With a variety of major regulatory changes on the horizon in the coming year, technology can provide a key way for financial services firms to hasten the rate they can adapt. Having been with financial services IT consultancy Varrlyn for around five years, Ujjwal Shankar spoke to Consultancy.eu about the rapidly changing nature of regulatory and digital consulting work.
Varrlyn is a Netherlands based consulting firm that specialises in IT technology within the financial services industry. Founded in 2010, the consultancy focuses on improving the dealing room applications of its clients, helping them to improve cost efficiency, simplify application architecture, optimise time to market, increase straight through processing and comply with financial regulations. It works for financial institutions including banks and asset managers in the Netherlands and beyond.
Ujjwal Shankar is a Business Analyst who has lived and worked in the Netherlands for seven years now, and “can’t imagine myself working anywhere else.” Speaking to Consultancy.eu, the former Infosys Software Engineer explained that he has taken to his new home so readily due to the flat structure of organisations – and how everybody can voice their opinion without holding back – something he has particularly enjoyed at Varrlyn.
Shankar joined the firm over five years ago. In the time since, he has worked on a variety of projects, mainly for one of Varrlyn’s top clients, APG Asset Management, an asset and pension management company based in the Netherlands. Noting the diverse range of projects this has involved, Shankar noted that Varrlyn supported the implementation of a new fund accounting system for APG (he was part of the team that designed and built the system) and supported a large data migration project, from a legacy system to a modern one.
Commenting on his work with APG Asset Management, Shankar said, “I am proud of how much I could contribute directly to one of the largest programs to date at APG. Also [I am proud of] the fact that I am one of the very few people to have worked in several departments of APG, hence accumulating an in depth insights of cross department business functions.”
Beyond work with APG, Shankar has been part of several datawarehousing and business intelligence projects, aimed at adhering to regulatory reporting and improving management information. Ultimately, though, his core area of expertise is Murex, which is a system for trading, treasury, risk, and post-trade operations for financial markets.
Since Varrlyn’s founding in 2010, the consultancy has completed multiple Murex projects, including for (retail) banks and a large asset manager, and qualified as a Murex consulting and integration partner in early 2017.
According to Shankar, technology partners like Murex are essential to keep on top of the latest developments in a rapidly changing regulatory market. He explained, “Close interaction with Murex is required for several regulatory projects during the course of work… Varrlyn keeps proactively sharing newsletters/webinars from Murex… Also Regulatory requirements are easier to meet with no SQL. More digitisation means more automation and data handling capacity and hence more accuracy and higher speeds of various business functions.”