It is fair to say that Misys Banking Systems has devoted itself to servicing the Asian region more than any other technology company. The rewards for such commitment are obvious, and the company has secured a plethora of clients throughout Asia that use its structured products platform, Multi-Underlying Structured Trade (Must). In addition, by deploying its technology into the emerging structured products markets in China, Indonesia and the Philippines, Misys has provided banks there with the ability to trade structured products for the first time. These factors combine to make it the Structured Products technology company of the year, Asia.
During the past three years, the Must platform - which is part of the Misys Summit suite - has been implemented successfully at some of the world's leading financial institutions in Europe, the US and Asia. Not happy resting on its laurels, however, Misys has continued to roll out new versions of the product to its Asian clients. In 2006, it introduced Version 5.0 and 5.1 of Must for the Asian market, upgrades that further improved the product's speed and efficiency.
So far this year, an additional 30 global clients have signed up to Summit, 15 of whom are based in Asia. "This really does indicate our particular strength in the region," says Murray Sargant, Hong Kong-based managing director, sales and distribution at Misys Treasury & Capital Markets Asia.
The Must platform encompasses product pricing, risk management, accounting, straight-through-processing capabilities, cashflow generation tools and documentation. Moreover, the tool offers almost unlimited possibilities in constructing financial instruments without the need for additional programming.
The more complicated the trade or structure, the more value Must offers, Sargant claims. This ability to process complex trades is perhaps of greatest benefit in Asia, where complex structured products are the norm, particularly when it comes to payout options. Furthermore, the Misys front-to-back-office solution is especially useful to Asian banks that produce large numbers of new products with short-term maturities.
Misys' investment bank clients in Asia include the region's largest bank, HSBC, as well as Bayerische Landesbank, Deutsche Bank, Barclays Capital, West LB and Calyon. In addition, Japan Post - Japan's biggest financial institution - and the Asian Development Bank have all begun to implement the Misys front-to-back-office solution this year. Meanwhile, ICBC, the largest bank in China, announced plans in November to use Misys Summit to price complex structured trades and trade processing.
"Complex structured trades and derivatives are becoming increasingly popular in China and we have seen revenue growth of more than 40% in our Chinese business alone," Sargant says.
Misys has also sold solutions to clients in Indonesia and the Philippines, who are using derivatives and structured products for the first time, he adds.
Although the fruit of these relationships is yet to be seen in the form of large traded volumes, Misys has assisted emerging markets structured products providers with infrastructure that will no doubt provide benefits for years to come. "Decisions to establish derivatives and structured products trading desks are not taken lightly and we see it as significant that these banks have chosen Misys as their start-up provider," Sargant says.
Indeed, the market for banking software in Asia is buoyant and banks are seeking out well-established technology players such as Misys in order to facilitate future growth. The company claims that its systems can be deployed more quickly and easily in Asia than those of its competitors because it has a local presence.
"Misys has had a foothold in Asia for 20 years and is a trusted brand name in the region," Sargant says.
Why Misys won
Misys delivers value by increasing productivity and efficiency using straight-through-processing and front-to-back-office systems. The company has secured some of the world's most influential clients, not only in Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan, but also in China, including the mainland's biggest bank, ICBC.