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MITEM Case Study - Banca IMI SpA

Banca d'Intermediazione Mobiliare IMI S.p.A. ("Banca IMI") is a fully owned subsidiary of Sanpaolo IMI S.p.A., one of the largest banks in Italy and ultimate parent company of Sanpaolo IMI banking group. Banca IMI is the Investment Bank of the Sanpaolo IMI banking group and as such is a leading intermediary in the Italian securities markets. Banca IMI's business interests cover:

  • Equity Trading and Sales: Banca IMI is a dealer in Italian equities, both on cash and derivative markets. It is a market maker in exchange traded and OTC stock options and provides client facilitation services, such as block trading, execution and warehousing.
  • Fixed Income Trading and Sales: Banca IMI is a market maker in a number of government bonds, mostly European and US, and has an established presence in the Eurobond market. The firm distributes a full spectrum of cash and derivative products to a wide European institutional investor base
  • Research: Banca IMI offers its clients an extensive research coverage including: Macro-economic research, Quantitative research and Equity research Reports on Pan European sectors
  • Corporate Finance & Capital Markets: In European and cross-border transactions, Banca IMI provides a broad range of capital markets advisory and underwriting services. The firm underwrites equity and fixed income issues for corporations, banks, government entities and supranational organizations. In the equity market the firm acted in many major underwriting, playing a significant role in the "privatization" process.

The bank is active in the financial markets in Germany, Holland, Belgium, the UK, Spain, Luxembourg, Greece, United States and has a strong presence in supra-national markets and associations.

Figure 1

Figure 1 - Securities Positions - Settlement Date Position

Business Problem & Objectives

As part of a full range of financial products and services, Banca IMI provides a Global Custody service to institutional clients, which involves processing cross-border securities trades, keeping financial assets safe and servicing associated portfolios.

Servicing portfolios is a complex task due to the large number of cash and security accounts that are held in different currencies. The balances of these accounts change in real-time throughout the trading day i.e. as soon as information is received. For this reason it is vital for customers to get quick and easy access to the account data whenever they want.

In the past this has proved to be a problem, as each time a bank client wanted to obtain a current balance, or verify transaction details on a specific account, they had to telephone or fax a bank office and wait while a clerk looked up the information on the Bank's back-office system, an IBM iServ 400 (AS/400) system.

In order to improve customer service and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of internal Bank processes, senior Banca IMI management recognized that account information would have to be provided to their institutional clients in real-time, via a secure on-line medium, such as the World Wide Web.

Approach

In November 1999 a three-person project team was assembled - including a Consultant from MITEM's Professional Services Group in the UK. The team began work by reviewing the project dynamics, then designing the application architecture, user interface and integration points. The initial project scope was to develop a web interface to allow Banca IMI customers to securely access Transaction Reports such as:

  • Securities Positions - Settlement Date Position (see figure 1)
  • Cash Position - Value Date Balance, including the days movements, etc
  • Account Conditions

A MitemView web server was deployed alongside Banca IMI web servers. The MitemView web server application was built using a Visual Basic development environment, by the MITEM consultant, with the web page construction, and subsequent maintenance, carried out by the in-house team. The basic purpose of the MitemView application was to provide information to the end-user by extracting data from multiple Midas screens and re-integrating into web pages. Though based in Milan, full administration was to be carried by the Luxembourg offices, who administer the iServ 400.

Subsequent features to the application would be to include facilities to allow customers to interact with their accounts.

Development Process

The MitemView server application was built in parallel with the web page construction. In just under four weeks, the complete application was delivered for limited user testing throughout December. After obtaining user feedback a few enhancements were made to the application, including amongst other things, a further improvement in performance on complex reports. This was achieved by caching and paging data. The complete application was ready for deployment in February

Results

The final application went live with full availability to all institutional clients during May 2000.

Key Features / Benefits

  • Banca IMI Institutional customers can gain fast, secure, and reliable online access to account information
  • Institutional customers can access account information worldwide using any web browser connected to the internet
  • Full integration with web site security to enable full protection of the customer's information
  • Quick time to market for the new application meaning less time and cost
  • Improved customer satisfaction through 'customer self-service'
  • Increased employee productivity related to the management of customer accounts and the automation of business processes
  • Non-invasive integration, requiring no changes or additions to the host system and application
  • Extending the functionality and increasing the return on investment of legacy systems
  • The application is totally scaleable allowing addition of extra functionality


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