How to transform your risk reporting mechanisms

Capital Markets

How to transform your risk reporting

A leading brokerage firm improved its UI and lowered costs with a future-ready risk reporting platform.

Client

The client was a brokerage firm with a strong presence in the capital markets.

Goal

Improve risk reporting and calculations.

Tools and technologies

Dot Net, C#, Greenplum, JUX Proprietary Framework and HTML5.

BUSINESS CHALLENGE

The client's market risk reporting and limit monitoring platform was based on products that were reaching the end of their service lines in the foreseeable future - Microsoft's Silverlight for viewing rich content and IBM's Netezza for data warehousing. They wanted to move to a new-technology platform. Among the big challenges was a lack of user friendliness, a high cost of ownership because of the maintenance needed, and a lack of scalability because the data could not be clustered. The existing systems did not enable efficient audit trails and tracking of users. Iris had to identify alternatives that would sit well with 55 other applications in the system.

SOLUTION

We considered building a visualization platform using the latest JavaScript frameworks such as Angular or React but settled on making a fresh user interface and UI framework on HTML5. We developed new UI widgets to provide better user experience, making it possible for users to customize their workspace. We integrated the module to manage a user’s role and access level. In all, we provided a modern, flexible interface for application deployment that was developed in-house.

OUTCOMES

We successfully moved all the 55 applications to the new platform.
As a result, the total cost of ownership was expected to be 15% lower after the migration.
It was also built for the future - a distributed, scalable, mobile-ready platform.
It had an integrated module for managing user roles and access levels and could be customized with various themes to provide better user experience. User tracking and audit trails were enabled.

15%
Lower Total Cost of Ownership 
55
Apps moved to new platform

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Cloud-native app opens new markets

Cloud

Cloud-native app opens new markets

A prominent bonds trading network expands its market reach with new products and geographies.

Client

The world’s leading provider of trading services for fixed income products

Goal

Create an IT architecture to support growth across markets and products

Tools and technologies

AWS Cloud, Java, Springboot, React JS, React, Redis, Kafka, C#, Ranorex and Test Rails

BUSINESS CHALLENGE

The client, a market leader in bonds trading, is expanding to new markets, acquiring new businesses, introducing products and adding features to existing offerings. To support its growth plans, it needed an agile, modern, cloud-based platform.

Some of the business needs the client wanted to address with the new solution were:

  • How do we achieve scale with minimal latency in operations and service?
  • How do we integrate new businesses seamlessly and without disruption?
  • How do we roll out new features faster to improve customer experience and get a competitive edge?
  • How can we use data to help customers make better trading decisions? How can we monetize the data?

As a solution partner, we had to not only create a new IT architecture for the client’s trading platform but also constantly re-engineer and improve the architecture to quickly meet emerging business needs.

SOLUTION

We deployed a scalable, highly available auctions solution on the AWS cloud using Java, Springboot, React JS, React, Redis, and Kafka.

  • Optimized algorithms now achieve best matching with minimal latency while offering full price transparency.
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) provide greater insight and real-time price discovery for specific asset classes.

The new cloud-based architecture enabled the client to create products and monetize market data. The products helped customers get accurate data in real-time to take better and faster trading decisions.

Test automation across the trade lifecycle using a combination of C#, Ranorex, Test Rails helped the client update user interfaces (UI) without reducing performance; it eased integration linkages between the acquired solution’s frontend and the client’s existing backend.

OUTCOMES

The introduction of Agile methodology and the cloud-native application has helped the client significantly speed up time-to-market for new releases – it’s now able to make releases several times a year.

The new IT architecture now allows the client to offer trading in Muni bonds (an acquired product) and US treasuries (a new service). The solution also enables the client to support Chinese markets.

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Real-time tracking of a global container fleet

Transportation & Logistics

Real-time tracking of a global container fleet

A cloud-based GPS-integrated solution delivered, for our client, real-time visibility of its shipments, bringing efficiencies in time, cost and regulatory compliance.

Client

A diversified global business group with a strong presence in maritime services.

Goal

Real-time tracking of a global container fleet.

Tools and technologies

Microsoft Azure, Node JS, C#, Bootstrap, and HTML5.

BUSINESS CHALLENGE

The pandemic has made it critical for the transportation and logistics firms to manage their assets (or fleets) more efficiently.

Demand is high for real-time asset tracking and tracing solutions. For the marine services business of our client, real-time management of a global fleet of containers required continuous, global tracking.

Tracking the container fleet and meeting compliance requirements was laborious and error-prone, often leading to delays and lost opportunities. The client also did not have a mechanism to track customer usage of pay-per-use containers.

We were tasked with creating multi-tenant based cloud application that would be optimized for cost and yet not compromise the user experiences of customers and field teams.

SOLUTION

Our decade-long experience in radio-frequency identification (RFID) helped us address this challenge. Our information engineers, UX designers, solution architects, and business analysts worked onsite with the customer to test scenarios and create a new architecture along with new user experiences and interfaces.

We built the solution using the latest Microsoft Azure cloud services and BizTalk and RFID middleware for an integrated framework involving multiple customers (tenants) and services.

An offshore team engineered the new application with the capabilities sought by the client; the architecture team helped create new systems and environments for development, quality assurance (QA), user acceptance testing (UAT), and production. The solution was capable of handling large amounts of streaming data with the help of edge services located near-site. Customized workflows captured container movement within each site, while GPS services tracked container movement across the globe.

The application, which was deployed well within the scheduled deadline, enables post-production maintenance and enhancements from our offshore center.

OUTCOMES

We engineered real-time tracking and tracing for the client’s global container fleet, with map support and enhanced personalization for users based on location and asset class. Responsive design ensured that the application could be seamlessly used across various devices.

Our experience with RFID and cloud-based engineering helped us anticipate and prepare the scenarios well in advance so that solutions could be delivered to the client fast. This significantly reduced the time for the client to prepare cost and compliance status reports, and location-based dashboards for KPIs.

The near-real time tracking of containers reduced the time to calculate exact container usage and certificate status from days and hours to a few minutes.

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A playbook for banks on managing M&A integration

Banking

A playbook for banks on M&A integration

Efficient management of the complexities of disparate systems and data after an acquisition saves time and money.

Client

Banks that have merged or acquired new businesses.

Goal

Manage migration and integration complexity post M&A.

Tools and technologies

The Iris business acquisition playbook for banks.

BUSINESS CHALLENGE

In a low-interest rate regime, achieving scale is the only way for banks to stay profitable. The top 25 banks are growing at a rate faster than rest of the pack. The search for profitability from scale is predicated upon their ability to ensure that the operational costs do not grow linearly with business.
A significant part of this growth will come inorganically. Apart from M&As, brownfield expansion comes with banks selling off their books of business for reasons ranging from realigned strategic priorities to the more mundane need of raising cash. Any IT costs in absorbing the new book of work will negate the advantages of size.

SOLUTION

Iris has been working with banking clients to create a business acquisition playbook outlining steps to insource with a migration and integration strategy. We have enabled clients to deal with post-merger integrations and create a single source of truth for transactional data and positions. The Iris team delivered solutions specifically tailored for applications in the loan origination and servicing space.
We have helped our banking clients:

  • Consolidate multiple acquisition playbooks to create a single standardized framework for their lending business
  • Define insourcing steps for business and technology teams and create a migration strategy with quantifiable recommendations and a reusable checklist for insourcing activities.
  • Assess capability and readiness and help them choose from insourcing options:
  • Full migration of data and systems
  • Partial migration of systems and data migration and integration
  • Only data integration and connectivity for lending business.

OUTCOMES

We have helped clients achieve 50% savings in cycle time and cost for post-merger integration of business processes, application and data.

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Deliver personalization via report automation

Asset Management

Deliver personalization via report automation

A leading asset management firm personalized offerings by automating processes to glean customer insights.

Client

A leading asset management firm based in the U.S.

Goal

Help asset managers deliver personalized solutions to establish differentiation.

Tools and technologies

AquaData Studio, Java, Perl, Python, Spring, Hibernate, VRS, PostgreSQL, Composite and MS SQL.

BUSINESS CHALLENGE

Asset management firms face challenges similar to those faced by most buy side firms – such as a generational shift in the demographic, new patterns of investment behavior, a changing regulatory landscape, and the rise of aggregators with low-cost products who are thinning the pool of investible funds.

Our client wanted to differentiate itself by offering customer-centric solutions that are flexible and adaptable. But its existing systems presented several challenges:

  • Its front, mid and back office functions needed a lot of manual effort
  • Business rules were inconsistent and data duplication was rampant
  • User experience on the platform needed significant improvement
  • Clients were unable to get a holistic view of their accounts
  • Data validation was consuming a lot of man-hours

SOLUTION

We partnered with the asset manager to deliver better digital experiences to all its stakeholders. We created a robust data ecosystem and used advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence/machine learning or AI/ML, intelligent automation, cloud computing and test automation.

  • Our team streamlined and integrated the client’s front, middle and back office functions. We helped the client integrate their back-office solutions with their custodians, reducing complexity in information exchange, eliminating reconciliation and increasing operations efficiency by more than 75 per cent.
  • We automated the creation of more than 7,000 reports.
  • Improved experience for retail and institutional clients by automating the generation of complex compliance and strategic reports.
  • Developed a strategic reporting module that gave customers a holistic view of their accounts and holdings
  • Set up a business data validation team offshore
  • Enabled self-service option for bespoke reports

OUTCOMES

Our solution helped the client significantly improve front-end experience for customers; reduce manual effort and costs in the back-office; and improve overall operations efficiency. Highlights of the outcomes:

  • Automated the exhibits process with 75% increase in throughput
  • Our report automation solution reduced manual effort by 70% and improved monthly artefact generation throughput by 40%.
  • Reduced manual effort for customization in client profile management by 60%
  • Achieved $50,000 savings for client per month in the data validation activity for client profile management

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A robust platform for investment advisors

Brokerage & Wealth

A robust platform for investment advisors

A prominent U.S. brokerage firm transformed its monolithic legacy apps for RIAs into a microservices-based open platform and a significantly improved user experience.

Client

A leading brokerage and wealth management firm based in the US.

Goal

Create a best-in-class platform for registered investment advisors (RIAs).

Tools and technologies

Pivotal Cloud Foundry, Spring Boot, Spring Cloud Gateway, Angular 6, TIBCO AMX BW, SQL Server, Hybrid Automation Framework (Selenium, Appium, Perfecto) and AppDynamics

BUSINESS CHALLENGE

With growing competition from nimble fintechs, custodians are under pressure to provide RIAs a differentiated experience. Many of them are looking to use advanced technology solutions such as machine learning, artificial intelligence and data and analytics to help RIAs improve the end consumer experience.

Our client had multiple legacy platforms built over the years that was preventing it from providing their RIAs with a secure, integrated and cost-effective solution.

SOLUTION

Iris has been played an integral role in transforming the client’s technology landscape from a legacy system to a modern, open, API-based architecture. The solutions we have implemented include:

  • An Open Access Platform with API Architecture as part of the client’s go-to-market strategy. We continue to work on integrating third party vendor applications and RIA back office applications onto this platform.
  • The platform is highly reliable and secure with protection of data at rest and in motion using encryption. We have enabled encryption of data in transit to protect over 100+ integrations outside client environment. We have used SAML and OAuth for user authentication.
  • An SSO solution provides multi-factor authentication (MFA) and a framework for Privileged Access Management to secure customer information. The Iris team has also ensured mobile security for iOS & Android devices and helped the client plug platform vulnerabilities.
  • Developed responsive design as part of the UI transformation initiatives for core trading, advisory and educational solutions.
  • Transformed monolithic application into microservices-based architecture.
  • Provided flexible development capabilities with distributed Agile teams and extensive test automation reducing time to market and achieving significant cost savings.
  • Digitized end-to-end client onboarding with features for bulk onboarding, advisor authorization and ability to submit statutory documentation online and offline.
  • Created back office solutions for money movement and cash & asset management that allowed RIAs to get a holistic view of clients and serve them on the go
  • Customizable workflow to serve needs of individual advisor firms

OUTCOMES

We enabled the client to securely integrate over hundreds of third party apps and RIA back office applications.

Our test automation and Agile solutions helped client reduce time-to-market for new features by 40%

Reduced the regression cycle duration by 60% with automated tests over six months.

Increased test automation coverage to 70%.

Reduced defect leakage reduced to less than 1%.

Improved performance of business transactions by 30% to 40% on the web platform.

Addressed > 70% of security and vulnerability issues leading to a better customer experience.

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Gain speed to market with DevOps solutions

Wealth Management

Gain speed to market with DevOps solutions

A wealth management firm moved from a legacy application environment to a microservices ecosystem. The switch cut production time and expedited the roll-out of releases.

Client

The client is a leading wealth management firm in the U.S.

Goal

DevOps strategy to shorten production timelines and speed time-to-market.

Tools and technologies

JIRA, Jenkins, GitHub, AWS, ECR, Docker, EKS and Helm.

BUSINESS CHALLENGE

The client used multiple legacy applications with a highly complex codebase to run its operations. As a result, it had long production lifecycles and spent several person-hours in integration and deployment.

On the technology front, the client faced challenges in the way server-side applications were defined, stored and managed. Its IT team also had to manage the deployment of multiple Kubernetes manifest files.

SOLUTION

Iris recommended that the client move to a microservices ecosystem. Here’s how we deployed the solution:

  • We defined an enterprise-level DevOps strategy using Helm
  • Identified the scope of apps that needed to be on-boarded across the enterprise
  • Implemented a DevOps pipeline for microservices on the Kubernetes cluster
  • Deployed the infrastructure, dependencies and applications with Kubernetes using Helm
  • Delivered continuous improvement through Helm release updates and rollbacks

OUTCOMES

The DevOps pipeline significantly improved time-to-market new releases.

  • 20x faster release cycle
  • 40% improvement in quality with end-to-end traceability
  • 15x improvement in the mean time to deployment (MTTD)

The Iris team also put in place robust security control and validation processes; and provided for auditable release requests.

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Our experts can help you find the right solutions to meet your needs.

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Anti-money laundering: managing regulatory risks

Data & Analytics, Risk & Compliance

Anti-money laundering programs: managing data, regulatory risks

A global multinational bank successfully managed large data volumes in its anti-money laundering program and protected clients and franchisees from regulatory risks.

Client

A leading multinational bank

Goal

Identify and mitigate risks related to anti-money laundering (AML) regulations

Tools and technologies

Cloudera, Hadoop, Talend, Spark MLlib, MicroStrategy, Datameer, Sqoop

BUSINESS CHALLENGE

Our client, a multinational bank, had a comprehensive global program for anti-money laundering (AML) to protect its clients and franchisees from the risks of money laundering, terrorist financing and other financial crimes.

To be able to do so effectively, they needed to deal with mounting volumes of data, which their existing applications could not handle. Their systems also generated a high number of false positives that increased the need for manual intervention.

SOLUTION

We worked with the client’s global anti-money laundering program to develop a solution that provided them with consistent controls to identify AML risks and comply with relevant laws.

We incorporated a modern data lake architecture, a centralized data hub that allowed the processing of the increasing volumes of data from around the world. The solution we built was capable of handling data in petabytes.

OUTCOMES

We helped the multinational bank build a data lake that could hold 8 petabytes of data, much more than its existing data applications allowed. Next, Iris cross-trained the client’s global anti-money laundering team to ensure efficient use of the data lake in line with its global anti-money laundering program.

8 petabytes
Data capacity

14
Global regions covered

5,000
End users

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