Operational risk software provider of the year: Thomson Reuters

For the second year running, we recognise Thomson Reuters’ Accelus Risk Manager software for a combination of flexibility and ease of use


It's easy to focus on operational risk management purely through the lens of the financial sector, but this year's operational risk software provider of the year, Thomson Reuters, has been successful well beyond the banking industry.

Chris Perry, global managing director for risk at Thomson Reuters, says: "We focus quite a bit on financial services because, first, the institutions are very large and their enterprise buys are typically very large deals, and second, because the regulatory challenge they are facing is probably greater than anyone else's. But around 60% of our customers and prospective customers are outside financial services, so we have created models that have rating algorithms and logic that's applicable in multiple markets."

The company's Accelus Risk Manager software platform has won praise from users for ease of use and flexibility. Perry is particularly proud of the speed with which it can be installed – the result of customers' disillusionment with long, complex custom installations which often fail to provide the benefits they promised. "People want the ability to implement op risk capabilities very quickly. They don't want multi-year implementations, they want implementations that take one or two quarters. We've really worked hard to make this software something that can be installed in six to eight weeks. We've had so much experience in this space that we've figured out ways in which the interview and setup process can be streamlined. It's not dumbed down, but it is much simpler and more logical."

In an effort which began in late 2013, the software's user interface is being adapted to resemble the interface of Thomson Reuters' Eikon financial information platform. Perry explains: "We have a user interface design lab outside London that we bring customers into, which has really helped us improve that aspect. We've had it available for about 18 months, it was originally used for Eikon and we have moved in the last six months to use it for all of our risk space as well. We are getting a common look and feel for all Thomson Reuters' financial offerings. There are 130,000 Eikon users out there which gives us a good feel for what users want from interfaces, even for basic things like fonts and colours."

Two priorities for the company in the past year have been the regulatory use test and conduct risk. Accelus Risk Manager can produce reports usable to help companies pass the use test, by allowing click-through from a report on a single event or decision to the risk policy underlying it – vital as regulators around the world throw more and more weight on the question of whether companies can prove that they are taking risk considerations into account in their everyday business decision making, rather than treating risk management simply as a compliance issue.

Two major upgrades are planned for later in the year: a risk appetite management module and a new risk regulation compliance workflow module. Further off, Perry says, users can expect to see improved own risk and solvency assessment (Orsa) capabilities.

"We see huge demand in Europe for solvency," he says. "The appetite for Orsa information is somewhat insatiable today." The company will also seek to broaden the reach of the platform by bringing in new categories of risk, such as credit risk, into the dashboard. And, in response to sustained customer demand, Thomson Reuters plans more upgrades to the software's ability to handle conduct risk.

"It's a hot subject – op risk historically is about things your company has done or been involved with, so that is the conduct of your people. We will be pushing hard on the conduct agenda – that comes primarily from conversations we have had with our customers for our next release, and it's rather urgent."

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