J.P. Morgan’s Australian securities services division is building new mobile applications and accounting technology in a two-year, $30 million project to improve provision of data to institutional investors.
The division holds more than $400 billion of financial assets for 100 superannuation and investment funds in Australia, including AustralianSuper, First Super, Vanguard and Schroders.
It has some 34 Terabytes of data pertaining to its Australian clients and operations.
Mark Kelley, chief executive officer of J.P. Morgan’s Worldwide Securities Services (WSS) in Australia and New Zealand, said the project would improve transparency for clients as they tackled regulatory changes, risk, costs and returns.
“Historically, this [WSS] business was considered a processing business – it was about moving cash and moving securities,” Kelley said. “That’s just the by-product now.
“What used to be the by-product is now the product; it’s about data and information. We believe we’re best placed to provide our clients with both the data and information to help them achieve their goals.”
J.P. Morgan will spend $30 million over the 2012 and 2013 calendar years to improve an accounting engine used by clients to keep track of their assets and deliver a range of ‘eSolutions’ to clients.
The investment will pay for Australian projects as well as any work required to use international J.P. Morgan solutions locally.
According to Paul Gladigau, managing director of WSS Technology in Australia and New Zealand, IT projects will be supported by a new, global “platform” team, established late last year to work alongside product, technology and operations staff.
The firm plans to launch its second mobile application this month, to provide asset performance information to its clients’ operations managers, board members and trustees, in response to demand from superannuation funds.
Its first application, FRaMES, was launched early year and provided real-time document sharing capabilities, research and fund administration tools via mobile web browsers.
Gladigau highlighted plans to improve the processing and reporting of transactions for managed funds and deliver more data electronically instead of using fax.
J.P. Morgan will also improve the breadth and depth of data and data extraction tools from the WSS core accounting engine, and deploy a new global securities master database – the ‘golden record’ – for use by bank staff when pricing products.
“There’s a lot of work in there,” Gladigau said. “[The $30 million project has] been many years in the making, and will continue many years into the future.”
Kelley said J.P. Morgan aimed to provide data according to client needs, whether by “pushing” data to clients, or allowing them to “pull” data from J.P. Morgan servers as required.
He said the firm would continue to run regional technology summits to meet with clients and their administrators and discuss the most effective methods of connecting to them.