Press article

Warburg Bank practice report: Achieving true digital asset management in just a few weeks

Published: 16.08.2023 | By investify

Warburg Navigator was launched in 2017 as the first digital asset management service from a private bank. But since then, little has changed technically. With a change of service provider in spring 2023, new technical features were added to the product within a very short time.

The article first appeared in IT Finanzmagazin on 16/08/23.

Read article in IT Finanzmagazin now

Excerpt from the article:

When it was launched, the Warburg Navigator was considered an innovation: M.M.Warburg & CO was the first private bank in Germany to take the step of offering professional asset management as a digital solution even for smaller assets of 20,000 euros or more. The Warburg Navigator is not a classic robo-advisor – investment decisions are actively made by portfolio managers, who actively manage portfolios, depending on the client’s risk budget.

Over time, however, customers began to ask for more features: savings plans should also be possible via direct debit, and reports should be able to be generated as PDF documents. The opening of joint custody accounts and custody accounts for minors was requested. And last but not least: What is digital asset management without an application (app) for the smartphone?

For the implementation of customer requirements, Warburg Navigator has changed its technical service provider: For several months now, the asset management company has been cooperating with investify TECH.

The decisive factor for the choice was their proven view of client needs as well as the experience gained through previous cooperation with other asset managers, private banks and major banks. And this decision has proven to be the right one.

The solution is based on a platform approach comparable to the car industry. The basic technical framework is identical for all partners. This results in stability, cost efficiency and compliance. Based on this, customised adjustments are made, which make the asset management service of the respective B2B partner unique. The entire system is operated in a secure cloud infrastructure in Germany. Particularly noteworthy:

investify TECH continuously ensures that the technology and processes meet the latest customer requirements and current regulatory requirements - without any additional expense for Warburg Bank.

Dr Christian Jasperneite
CIO M.M.Warburg & CO

Within a very short time, the Investify Tech team was able to implement the migration to the new service provider. The range of tasks was quickly outlined, as there was clarity on both sides about the work packages to be carried out right from the start. It was helpful in this context that investify TECH had already gained a lot of experience in similar projects, so that they could fall back on more or less perfectly thought-out “checklists”.

In January, a “fine-tuning” of the homework to be done took place in Cologne. In which order must which data be delivered and processed in which structure? When must which functionalities be available? At which points does coordination with the custodian bank become necessary? These and other questions could be clarified and recorded within one day, then it was time for disciplined processing. Once a week, a jour fixe was held to discuss to what extent unexpected problems had arisen in the implementation and how they could be solved.

This is precisely where the wheat is often separated from the chaff in the IT industry. It is not uncommon for “culprits” to be sought in the case of minor deviations from the plan and for valuable capacities and time to be wasted on planning additionally required resources.

It is usually more efficient to simply allocate the scarce resources to solving the problem right away, instead of remaining at the meta-level and wasting time with complex planning tools and excessive communication.

Dr Christian Jasperneite
CIO M.M.Warburg & CO

Only in this way was it possible to keep to the extremely short time from the start of the migration to the go-live almost to the day. In addition to IT technical skills, it is also the corporate culture that determines how constructively unexpected challenges, which inevitably always arise, are dealt with. Trust also plays a role here, in several respects. On the one hand, the management must trust the employees of the IT company. This facilitates and accelerates processes immensely, as various control and feedback loops can be eliminated. However, the IT service provider must also trust that the client will also fulfil its tasks correctly and promptly as discussed. And finally, the customer must trust the IT provider to keep promises. If this basic trust exists on all sides, time can be spent much more efficiently on real value creation and less on excessive documentation and coordination loops. This is probably – besides the original IT skills – the real key to success.

The result shows:

With lean teams, efficient communication at eye level, concrete specifications and results-oriented cooperation, a digital asset management can become even more digital within a few weeks - and thus take client wishes into account.

Dr Christian Jasperneite
CIO M.M.Warburg & CO

And perhaps even more importantly, the experience gained in the migration can be used to implement the envisaged enhancements to the Warburg Navigator’s capabilities in a lean and fast manner as well. Warburg Navigator users already benefit from an app that gives them a transparent overview of the performance, the securities account and all transactions. In addition, savings plans can be easily set up and deposits and withdrawals can be initiated via the app. Contract documents can also be viewed with a click. In the medium term, it is planned to further expand the app.

Author: Dr Christian Jasperneite, M.M.Warburg & CO

Of Platforms and Smooth Tech – investify TECH on the Warburg Project

What is actually the biggest concern of banks and asset managers when it comes to IT projects? That these projects, once initiated, develop into a never-ending story.

We have therefore developed a modular wealth management platform that can be used as a white-label solution by different clients.

Dr Harald Brock
CEO investify TECH

It is of course adapted to the needs of the client. This does not only concern colours and fonts, but also includes the business model, the DNA and the values of the client. After all, the goal is to make the business models of banks and asset managers smarter and more efficient so that they can concentrate on their core competencies – asset management, advisory and sales. The platform contributes the building blocks and processes: from digital onboarding to portfolio management system and daily doing to reporting. Furthermore, as a regulated company, we can even take over the complete back office.

The advantage of such platform solutions is obvious. The B2B partner receives tried and tested solutions that are legally and future-proof and are continuously adapted to new framework conditions. In addition, the implementation risk is significantly reduced. We call this approach: Smooth Tech.”

Author: Dr Harald Brock, investify TECH