Eiichiro Yanagawa

About Eiichiro Yanagawa

Eiichiro Yanagawa is a senior analyst with Celent's Asian Financial Services group and is based in the firm’s Tokyo office. His research focuses on IT strategy issues in the Japanese and Asian banking and financial industries. His recent research has included core banking systems, ATMs, anti-money laundering technology, electronic trading, document management, IT spending trends, and business process outsourcing. Eiichiro's consulting experience includes development of bank IT strategies, thin client / desktop virtualization to support business continuity, evaluation of data centers for hosting core systems, and vendor selection of AML, risk management, and other technologies.

Data & Analytics: Are you making progress?

What are CIOs' Major Initiatives for 2020? What are the Key Technologies that are impacting CTOs' 2018 plans? How are cutting-edge technologies being applied as we brave the new world of fintech?

Three technologies that should not be overlooked:

  1. Social Media Intelligence
  2. Big Data Analytics
  3. Smart Robotics

From the CIO perspective…

  • Social Media is a means for creating new information.
  • Big Data is the new method for analysis of information.
  • Smart Robo is the platform of new information transfer & sharing method.

We believe that the possibility of disruption should be addressed in all adoptions.

Social Media Intelligence

For many people, social media intelligence or what others call social media listening, consists purely in screening social media platforms to get data that can complement internal data to make a better business decision.

Actually this definition is too short and does not include all key phases of a proper social media intelligence strategy.

At Celent we define social media intelligence as the strategy consisting in:

  1. Defining strategic objectives that are dependent not only on internal but external data.
  2. Defining a semantic scope or a group of topics, relevant social media platforms, and a geographic and language scope to be considered for the analysis.
  3. Filtering and analyzing social media data regularly (real time, daily, or monthly, but it is generally a continuous process).
  4. Implementing an action plan leveraging findings derived from the data analysis to achieve the strategic objectives initially defined.

Big Data Analytics

Since 2013, the results of ongoing Celent Survey have brought us many suggestions.

This figure shows the recent evolution of the insurance industry, as well as where we think it should be.

In 2013, Celent placed the target between practitioner and innovator. The survey in 2015 demonstrates that insurers have matched this level in the internal measures.

While 2015’s survey positions competitors ahead of last year’s, they have not matched the pace over the last two years. Similarly, survey respondents value customer expectations below their own investments, even though many digital leaders in insurance claim that insurers are compared to digital retailers and other services.

One BIG observation: The greatest shift has been the perceived benefit of data. This finding is consistent with what Celent has heard from the survey; even small data projects have demonstrated value and created a greater appetite for more information.

Smart Robotics

Once upon a time, a screwdriver was required to program a computer. It was used to install a new vacuum tube or remove a faulty one and pass electricity in the correct sequence to signal a zero or a one. Thanks to Moore’s Law, we have progressed exponentially since then.

However, until recently, IT professionals have continued to operate in the same programming paradigm: providing instructions to a computer requires that a human knows the solution to a problem before they began coding.

Advances in techniques such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning, and cognitive computing are challenging this convention. Using these tools, knowing the answer in advance is no longer required.

Celent views this shift as the next “Big Idea” in computing. We have labeled such a platform “The Aware Machine.” It combines multiple emerging technologies to solve problems once deemed too expensive, too complex, or just unknowable…

The Celent Aware Machine, displayed in the figure, is a conceptual representation of a platform which combines multiple technologies: artificial intelligence, machine learning, cognitive computing, and/or deep learning.


In this conference, I will focus on Social Media Intelligence, Big Data Analytics, and Smart Robotics, which are three major emerging technologies that are rapidly being adopted in the Financial Services Industry.

By participating in my session, you will understand the trend of modernization in Data & Analytics and how to introduce these three important technologies in various segments of the Insurance Industry.

In this conference, we will also discuss the impact of using AI and how to utilize this technology in Claims Management and Insurance Fraud.

Asia Conference on Claims Management and Insurance Fraud

13-14 Jun 2017, Mandarin Orchard Hotel, Singapore

Theme: "Managing Claims & Combatting Fraud as Strategic Tools for Success in the Era of Disruptive Innovation"


Recommendation: Related Celent Reports

Social Media Intelligence in Insurance by Nicolas Michellod

Bigger Data: A Look at How Far Insurers Have Moved to Take Advantage of Opportunities by Craig Beattie, Nicolas Michellod

Machine Intelligence in Insurance: Designing the Aware Machine by Craig Beattie, Michael Fitzgerald



This post is an outline of CELENT MODEL INSURER ASIA 2017. Part 4 sums up this year’s entries in terms of 2017 nomination status and offers valuable insights, which we hope will be utilized effectively.


What can other insurers learn from the Model Insurer Asia initiatives?

Key learnings from the Model Insurer Asia case studies include:

  • Digitalization requires insurers to challenge each manual process and each check and balance to see if they are truly required, and if so, how they might be digitized.
  • Predictive analytics combined with infrastructures allowing insurers to exploit massive amount of data coming from various sources will be key investments insurers will pursue going forward.
  • The benefits of modernizing legacy systems are clear, but the process is neither easy nor often successful. Different methods may be used to achieve success, but all include strong oversight and clear direction. The most critical elements to any project’s success are best practices, organizational structures, and corporate culture.

Celent intends that by aggregating examples of best practices and achieved success metrics from across the industry, we can illustrate the degree to which insurers are making effective use of technology today and provide inspiration to insurers contemplating how to improve their own technology strategies.

Readers should take two key messages from the next report bellow. First, no one insurer does everything right. Rather, most insurers do some things right. Second, effective use of technology is more important than pursuing technology for the sake of technology. These are common among Model Insurer Asia 2017 winners.


— This event celebrates the success of the Model Insurer Asia winners. In addition, we will preview the Model Insurer Asia Report.

Celent Innovation & Insight Day Asia featuring Model Insurer Asia Awards


New release:



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This post is an outline of CELENT MODEL INSURER ASIA 2017. Part 3 explains 2017 nomination status, following Part 2. The trends and features of the projects in this year’s entries are summed up on a category by category basis in this part.

Legacy and Ecosystem Transformation

The benefits of modernizing core legacy systems are clear and compelling

  • Gaining a competitive advantage — or achieving competitive parity.
  • Reducing operational and IT costs.
  • Making better underwriting and claims decisions.
  • Seizing analytic advantages when information and processes become completely digital.

However, modernizing core legacy systems is easier to think about than to do. Modernization projects are costly: both in terms of cash out-the-door and in terms of staff resources (full-time or part-time assignments to design and implementation teams, backfilling those vacated positions). Technical complexity is usually high due to substantial amounts of IP (intellectual property) embedded in the rules, product definitions, and processes; as well as long established integration protocols (often point to point) with other internal operating and back-office systems.

This category has also reached its highest number of entries. In Asia, a large number of legacy modernization projects are being implemented. Even though they differ according to the company, what is common among them is use of cloud computing. They apply it to a common system platform throughout the company in order to standardize their system. Three representative projects are introduced below.

2017 Model Insurer Asia Candidate Projects: Legacy and Ecosystem Transformation



Life insurance

Implemented a new business application to replace six disparate application systems, and to remove scalability and dependency issues.

General insurance

Implemented a new claims system to streamline and improve processes and system infrastructure, increase operational efficiencies, and provide better customer service.

General insurance

Implemented robotic business process automation and launched a chatbot to automate the business process as well as resolve customer queries accurately and efficiently.


Operational Excellence

Implementing new projects and technologies delivers demonstrable results. However, insurers also can generate significant financial improvements by improving the way they do business and the way they operate within the organization.

Sometimes operational improvements are generated by modifying the internal processes to be more efficient. Sometimes simply increasing collaboration and relationships between business and IT can result in operational improvements. While there are technology systems (project management tools, asset management tracking applications, etc.) that are helpful in this area, the most critical elements to success are best practices, organizational structures, and corporate culture.

All Model Insurer projects have some element of organizational excellence embedded within them; otherwise they would likely not have succeeded. Winners of the Model Insurer Asia in this category are insurers that have demonstrated excellence in a project specifically targeted at building a lasting foundation for IT management and operational excellence.

Asian insurance companies are trying to achieve a more modernized operational model and enterprise integration through the modernization of legacy systems. For insurance companies to develop and sell new products or services, the ability to make use of modern technology and establish excellent operational models is essential. Three examples that have achieved this are introduced below.

2017 Model Insurer Asia Candidate Projects: Operational Excellence



Life insurance

Implemented a project tracking and management system incorporating project management best practices to ensure a drastic reduction in the problems faced by end users.

Life insurance

A Smart sales platform which automates end to end sales process from Target Planning – Activity Management – Lead Management – Sales Fulfillment – Performance Dashboard.


— This event celebrates the success of the Model Insurer Asia winners. In addition, we will preview the Model Insurer Asia Report.

Celent Innovation & Insight Day Asia featuring Model Insurer Asia Awards


To be continued – Click here


This post is an outline of CELENT MODEL INSURER ASIA 2017. Part 2 explains 2017 nomination status. The trends and features of the projects in this year’s entries are summed up on a category by category basis in this part.

Data Mastery and Analytics

Analytics is a domain that has been given a new birth in the financial services industry recently. The crucial role new sophisticated analytics systems play in today’s insurance comes from different factors that are driving interest:

  • New data sources: data insurance companies can leverage has exponentially grown. Data sources are found not only in internal information systems but also in external sources.
  • The need to improve technical ratios: the insurance industry needs to find new ways to improve profitability, and in mature markets growing the business has become difficult. Therefore insurance companies understand they need to make investments in core business areas including: underwriting, pricing, claims, etc.
  • Emergence of new data analysis techniques: data sciences have made considerable progress over the past decades, and the emergence of new technologies has enabled drastic improvements in data analysis techniques including big data and machine learning.

This category’s entries include the following projects, which are all ambitious and totally worthwhile.

2017 Model Insurer Asia Candidate Projects: Data Mastery and Analytics



Life, General insurance, Wealth management and Retirement solutions

Leveraged big data analytics to change its retention approach from policy-centric to customer-centric.

General insurance

Created an agriculture insurance system with use of best practices and experience of field data management.


Digital and Omnichannel

Digital is a phenomenon affecting every process and operation in insurers as well as the ecosystem of partners and their customers. The increasing abundance of data, the sheer number of gadgets, cameras, and sensors, and the role of advanced analytics is reshaping what is available and reasonable to expect in real time. Insurers want to transform their processes and make them digital to meet the changing expectations of staff, suppliers, and customers. Industries around the globe either leverage digital technologies or find themselves having to respond to digital disruption.

Digital transformation is a vast topic that insurers globally have tried to address for many years. Celent defines digital transformation as the strategy of transferring as many manual tasks as possible into digital activities. This strategy can be achieved in different ways, including:

  • Automating processes.
  • Selling products online.
  • Leveraging mobile devices and mobile technologies in general.
  • Dematerializing documents and communication materials.

Digital requires a different way of thinking about business and forces insurers to challenge each manual process and each check and balance. The insurer must test to see if these are truly required, and if so, how they might be digitized. Many insurers have sought to bring straight-through processing to parts of their claim process, to leverage digital channels to capture information, and to update their customer. It takes a different level of commitment to try to drive that thinking all the way through the process.

This category received the highest number of entries this year. Every insurance company in Asia seems to be trying to aggressively adopt digital technology. Moreover, we found many digital transformation examples, which vary depending on the insurance company’s profile, competition, and customer base. Accordingly, we can say that the projects in this category show the most potential. We sorted the entries into five sub categories and have introduced a representative project from each one in the list below.

2017 Model Insurer Asia Candidate Projects: Digital and Omnichannel




Support agent channel

General insurance

Developed a mobile app for agents, enabling them to tap the market without depending on back office staff for quotes and writing policies


General insurance

Implemented an OEM Integration platform to enable OEMs and insurance aggregators instant policy servicing in their respective applications without any manual intervention by the insurance company.

Multiple channels

Life insurance

Implemented a mobile app to provide end-to-end sales tools that enable instant policy issuance, bundled with good customer experience.


Health insurance

Created a digital office with a self-service portal for customers and an online distribution tablet solution for advisors.


General insurance

Promoted computerization to create the next generation agency business model, without forgetting the humanity of employees, agents and customers.


Innovation and Emerging Technology

Innovation continued to gain traction. Changing customer expectations, digital transformation, growth needs in the face of resource scarcity, and environmental concerns are impacting every industry, including financial services. These changes accelerate the growth of the sharing economy and the demand for new customer value.

For example, the rise of sensors and intelligent digital ecosystems blur the boundaries between the digital and physical worlds and generate massive new data sources. Next generation analytics and artificial intelligence are coming on stream to harness that data and provide new services to prospects and clients.

Celent’s research on innovation plans in financial services for 2016 (Innovation Outlook 2016) found that the pressure to discover new sources of value for customers will continue. In 2017, implementing known solutions in these areas to gain parity with competitors will continue to be a priority.

In Innovation and Emerging Technologies, we can see the history of each company’s projects and their future strategy. Innovations are becoming more and more important, particularly from strategic perspective, as is obvious from the projects in this year’s entries. On the other hand, innovations should not be transient events but persistent changes in a set routine, which will lead to improvements in corporate quality. We have introduced two of the projects below that prove how important and effective innovations are for companies to grow.

2017 Model Insurer Asia Candidate Projects: Innovation and Emerging Technology



Insurer's innovation centre

Created an innovation framework and culture to generate new revenue streams from new business models and digital capabilities based on customer insight.

Digital insurance company that is a joint venture partnership between Insurer and Bank

Implemented an end-to-end insurance software in the cloud deployed by a single software vendor.


— This event celebrates the success of the Model Insurer Asia winners. In addition, we will preview the Model Insurer Asia Report.

Celent Innovation & Insight Day Asia featuring Model Insurer Asia Awards

To be continued – Click here


This series of posts is an outline of CELENT MODEL INSURER ASIA 2017. Part1 explains award categories.

We received a large number of entries for this competition again this year. We carefully examined these, from the end of the year 2016 to the beginning of 2017, in each of five categories.

The vision for Celent’s Model Insurer research is to try to answer an apparently simple question: What would happen if an insurer utilized today’s technology in the most effective way? Now technology is playing a more important role in every insurer’s strategy than ever before.

CELENT MODEL INSURER AWARDS consists of the following five categories, which embody the vision detailed above. In other words, these five themes are essential for any modern insurance company that wants to successfully carry out best practices.

Data Mastery and Analytics

Data has become a key source of competitive advantage for identifying profitable niches, managing risk, and improving service. New external data sources, data derived from devices, and new techniques for interpreting data are pushing the competitive boundaries for insurers at an accelerated rate. This theme recognizes projects such as predictive analytics (claims fraud, underwriting, pricing, climate analysis); prescriptive analytics (triage, sales automation, “next best action”); and virtualization (dashboards and heat maps, catastrophe management, network analysis, geopolitical risk analysis).

Digital and Omnichannel

Digital transformation is moving from person-to-person interaction toward person-to-machine or machine-to-machine. Integrating and coordinating among disparate and siloed delivery channels will be critical to satisfying ever-increasing customer expectations. Using the definition that digital automates complex tasks, allowing them to be mastered, then reproduced and distributed at no cost, this theme recognizes projects such as online customer portals; industrialization of processes; engaging user interfaces; online sales with STP; integration with business partners; leveraging social networks; and the use of mobile technology.

Innovation and Emerging Technology

Celent defines innovation as fundamental changes to products, services, or business models that break existing tradeoffs and provide value to the customer. New hardware, software, and network technologies feed insurance innovation. This theme recognizes projects such as the expansion into previously untapped markets due to technology; the use of technologies not previously used in the insurance industry; or the development of an innovation culture within an IT organization. This category also includes Insurtech initiatives which are rapidly expanding development and application of new technologies and operating models with the aim to fundamentally change current business models, financial models, and/or industry ecosystem.

Legacy and Ecosystem Transformation

Legacy technology can hinder innovation, since insurers must typically offer backward compatibility. Insurers must not only modernize, but also transform their internal systems and how they interact with customers, counterparties, and regulators. This theme recognizes projects related to core system replacement or transformation including policy administration, document management, customer relationship management, new business, illustrations, billing, claims, and rating/underwriting.

Operational Excellence

What does it take to safeguard investments in technology and improve upon IT processes? This theme recognizes projects such as successful reuse of technology for new initiatives; implementation of a non-core system such as illustrations, document automation, electronic applications, best practices in IT governance, IT operational management or IT risk management and security policies.  Achieving operational excellence, requires transforming processes and systems into competitive advantages by making them leaner, faster, more flexible and of higher quality.


— This event celebrates the success of the Model Insurer Asia winners. In addition, we will preview the Model Insurer Asia Report.

Celent Innovation & Insight Day Asia featuring Model Insurer Asia Awards


To be continued – Click here


 (Source: Wikipedia, Tokyo Stock Exchange)

The second chapter in the securities settlement revolution is the shortening of the equities settlement cycle planned for 2019. Japan has worked to raise the bar for its securities settlement system, with examples including implementing delivery versus payment (DVP) for securities settlement in 2007, and taking equities paperless in 2009, however, the settlement cycle remains at T+3 (four business days from trade). As such, the next step and chapter in this ongoing story in the settlement revolution is to fully migrate this to T+2.

Shortening the settlement cycle has the direct benefit of reducing settlement risk. In addition, the resulting increase in liquidity can also be expected to indirectly contribute to maintaining and strengthening the market’s competitiveness internationally. Japan Securities Dealers Association (JSDA) and the Working Group on Shortening of the Stock Settlement Cycle have sought to forge a consensus among market participants on how to address the following three points.

  • Reducing settlement risk.
  • Enhancing efficiency, stability, and liquidity of the equities market and the financial market.
  • Maintaining and strengthening international competitiveness (bring operations in line with international standards and orchestrating globalization of the equities market).

The European market migrated to T+2 securities settlement in October 2014, ahead of Japan. In coming to grips with the market reform witnessed in Europe, Asia-Pacific market participants have struggled with process changes and compliance measures accompanying settlement cycle shortening. Addressing challenges from the investment that would be required to risk points proved to be issues that could not be tackled lightly. Meanwhile, in the post-reform European market with the shortened settlement cycle the “settlement revolution” continues to play out.

The simultaneous implementation of integrating the securities settlement infrastructure (central securities depository (CSD) integration in Europe due to T2S (TARGET2-Securities) clearing settlement system) in tandem with market system reform (implementation of common European CSD regulations) ushered in a major turning point in infrastructure and great advances in the post-trade processing ecosystem for the first time in 20 years in the European market.

European market participants significantly expanded investment in the sectors of technology, operations, and systems, however, this has been taking place at the same time, that the entire securities industry is facing intense pressure to cut costs. This growth in IT spending coupled with cost-cutting pressures has spurred an evolution in post-trade operation models that has seen them move from being in-house, closed, and integrated to more innovative, open, and linked.

Changes in Europe Following the T+2 Revolution

What actual changes transpired in the European market following the shift to T+2 conducted in parallel with market infrastructure system integration? Here we will draw on the changes seen in the wake of the European securities to explore responses in Japan’s market as it moves to follow suit.

Post-trade Market Changes  

The simultaneous pursuit of securities settlement infrastructure integration (integration of CSDs across Europe via the T2S platform) and securities settlement system reform (implementation of CSD regulations common across Europe) marked a major turning point as they brought about the first major rethinking of the post-trade ecosystem and infrastructure in the European market in 20 years.

Although market participants have greatly expanded spending on technology, operations, and systems, they still face intense pressure to reduce costs. This growth on IT spending coupled with cost-cutting pressures has spurred an evolution in post-trading operation models that has seen them move from being in-house, closed, and integrated to more innovative, open, and collaborative.

Participants in the post-trade market not only face the need to improve the efficiency of routine operations, but also to reduce costs through shared and mutual use of operations and systems, devise new business models through business alliances and partnerships, and convert post-trade operations from a cost center to a profit center. Pursuit of heightened efficiency in operations as a means of cutting costs is spurring new initiatives—such as through streamlining operations, pooling collateral, and reducing intermediaries—that are in the processes of redefining the structure of the industry.

Structural Change in the Securities Settlement Industry

For individual financial institutions seeking to trim costs by simplifying and standardizing operations, business process outsourcing (BPO) was a good first step. However, the introduction and proliferation of utility services has generated secondary added value and cost reductions on a scale greatly transcending that possible through individual, company-based BPO initiatives.

For instance, new asset management services created via partnerships between small and medium-sized local custodians and large CSDs and efforts to parlay post-trading operation centers into new profit centers are typical examples. The viewpoint of improving the efficiency of securities settlement infrastructure can serve as a chance to reevaluate efficiency, optimization, and added value through comparing cost savings possible through mutual or shared use of operations and systems versus the merits of simple BPO with outsourcing use.

In particular, firms do not need to worry unnecessarily about excessive dependence on other firms, but rather medium- and small-sized market participants will find business alliances and introducing utility services as indispensable to bolstering their bottom lines. This move toward alliances and use of utility services is driving a shift toward the vertical integration of operation flows and partnerships and integration among smaller CSDs.


Register today!

(JP) Broadridge & Celent Webinar | The Securities Settlement Revolution in Japan

Related release:

(JP) Shortening the Equities Settlement Cycle: Second Chapter of the Securities Settlement Revolution in Japan

English version will be forthcoming shortly.




「証券決済革命」の第1幕は、2018年5月に予定される国債決済期間の短縮である。日本市場は2012 年4月アウトライト取引 及びSCレポ取引 のT+2、GCレポ取引のT+1(以下総称して「T+2」)を実現した。革命の第1幕はその「T+1」 への完全移行を目指す。

「証券決済革命」の第2幕は、2019年に予定される株式等の決済期間の短縮である。日本市場は2007年の証券決済DVP化、2009年の株券電子化などを通じて、証券決済システムの高度化に取り組んできたが、株式の受渡日は「T+3(約定日から起算して4営業日目の受渡)」である。革命の第2幕は、その「T+2」 への完全移行を目指す。



期間短縮の流れに対し、日本市場はどう対応してきたか?セレントの「決済期間短縮(国債T+1 / 株式等T+2)対応サーベイ2016」の結果に基づくと、以下のとおりである。[1]

  • 市場参加者の大半は株式等決済の影響度を見極めつつ、国債決済のT+1及び新現先市場への対応に注力している。
  • 現状は不可避な制度改正対応に終始しており、着実ではあるが漸進的な歩みであり、決してダイナミックで前倒しの取り組みとは言えない。
  • 日本国債や株式のグローバル化への期待が9割を超え、非居住者取引の進展、ユーティリティサービス(ITOやBPOなど)の新たなITソーシングモデルの進展への期待も大きい。





「証券決済革命」に際して、セレントは「モジュラー・フィナンシャルサービス」への移行を提唱する。そのアーキテクチャは、I) 顧客経験の管理、II) 商品サービスの管理、プロセスの管理、リスクの管理、III) インフラの管理、の3つの階層的なモジュール群から構成される。今回の制度改正対応は、III) 「インフラの管理」が焦点である。




[1] 調査結果の詳細は、下記のブロードリッジ・ホワイトペーパーをご参照ください。

「証券決済革命: 市場参加者の動向とパラダイムシフトの提言」

[2] ブロードリッジ・セレントオンラインセミナーへご参加下さい。




  (Source: Wikipedia, Bank of Japan Head Office)

This series of reports on the so-called “securities settlement revolution” will focus on key trends and changes in Japan‘s securities settlement market while exploring legacy systems and ecosystem migration, as well as the related possibilities of innovation and emerging technologies in this context.

The first effort in the securities settlement revolution involves shortening the settlement cycle for JGBs, planned for the spring of 2018. In April 2012, the market successfully introduced a settlement cycle that was shortened to two business days (T+2) for outright JGB transactions and special collateral (SC) repurchase transactions (repos) and one business day (T+1) for general collateral (GC) repos (together collectively regarded as T+2). The upcoming “revolution” hopes to shorten this settlement cycle to T+1, one business day after a trade.

Market participants should take this event as an opportunity to modernize their business processes and systems:

  1. Initiatives to shorten the settlement cycle for JGBs and securities.
  2. Efforts to enhance the functions, and expand the use, linkages, and integration of the CCP.
  3. Enhanced functions of the central securities depository (CSD).
  4. Accelerated adoption and use of straight-through processing by market participants.
  5. Facilitating smoother cross-border securities settlement. The revolution in the works will go beyond mere cosmetic reforms to the market system.

This new market, envisioned to reach a scale of 20 trillion to 30 trillion yen, could cause structural change.

  1. The coming watershed in repo trading is an opportunity to create a new repo market.
    This is because of the shift from Japan’s unique “gentan” repo (securities-lending
    approach) to the “gensaki” approach, which is the international norm.
  2. With the advent of this new system, a same-day settlement market will emerge in
    Japan’s money market. 

Technology continues to evolve. It advances without waiting for the financial industry or its players to come to grips with it or to develop pertinent applications. The securities settlement revolution in Japan has unfolded slowly, requiring more than 15 years all told. The coming financial infrastructure revolution should not take place at such a glacial pace.

Financial institutions find themselves at a point where they should reconsider their approaches to financial infrastructure management. System reform will need to be tackled. Loosely coupling (or unbundling) connections with the financial infrastructure (exchanges, clearing houses, and settlement infrastructure) can increase the available options in business and IT sourcing models, contributing to strategic flexibility.

To be continued – Click here


Related release:

Securities Settlement Revolution: JGB T+1 & the Dawn of a New Repo Market



  (Source: East Japan Railway Company)

Leverage Digital Technology

In the banking sector, players should strive to become trailblazing purveyors of financial services that leverage digital technology.

There are areas in the banking services value chain where firms should work independently to generate unique, in-house, high-value-added services and products; there are also areas where banks stand to benefit by collaborating with other firms to drive down costs. Also, firms should consider collaborating with other firms to leverage economies of scale and economies of scope, parlaying cost centers into new profit centers, and securing a role in the industry infrastructure.

In actual operation, after deliberating and implementing such initiatives, big-data analytics and the automation of all processes will prove the most important. Here as well, a shift to a modular supply structure will be required, and a critical factor in determining the success of financial institution management will be alliances — namely, how adroitly firms partner with other entities.

In Conclusion

Celent offers the three points below as food for thought and policy prescriptions for modernization in the banking industry.

1. Technology as a driver of growth:

  • Look for ways to pioneer new segments through the use of technology without fixating on the segments that have been your bread and butter up to this point.
  • For example, robo-advisors can be used not only for mutual fund but also for insurance products sales to retail customers. Bancassurance and alternative distribution channels should also be driven by robo-advisors.

2. Vertical disintegration:

  • Prioritize finding the sweet spot for cost and risk and revisit and rethink your processes (such as vertical integration and/or internalization, and the use of horizontal division of labor and/or outsourcing) across the board.
  • For example, enhancing the agility of new payment product research and development might be achieved by vertical disintegration of banking business into payment services discovery, development, and marketing organizations.

3. Industry-wide priorities:

  • Place top priority on initiatives to raise financial and IT literacy among customers.
  • Actively seek to leverage monetary policy and system reform as business opportunities; avoid a passive approach to system reform.
  • Rebuild the industry value chain through methods of modularization, specialization, and integration.

Legacy modernization in the banking industry is much more than simply the application of novel technology. Rather, it portends nothing less than a structural overhaul of the banking industry, an opportunity to envisage anew and redefine the industry’s future. There can be no doubt that this transcends the mere establishment of a digital channel; rather it will certainly impact products, services, IT units, and sourcing models, and, in so doing, provide the banking service providers of the future a chance to seriously consider exactly what kind of companies they would like to be and the corporate cultures they would like to foster.

Celent perceives legacy modernization in the banking industry as instigating change at a fundamental level, in both business execution and organizational structure. Moreover, this transformation promises to have legs and vast implications that will play out over the long haul. Legacy modernization is much more than just new technology and it will have sweeping implications.


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Related releases:

Legacy Modernization in the Japanese Banking Industry, Part 1

Legacy Modernization in the Japanese Banking Industry, Part 2



  (Source: Charles Schwab)

The Banking Industry of the Future

The securities industry can be regarded as the first sector in the financial industry to have embarked down the path of modularization. Mutual funds was the first major area involved in this first step toward modularization. Mutual funds are now mainstream products of banking and wealth management. The banking industry should not overlook the following episodes.

The mutual fund business model can be broken down into two process areas: 1) selecting investments or investment destination (portfolio building), and 2) sales of the created mutual funds. In the former, the products (portfolio) are designed and created (produced), while the latter involves the sales of investment firm securities (mutual fund beneficiary certificates), with sellers undertaking the office processing such as customer transaction reports.

In the closed model era of brokers and mutual fund firms, the norm until the 1960s, mutual fund firms would outsource sales to securities companies (full service brokers). This resulted in mutually beneficial consignment-based relationships between the investment trust companies and securities firms that endured for a long time with a fixed fee structure (investment sales commissions paid from the customer to the securities company) and securities trading fees (paid by the mutual fund company to securities company). These sales formats have since diversified.

No-load funds entered the market starting in the 1970s, spurred on by the liberalization of commissions for the brokering of securities, sluggish demand in the stock market, and the emergence of discount brokers that did not offer investment advice. This era was characterized solely by diversification of sales methods, and was entirely absent changes to the closed model that covered planning, manufacturing, and sales.

However, change descended on the market in the form of the mutual fund supermarket revolution. With the launch of Mutual Fund OneSource in 1992, Charles Schwab offered multiple funds that customers could purchase without paying a commission, but for which Schwab’s mutual fund management arm collected an annual management fee based on asset balance. Metaphorically speaking, this approach was akin to companies putting mutual funds on the shelves of a supermarket and charging commissions only for the products sold. The interface between mutual fund companies and securities companies opened up, and the creation and sales components were decoupled and functionally modularized.

More change is on the horizon. An era is coming in which the banking industry should orchestrate a shift to a structure that hinges on modular demand to respond to new needs fostered by digital technology and the new demand of the emerging digital generation.

Industry players should be ditching vertically integrated direct sales, or so-called keiretsu, which are tantamount to direct sales routes; instead, they should establish delivery models that are more dynamic and open. Omnichannel initiatives are not only opportunities for firms to launch or shut down these channels, but also to revisit and reconsider their optimal delivery model. Moreover, collaborating with non-financial sector players, including start-ups, opens the door to the possibility of accessing vast and new untapped market frontiers.

Robo-advisor initiatives can be expected to accelerate the speed of advances in modular demand structure. Presumably, coming delivery channels will seek to optimize information and investment expertise, driven by approaches that respond to the needs of investors by providing automated advice and harnessing bankers as human support mechanisms.

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Related releases:

Legacy Modernization in the Japanese Banking Industry, Part 1

Legacy Modernization in the Japanese Banking Industry, Part 2