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Rand Merchant Bank, the Johannesburg-based investment bank with operations in the UK, Ireland, Australia and US, has licensed Advent's Geneva investment management and accounting system to serve as the platform for a new prime brokerage business.
RMB is a division of FirstRand Bank, part of one of the largest listed investment and retail banking operations in South Africa. 'We saw prime broking as a natural extension of the existing product areas within the FirstRand Group, which include securities lending, custodial services, equity and derivative research, trading and distribution, contracts for difference, fixed income research and trading, and a futures clearing operation,' says Ryan Proudfoot, head of prime broking at RMB's equities division.
'RMB has been servicing the growing local hedge fund industry with these products, and we are excited about the opportunity to pull these products together into a single-service prime broking initiative built on the Geneva platform.'
RMB delivers suite of products from various systems within the FirstRand Group. To launch its new prime brokerage operation, the firm sought a solution that could consolidate data input from its multiple systems, deliver comprehensive fund accounting for a broad range of instrument types, and offer a scalable platform to support its growth plans, and that could be implemented quickly to optimise what the firm perceived as a window of opportunity.
'After a global due diligence process, which included soliciting input from other prime brokers and evaluating 'build versus buy' options, Advent's Geneva emerged as the clear choice,' Proudfoot says.
Adds Håkan Valberg, general manager for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Advent Software: 'We are delighted RMB chose Geneva as the strategic partner for their new prime brokerage venture. Geneva's scalability and broad instrument coverage are ideal for an operation like RMB, which is looking to expand quickly into a growing market.
'The implementation of phase 1 of Geneva took only two months, allowing RMB to enhance its competitive edge. Our market leadership continues to be a key factor for firms when choosing mission-critical systems to support the business. We are very proud that Geneva continues to be the system of choice in the global prime brokerage and fund administration markets.'
Geneva's more than 100 clients worldwide include eight of the top 10 global prime brokers, eight of the top 10 fund administrators, 15 of the largest hedge funds, and many leading financial institutions. The platform offers comprehensive instrument coverage, full financial general ledger and integration tools to enable firms to manage complex investment vehicles, multiple investment strategies and tiered fund structures. Established in 1983, Advent Software serves clients active in more than 60 countries that manage investments totalling more than USD14trn.
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