SS&C is a global provider of services and software for the financial services and healthcare industries. Around 18,000 financial services organisations, from the world's largest institutions to small local firms, including fund administrators, insurance and pension funds, and asset and wealth companies, manage and account for their investments using SS&C's products and services.
Founded in 1986, SS&C (NASDAQ: SSNC) is headquartered in Windsor, Connecticut and has offices throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.
"The next chapter of development": Q&A with SS&C's Jude Metcalfe March 2019
Last year, Jude Metcalfe moved from the US to Melbourne to head up SS&C's Australian business following the firm's acquisition of DST Systems. We ask Jude what attracted him to the role and his plans for the future. He also reflects on the industry, post-Royal Commission; the new business opportunities arising from super funds exploring alternative operating models; and about him and his family falling in love.
- You have spent the bulk of your career working in the US, what attracted you to your current role with SS&C in Australia?
Having spent more than 10 years working with DST Systems in the US in both the retirement solutions and business transformation areas, I was attracted to the Australian market given the numerous similarities in both markets. Issues related to regulatory change and enforcement, increasing member expectations, as well as competition, disruption and attrition are hot topics for financial services companies in both Australia and the US. Underlying these issues is digital transformation, as a means of enabling financial services companies to provide more sophisticated and personalised customer experiences, as well as driving efficiencies throughout the business. Globally, the industry is telling us that digitising operations is a top priority, however many organisations don’t fully leverage the potential of digital technologies to create a sustainable competitive advantage.
"Globally, the industry is telling us that digitising operations is a top priority, however many organisations don’t fully leverage the potential of digital technologies to create a sustainable competitive advantage."
- How do you think the Hayne Royal Commission will shape the future of financial services?
At present, there are few confirmed regulatory changes so it is a matter of taking a ‘wait and see’ approach. However, the recently released Royal Commission final report, the Productivity Commission report and the Australian Taxation Office’s MIG3 will undoubtedly bring about significant changes over the coming year for banks, superannuation funds, insurers and advisors. The Sydney Morning Herald described them as “once-in-a-generation” – and they are likely to be policed by more aggressive and potentially, more powerful regulators.
- What are the biggest opportunities in the Australian financial services industry in the next year or so?
One of the biggest opportunities we’re seeing is superannuation funds exploring alternative operating models. This includes fully outsourcing operations to a BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) provider or acquiring technology under SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) rather than purchase agreement. Or funds opting for a hybrid model where, for example, back-office functions are outsourced, while member engagement is insourced.
This growing interest in alternative operating models is being driven by two key factors. The first is the growing cost, disruption and risk associated with fully insourced operations given rapidly changing customer needs, new technologies and security issues, from among other things, cyber-attacks. The second is that outsourcing operations and/or technology can give the fund’s leaders and trustees more time to focus on their members and core investment management business.
"I work with a very talented team and we all aspire to do better, both as professionals and as a business."
- What are you most looking forward to in your role in the coming months?
The rapidly emerging fourth industrial revolution is having a profound impact on the financial services industry. It will lead to dramatic improvements in everything from data and knowledge management (cognitive analytics and quantum computing), processes (machine learning and robotic process automation) and member engagement (robo-advice and voice engagement). Smarter financial services companies will see automation as a way to drive efficiency as well as customer outcomes.
In the next 12 months, we will also see the implementation of the New Payments Platform, the first phase of Open Banking and the growing adoption of Blockchain. These, together with the increasing use of faster, less disruptive APIs will dramatically change how financial services companies interact with customers. It’s an exciting time.
"In the next 12 months, we will also see the implementation of the New Payments Platform, the first phase of Open Banking and the growing adoption of Blockchain."
- What’s the best thing about your job?
I work with a very talented team and we all aspire to do better, both as professionals and as a business. With the SS&C acquisition of DST Systems completed last year, leading the larger Australian team and the company through the next chapter of development is what motivates me.
- How are you settling into Australia?
My family and I have fallen in love with Australia and have settled into Melbourne very well. We’re enjoying the lifestyle and great weather.