NBD embarks on private banking Odyssey

National Bank of Dubai has implemented a wealth management suite from Odyssey that should help its employees exceed the expectations of its high net worth individuals.

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By  Maddy Reddy Published  October 2, 2004

|~||~||~|The private office of the National Bank of Dubai (NBD) has deployed an Odyssey wealth management suite to manage its high net worth individuals (HNWIs). The bank’s previous applications couldn’t scale up to the specific demands of high value banking so it decided to deploy a specialised application. NBD’s portfolio management and valuation project team made a recommendation to the company’s senior management in late 2003 to deploy Odyssey. The management approved the request and Odyssey’s regional partner, Raqmiyat, implemented the new solution in six months. Prior to deploying the Odyssey solution, the bank used standard banking applications that comprised manual and automated processes. The financial institute had to depend on spreadsheets and extracts from its host system to compile reporting requirements for it customers and internal departments. NBD also used a combination of the contact management system (CMS) application it had developed inhouse and Microsoft Access, which maintained contact information of the Dubai-based bank’s clients, as well as on its potential customers. The processes for producing customer related correspondence were labour-intensive and prone to errors. As volumes increased it became more difficult to produce and dispatch customer correspondence on time. “The growing sophistication of our client base and increasing competition meant that our existing portfolio management system was no longer sufficient to meet the business demand. In order to compete in a market that is highly competitive, we launched a project to analyse, evaluate and select a solution that would meet our present and future requirements,” says Faranak Foroughi, head of the private office at NBD. Odyssey, which is currently used by 15 of the top 25 European banks and over 125 global financial institutions, includes tools for portfolio and asset management and relationship management. “We wanted to invest in a platform that would last for about five to seven years and bring a return on investment (ROI) in less than two years. And, importantly, the solution had to enhance the bank’s ‘know your customer’ position and compliance capabilities,” explains Foroughi. Since the deployment of the solution, the bank’s managers are able to use an integrated tool through the combination of Triple ‘A’— a portfolio of management system and Advisor, which is a relationship management tool for private banking. Triple A provides the bank’s relationship managers with the product portfolio its requires for modelling realtime valuations, and the analysis tools and performance measurement gauges it needs to better tailor its client’s assets with their investment profiles. Through the solution’s web interface NBD managers can also link with external trading systems, such as Bloomberg. Advisor is a front office web-based client management tool that replaces the bank’s CMS system. As a solution designed specifically for private banking, Advisor employs a collaborative relationship model so that all departments of a bank work together. By providing client and portfolio monitoring features, online advice and contact management functions and client data management facilities, Advisor allows NBD to proactively manage its clients. Furthermore, the system also assists the bank in keeping a record of complete investment profiles, business profiles, account plans, client contacts and follow-up reports. In addition to closely monitoring the financial relationships of the bank’s clients, Advisor also facilitates improved customer communication, which allows for the cross and up selling of new personalised products and services. The Java based (J2EE) Odyssey, which runs on NBD’s Solaris servers, is supported by other components such as interfacing modules, foundation components, integration module, data model and a database server. Currently, three of the bank’s back office staff and nine relationship managers are using the system. However, NBD remains optimistic that over time its high net worth client base will increase and more managers will be able to use the solution. ||**||

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