Home Insights From legacy to leading-edge, GBST’s journey of innovation

From legacy to leading-edge, GBST’s journey of innovation

Blog 11/09/2023

In the rapidly evolving wealth management landscape, GBST has remained at the forefront of technology for four decades as a trusted partner of more than 100 financial services organisations globally. Following a multi-million-pound investment in transforming its underlying platform architecture to ensure its success for years to come, we talk to GBST about how it’s reshaping WealthTech and inspiring wealth innovation.

Founded in 1983, GBST works with leading financial brands across EMEA, North America, Australia and New Zealand, supporting over 5.5 million investor accounts and £250 billion in assets under administration globally. It’s known for its broad range of functionality and investment products and is the only platform provider whose solutions support pensions, general investment accounts, tax efficient investment accounts such as ISA’s, onshore and offshore bonds, and annuities on a single technology platform, covering direct, advised and workplace distribution channels.

With forty years’ specialist experience, GBST understands better than most that financial services doesn’t stand still. Global CEO Robert DeDominicis explains: “The industry is always moving forward, and technology providers need to continually innovate to stay ahead of the curve. Financial services is highly regulated and as well as dealing with evolving legislation, companies must contend with changing client needs and shifting market expectations. Ongoing M&A activity and consolidation also add to industry complexity.

Organisations need innovative technology to help them adapt quickly while supporting future evolution, and scalability for growth. We’re seeing companies completely rethinking their technology strategies and looking at modern, scalable, cloud-based digital solutions that can deliver customer transformation while improving operational efficiency and reducing risk and administration costs. Companies understand that digital transformation isn’t just about portals and real-time online access but requires a fundamental change in business strategy. By taking this approach and rationalising legacy systems, companies can simplify IT requirements and reduce the cost of maintaining multiple systems, benefiting from a single platform supporting multiple product lines.”

Over the past few years, GBST has invested heavily in transforming its technology stack, modernising the back-office user experience to deliver a cloud-based, responsive, content-driven digital engagement solution.

GBST’s Composer wealth administration platform, provides the rules, reports, and processes for investment platforms, pensions providers and wealth managers to administer investment and savings products and meet regulatory requirements. Following the transformation programme, Composer is a SaaS solution that’s cloud-ready, accessible and keeps the customer first in mind.

Modern SaaS technology brings several advantages. It includes a web-based user interface within its back-office administration solution with guided journeys and enhanced functionality based on a Global Experience Language shared design framework. This improves consistency and enhances overall user experience, while reducing risk and providing a more secure and reliable client platform.

The transition has allowed greater automation of processes, helping businesses scale, without adding significant cost. Domain-based REST APIs standardise data transfer, opening up Composer to integrations, while its microservices architecture aids the adoption of emerging technologies. Real-time event-based data services support improved analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, delivering personalised experiences for clients and their customers.

The new architecture also automates releases and upgrades, including the building, testing, and deployment of new software, accelerating the launch of new functionality, products, and propositions to market.

Alongside Composer, GBST’s digital portal solution Catalyst provides the tools, resources, and services to empower advisers and individuals to self-serve, manage, and grow their investments and products. Catalyst and Composer are fully integrated and highly automated, so online instructions are seamlessly processed in the administration platform.

DeDominicis says: “Our digital innovation goes well beyond just front-end portals, it is core to all our solutions and services, bringing a truly digital experience to back-office administrators, ensuring the same ease of use usually reserved for external portals and end users.”

Given GBST’s experience in delivering successful technology transformation projects for clients, its own upgrade programme was, unsurprisingly, expertly managed both internally and externally. The upgrade was deployed in a series of releases with existing clients using both new and old functionality and screens simultaneously, avoiding clients undertaking a costly, time-consuming upgrade from the old system to the new.

To ensure a culture of innovation runs throughout the whole organisation, GBST has created strong working relationships between the in-house digital experts, technology product experts and customer experience specialists. It’s combined deep financial industry knowledge with the very best digital expertise, resulting in the new technology stack delivering an ‘out-of-the-box’ experience for clients that focuses on configuration and quicker time to market, rather than extensive development.

DeDominicis concludes: “We are proud of our pedigree as a global wealth management technology specialist and the significant investment that’s been made to modernise our technology stack and deliver time and again for our clients.

But it doesn’t stop here, financial services technology continues to evolve quickly, and we’re committed to further investing in our technology to make sure we stay at the forefront of change to deliver modern, responsive, scalable solutions now and in the future.”

Posted in: Wealth Management Administration

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