IFRS 17 solution of the year: FIS

Asia Risk Awards 2021

Martin Sarjeant, FIS
Martin Sarjeant, FIS

FIS wins the best IFRS 17 solution of the year in recognition of the FIS Insurance Risk Suite. With IFRS 17 standards for insurance contracts gaining ground in the industry, the FIS solution has gained accolades for its customisable and integrated approach, providing users with confidence in their data.

Investing early, and with deep consultation with industry leaders, FIS introduced its solution just one month after the new IFRS 17 standard was published – helping to position itself as an industry thought leader and offering an encompassing solution to help meet its client’s emerging data and accounting needs.

The Insurance Risk Suite solution uses customisable actuarial libraries, covering all the various product types sold both across Asia and globally. In describing the solution and how it benefits its clients, Martin Sarjeant, senior vice-president of product management, insurance at FIS, notes that “with integrated financial modelling and data management capabilities, it provides the transparency, performance and control required by today’s actuaries and risk managers”.

Key capabilities for IFRS 17 calculations include automated workflow, reconciliation and data management, and an integrated accounting sub-ledger – all of which help to deliver a complete, end-to-solution for FIS clients.

The Insurance Risk Suite has been in development since 2015, with teams working across functions (insurers, consultants) and across the region, as well as globally to make sure they were integrating all of the necessary capabilities. FIS executives note that although IFRS 17 is fundamentally an accounting standard, it requires input from actuaries to value insurance contracts too, so the solution needed to work across multiple teams within an organisation.

The FIS solution is unique in that it accounts for the regulatory differences in regional markets. Sarjeant notes that “Asia led the way in implementing IFRS 17 and is an important market for FIS. IFRS 17 may be a global standard, but there are regional interpretations based on local product types and policy working. We’ve incorporated a lot of features to support these regional differences as standard.”

The solution is an all-encompassing tool, covering the needs of both actuaries and accountants for calculations, data management and process automation. Insurers use the platform to perform calculations for reporting on IFRS 17 results in addition to capital management and planning, scenario-testing and pricing analysis. Implementation over the past 18 months has provided key insights for FIS clients, helping them manage risks and calculate solvency capital for both regulatory and internal risk management purposes. Sarjeant explains how it has benefited their clients in that “it has also given them an essential tool for managing the business, particularly through heightened volatility and uncertainty”.

What makes the FIS solution particularly useful is that its functionality covers the automation of the whole IFRS 17 reporting process and integrates seamlessly with clients’ existing solutions. Allowing this type of reporting to be governed and audited so easily provides senior management and other stakeholders with confidence in the accuracy of the results being produced by their teams.

With both on-site and cloud-based capabilities, FIS clients can choose which delivery system works best for their needs. And at a time when many workforces are remote or working with a hybrid model, the cloud service allows for this flexibility in accessing and collaboratively working in the platform from anywhere. As customers’ needs are ever-changing, they need to be able to adapt with different insurance products as well as evolving how they engage with customers, in an increasingly technologically driven world.

With the IFRS 17 standard becoming effective in many countries in the next year-and-a-half, insurers are certainly feeling the strain to keep up. However, with the Insurance Risk Suite being a managed cloud solution, FIS is able to assist clients with operational resiliency and remote working. The cloud functionality also allows clients to minimise IT costs, get access to the system anytime, anywhere, and easily scale up or down the infrastructure to meet internal or regulatory processing needs.

In the coming months, FIS clients will be able to continue to incorporate the enhanced functionality of the IFRS 17 solution into their workstations. Clients can expect to see updates to data management, process automation, reconciliation, the dedicated subledger, and the calculations themselves. Taking a client-focused approach, Sarjeant explains how “our ongoing dialogue with insurers feeds back into the product and we continue to focus on how we can add business value from day one … With Insurance Risk Suite, insurers can meet IFRS 17 needs and manage their capital and upcoming solvency standards and amendments on a single platform”.

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