Norwegian asset manager Storebrand is currently completing the move of EUR 80 billion (NOK 800 billion) assets to a unified platform built using systems by Danish IT-firm Simcorp.
The process started in in 2015 and since then, more than ten outdated systems have been scrapped by Storebrand. Efficiency, as measured by the ratio of managed assets per employee, is up notably, while risks and the total cost-of-ownership figures are down.
In an interview with Posttrade 360, Storebrand's COO Arne Martin Moen describes the complicated process of scrapping a fragmented infrastructure to create a unified platform.
"This consolidated platform, with its reduced number of integrations, has helped us gain control over data consistency and data integrity. At the same time, we have been able to grow our product offering," says Arne Martin Moen, who has been part of this journey since it started as head of investment administration and recently became COO.
The Storebrand group works with several brands across three Nordic countries -- such as Storebrand, SPP, Delphi, SKAGEN, acquired in 2017, and Cubera, added in 2019.
"The goal is to have a single, scalable platform which allows us to add new fund families and execute on our multi-boutique strategy," says Arne Martin Moen.
The shift to a unified system platform, using SimCorp Dimension, ended up taking half a decade.
Strategic fork in the road
One of the strategic forks in the road was whether to go for various best-of-breed systems for different parts of the operation and connect them, or to turn to a provider of a broad platform with pre-established integration between the parts.
According to Arne Martin Moen, there is no general answer to which choice is best. Storebrand went for the big package; the aim of reducing complexity had the upper hand.
"So we formed an enterprise strategy and had to align the whole organization to comply. We decided that all long-term projects should be centered around the Dimension solution: we should always look to Dimension first. If it doesn’t offer a solution, the business case for buying any best-of-breed system outside it must be very strong," he says in the interview.