Front-to-Middle Office Platforms: EMEA Wealth Management Edition

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20 October 2020

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European wealth managers continue to face headwinds due to political and market volatility, Brexit, the COVID-19 pandemic, dynamic client expectations, increased regulatory scrutiny, and the pressure to modernize existing legacy IT systems with new technology. Vendors providing the front-to-middle office platforms for these financial institutions (FIs) must deliver a solution that produces an exclusive client experience. Notable differentiators include: the application of big data analytics to provide actionable recommendations and insights, seamless advisor–client collaboration, mass customization functionality, and a robust financial planning module.

In this report, Celent reviewed Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Front-to-Middle Office platform providers, which is an update to the 2016 and 2013 Front Office reports:

·European Wealth Management Technology Vendors: Evaluating Front Office Platform Vendors

·European Wealth Management Technology Vendors: Evaluating Front Office Platform Vendors

This report is part of a greater series of Celent’s Wealth Management vendor analyses studying CRM, front-to-middle office, and front-to-back office platforms across Europe and North America.

Celent defines Front-to-Middle Office vendors as those platforms that support the advisory process from end to end in an integrated workflow and single infrastructure. It is important to note that although these vendors offer an integrated platform solution, many of their solutions are modular so that wealth managers can select specific components to support key workflows. Front-to-middle office components support the advisory process, from acquisition to ongoing maintenance and retention, in a single workflow. These components include client relationship management (CRM), financial planning, portfolio management, and portfolio monitoring. Reporting straddles front office and back/middle office operations.

This report, the first of two, examines the leading European vendors of Front-to-Middle Office platforms. The following vendors are included: Avaloq, Comarch, Envizage, Finantix, InvestCloud, New Access, Objectway, Prometeia, and TechRules. Avaloq and New Access are included in the comparison tables, but not in the ABCD analysis. Other notable vendors in the space include: Atos, Charles River, CREALOGIX, Intellect Design, Openfinance, Refinitiv, and Temenos.

This study uses the Celent ABCD Vendor View, which shows the relative position of vendors in the following categories: Advanced Technology, Breadth of Functionality, Client Base, and Depth of Client Services on two separate X/Y scales. Celent had set out to include a Best Overall category, but it was evident that little separated the vendors. As such, Celent added an alternative category for this report, Most Modernized (since the 2016 report) and added notable mentions to commend the impressive work across the industry.

Figure 1 represents Advanced Technology (Y axis) and Breadth of Functionality (X axis). Figure 2 represents the vendors’ Client Base (X axis) and Depth of Client Services (Y axis).