After a three-year hiatus, SS&C Advent has won the best outsourcing category in the Buy-Side Technology Awards, beating previous winners FIS Global and Eagle Investment Systems to the title.
Al Castillo, director of solutions management at Advent Outsourcing Services, says that what his firm offers clients is its strong investment into transparency and security to give them piece of mind when sending their data to providers. “Clients are warming to outsourcing, but they know they have an obligation to their boards and regulators, so they want to keep an eye on their outsourcing providers,” Castillo says. “That’s where a lot of our focus has been—to make sure we give clients timely, transparent access to information, sharing what we’re doing and why, and we’ve found that it’s resonated really well.”
Castillo adds that the company continues to look into how it can improve its transparency to clients so that they are more comfortable with letting go of core processes and handing them over to outsourcing partners. As part of this push, SS&C has reevaluated the way it presents information around activities it manages on their behalf. Castillo says that SS&C clients should not have to reach out to ask what is being done to their data, so it offers a platform where companies can track the progress of outsourced services like reconciliation processes.
SS&C has also made investments in the past few years into its cybersecurity functionality, including upgrading its technology stack, adding a single sign on process for clients, and introducing multi-factor authentication. The company is currently in the process of meeting requirements set by the Statement of Standards for Attestation Engagements (SSAE) 18, a certification that states that it complies with its standard reporting and examination procedures. The company previously attained SSAE 16, the previous version of the guidance.
For SS&C, its outsourcing platform is not just a means of taking some activities off the hands of clients to save money. While moving non-core processes to outsourcing providers can cut costs, it can also provide better cost predictability for firms. Castillo says one of the value propositions for outsourcing is to allow financial services firms to tap into expertise they otherwise would not have access to. “Clients turn to us if they need expertise they don’t currently have—say knowledge on international books of business—when they want to expand. Often, they will need to hire more people just to get that started, but with us the ramp-up time is shortened,” Castillo says.
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