Governance, risk and compliance best practice with ClusterSeven
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BlackRockDownload the full case study
BlackRock® is one of the world’s pre-eminent asset management firms and a premier provider of investment management, risk management and advisory services to institutional, intermediary and individual investors around the world.
BlackRock is a fast paced firm with new products and processes being created all the time. Excel plays an important role in innovation and is often used to prototype these products and processes. Whilst being innovative, it is important that controls are in place to prevent Blackrock being exposed to monetary, reputational and technology risk. The challenges presented were:
- Reduce and control spreadsheet risk
- Add control without making it onerous for users
- Meet regulatory requirements around the use of spreadsheets in business critical processes
Janus Capital GroupDownload the full case study
Colorado-headquartered Janus Capital Group (“Janus”) is a leading global investment manager with approx. $180 billion in assets under management (as of 31 December 2014). The firm offers institutional and intermediary clients as well as individual investors complementary asset management disciplines including growth, core and value equities, fixed income and mathematical investing. Outside the US, Janus has offices in a number of financial centres including London, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Janus identified that a large number of internal processes and functions were tied to and heavily reliant on spreadsheets. The firms’ Operational Risk Team coordinated an exercise to self-identify the use of spreadsheets by department – with the results confirming the pervasive use of spreadsheets and, more importantly, the operational dependencies many processes had to spreadsheets. From benign checklists and logs to critical business processes and calculations, the review exercise found that spreadsheets had become an integral tool to the business units. However – and most significantly – the Operational Risk Team found that in most cases, the control environment needed to be strengthened.
European Credit ManagementDownload the full case study
European Credit Management is a fast growing, award-winning independent investment management company that specializes exclusively in European fixed income. European Credit Management has approximately €12.5 billion (U.S.$16 billion) in total assets under management.
European Credit Management has a diverse client base including insurance companies, pension funds, asset management companies, commercial bank treasury departments, central banks, private banks and corporates. The company employs an analytical, research-based approach to investment. It prides itself on providing the highest quality reporting, control and transparency across its portfolio and risk management systems. It uses software from Infosys and SunGard and others to support internal processes. Spreadsheets are used to cross-check central systems and as a quick and efficient reporting tool. They are also used as a testing ground to model and adapt European Credit Management’s products and services to the requirements of its clients.
Aberdeen Asset ManagementDownload the full case study
Aberdeen Asset Management is one of Europe’s largest public, pure-play asset management groups, serving institutional investors such as insurance companies, pension funds, treasuries, banks, sovereign wealth funds, family offices and foundations. In 2014 Aberdeen Asset Management acquired The Scottish Widows Investment Partnership (SWIP) from Lloyds Banking Group.
As in other financial institutions, SWIP utilises a number of complex connected end user computing processes, including market feeds owned by Lloyds, which needed decoupling from the business following the acquisition. In deploying ClusterSeven technology SWIP de-risked the separation of the businesses and the subsequent migration from Microsoft Office 2003 to Office 2010.
Dresdner KleinwortDownload the full case study
Dresdner Kleinwort, the investment bank of Dresdner Bank AG, is typical of large banks, which have a vast number of autonomous spreadsheets supporting a range of business-critical functions. In 2005, Dresdner Kleinwort turned to ClusterSeven to help manage its spreadsheets, initially in the product control and finance departments, in order to reduce the operational risk inherent in running a large number of business-critical spreadsheets.
The implementation of ClusterSeven’s technology allowed Dresdner Kleinwort to control changes over its spreadsheet applications and track all changes made at a cell level. In doing so, it reduced the time spent trying to manage and maintain these applications without locking them down or reducing their effectiveness.
Model Risk Management – BankingDownload the full case study
One of the roles of this major bank’s trading floor is to provide reliable information on current and closed deals to a growing number of bank branches (currently exceeding 100). This information includes margins, positions etc.
The Bank uses a number of different trading platforms, limits and back office systems (including Kondor+, Prime, IBIS and MUREX) dealing with Bonds, FX Options, Swaps, Derivatives and other trades. Every day, from each system, a number of data extracts are loaded into a Risk database. This enables positions to be assessed and decisions made accordingly.
Unfortunately, the Risk department has noticed that input files sometimes contain invalid entries or missing data records. Undetected errors carry a risk of multiple US$10millions.
Example use cases
Organizations rely on spreadsheets in a variety of ways and as a result there are many different ways in which ClusterSeven can assist and add value to a business.view our use cases
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