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Manish Patel, Chief Operating Officer, CRM, and James Mitchell, Managing Director (International), Tier1 Financial Solutions discuss why firms need to re-evaluate their technology requirements, and what is driving adoption of advanced CRM and compliance solutions in Europe.

With capital markets firms in EMEA already facing challenges on multiple fronts, why should they reassess their technology needs? And how has the Covid pandemic impacted working practices?

James Mitchell, Managing Director (International), Tier1 Financial Solutions
James Mitchell, Managing Director (International), Tier1 Financial Solutions

James Mitchell (JM): “There’s tremendous pressure on banks worldwide to deliver more with less. This is a pressing issue in EMEA, where research, sales and trading desks have seen budgets slashed and teams downsized. Many do not have the infrastructure to support advanced FinTech solutions that would enable them to maximise the value derived from client data, automate workflows and increase firm-wide collaboration.”

Manish Patel (MP): “The Covid pandemic highlighted the urgent need for digital transformation in capital markets. A year ago, we witnessed the rapid dispersal of entire workforces from the heart of Europe’s financial centres to remote environments, which in most cases meant home.

“Firms that were already well into their digital transformation journey, with tried and tested, integrated cloud-based systems in place, were able to adapt quickly. But for businesses heavily reliant on legacy systems and manual processes, the switch was far more challenging – not least because of the very specific and stringent security and compliance requirements of capital markets.

“As vaccine rollouts proceed and firms plan their tentative return to the office, they will need to decide which model – working from home, in the office or a hybrid of the two – is most appropriate for the business, its employees and clients. To ensure the business is flexible enough to adapt to changing circumstances, it will need robust technology solutions that are up to the task and a 360-degree view of clients that provides a more comprehensive picture.”

How can specialist CRM create value for capital markets firms?

JM: “The complex workflows of capital markets businesses require specialist solutions that can process huge, disparate datasets and securely deliver actionable, revenue-generating intelligence. European regulation, such as MiFID II, requires banks to have robust systems in place that enable them to track how they are servicing their buy-side clients.

“Specialist CRM can provide a ‘one-stop shop’ for managing everything from business-wide client interactions to corporate access events, delivering a comprehensive, 360-degree view of clients in a regulated, compliant manner. But we’re not talking about traditional CRM here; rather, capital markets-specific platforms – business intelligence solutions that enable firms to maximise the revenue-generating opportunities from client interactions, increase efficiency and productivity, and demonstrate their value to clients.”

Manish Patel, Chief Operating Officer, CRM, Tier1 Financial Solutions
Manish Patel, Chief Operating Officer, CRM, Tier1 Financial Solutions

MP: “The right, purpose-built solution will also enable increased transparency, collaboration, and connected data and workflows across financial institutions – from global banks to boutique shops. As a centralised hub for managing client information, the platform will deliver prompted insights, which in turn drives more informed, consistent and profitable business, and smarter client engagement.

“The adoption of new technology can be a complex, protracted and expensive undertaking – but with the right technology partner and solution, it doesn’t have to be.  Pre-packaged solutions and an accelerated delivery model can ensure rapid, seamless integration in weeks rather than months, at a fraction of the cost of custom-built platforms.”

Looking ahead, how should firms be approaching compliance when it comes to CRM in Europe’s capital markets?

JM: “In just over a year, there has been a marked shift in the capital markets landscape. Mobility and virtual accessibility are more important than ever, and data is our most valuable commodity. As the innovation curve progresses, vendors need to deliver more specialised, interoperable and relevant solutions to address the challenges capital markets professionals in Europe are facing – including being able to turn oceans of data into actionable insights.

“Although firms in the US and Europe have many of the same needs, it’s important to be attuned to the differences and nuances of these markets. Regulations will continue to shift and it is going to be imperative that end-users and vendors stay nimble in their approach to technology and, more specifically, CRM.”

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