Avaloq

Avaloq is a Swiss company that develops and provides software for core banking. The software system, Avaloq Banking Suite, is used by more than 140 banks worldwide.[1]

Background

Core banking includes information about customers, transactions and account balances. Banks have traditionally bought in software for these purposes rather than developing it internally. More functions had to be added over the years as requirements changed, such as for online banking. The result has been very complex computer programs that can be difficult to manage. Coding changes for compliance to new regulations and for accommodating new products can be problematic.[2]

As a result, banks have tended to buy in modern comprehensive software from large, specialist firms. This may be run by the bank itself or by an agency running the computing service on behalf of the bank.[2][3]

Company history

Avaloq was founded in Zurich in 1985, under the name “BZ Informatik Aktiengesellschaft”, functioning as the information technology subsidiary of BZ Bank [de]. In 1991, 30% of the share capital was taken by the employees as a result of a partial management buyout. At that time, there were five staff and the cost of the buyout was $200,000.[1]

The first customer was Swiss National Bank, followed by five other commercial banks in Switzerland. The system then spread worldwide although it has had little impact in America.[1][2] Initially, the firm was called BZ Informatik, and its product “AdvAntAge”.

In 1996, the current name was adopted.[4] In 2001, the company split from BZ Bank, as the employees acquired 100% of the share capital.

In November 2019, Reuters reported that Warburg Pincus was working with Goldman Sachs and Barclays on a planned IPO or sale of Avaloq.[5]

In October 2020, Avaloq was acquired by NEC Corporation for $2.2bn.[6]

Current activities

Avaloq Banking Group AG employs 2,500 staff, 500 of which are programmers. It has annual revenues of over $500 million and its software accounts for bank deposits to the sum of $4 trillion.[1] The founder and chairman is Francisco Fernandez.[1][7]

The Avaloq Banking Suite software is used by over 450 customers including HSBC, Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland, UBS, Deutsche Bank, Nomura and Societe Generale.[1] Some of the customers have performed business process outsourcing to Avaloq itself for the actual running of the core computing service which uses cloud computing.[1][8][9] Apart from a 10% holding by a Swiss bank, Avaloq is owned by its employees and it has major offices in Zurich, Edinburgh and Manila.[1][10] In 2016 the firm was rumoured to be seeking investment from private equity investors.[11][12]

The security of the data stored by the system is of the utmost importance. To guard against cyber attack, the firm engages a number of companies based in Israel to attempt to break through the security systems and then help plug the weaknesses uncovered.[1]

References

  1. ^ Jump up to:ab c d e f g h i Smale, Will (6 February 2017). “High security: The man who protects our bank accounts”. BBC News. Archivedfrom the original on 7 February 2017. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
  2. ^ Jump up to:ab c Crosman, Penny (7 October 2013). “Can Big Four Core Banking Vendors’ Oligopoly Be Broken?”. American Banker. Archived from the original on 7 February 2017.
  3. ^Eckert, Martin (June 2011). “Swiss Banking Software Goes Worldwide” (PDF). worlditlawyers.com. pp. 20–21. Archivedfrom the original on 7 February 2017.
  4. ^“History – Avaloq”. www.avaloq.co.uk. Avaloq. Archived from the original on 7 February 2017. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
  5. ^“Swiss software group Avaloq hires banks for 2020 sale or IPO: sources”. Reuters. 21 November 2019. Retrieved 23 April 2020.
  6. ^“NEC acquires Switzerland’s Avaloq for $2.2bn”. ft.com. 5 October 2020. Retrieved 5 October 2020.
  7. ^“Our Management Team – Avaloq”. www.avaloq.co.uk. Avaloq. Archived from the original on 8 February 2017. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
  8. ^Minetti, Maurizio (23 October 2008). “Bankensoftware: Avaloq greift nach der Krone aloq greift nach der Krone”. inside-it.ch (in German). Archived from the original on 7 February 2017.
  9. ^Pütter, Christiane (14 January 2013). “Business Process Outsourcing Avaloq und Quirin Bank rollen BPO-Markt auf”. www.cio.de (in German). CIO. Archived from the original on 9 March 2016. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
  10. ^“Swiss firm Avaloq to create 500 jobs in Edinburgh”. BBC News. 7 October 2011. Archived from the original on 28 February 2017. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
  11. ^Andreasyan, Tanya (29 November 2016). “Avaloq in talks with private equity firms?”. www.bankingtech.com. Archived from the original on 7 February 2017.
  12. ^Hody, Peter (18 November 2016). “Avaloq in Private Equity Hands?”. finews.com. Archived from the original on 7 February 2017.

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