Alliance Trust is overhauling of its front-office systems, both in its home market of Scotland and in Hong Kong. The Dundee-based firm has appointed investment management vendor SimCorp to create a new front module based on its SimCorp Dimension, which comes several months after Alliance Trust mandated the firm to reconfigure its back-office modules.

According to Alliance Trust, the decision to mandate SimCorp for its front office arouse from the need to have a single platform to manage all of its assets. Upon implementing the SimCorp Dimension platform in its Dundee and Hong Kong front offices, Alliance Trust will expect to see improved portfolio management and modeling, trade order management and performance attribution, amongst other functions.

ôThe flexibility provided by the system means that we will not be limited in developing our business in any way,ö says Helen Weir, the Dundee-based project manager at Alliance Trust responsible for replacing the existing investment platform. ôWith this level of future proofing, we will be able to grow the assets under management and support the expansion of the business.ö

In particular, Weir points to the adaptability of the system in adding newly launched funds. ôWe have recently launched a couple of funds in the Far East and were able to add these on to the system easily,ö says Weir.

Additionally, the fact that the SimCorp Dimension platform can also support all classes and multiple mandates was also a major selling point for the Dundee-based financial services company.

The firm first mandated SimCorp last year to overhaul its back office systems in Dundee and Hong Kong. Although the driver of the mandate has to reduce the number of back office systems relied upon, the financial services group was also looking to automate many of the manual processes it used.

When looking at vendors, which reportedly included 20 names, Alliance Trust also required a system that adequately supported functions such asset management processing, which includes trade processing, corporate actions, dividend processing and reporting for its back office. Additionally, the firm needed to ensure that the system could allow its trusts to retain the flexibility to move in any direction and provide more efficient risk management, thus allowing staff to focus on other services such as handling exceptions and improving timeliness of trades.

ôWe are already reaping the benefits of having SimCorp Dimension in our back office,ö says Weir. ôWe can now access a significantly increased amount of data from external sources electronically and the systemÆs seamless processing capability automates a lot of the work that we previously did manually, such as the processing of trades. As a result, we are able to make better use of available data and our staff are able to focus on value added tasks.ö

In related news, SimCorp has announced the appointment of Alan Ngu in Singapore, reporting to Per Bjoedstrup, professional service manager, Singapore. Ngu will take on the role of business consultant and will be expected to draw on his 15 years of experience in the finance and technology space.

Most recently, Ngu worked at Prudential Fund Management Services in Singapore. During his four-year tenure at this firm, Ngu was responsible for the rollout of a front-office system in seven markets through the Asia-Pacific region.