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Unicredit Uses City Fios’ System to Unify its Data

Unicredit commends Financial Services Consultancy City Fios’ client revenue tracking system (FIOS) for giving it an accurate and comprehensive overview of its business activity with clients.

Having taken over several other European banks, Unicredit was determined to establish a cohesive overview of its client revenue. Unicredit’s investment banking business was created out of three legal entities – Italy, Austria and Germany.

As Franz Grillmeier, Business Manager for Corporate Treasury Services, explains: “All three banks had their own system, but they did not quite fit together easily.

“The major achievement for us from FIOS was the opportunity to read reports that appeared to come from the same source but which came from varying systems with heterogeneous data. We now have a fully global information system.”

Establishing and maintaining detailed information on client activity and revenue has always been necessary but with the recent switch in banks’ focus to more intensive client-based business this transparency has become absolutely vital.

“We need a more comprehensive approach of our client revenues and where they are coming from, in proportion to our overall P&L,” agrees Franco Sasso, Global Co-Head of Business Development, Markets.

“And the regulators are focusing on this split. We have to prove where our revenue is coming from, and to show where we are adding value to the economy.”

Chosen for its specialist banking experience, City Fios went straight to work consolidating Unicredit’s client revenue reporting. After a short ‘requirements definition’ project undertaken by City Fios partner Paul Byrne, the software consultancy implemented its unique and innovative sales management system. Data feeds were built from Unicredit’s client data systems, reference data was set up and business logic was built in - all tailored to Unicredit’s specific needs. All to great effect, according to Grillmeier.

“The implementation process with City Fios was quick because we found that they spoke the same language as us. There was no big translation needed”, he said. “They are absolute professionals in this field. We found it easy to express our needs and issues, and they could tell us immediately whether or not it could be done. We were given the logical steps with which to proceed.”

A small, niche consultancy, City Fios is made up of ex-banking professionals armed with a wealth of business understanding acquired over years working on complex software solutions in some of the world’s biggest banks. As well as expertise, City Fios also offers cost savings to banks as it uses an existing tried and tested solution which can be tweaked to each individual client’s needs, rather than building an entirely new system in-house.

Once the system has been installed, City Fios provides a ‘managed service’ offering through which clients can outsource administrative tasks such as feed monitoring, report production, reference data management and ad hoc data analysis. This aftercare service addresses ad hoc problems or particular scenarios as they occur, as well as providing the regular reporting that would normally be the responsibility of a client’s middle office.

“The City Fios managed service has always been there when required,” confirms Grillmeier. “Reports have been completed in the shortest possible time and we found the service flexible.

Grillmeier is in no doubt of the benefits of calling in City Fios.

“They are best in class for responding quickly when we need information or help. I have dealt with a lot of other big company consultants and you can see straight away that they are too remote from the topics we need to cover. They are more technicians: IT people who have worked in a sales background rather than a business one.

Sasso reinforces this viewpoint, “Usually you’re faced with consultant firms where you have to tell them what to do and how to do it. With City Fios it’s the other way round.”

City Fios also provide an online reporting tool, which allows users to help themselves to the data. This is another huge bonus for banking operations with a plethora of client information to digest. “It makes data readable, trackable, and sliceable/diceable in various different manners,” elaborates Grillmeier. “We can break down information to customer segments, to sales, to products.”

Having installed its system, City Fios prides itself on forming lasting relationships with its clients. Having experts who know your business at the end of the phone is reassuring for any busy bank.

“It’s a relationship, not a one-off transaction,” Sasso sums up. “Sustainability is really key. City Fios is not a firm that comes in, sets something up and leaves you with it. We work together as a partnership.”