All Posts By

Samyak Mittal

Can Your Shared Services Group Manage Enterprise Risk? | Blog

By | Blog, Shared Services/Global In-house Centers

The financial crisis of the late 2000s, increasingly stringent regulatory requirements, growing competitive pressures, and a host of other factors have vaulted the risk management function to new heights of strategic importance for banking, financial services, and insurance (BFSI) companies.

Our ongoing research in the sector shows that most enterprises handle risk management out of their onshore headquarters locations, rather than giving ownership of the function to their offshore shared services centers, or what we call Global in-house Centers (GIC).

When we asked BFSI companies why they were keeping risk management on their home turf, they cited several reasons:

  • Because they’re still trying to streamline their risk management frameworks, structures, and processes, they’re unclear what to keep onshore and what to offshore to GICs
  • As risk management is becoming an increasingly critical component of the overall enterprise strategy, they view offshoring the function as a risky move
  • They’re concerned that the offshore talent lacks the needed business acumen and understanding of sourcing geography’s regulations
  • They feel constant interaction and frequent coordination with multiple business units and teams is the first line of defense for reducing risk at the origin

What’s the common thread behind all these rationales? They’re all perceptions, rather than reality.

In fact, our research shows that GICs are particularly well-suited to deliver the risk management function. Why?

  • Many shared services organizations are the driving force behind their enterprise’s digital, automation, and analytics initiatives, and their deep knowledge in these specialized capabilities can be highly useful in the risk management function. And there are synergies in areas such as risk modeling, forecasting, scenario analysis, and reporting. For example, a leading bank’s GIC has successfully automated local regulatory reporting, and is transitioning to be a centralized reporting team
  • There is a dearth of risk talent globally, but offshore GIC locations, such as India and Poland, have strong, solid pools of talent with deep risk management knowledge. This talent is coming from their domestic market (e.g., local banks) and existing GICs that, over time, have scaled their risk management function
  • To deliver real risk management value to the business, the GIC and the group risk team must be integrated; shared services groups have already cracked this operating model way back in areas such as investment research (e.g., sell-side and buy-side) and actuaries (e.g., pricing and valuation).

How can your shared services organization assume responsibility for your enterprise’s risk management function? Like most GICs, yours was probably established to handle scale-oriented transactional work. But risk is about value, not scale. So, you need to change your parent company’s mindset about your group’s capabilities by proactively identifying, proposing, and demonstrating how you can add value and be a strategic partner in managing risk.

Here are a couple of examples that may help get your creative juices flowing:

  • One GIC parlayed its experience with machine learning algorithms to build “Challenger Models” that significantly increase the precision of dataset validation for its company’s credit analysis
  • Another shared services group championed creation of its company’s “Operational Risk Center of Excellence” through process enhancements, global transformation projects, continuous process review and improvement mechanisms. This helped streamline and simplify various processes and risk frameworks.

Our two cents to enterprises: you stand to lose a lot if your risk management capability isn’t up to snuff. Your best solution may be right in front of you, even if not geographically right next to you.

GICs Winning the Analytics Game | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

By | Blog, Pricing, Shared Services/Global In-house Centers

Enterprises are increasingly looking to analytics to achieve top line impacts – think marketing and pricing analytics to support new product launches and better understand consumer behavior – and positive contributions to their bottom line through, for example, risk and fraud analytics. And they’re increasingly favoring GICs over third-party providers to support their analytics initiatives.

Why? By the nature of their engagement model, GICs are tightly integrated with the parent organization, which better enables the high levels of governance and management that are essential to deliver analytics services. GICs also have an edge as they can bundle analytics services into the business process services they deliver to provide integrated solutions.

Real-world Value Examples

Here are just a handful of examples of the types of value GICs are delivering to their parent companies.

  • The India GIC of an European financial services firm helped increase product revenue by 15 percent through analytics on product positioning in the retail market
  • A leading retail company’s India GIC leverages analytics to study the shopping patterns of customers in 20+ countries to predict how the market will grow or decline, understand customer loyalty patterns, etc.
  • By delivering more than 50 percent of a global bank’s consumer business marketing analytics, the India GIC has enabled targeted outreach that has increased consumer card sales
  • The Poland GIC of a leading U.S.-based consumer goods company implemented prescriptive analytics algorithms on its AdWords account to eliminate inefficient spend on paid searches, in turn saving substantial amounts of money.

How GICs Can Jumpstart Their Analytics Capabilities

Of course, the quality of the analytics and the impact of the resulting outcomes are directly related to the analytics talent the GIC employs.

Some GICs have chosen to upskill and reskill their existing workforce. While one has made it mandatory for select teams to undergo analytics courses and training, others have provided monetary incentives to team members who willingly opt into the training. Both approaches make GICs talent-ready to deliver analytics capabilities and face demand fluctuations. GICs are also exploring partnerships with specialist firms that can provide resources for a short duration, as needed.

Upping the Ante

To deliver even greater value, many GICs are proactively identifying areas within their operations to plug-in the analytics layer. To facilitate this, they have established analytics as a shared horizontal capability in their organization structure so that the skills and knowledge attained from one team can be leveraged by others. Further, GICs are heavily investing in training data scientists, and providing them global exposure to understand business needs better.

The days of providing just arbitrage are long gone. If your GIC wants to deliver the value your parent company needs in today’s business environment, analytics capabilities must enter into your equation.

To learn more about our view on GICs’ analytics capabilities, be sure to attend our sessions at the NASSCOM GIC Conclave (note, Everest Group is the Strategy Partner for the event) and visit us at Stall 7.