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As a provider of high quality financial information, KNEIP develops automated legal reporting services. In this area, the company recently developed a new product that meets the requirements defined by the regulation on alternative funds (AIFMD). It thus demonstrates its ability to innovate in FinTech. To better adapt to the market and deal with the growth in volume of the managed financial information and with the increasing quantity of documents to produce, the Luxembourg company has, in a few months, transformed its IT systems using  the services and expertise of EBRC.

Internationally recognized for its services in the management and transmission of financial information, KNEIP demonstrates how to create value through the intelligent use of technology. 'For the past years, our development was mainly based on the production of documents that meet regulatory requirements, such as KiiDs thatsummarize the key information about a fund intended for investors, and other forms of legal reporting, explains Jean-Luc Brach, a member of the executive board and chief information officer at KNEIP. Unlike other players working in this area, we have developed a fully automated system for the management of information, 100% Straight Through Processing (STP), that covers everything from filing to the delivery of certified documentsincluding their creation and the verification of information.'

Streamlining the transfer of information

Today KNEIP meets the needs of many players in the fund industry who are required to ensure legal reporting and to operate proper information transmission processes that respect the deadlines if they don't want to face substantial penalties or losses in sales. KNEIP distributes KiiDs in about forty countries, in conformity with the regulation of each one of them. The Luxembourg company has managed to develop a special solution in response to the alternative fund reporting obligations in force since October 30. 'Regulation is becoming more complex, particularly if the business grows internationally. In this context, we have to find new solutions for the players in the fund industry to improve the management and transmission of information while ensuring compliance', adds Jean-Luc Brach.

The essence of FinTech

By making good use of available technologies, KNEIP has developed innovative services. This is the essence of FinTech, the line of business on which Luxembourg's economy hopes to build its development. 'With our solutions, our approach is actually to improve the exchange of information in the industry. We intend to streamline the way in which investment funds manage information, continues the CIO. This is why we strongly contribute to the development of international standards such as FundXML, which aims to facilitate the transmissionofinformation in the financial sphere.'

Faced with the increasing complexity of regulation and a tendency among industry players to aggregate, KNEIP has to deal with a growing volume of information to process and a growing number of documents to produce. In this context, the challenge is to maintain quality service, ensure service availability and the integrity of the transmitted information. 'Data, at the heart of the financial ecosystem, is extremely critical. The consequences in the event of errors could be dramatic. We simply do not have the right to make mistakes. In order to ensure optimal service and meet the requirements of our clients, we have decided to adapt our IT infrastructure in order to benefit from greater flexibility', explains Jean-Luc Brach.

The challenge of transformation

To achieve the transformation of its IT systems, KNEIP was accompanied by EBRC. The specialist for financial information entrusted EBRC with the management of its infrastructure and complementary services, for example those related to security. 'KNEIP faces several challenges, including managing growth in the volume of information to process, but also the need for greater responsiveness towards the market, in order to better develop its products and innovations, comments Yves Reding, CEO of EBRC. With a good understanding of these issues, we accompanied KNEIP and proposed a solution that allows the company to get rid of problems of technical nature in order to better focus on the development of innovative and value adding services.'

The transformation of IT systems at KNEIP took several months of work during which the two companies worked hand in hand. 'With EBRC, we found more than a service provider, we found a real partner. Beyond the 'Infrastructure as a Service' offer, EBRC has specific skills that are at our disposal, including the management of security aspects, says Lee Marshall, Head of IT Infrastructure at KNEIP. The complementarity between our companies creates value. In the eyes of our clients, saying that our systems operate on one of the few Tier IV certified data centre that currently exist in the world is reassuring. Given the specific skills needed to manage such infrastructure, we are happy to rely on the talents of EBRC. This also applies to the security aspects.'

A community of interest

If KNEIP and EBRC fit together so well for this project, it's partly because the two companies share common values: the pursuit of excellence, a strong entrepreneurial spirit, clients with high expectations and the desire to work in accordance with the most advanced international standards. 'Our partnership is actually a community of interest. We are two complementary players who, as we have just proven, can work hand in hand to enable the creation of high value-added solutions in Luxembourg', says Yves Reding.

One of the challenges of this transformation was to do all of this while maintaining service availability. 'It's similar to changing the motor of your airplane during a transatlantic flight, says Jean-Luc Brach. To achieve this, we were happy to have the experience and expertise of EBRC available for our project management. 'Now, KNEIP is no longer limited in terms of processing capacity and can concentrate on the heart of its business: developing new products and continuing to innovate. 'The transformation of our infrastructure allows for better responsiveness, we can more easily update our system. Now we are able to push a security patch to 800 servers in less than 120 seconds', says Lee Marshall.

Specialized skills for a shared cost

'KNEIP is a pioneer to the extent that it understood that ICT allows you to accelerate the business. Rather than building its own broad infrastructure that is becoming increasingly complex to manage given what is at stake, our client realized it could break free from these restrictions and access high quality service with us as a trusted partner, that it could reduce its internal maintenance costs and benefit from extra high-level resources and people whose exclusive job is the management and security of infrastructures like this', adds Yves Reding.

KNEIP gladly displays that it is proud of this partnership and invites its international clients, including the largest banks in the world, to visit EBRC’s infrastructures in the hope that the combined excellence of these two players serves as an example and that it serves the FinTech sector in Luxembourg.

Published in ITnation Mag - December 2014