Finance Operations: Achieving Back Office Excellence

Description

A prerequisite for a profitable, controlled and successful financial services business is a strong, stable and efficient operations function (‘back office’). Despite huge investments in computerisation over the last few decades in an attempt to achieve the highest level of automation or straight through processing (STP), experienced operations personnel are still required to deal with transactions which, for whatever reason, fall out of the automated process and require human intervention.

Over recent years, and certainly leading up to the financial crisis of 2008, the operations function in many financial services firms was degraded at a time when there was significant growth in activity both in terms of business volume and complexity. This was partly a result of the mistaken belief that the investment in computer systems would make the operations function more or less redundant.

This back office management course is intended to explain the relevance, importance and responsibility of the operations function in today’s international financial services industry whether in banks, broker/dealers, funds management, global custody etc. It will provide a comprehensive and generic understanding of the operational aspects of the financial markets and give participants the tools to identify the optimum approach to operations management and to achieving operational excellence. It covers the capital markets products and how, where and why they are traded and explains the different trading and investment strategies and how they are supported operationally. The course explains the market participants, how they interact and how they are structured so that attendees will have a sound knowledge of the ‘front to back’ processes.

The concept of straight through processing (STP) is analysed through the life cycle of various transaction types and the course explains what can go wrong and the operations controls required to ensure efficient transaction processing. The program will include an analysis of the inherent risks in the financial markets with particular focus on operational risk and how it may be identified and obviated.

This back office course will examine and compare the processes of outsourcing and offshoring and discuss the benefits and disadvantages of both and how an optimum result can be achieved.

Finally, the argument for the investment in a strong operational function will be made and that operations is not ‘just another cost’, but an important factor in the profitability and creditability of any financial services institution.

What you will learn

  • The role and importance of operations in the typical front, middle and back office structure
  • The roles and responsibilities in the back office
  • Internal and external relationship management and communication
  • The ‘Chinese Wall’ and segregation of duties and reporting lines
  • Operations as part of wider corporate governance
  • Operations, regulators and the impact of regulations
  • Operational resources and how they should be managed
  • Staff management and motivation
  • The concept of STP and why it can break down
  • Maintaining static data
  • What are ‘fails’ and fails management
  • Counterparty fails
  • How various trading/investment strategies can impact operations 
  • An overview of the capital markets and products
  • The life cycle of transactions and how market participants interact
  • Operating in a multiple market, multiple product environment
  • Managing limits
  • Cash and collateral management
  • Operating in emerging markets
  • The back office as a revenue generator
  • Pre-emptive strategies to reduce risk, errors and costs
  • The end to end control process and the vital importance of reconciliation
  • How operational risk can be identified and measured with key risk indicators (KRIs) 
  • Measuring performance (KPIs)
  • Operations and the avoidance of money laundering
  • Cause and effect analysis
  • Issue escalation
  • Management information systems and their use
  • The development and relevance of the ‘procedures manual’
  • Identifying and allocating operations and transactions cost
  • The ‘top’ versus ‘bottom’ line P&L
  • Operations and new business development
  • Operations role in project management and new systems implementation and managing ‘business as usual’ (BAU)
  • The benefits and disadvantages of outsourcing and offshoring
  • The request for proposal process (RFP) for ancillary services
  • Operations and business continuity planning (BCP)
  • Audit (internal and external)

Further information

Euromoney Learning
Provider:
Euromoney Learning
Duration:
5 Days
Locations:
Amsterdam, Barcelona, Dubai, Geneva, Hong Kong, Istanbul, London, Miami, Miami Beach, Florida, Milan, New York, Paris, Paris , Riyadh, Singapore

Contact Information

Euromoney Learning

4 Bouverie Street
London
EC4Y 8AX

Credentials

Locations