Putting the tech into Fintech
Broadridge scales up for the future of finance
By Erik Nelson | 3 minute read | February 24, 2020
Six trillion dollars a day. The leading market share of the U.S. stock trading and proxy business. Those are the stakes for Broadridge Financial Solutions. Accuracy and reliability aren’t a luxury, they’re a necessity. Even the smallest slip in daily processes could jeopardize not just the company’s reputation, but the stability of Wall Street.
Broadridge is a Fintech hero at the heart of the financial services industry, a company that inconspicuously enables daily trades across global financial markets.
“The financial industry runs through us,” said Mark Schlesinger, Broadridge’s CIO. “We help companies transform their business by enriching customer engagement, optimizing efficiency, navigating risk, and generating growth.”
To capitalize on the growing need for technology-driven solutions in the industry, Schlesinger and his team needed to outsource their existing infrastructure, reduce internal costs, and increase speed and scalability. For that, Broadridge needed a partner it could trust every step of the way.
“We ultimately agreed that IBM was the right solution for Broadridge,” said Schlesinger, “both from its position in the market, position in financial services, and ability to deliver.”
The IBM team dived in headfirst with Broadridge to develop an aggressive project plan, without risking business disruption.
“We’re almost like siblings,” said Loyd Simpson, IBM Global Project Executive. “There’s push and pull, working together to get the best outcome for their customers.”
That hard work produced an innovative solution. A private cloud environment with the processing power to tackle the most demanding trading day and the capacity to handle a growing customer base. A total transformation.
“It was a real change for us,” said Scott Anderson, Vice President of IT at Broadridge, “to basically move from owning our own assets to a true outsourcing relationship and having IBM manage that for us.”
The challenge was clear: a complete migration of data and processing to a new flexible and scalable system. The task was complex but achievable. The real issue was finding the time.
Weekdays were off-limits, since Broadridge needed to keep sync with global financial markets. IBM proposed a novel idea: what about weekends? With IBM iSeries cloud technology, Broadridge could move to a private cloud infrastructure much faster than if it had to design a brand-new system.
The weekend work made the migration possible to complete in just seven weekends. That brought the project in just under the four-month deadline.
“We were able to get this done in seven weekends when it could have taken nine months to a year,” said Anderson.
Beyond meeting the deadline, Broadridge and its clients never skipped a beat. The migration happened seamlessly, and the new platform provides “rock-solid, day-in and day-out services,” said Schlesinger. That allows Broadridge to deliver many of its critical, high-volume and client-facing systems with 20-30 percent faster processing. The new cloud technology enables Broadridge to onboard customers much more quickly. It also gives the company scalability to expand its business to new markets around the world.
“Internally, we’re calling this Broadridge 3.0, because it’s really about taking Broadridge to the next level,” said Schlesinger. “It’s what we call the ABCDs of InnovationTM, leveraging next-gen technology: A for AI and robotics, B for blockchain solutions, C for cloud and D for digital.”
Schlesinger and Broadridge aren’t stopping there. The transformation was so successful that they quickly identified the next opportunity to push their business into the future. As a part of a multi-year, strategic collaboration, Broadridge will create the Broadridge Private Cloud, powered by IBM. Broadridge will transition a significant portion of its global infrastructure to IBM, implementing Red Hat’s OpenShift platform—the industry’s most comprehensive Kubernetes platform.
“Accelerating our cloud strategy will enable clients to leverage an industry-leading, highly flexible and resilient technology platform,” Schlesinger said, “and allow Broadridge to accelerate our product roadmap, providing our clients with faster access to new industry solutions.”