Already on the ground, the London-based reporting software provider to the buy side intends to grow its staff in Singapore to 10 in the coming year as it targets growth there, in Australia, and Hong Kong.
Simon Cornwell, one of Vermilion's co-founders, is heading up the vendor's business in the region, which is focusing on both new clients targets as well as expanded existing implementations and support. Singapore will represent the third leg of Vermilion's two-year strategy to operate globally—it has offices in Boston and London—and the new office will, in addition to covering Asia, help support existing clients in San Francisco and the US West Coast.
"There was a natural progression to expand the organization, having won a number of Asian clients in recent years, but the important thing is that we're really dedicated to building the presence here, rather than just hiring someone to do sales," says Cornwell, who recently relocated to the city-state. Several of those new clients are Asian investment management arms of larger financial providers, including a London-based global asset manager and Australia's largest bank, which is live on Vermilion's reporting platform, and is now expanding its implementation it at its home office in Sydney.
In accordance with Singapore's rules governing domestic clients' data moving internationally, Vermilion will soon identify a hosted data warehousing solution for its new operations. Still, complexity and costs in Singapore came in well below Hong Kong or the major Australian cities—and more capital is flowing into Singapore's buy-side firms today, whether shifting from Hong Kong, or coming directly from China. With those in-flows, Cornwell says, come more demanding requirements from clients.
"Whether they're wealth managers or institutional investors, a lot of money is coming to Singapore because of its strong financial infrastructures and stock exchange," Cornwell continues. "Clients here have been looking for higher quality for years, with deeper access into the reporting, and capability to deal with greater volumes. I've been asked how it can be that there isn't a local solution for this—and there are choices at an attractive price. But those solutions tend to be slower and ramping them up potentially sacrifices accuracy," he continues.
"We can deal with low-touch, higher volume—doing straight-through reporting on 30,000 reports in a couple of hours, for example—but also meet the higher-touch requirements for institutional investors with board-level quality access into the information, and in these markets we see that as the real opportunity."
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