Tim Orme is the Managing Director at BRT SA, running the UK arm of a Swiss BPO and Wealth Management technology business. The company provides outsourced middle and back office services to investment managers, as well as the bespoke technology platforms. Tim joined the company at a nascent stage and has dedicated the past 4 and a half years to leading the strategic and operational development of the firm, alongside his three colleagues on the executive team. As the UK business expands and continues to roll out BRT SA’s award winning solutions to more clients across the globe, a combination of high customer satisfaction and the firm’s healthy pipeline gives Tim and his colleagues continued confidence.
BRT came to life as a spin-off from Swiss asset managers Bedrock in 2007. Drawing on over 60 years of experience in private banking, the company has been growing profitably from the very beginning. Today, BRT has a staff of around 50 and serves 35 major clients who oversee more than 45 billion USD in AUM. We operate out of two offices, one in Geneva and a second in central London. Here Tim tells us more about the company, trends within wealth and asset management and his views on the future.
What is driving the current outsourcing trend within wealth and asset management? Subsequently, what are the key considerations for COOs considering BPO?
As the wealth and asset management industry becomes increasingly client orientated, the issue of which functions remain part of the core internal operation are being reassessed. Once coupled with downward pressure on operating margins and the increasing burdens of regulatory and compliance requirements, firms wanting to grow must consider innovative ways to manage operational expenditure, while maximising their efficiency and scalability.
Importantly the scope and interconnection of a BPO service needs to be closely tailored to each company’s unique procedural, investment and management philosophies. Non-differentiating generic activates such as reconciliation, price sourcing, report generation and data management can be easily transferred to specialist service providers, who can enrich them with best practices and scalable security of service, for example via an SLA. In the case where a service provider can combine established working methods with client specific customisation, firms can achieve a safe and reliable handover of these tasks without compromising on client experience & operational efficiency or undertaking cumbersome business transformation projects.
What are the key benefits for investment managers utilizing BPO service providers such as BRT?
When selecting an operational service provider that will play such a vital role within the business, it is absolutely key the solutions they provide are scalable, secure, capable and cost effective. All four of these aspects are mastered once the provider has gathered working methods from collaborating closely with its client base, as well as the additional positive externalities of critical insight and specialist process engineering. By working with an expert, investment managers can be sure they are staying up to date with technology and operations, while also freeing up time and resources to focus on their core activities of client relationships, research and generating alpha.
What is unique about the BRT approach to the market?
We work with our clients in two different modes, depending on their requirements. Firstly, we offer mature and dependable outsourcing services. This means our clients relinquish the burden of their back and middle office processes, as well as their IT and technology needs if necessary. As we cover the whole operational side, our clients don’t need to employ multiple service partners for this. Secondly, we offer the state of the art technology we developed for our own use, on a licensed basis. This allows those organisations who prefer to keep operational staff and processes in house the option to improve their overall operational functionality through customised software implementations. Over the years, BRT has established operational solutions boasting a well-established fleet of tools and services, and regardless of the role we play with each client, the core values of service, skill, discretion & integrity are ubiquitous.
What do you hope to achieve in the next few years?
Our shared goals for the company will continue to focus on the development of our product and service offering, essential to solidifying our position as the preferred partner to the wealth management industry. There is evidently strongly growing appetite for outsourced operational services, and as we build on 10 years of experience in this area we are confident of staying ahead of the curve and offering best in class solutions to wealth mangers, family offices, hedge funds and more. Our mobile solution, Fortress is also set to feature as a revolutionary private banking product, offering a simple, secure and totally white-labelled online portal, anywhere, anytime and on any device.