Financial services leaders across capital markets, banking, asset management and wealth management continue to face pressure to maintain a strong bottom line in an environment with shrinking margins. As such, firms are sharpening their focus on the intersection of operations and technology to achieve greater efficiencies, scale and cost optimization. One standout company helping its clients overcome these challenges is global FinTech leader Broadridge Financial Solutions. Its successful approach saw it crowned winner of the inaugural award for OpsTech: Fixed- Income Support Services. As Kevin Moran, Global Head of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) at Broadridge, details: ‘firms that select Broadridge are capitalizing on the power of technology and operations, a global pool of industry experts to process, industrialize and supervise outsourced functions, and a deep client network to grow their business.’
A Successful Combination of People, Technology and Operations
Broadridge believes that its strategic blend of people, technology and operations across capital markets, banking, asset management and wealth management is a key differentiator compared to its competition. Its fixed-income post-trade processing platform, which enables real-time straight-through-processing of trades, is used by over 40 dealers, including 19 of the 24 primary dealers in the US. Wrapped around the technology is the firm’s BPO solution, which provides services to 46 clients globally, including seven primary dealers in the US.
While the BPO offering is a componentized solution, a significant portion of firms outsourcing to BPO utilize its Fed settlements offering. As Moran states, ‘BPO’s fed settlements offering is a staple for our business and for many of our clients, with our global team of experts managing the full gamut of fixed-income processing, and leading the charge on the industry’s most impactful initiatives.’
Broadridge’s history dates to 1962, when it started life as the brokerage services division of Automatic Data Processing (ADP). It is no surprise, therefore, that it considers its expertise and experience as central facets to its success, to the extent that clients consider them to be an extension of their own operations. Moran explains: ‘the wealth of experience and expertise in our operational teams, coupled with our robust governance and supervisory framework, creates a seamless transition of work and sustainable target operating model when firms decide to outsource to BPO. To the extent that a client’s trading desks, correspondents and end clients do not realize the functions were outsourced.’
The Pandemic: Shining a Spotlight On BCP
A well-established business continuity plan (BCP) has proven to be vital during the pandemic. The crisis has created significant volatility in the markets and led to sustained increases in trading volumes, with equity, fixed income, and option trading up 150- 200% over the year. However, Broadridge’s clients were insulated from the effects of the pandemic, as BCP is built into the firm’s technology and operations offerings. Moran elaborates: ‘the agility and scalability of our BPO operating model provides our clients with a built-in BCP and a partner they can trust to handle peak volumes, even in the most unprecedented times. And while other firms struggled, our operational resiliency framework was activated at the early stage of the pandemic, and our teams were 100% operational around the globe within weeks of moving to mandated remote working. This was a catalyst for our success over the last 12 months.’
Broadridge’s BPO arm has seen increased demand for its services during the pandemic, specifically its BPO-on-Demand offering, which enables firms to flip the switch and leverage BPO subject-matter experts when they are needed most. Multiple global Tier one banks are utilizing BPO-on-Demand today, and the solution continues to garner strong interest in the marketplace.
Aside from BPO-on-Demand, Broadridge has invested in growing its Fails Management Center of Excellence, its Trade Expense Management business, its payment operations utility in Europe, and a suite of services focused on the buy-side. Part of this suite of buy-side services features middle- and back-office support wrapped around Sentry PM, a portfolio management technology that Broadridge acquired through its acquisition of ClearStructure Financial Technology.‘Broadridge continues to make impactful and strategic acquisitions of leading technologies, and our BPO associates train diligently to become power users of these applications. In doing so, we continue to develop our technology and operations services that we can offer to existing and prospective clients,’ says Moran.
Outside of these core offerings for clients, Broadridge BPO continues its investments in utilizing emerging technology to optimize and transform the operations industry. Its suite of digital laborers and risk-management tools provides its clients with scale, real-time operational risk management, and continuous process improvement.