Andrew Rosoman, regional head of FXPB for EMEA, and Colin Wood, FXPB Sales, discuss the migration of UBS’ electronic FXPB platform onto Neo.
Profit & Loss: What was the biggest challenge in terms of getting your existing FXPB offering integrated into the Neo platform?
Colin Wood: With UBS being one of the early entrants to the FXPB market the previous versions of our platform gradually developed into one which was rich in functionality and well-liked by our established client base. The scale of change in migrating to our Neo platform was, however, unprecedented and meant the project to do so needed to be carefully thought out and managed.
Our approach was to leverage the strong relationships we have with our existing client base, canvassing their feedback and also to learn from the experiences of other UBS businesses, which have already successfully migrated onto Neo.
The result is something that retains what our clients liked about the original platform and enhances it using the unique Neo design; placing it alongside all the other tools they rely on UBS for, both pre- and post-trade.
P&L: Where was the heaviest lift in terms of migrating clients across?
Andrew Rosoman: It was ensuring that clients are not just getting an email welcoming them to a new way of interacting with UBS, it’s about expanding the relationships with those clients. Our FXPB offering within Neo is a great thing to have in the shop window for new clients, but a big part of this is to enhance the existing client experience and the best way of doing that is to sit down with clients and show them the portal.
P&L: Why is the integration of your FXPB offering into Neo an important milestone?
AR: Our vision has always involved offering FXPB through Neo as part of a broader bank strategy to create a one-stop-shop where clients can have all of their needs met in one place. So now within Neo clients can access everything from research content to the execution capabilities to the post-trade tools and can interact with UBS sales staff via one portal.
P&L: So what do clients want from an electronic FXPB offering?
AR: The key things that clients are looking for are a visualisation of the trades that the PBs have received and are processing and what credit line utilisations they have in real time. Trade lifecycle events need to be in one place, and the design of Neo helps with that by being intuitive and flexible, so clients can get access to all of the key information they need.
Rather than providing prescriptive, canned reporting we’ve made it more simplistic to search for specific data, there’s a variety of filters and key word searches so the platform is far more interactive, as well as providing graphical illustrations of some of the content. It essentially allows clients to interpret the data more easily than before.
We got a lot of client feedback about how they wanted to interact with the information on the platform and so we’ve carried out a lot of work to optimise this. For example, there are far fewer clicks in order to get to the most commonly used reports and the page space buffers rather than having to click through multiple pages to see the data.
Additionally, every single report in there is customisable so clients can view the data in the way that they want to view it. Preferences and views can be saved by every user and are persisted such that they don’t have to be recreated every time the user comes onto the platform.
P&L: Have you seen a change in the kind of tools that clients are demanding?
CW: I wouldn’t say that there’s been a seismic shift in the type of data that clients are looking for, but I do think that they’re more sophisticated on the data points or the way that they’re interpreting the data that’s already there.
So one of the big developments in moving to Neo is the graphical representations of our content. It’s less about new data and more about providing a better way for them to interpret what’s already available.
P&L: Is this electronic FXPB offering a differentiating factor for you when you talk to clients?
AR: There are different client types that have different needs and there are certain client types that won’t really be interested in looking at a GUI because they subscribe to their information in other ways. But what Neo provides us with is a shop window that shows what we can do and it is a graphic representation of the power of some of the technology behind our FXPB platform.
P&L: So what’s the next step in terms of improving the platform?
CW: We have fed our clients’ imaginations with this release and we continue to receive detailed feedback outlining potential enhancements. We are currently working with clients to ensure these new upgrades are part of future development work.
AR: We’re still in a phased approach of rolling Neo out to our clients so we’re still gathering feedback, items on the book of work include other reporting enhancements, in particular building a landing page where you have all the items for attention on one screen. We’re still scoping out things like that to further improve the end user experience.