Perpetual Investments had a major technology problem: three separate unit registry applications, increasing costs, and growing dissatisfaction from clients and staff.  The first system was based on an unscaleable, proprietary legacy platform called VAX/COBOL/ RDB, which stored about 3 million transaction histories. The second was a Bravura Solutions application supporting Perpetual’s Select multi-manager offering. The third was the underlying platform for all of its other products.  In the end, there were more than 260 users of these platforms and 200,000 active accounts, and staff had to be trained to use all three disparate applications.  

It was too much. Perpetual issued a request for proposals to administration vendors and, after a lengthy and rigorous evaluation, decided on Bravura Solutions’ service oriented architecture (SOA) unit registry system, Talisman, which is being upgraded into the new system Sonata.  During the tender, one of the manager’s crucial requirements was that 90 per cent of questions coming through the call centre be listed and answered on the first screen of the application, and that this screen would provide hyperlinks to full transaction histories, workflow data, previously scanned documents and other relevant information.  One of the main challenges in the implementation was ensuring that data was amalgamated in one place.

To overcome this, Perpetual’s database administrators and Bravura’s senior developers made a number of iterations aimed at boosting the processing speed of the various data-retrieval processes until the targeted response times were achieved.  The change has enabled Perpetual to achieve faster processing of investors’ data with less risk and at a cheaper cost.

The new Sonata system caters to life insurance companies, managed funds and master trusts. While it can provide an end-to-end solution for companies, its SOA usually links into managers’ existing administration systems which often feature add-on solutions for niche tasks, says Darren Stevens, global head of product at Bravura.  For instance, it doesn’t aim to replicate the intelligent character recognition solutions offered by companies like Xerox.  “If you go to any of the bank-based funds managers, they have multiple legacy systems and best-of-breed solutions.”  This makes it difficult for vendors of new solutions to usurp these entrenched systems.  “Very few companies at the moment are out to tender looking at holistic solutions. Most are looking at connection points for when SuperStream comes on, because if you don’t get the pressure points right, SuperStream won’t deliver the benefits.”

Join the discussion