A world-class system developed by Faritec for Nedbank Financial Planning has positioned the bank at the forefront of the industry in the arena of financial planning.
Susan le Roux, GM of Nedbank Financial Planning, says the requirement was to integrate all financial planning systems to create a seamless environment.
Nedbank Financial Planning provides the bank's Retail and Small Business and Business Banking clients with financial advice and planning services.
"Our previous system lacked the capability to handle our volumes and long-term growth," le Roux says. "We needed all the 'bells and whistles' functionality as well as the ability to comply with industry regulations such as the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services (FAIS) Act and the Financial Intelligence Centre Act (FICA)."
Nedbank Financial Planning issued a tender, shortlisted four suppliers and then, after a stringent process including presentations, scoping documentation and due diligence, commissioned Faritec to develop the necessary replacement application.
According to le Roux, Faritec won the business on the basis of its South African pedigree, status as a leading Microsoft Gold Partner, excellent reference checks and experience.
"In addition, Nedbank had an existing relationship with Faritec and we have therefore been able to witness Faritec's quality and technical competence first-hand," she says.
The new system, Titan, went live on 1 June 2008 and is already delivering tangible benefits to Nedbank Financial Planning and its financial planners. These include enhanced performance, the flexibility required to adapt quickly to business changes, and ease of maintenance.
Developed on the Microsoft .Net Framework using the C# language with a SQL Server back-end and Microsoft SQL Reporting Services, Titan is designed to carry the business through extensive growth in the long term.
Furthermore, because Titan was developed from scratch specifically for Nedbank Financial Planning, the team had the opportunity to build in all the functionality and customisation to exactly meet the Nedbank Financial Planning's requirements.
Consequently, the system contains sophisticated checks and balances to improve risk management, automated updates of policies and ease of navigation.
Peter Winn, services director of Faritec, says: "Compliance to industry regulations was a major driver of this project, and by building process validation into the system we were able to ensure both compliance and data integrity. Nedbank Financial Planning now has the ability to do realtime, live financial reporting, and the system will carry Nedbank Financial Planning through its aggressive growth plans right up to 2012."
Le Roux agrees, saying Nedbank has close on 400 financial planners providing services to clients. "Prior to the advent of Titan it wasn't possible to track risk indicators before processing business. Titan raises a flag if business is submitted with some risk attached."
Faritec was able to further add value to the project by deploying a team of developers and business analysts on site to work with the Nedbank Financial Planning team and achieve a sound understanding of NFP's business and approach to financial planning.