting. They can also fill in relevant forms and then apply for authorisation via an automated workflow.
The average response time was reduced to hours
The first results showed that the pension fund was now able to respond much quicker: the average response time was reduced to hours instead of days. Subsequently, the fund is now confident that – thanks to the portal – they can acquire potentially profitable assets sooner – and cheaper – and dispose of poorly performing assets at the right time.