BearingPoint has launched an international partner programme for its suite of regulatory and risk technology solutions. Five consulting firms – d-fine, Deloitte, ifb group, KPMG and PwC – are the first companies to be on-boarded as partners to the new platform.
Over the past two decades, regulation has increased across various fronts, as it will continue to do so in 2017 and beyond. From financial constraints placed upon lenders to data protection and risk controls, the importance for organisations to comply with new rules has grown steadily globally. This is especially the case in financial services, where regulation is a key way of keeping the institutions running smoothly and risks minimal.
Against this backdrop, early in the 2000’s BearingPoint began leveraging insights and expertise from management consulting to start providing its clients with solutions for dealing with regulatory requirements. The firm, which has its roots in KPMG Consulting and Arthur Andersen Consulting*, has been helping clients in the financial services sectors for decades with improving their reporting and compliance operations, with the firm’s consultants saw great potential to improve the technology landscape in the market.
The journey started in Germany, where the firm had developed a number of solutions to support clients dealing with the likes of Solvency II, Basel I and Basel II and EMIR, as well as local German requirements (eg. reporting to the German Federal Bank). Among the early clients of the solutions were German banks Landesbank Rheinland Pfalz, DZ BANK and Sal. Oppenheim (a Cologne based private bank), and Nordic bank SEB. By 2007, the solutions arm had grown considerably, a trigger for BearingPoint to turn the unit into a separate entity (‘BearingPoint Software Solutions’), with the aim of providing the unit with a platform for acccelerting growth.
BearingPoint were not the only firm to have invested in its solutions practice, with McKinsey & Company also spending heavily to establish a successful solutions arm. However, despite fierce competition in the growing sector, ten years later BearingPoint Software Solutions has seen tremendous growth in its footprint, with in particular a strong presence in the financial services arena. Lifted by a wave of larger scale regulation in the financial sector, triggered by the financial crisis of 2008 and its aftermath (according to BCG the number of regulatory changes that for instance banks face per day has increased from 60 in 2011 to around 200 in 2016), BearingPoint have been able to capitalise on their momentum by developing cutting-edge solutions. Today more than 800 banking entities trust ABACUS/DaVinci, dozens of banks use ABACUS/Transactions to fulfil their EMIR reporting requirements, while more than 200 insurance companies utilise BearingPoint’s ABACUS/Solvency II solution for their end-to-end Solvency II compliance.
The firm’s ABACUS suite also includes Abacus360 Regulator (a platform for collection, analysis and dissemination of supervisory and statistical data for central banks and supervisory authorities), ABACUS/IRR (a product that facilitates the integration of ABACUS/DaVinci into SAP modules) and ABACUS/LiMa (a solution for liquidity management), as well as local solution tailored to regulatory specifics of countries. Two months ago the latest solution was introduced: Abacus360 Banking is the firm’s latest ‘next generation’ solution, covering all existing Abacus regulatory and risk modules, that is, according to BearingPoint, equipped to help banks prepare their regulatory operations for the new digital era.
Across the board, the Abacus platform, which has scooped over 20 awards and recognitions from industry panels and expert platforms, is currently being used by approximately 2,500 small, medium and large international banks and insurers in over 20 European countries to comply with among others Basel III, MiFID II/MiFIR, EMIR II and Solvency II. The software is available as a classic on-site installation and as a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution – an option that is rapidly gaining popularity in light of the benefits cloud-based working can offer in terms of speed, accessibility, safety and costs.
Solutions Alliance Partner programme
In a bid to further professionalise its Abacus services, BearingPoint has launched an international partner programme for firms that specialise in working with the products. Similar to large software providers such as SAP, Oracle and Microsoft, BearingPoint aims at developing a “partner ecosystem”, said Bodo Windmöller, Partner at BearingPoint and responsible for the Abacus product business, in order to provide clients with enhanced quality and service. “The quality of the consulting is a decisive factor for our clients, alongside the quality and functional scope of our products. Our partners play an important role in this equation. They complement our own consulting capabilities, and this programme, in cooperation with our partners, helps us respond faster to domestic and foreign customer requirements and offer our clients solutions that are ideally suited to their needs and preferences.”
Other benefits cited by the BearingPoint partner include boosting the efficiency of implementation projects, improving the alignment of product functionality with customers’ requirements and, through collaboration between partners, adding to the knowledge base as the firm continues to improve the functionality and UX of its suite.
The new programme, dubbed ‘Solutions Alliance Partner’, distinguishes between consulting, implementation and development partners. Five consulting firms have joined as launching partners: d-fine (a consultancy specialised in risk and finance), ifb group (an IT consultancy with a focus on financial and risk management), and three members of the Big Four: Deloitte, KPMG and PwC.
With the ‘Solutions Alliance Partner’ programme in place, BearingPoint aims at growing its solutions business in the coming years, in line with its company-wide strategy of reaching €1 billion in sales by 2020. Windmöller remarked, “The Solutions Alliance Partner program is an important milestone for our steady professionalisation and international growth strategy.”
In an interview earlier this year, Peter Mockler, BearingPoint’s Managing Partner, meanwhile said of the business, “Our Solutions business continued to show strong progress. Besides adding many new client projects, we expanded the international reach of our regulatory technology services, which drove extraordinary growth and market recognition. All these efforts resulted in improved analyst consulting rankings, notably by Gartner, IDC and others, in particular in the areas of FinTech and RiskTech.”
* In 2002 KPMG Consulting, which spun-off from KPMG the year previous, acquired a majority of Arthur Andersen’s business consulting business. A few months later the advisory firm rebranded as BearingPoint.