FORTUNE FAVORS THE BRAVE EMPOWERING THE BACK OFFICE INSIGHT REPORT

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1 FORTUNE FAVORS THE BRAVE EMPOWERING THE BACK OFFICE INSIGHT REPORT

2 Contents Technology in the back office Regulation Tech trends The future of the back office Conclusions

3 Technology in the back office The back office has always been regarded as less glamorous than its more exciting profit centre sibling, the front office. However, the importance of a high-performance back office to a broker-dealer should not be underestimated; as the fallout from the 2008 financial crisis has shown, weak compliance can destroy hundred-year-old banks within days. This short report examines the potential impacts of technology on the back office of brokerdealers, the results of which are based on the views of 40 respondents working in the back offices of broker-dealers from 17 countries. The study was undertaken in July and August 2016 on behalf of FIS, by Lantern Insights. The regulatory challenge In general, the back office is responsible for reconciling and clearing sell-side trades on a daily basis as well as compliance with a wide variety of regulations. In recent years, the role of the back office has become increasingly important as new and stricter regulations have been introduced following the financial crisis of 2008 and the fines imposed by regulators, often as a result of weak compliance, have become much more severe. Tech trends Although the Big Bang in the 1980s digitized a lot of paper-based work and helped to globalize broker-dealers, it is only with the advent of the internet that the full potential of computers to revolutionize the industry has become apparent. Many different technologies are now being explored, such as automation, cybersecurity and mobile services. However, only a subset of these technologies will be of particular assistance to the back office. The future of the back office The back office of the future is likely to be quite different from the one we know today. Many repetitive tasks are likely to be further automated while certain processes and functions are outsourced, and reorganizing based on key strengths to gain competitive advantage seems certain to boost performance in non-core roles, such as compliance.

4 Regulation Every broker-dealer has a responsibility to adhere to regulatory guidelines, but in this heavily regulated environment, it s seemingly more difficult than ever to comply, despite significant and ongoing investment. Ashwin Gadre, partner, Capco, indicates one possible reason One of the most common complaints we hear from C-level executives on the sell side is there s very little transparency and very little consistency of metrics around different regulations. Our study explored some of the key areas of regulatory concern. Data privacy Data privacy matters because firms, clients and regulators all want confidential information to be kept private and not accessible to anyone that might intend to harm or damage market confidence. The back office is renowned for dealing with compliance and regulations, so the high level of concern for data privacy (40 percent) displayed by those we surveyed corresponds with where the back office would be expected to show concern. This high percentage may also reflect the fact that a change in regulation can often mean new processes need implementing to ensure the business aligns itself with the latest data privacy laws, and some high-profile hacks have helped to focus the need for stricter regulation in this area. 40% Front office (n=41) Middle office (n=69) Back office (n=40) 29% 25% 22% 20% 23% 15% 13% 10% 2% 9% 8% 12% 9% 8% 12% 10% 5% 7% 9% 5% 4% 2% 3% Data privacy Trade transparency Tax Captial requirements Differences b/w domestic and global rules Solvency and liquidity Reporting Other Figure 1: Which area of regulation concerns you the most? Tax In addition to keeping a lot of client and compliance information private, the back office has responsibility for reconciling and clearing deals. Part of this responsibility means that the back office needs to be on top of tax obligations. Tax is an extremely complicated area of regulation and one where changes in the rules could incur significant costs or penalties for weak or out-of-date compliance procedures. 65% 35% The middle (25 percent) and back offices (23 percent) show high levels of concern about tax regulations, while the front office exhibits almost no concern (2 percent), reflecting the limited perceived impact on revenue generation. Yes No Figure 2a: Do you expect regulation to significantly change your revenue model? Compliance costs When our back-office survey respondents were asked whether they expected regulation to significantly change their revenue model, 65 percent responded yes, with the same percentage identifying increased compliance costs as their primary concern. Ashwin Gadre concludes Sell-side broker-dealers and banks are spending so much money on regulations, trying to be compliant, but issues keep coming up and aren t being resolved, resulting in further cost. Increased compliance cost 65% 19% 15% New revenue models Reduced commissions Figure 2b: If you answered yes, how?

5 Tech trends When asked what was the most important trend facing broker-dealers over the next five years, our back-office respondents expressed particular excitement about cybersecurity (55 percent), outsourcing (36 percent) and mobile services (36 percent). The strong signal in relation to cybersecurity is a genuine and widely shared concern throughout the industry, while the respondents including mobile services in their top three trends reflects the ever-increasing capability of mobile technology and a growing need for broker-dealers to be operational around the clock. Blockchain (n=3) 33% 67% Fintech startups (n=7) 14% 43% 43% Regulatory compliance (n=10) 30% 10% 60% Execution algorithms (n=10) 20% 30% 50% Multi-asset technology (n=13) 15% 46% 38% Outsourcing (n=14) 36% 21% 43% Automation (n=16) 31% 44% 25% Cybersecurity (n=22) 55% 27% 18% Mobile services (n=25) 36% 36% 28% Percent 1 st most important 2 nd most important 3 rd most important Figure 3: Which of the following trends do you think will be most important to your sell-side business over the next five years? Cybersecurity With so much confidential information and data used, stored and managed in the back office, and increasing instances of high-profile cyber breaches, it is no surprise to see cybersecurity as a top trend with back office respondents. The financial and reputational costs of a hack can be enormous, and making use of the best cybersecurity available is paramount. Susan Crozier, director, product management and regulatory affairs at FIS, advises caution, The cloud appears to be a less costly way to fight cyber threats, but there are risks involved. Broker-dealers need to be careful when choosing which cyber defense provider to use. Outsourcing As regulation increases, it is more important that brokerdealers are able to outsource any non-core activity. Outsourcing services are starting to cover a broader range of sell-side functions and to become easier to connect over the internet, with compliance being one of the most promising areas for innovation amongst service providers. But does outsourcing completely unload the regulatory burden? Susan Crozier advises caution, The responsibility still remains on the broker-dealers, unless they can prove that they have solid consorts in place, the regulators can get nervous, leading to much higher scrutiny on broker-dealers. Mobile services The advent of markets that are open 24/7 and online services that can be easily accessed by mobile devices has meant that brokers-dealers do not need to be at their desk in order to conduct business or keep track of data. Correy Voo, managing director of Elicor Consulting, says, Better usage of new technologies, such as mobile apps, is providing a much richer experience for the users, and consequently that s giving users access to more information and a better level of service. The development and diversification of mobile services that are available stands out as an important trend for most of the respondents included in this back office survey (n = 25).

6 The future of the back office When exploring the likelihood to outsource, results from our survey were particularly telling, each of the three offices front (51 percent), middle (49 percent) and back (45 percent) highlighted the back office as the most likely to be outsourced. Back-office respondents were the least convinced, which perhaps demonstrates greater understanding of human impact on the often laborious and repetitive administrative tasks that the back office undertake. Susan Crozier says, I think broker-dealers have to hire more people in their business unit that understand technology and have technological experience, raising a question around the skill-set required by back office workers of the future. Many of the back office tasks are ripe for outsourcing and automation, but the value of human input should not be ignored. high-profile hacks have helped to focus the need for stricter regulation in this area. Front office (n=41) Middle office (n=69) Back office (n=40) 51% 49% 44% 45% 35% 32% 23% 15% 23% 22% 20% 23% Outsource front office functions Outsource middle office functions Outsource back office functions None of them Figure 4: By 2020, my business is likely to: Highlighting how back-office workers feel about their continued influence on the business, the below chart displays an expectation of how technology is considered most likely to augment (68 percent) rather than replace (15 percent) human analysts. Correy Voo says, At the moment, in the majority of cases, there is anticipation from regulators that there is some human involvement in the eventual provision of financial services. This is because there isn t sufficient trust that a computer system will be able to provide those services. 68% 56% 58% Front office (n=41) Middle office (n=69) Back office (n=40) 24% 25% 15% 20% 17% 18% Augment Replace Neither Figure 5: Do you expect technology to replace or augment human analysts?

7 The tech-driven back office When we asked our back-office respondents if they felt their company was becoming a tech-driven business, an overwhelming 85 percent responded in the affirmative, considerably more than the middle office at 71 percent. This could be because the back office, responsible for IT support, software and other advanced systems, is already teeming with technology. The middle office, by contrast, tends to be a late adopter and focused more on strategy and business decisions. Front office Middle office Back office 12% 15% 29% 88% 71% 85% Yes No Yes No Yes No Figure 8: Do you feel your company is becoming a technology-driven business?

8 Conclusions What next for the back office? The back offices of broker-dealers face major challenges due to dramatic increases in the scale, rate and cost of new regulations and their associated compliance burdens. The back office faces much change over the next few years due to many different regulations becoming stricter, weaker compliance becoming much more costly, and more regulatory jurisdictions becoming accessible to competitors and investors all over the world. Hiring new staff to comply with these regulations is difficult and expensive in the present low volume, low interest rate financial environment. It therefore makes sense to explore how the next generation of technologies can be leveraged to automate manual processes, share data more easily, and comply with regulations more accurately and cheaply. A secure pathway The emergence of advanced cybersecurity makes it easier to connect systems with confidence and to delegate specific functions to external, third-party service providers. These service providers are then able to act as utilities for the industry by sharing the cost of compliance across the industry, reducing the burden of complying with regulations or market changes, and investing in delivering greater efficiency and scalability through automation. In addition, the outsourcing of such non-core tasks enables broker-dealers to focus on adding value in their own areas of expertise by identifying new opportunities and mining their proprietary data for deeper insights. More than just a cost saving The next generation of technologies will not only help to cut costs but will also help to automate and outsource compliance. As the broker-dealer ecosystem expands it will become increasingly important that systems can connect with each other and share data with ever-growing ease. The roles of humans will not disappear as technology grows in importance; in fact, the most successful firms of the future are likely to be those that can make the best of both the latest technologies and the most skilled humans.

9

10 About this report This report is based on research and analysis conducted in association with Lantern Insights. It focuses on a survey of 40 sell-side back-office broker-dealers in 17 countries. The respondents included a broad spread of different sized organizations, with assets under management (AUM) as follows: Up to $99.99M 43%, $100M to $499.99M 23%, $500M to $999.99M 10%, $1B to $4.99B 8%, $5B to $9.99B 8%, $10B to $24.99B 3%, $25B to $99.99B 5%, $100B to B 3%. Disclaimer The information contained in this document is provided for informational purposes only and does not purport to be legal, tax or professional advice. This document is provided on the understanding that its content is based on information available as of the date of publication and is solely intended to promote discussion and inquiry on the subject matter. The individual circumstances of a firm should always dictate the actions, if any, a firm takes with regard to the subject contained herein and FIS will not be held responsible for the results of any actions a firm may take in reliance upon or as a result of reading the information in this document. About FIS FIS is a global leader in financial services technology, with a focus on retail and institutional banking, payments, asset and wealth management, risk and compliance, consulting and outsourcing solutions. Through the depth and breadth of our solutions portfolio, global capabilities and domain expertise, FIS serves more than 20,000 clients in over 130 countries. Headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, FIS employs more than 55,000 people worldwide and holds leadership positions in payment processing, financial software and banking solutions. Providing software, services and outsourcing of the technology that empowers the financial world, FIS is a Fortune 500 company and is a member of Standard & Poor s 500 Index. For more information about FIS, visit twitter.com/fisglobal linkedin.com/company/fisglobal 2016 FIS FIS and the FIS logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of FIS or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other parties marks are the property of their respective owners.

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