ZURICH – BLENDED FUNDS TRADING PLATFORM

THE BACKGROUND

Zurich is one Ireland’s leading insurance companies providing a wide range of general insurance and life insurance products and services. The company employs over 1,000 people across its locations in Dublin and Wexford. Zurich in Ireland is part of Zurich Insurance Group, a leading multi-line insurer that serves its customers in global and local markets. With more than 55,000 employees, the Group’s customers include individuals, small businesses, and mid-sized and large companies, including multinational corporations, in more than 170 countries. The Group is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, where it was founded in 1872 and has a global network of subsidiaries and offices in North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and other markets. 

THE OPPORTUNITY

Zurich Life and Investments provide an end to end solution for fund administration needs for companies who administer collective unitised and blended funds. The core element of Zurich’s service was run primarily on LIfe400 (on AS400), spreadsheets and dispersed databases. This was not scalable and carried undue risk and required excessive manual administration and oversight as a result. Zurich had a business opportunity to trade funds on a wholesale scale much larger than their existing processing activities but could not seize the opportunity without a major revamp of their supporting IT systems. Furthermore, the Life400 did not have the necessary capabilities to trade the blended funds, and it would be very difficult and expensive to add that capability.

THE PROJECT

TEKenable engaged in a detailed analysis of the existing and proposed process, devised an approach to allow the inclusion of the older technologies in Zurich without requiring them to be modified and completed a detailed functional specification with the Zurich business team which would form the basis of the new system. 

On completion of the analysis, TEKenable delivered a bespoke solution in .NET – designed, built and optimized for Trading and Pricing needs of Zurich users. The system entailed – 

  • Process flow for the management of the daily trading notifications and instructions and straight to market trades
  • Ability to load trade notifications from Back end systems e.g. Life 400 on a daily basis 
  • Settlement processing
  • Contract note receipt
  • Fund charges and pricing
  • Update of the HiPortfolio Asset management system with unit creations and liquidations
  • Manage the “de-blending” and aggregation of these notifications down to the Base Fund trade instruction level 
  • Issues Trade instructions 
  • Glide path based rebalancing of funds
  • Anti-dilution levy handling
  • Blend of Blend procesing and other fund types

THE OUTCOME

The new platform known, as TPT, is now an important element of Zurich’s business and IT infrastructure, allowing the company trade wholesale volumes of Blended Fund investments reliably without increased headcount. Long-term support for TPT is provided under contract between Zurich and TEKenable. The implementation of this new platform reduced IT costs, increased visibility and improved quality of service for the Zurich’s end customers and most importantly, allowed Zurich to launch a new business service, not just despite the impediment of legacy systems, but actually incorporating them into the process.

The project was so successful that Zurich Isle of Man engaged TEKenable to implement a trading platform for them supporting box position trading, multi-currency hedging and integrations with SAP. Millions of euro are being traded on a daily and weekly basis through these applications. 

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