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  • Stephan Gimpel

How to future-proof your DCM franchise from technological disruption

Where do you want to be in 5 years’ time? As an interview question it’s a bit cringe, but it’s a far better question to ask a business. In particular when it comes to technological transformation.

The tech industry prides itself on its ability to think from first principles - the not-so-secret ingredient for disruption. You find the underlying, core truths about a particular process or problem and solve for that, without any regard for what existing solutions might already look like.

Of course people may disagree about what those core truths are, so perhaps it’s better to call them core beliefs.

At Bots, one of our core beliefs is that the manual workflows in the DCM and Syndicate business are inherently undesirable and will eventually make way for a better way of working.

The timing may be unclear, and some banks are quicker to change than others, but given enough time, the move away from manual data reconciliation and copy & paste jobs is inevitable.

Because the power of technological transformation is such that anyone who won’t change will be outcompeted by those who do. The inefficiencies in the legacy setups will be too large, their client service too sub-par, and staff won’t put up with it.

This won’t happen overnight and there are many small, incremental improvements banks can make to their setups to alleviate these pressures for a period. But our core belief is that it will happen (hardly a bold prediction given that it is, in fact, already happening).

Another of our core beliefs is that data will eat the world. This was true a few years ago and is even more true in the age of AI. And the way you work and your ability to leverage data are inherently linked.

If you subscribe to a similar view for the future of the DCM and Syndicate business, the implication is clear: doing something about your workflows and data analytics is no longer optional. It’s a strategic imperative.

Yes, you can probably get by for a little longer and paper over inefficiencies with some extra hours every week. But in the meantime the market and the competition are moving further ahead.

Today, banks are using Bots as the foundation for digitalising their DCM pre-trade workflows. This is the hardest step on any data journey and, frankly, the one that banks are least well-equipped at addressing. Once user-generated data is in structured format, we can feed it back to internal systems for banks to run their own analytics. (Of course we also offer some neat solutions out of the box.)

So, ask yourself where you want your DCM franchise to be in 3, 4 or 5 years - and act accordingly, today.


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