Global Leader Solutions
In 2017, the focus of our Solutions business was on verticalization, meaning the transformation from a service to a product organization to gain more flexibility and independence – a milestone in our corporate development. As a result, Solutions now acts as a separate business unit – an independent virtual region, so to speak – with its own P&L and full responsibility for financial performance as of January 1, 2018.
Our three Product Units, which are the principal building blocks of Solutions, are headed by the Product Unit CEOs for Regulatory Technology, Digital Transformation, and Advanced Analytics.
Regional Managers are representing the Solutions business in the regions and countries. In line with the organizational changes, key processes between Consulting and Solutions have been redesigned to reflect the significance of their interaction on a firm-wide and regional level. Furthermore, rules of engagement such as go-to-market policies have been introduced to ensure efficient business continuity. Along with the verticalization, we have carved out legal Solutions entities for RegTech in Switzerland and Romania. Further legal entities are planned to be established in 2018.
In 2017, the RegTech Product Unit continued to grow in all areas – in terms of market share in our core and emerging markets, as well as revenues and employees. This successful growth puts Solutions right on track toward our 2020 ambitions and confirms our overall strategy, which is to focus on the regulatory value chain and our tax solutions, the internationalization of our products, and the development of new sourcing models.
Technology will be the key to meeting these challenges, which is why we will continue to invest in the new software generation Abacus360. The first release of Abacus360 Banking has been launched with AnaCredit for Germany as the first fully integrated reporting module, and all our customers have successfully delivered the first test reports to the German Bundesbank. Other milestones in our product development include the EMIR II and MiFID II go-lives and the big final go-live for Solvency II Pillar 3. We have also progressed with Abacus360 Regulator, winning the trust of several European central banks, especially with regard to data collection for AnaCredit and credit registers.
Our Swiss assets also saw a positive development in 2017, with high demand for our Swiss tax reporting products EasyTax and FiTAX, as well as for our reporting solution FiRE. The first wave of OECD CRS reporting for early adopter countries, evolution in FATCA reporting in terms of XML schema, encryption, reports, template updates, and changes in QI reporting reflect a very dynamic year in tax regulation. Both tax reporting solutions have extended their country coverage and will continue to do so in 2018. EasyTax will offer new modules for on- and offshore reporting such as the Australia module, while a new Canadian FiTAX module is being developed for our recently acquired client, a leading British international bank.
The internationalization of all RegTech products has been gaining momentum. Our international sales team has grown, and we have won new clients in Ireland, the Baltic States, the Netherlands, Austria, Andorra, among others, while expanding the client base for our Abacus Solution Suite in Germany. We have also increased our customer base for Managed Services, now including more than 140 reporting institutions worldwide.
Significant international growth has been achieved also for EasyTax and FiTAX, as well as for FiRE. New clients have been acquired and important markets explored, including Singapore and the Gulf Cooperation Council region (GCC), among others. Cross-selling at existing clients such as Ansbacher (Bahamas) Ltd., UBS, Banque de Luxembourg, and Credit Suisse have been achieved globally. Further banks have acquired FiRE due to new regulations and higher complexity, thus increasing our market share in Switzerland, the Bahamas, and Liechtenstein. New contract types, such as Managed Services or SaaS, have been discussed with our Swiss Assets following this trend.
Maintaining good relationships and an ongoing dialog with our clients is the cornerstone of our business. The most important platform for this dialog is the annual RegTech Convention. Last year, we hosted the biggest event ever, with over 700 participants from 31 countries. Over the past 24 years, the RegTech Convention has developed into one of the largest conferences on regulation, offering an international exchange platform for supervisory authorities and regulated institutions – an opportunity much appreciated by both sides. More than 200 clients attended our user seminars on Swiss RegTech solutions held in Luxembourg, Zurich, Geneva, Paris, and Frankfurt last year, and our unique position in the RegTech network has been underlined by banking authorities and auditors around the globe.
The industry’s recognition of our RegTech solutions is also reflected by a series of industry awards. In 2017, we won the Chartis RiskTech100 Award in the category “Regulatory Reporting,” and the Central Banking Award in the category “Consultancy and Advisory Services Provider of the Year 2017” for our Abacus360 Regulator.
Additionally, the RegTech Alliance Partner Program has been launched. We believe that strong alliances with partners and ecosystems are crucial to address the challenges the industry is facing, and this approach has been reinforced by the feedback we have received from the market. We have invested in the necessary infrastructure for our partner network, e.g. training, partner portals, contractual models. As a result, alliance contracts have been signed with various renowned partners, and negotiations with further partners are currently underway.
Based on the achievements in 2017, we will focus on the further verticalization of the Solutions business this year, and we believe that all RegTech products will continue to grow in 2018, again driven by new technologies, continuous internationalization, and an expanded ecosystem for RegTech products.