Investec Technical Redesign

Overview
Technical redesign of IAM's global and regional sites
Client
Investec
See it in Action
investecassetmanagement.com
Outcome
Strong underlying platform that enables IAM's sites to deliver against strategic business goals

The client

Investec Asset Management (IAM) is a specialist provider of active investment products and services. Established in South Africa in 1991, the firm has been built from a small start-up into an international business. Their clients include some of the world’s largest private and public sector pension funds and range from foundations and central banks to intermediated and direct investors.

The challenge

Box UK has enjoyed a highly successful long-term relationship with Investec Asset Management, undertaking projects that have delivered measurable results including a threefold increase in site traffic and a 30% rise in lead generation. As part of the on-going evolution of their digital strategy, the financial institution required a redesign of their global and eight regional websites in order to provide users with more relevant and valuable information, better communicate the organisation’s image and culture, and update and streamline internal customer service processes. To achieve these goals the technology underpinning the site needed to be overhauled to offer a stable, secure and scalable platform for development, both now and in future, as well as deliver the exceptional levels of performance needed to power fund price information and other dynamic areas of the site. Additionally, the new infrastructure needed to provide IAM with the ability to increase relevance and impact by personalising the content they deliver to users, while ensuring they remain compliant with all necessary regulations for the various regions and user types they serve.

iam-screenshot_cropped

Our solution

Unlike the majority of investment banking organisations, whose sites are hosted on traditional steel server environments, Box UK’s systems engineering team implemented Amazon Web Services (AWS) EC2 to manage hosting of the new Investec Asset Management sites. Providing rapid automatic scalability, this approach enables the sites to run at optimal utilisation at all times; handling any changes in traffic levels effectively and efficiently.

The sites were also moved to a lightweight and flexible web application built from the ground up by Box UK’s software engineers, using an open source stack that leverages the intelligence and flexibility of leading technologies including PHP-based Symfony2, RabbitMQ and ElasticSearch. Not only does this support the rapid development of the highly customisable functionality required to meet IAM’s strategic goals, it also significantly increases the speed, security and reliability with which users are served data.

Access to this data was provided through integrations with third-party aggregators such as Finesti, which offers over 530,000 Key Investor Information Documents (KIIDs) that financial institutions are legally obliged to make available to users, and research and analysis firm Finex, which delivers the latest fund and shareclass information. To ensure optimal page performance and give users the best possible service, Ajax was used to enable the surrounding page furniture to be rendered once, while the dynamic data can be continually updated through iFrames.

As the Investec Asset Management sites are subject to strict financial regulations, it was vital that content only be accessible to users with the correct geographical and role permissions; to achieve this the underlying data model was restructured to offer more flexible delivery of crucial information to global markets, while remaining compliant at all times. This was supported by a new site structure, navigation and interface delivered as part of a user centred research and design phase, which reduced the length of crucial conversion paths, surfaced relevant and valuable content, and highlighted important calls to action and next steps to increase completion rates for key tasks.

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To further enhance IAM’s customer service capabilities Box UK’s development team integrated the organisation’s self-service area MyInvestec with their Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system Salesforce. Alongside a restructuring of the data model, this has provided the sales teams with a deeper understanding of client behaviour.

The outcome

The technical updates made to the Investec Asset  Management sites have delivered measurable performance improvements, including an increase in the speed and reliability with which real-time data is delivered to users, as well as savings of approximately 45% in their annual hosting costs by transferring from a traditional steel server environment to AWS in the cloud. The restructuring of vital data models and the accompanying user centred design activities have provided an improved user experience, validated by iterative user testing, that increases the ease with which the most critical user journeys can be performed, and ensured that complex industry compliance requirements are adhered to. Additionally, the streamlined management of user subscription methods has helped IAM maintain closer personal relationships with their customers by enabling them to instantly react to preference updates and send relevant information as and when it is required.

Investec Asset Management now has a dramatically redesigned online offering, http://investecassetmanagement.com/, that reinforces their commitment to being ‘out of the ordinary’ and significantly differentiates the brand from its competitors, by providing a highly effective communication channel to help clients make informed investment decisions. Their success in meeting these aims has also been recognised by leading industry bodies including the FStech awards, where the project was shortlisted for “Best Use of IT in Wholesale & Investment Banking”.