Digitizing client onboarding only “scratching the surface” of future fintech offerings – Aztec Group

Fund administrator Aztec Group has selected Fenergo, a cloud-enabled 'software as a service' CLM solution, to replace its legacy systems for onboarding and compliance.

Aztec Group hopes the deployment of a new client lifecycle management (CLM) solution will be an important step towards onboarding investors more quickly, while enhancing the investor experience.

The independent fund administrator has selected Fenergo, which provides a cloud-enabled ‘software as a service’ CLM solution, to replace its legacy systems for onboarding and compliance.

According to Aztec’s chief technology officer Charlotte Light, the current onboarding process is a “major point of friction” in the fund lifecycle process.

“The Fenergo solution will also provide much improved transparency to both the investors and clients on a number of fronts, but particularly with respect to the status of each investor’s onboarding journey. This will be available by self-service, in real time and in an easily-digestible way,” Light tells Private Funds CFO.

Charlotte Light

The SaaS CLM solution allows clients to also digitize due diligence processes for anti-money laundering, know your customer and regulatory compliance.

Aztec Group specializes in alternative asset classes and administers more than 450 funds and 4,500 entities.

Light believes that adopting the new solution will allow Aztec to spend more time on value-add interactions, rather than administrative tasks.

“Aztec Group is pursuing an ambitious strategy in which technology plays a key role both operationally and for our clients,” she says. “We’re looking forward to working with Fenergo to transform the way we approach the client lifecycle safely and securely.”

She notes that it will make life easier for chief operating officers by removing the need for time-consuming in-depth, often manual, diligence.

“The Fenergo solution will remove complexity from the process, providing greater efficiency and a much-improved user experience while maintaining a high level of rigour to mitigate risk,” she says.

The solution will be rolled out in a phased program throughout 2022.

From a technology perspective, Aztec Group is seeking to build functionality for the future and so looks for products with ambitious and innovative product roadmaps. “Fenergo,” says Light, “gave us the confidence that they are willing to innovate and that their product would continue to evolve.”

Fenergo uses automation to remove multiple points of friction by providing a secure portal for investors to upload data and documents; a dynamic subscription form tailored to each investor’s circumstances; video verification to identity owners and controllers, and extraction of data from more than 150 registries around the world to collect data and documents to verify investor records.

This will enable the automatic screening and risk rating of an investor, accelerating the end-to-end process.

“There are also strong workflows and system user permissions in place to retain rigor of assurance. We see this as a leap forward in providing transparency, giving each investor or client a complete view of what stage that they are at in the process at any time,” explained Light.

Bold future

For any COO introducing new technology, cybersecurity considerations are likely to be top of mind. According to Packetlabs, global cybercrime is expected to reach a staggering $6 trillion by the end of 2021. As the scale and sophistication of attacks continue to metastasize, COOs need to understand what their fund administrators are doing to keep their fund data secure.

“As Aztec moves towards a digital operating model, ensuring security is embedded into the design of platforms and then maintained going forward is critical to our success,” says Light. “Following industry standard frameworks such ISO27001 to help us understand the risks associated with being a digital business, and build a resilient control framework, is essential.”

Given the pace of technological innovation, especially in the fintech space, Light believes there is still “so much potential” for companies like Aztec to explore.

“Some of the work we are doing with data will be transformative and, with nearly 300 clients and more than 450 funds, we have a wealth of information that we can turn into insights. Our ESG position is strengthening and it feels like the time is now for real and material change on this front.

“Finally, the potential for automation overlaid by AI and machine learning offers a future that means we can reimagine how organizations will operate and will change the way people work. I think we are only scratching the surface in terms of the art of the possible,” concludes Light.