5QW from IMVS

An introduction to IMVS

Interview with John Motley, Director, IMVS

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IMVS Wealth Management Solution

Ever-increasing regulations add to the administrative overhead of asset/wealth management organisations, therefore a system which streamlines the processes involved in administering client’s accounts has a fundamental impact on a firm’s profitability. IMVS’ Wealth Management Solution is a highly scalable system that allows firms to improve their client service levels, increase productivity,...

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by IMVS
| 29/08/2018 12:00:00

The Wealth Mosaic: In conversation with John Motley, Director, IMVS

Can you please provide us with a brief introduction to IMVS?
IMVS was formed in November 2000 following a purchase of a product, its intellectual property rights and the existing team from a company called FAME Computers. IMVS is now wholly owned by the directors, a founding member and all of the current staff.

At the time of the purchase, there was a foundation of portfolio administration system. In conjunction with the core team, all of whom have been involved since inception and prior years at FAME, the product has evolved in line with technological advancement and increased regulation and compliance.

From our infancy with a basic portfolio administration system, we now provide a full suite of modules that cover the front to back-office functions and primarily targeted at what we would call private client investment managers, although maybe the term ‘wealth manager’ fits better today.

The firm is based in Birmingham, in the United Kingdom.

In terms of the wealth management sector, what types of work do you do and what type of clients do you work target?
IMVS specialises in working with private client investment managers, providing these businesses with technology services to deliver their asset and wealth management solutions. We work closely with our clients using our advanced technology to tailor products to meet their specific needs. We also look to ensure that best practices are established, not just during implementation, but throughout the lifetime of the relationship. We are also able to advise on all operational and IT requirements, including hardware, networking and websites.

For us, the focus is the small to medium-sized private client wealth managers - firms with funds under management ranging from GB£50 million to GB£1.5 billion. We see a significant minority of the sector dealing with the management of assets for the private investor, legal trusts and small self-administered pension funds. This is our target market and our aim is to provide those firms with innovative solutions to their business problems and to constantly look to improve our own products and services in order that our customers continue to deliver high-quality cost-effective service to their valued client base.

Our technology architecture allows us to deliver the flexibility and speed of change required in a market that, over the past 10 years, has seen an ever-increasing demand on compliance and regulatory requirements. We can deliver on that cost-effectively.

Why do your existing clients choose to work with you? What is it that makes IMVS relevant to them and why do they choose you over the competition?
The firms we deal with are relatively small and, invariably, of a similar size to us. We believe that they gain comfort from the fact that we also are a small team focused on a specific product on which every member is highly knowledgeable.

Our team has a vast amount of experience in the development and support of wealth management systems and, as we support and maintain a highly stable product, we are able to deploy multi-skilled resources to the tasks that are required. Our development/maintenance team are either experts or have a high level of proficiency in the development tools that we employ (including .Net, Oracle, PLSql, Java, Usoft and Crystal).

Also, we do not operate a call logging service. Any support requests come directly to a member of our team where they are dealt with immediately.

The software is also stable and robust and have very few errors reported to us. All of our users strongly commend us on our high level of quality of service not only with regard to day to day support but the turnaround speed for development. Our size is one of our key strengths for organisations that don’t want to be part of a big sausage machine or a very small cog in a big wheel.

In short, I would summarise to say:

  • We add value to our client’s business while costing less
  • We are able to work within challenging constraints and timescales and consistently deliver results that were thought to be unattainable
  • We have a proven track record of first-class support
  • We are flexible and willing to undertake bespoke/enhancement development at a realistic and affordable cost
  • We have strong internal industry knowledge

What next for IMVS? Can you tell us what the firm is focusing on now and some of what might be coming next for the business?
Our prime focus is to increase the market awareness of IMVS by extending our engagement and visibility with external market consultancy organisations, industry associations and social media forums such as The Wealth Mosaic, PIMFA, Compeer, Parkwell, Goodacre and LinkedIn. The aim of that is to support an increase in our customer base over the next 3 to 5 years.

With the resulting increase in revenues and profitability, the business itself will also then be in a position to increase staffing levels in line with growth of new customers and to ensure that we continue to upgrade to the latest versions of the software utilised in the development of our existing products and modules and to investigate new technologies accordingly.

Given your day-to-day experience working around the wealth management sector, can you highlight to us some of the leading opportunities and challenges that you see firms in the wealth management sector facing now and in the next 3 years?
A core focus for our firm is the many smaller to medium sized organisations that operate in the UK wealth management sector. The challenges faced by these firms are about the ever-increasing burden of costs to maintain compliance with the latest regulation. In many, but not all instances, there will be an encumbrance on technology to meet these ongoing demands of the market.

It is a real chicken and egg conundrum for us as a software supplier as, while we are not and do not have to be regulated, in order for us to sell our software, we need to prove compliance with the latest regulations and legislation. We need to invest in our offering to support the needs of our clients but cannot always pass the costs back to the client.

An example would be the needs around MIFID II transaction reporting. The scope of the project required the direct involvement of the majority of our team over a significant period of time, therefore forming a huge part of our staffing costs through 2017. However, the justification to pass the increased cost to our customers, particularly those with a minimal requirement of the relevant transactions, was difficult. The cost will be recouped over the next 5 years.

We want to see the market evolve to a more collaborative approach, where “Fintech” is not seen purely as a threat or a cost to the bottom line to the wealth managers. By partnering with technology specialists, wealth managers can in fact broaden the range of services they can offer to their current and prospective clients. We believe that this collaborative approach to technology offers a big opportunity, especially to smaller wealth managers, in particular manage the speed of change and keep ahead of their rivals.

Over the next 3 years, therefore, we would like to see a much closer liaison between both wealth managers and organisations like ours so that technology is seen as a core enabler to their business rather than a necessary evil.

About IMVS
IMVS is a business solutions provider to the wealth management industry that has experience with a wide range of financial services organisations, providing products and services ranging from partial to total solutions. The aim of IMVS is to provide innovative solutions to business problems and constantly seek to improve products and services in order that their customers continue to deliver high-quality cost-effective services to their valued client base. The IMVS Systems Development team has a vast amount of experience in providing wealth management solutions. IMVS are proud of the relationships they have with each of their customers and their advanced technology allows them to tailor their products to meet their specific software needs.

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