Continual business process improvements made simple

Sarasin & Partners is a privately owned firm of asset managers, headquartered in the heart of London’s financial district. A specialist in sustainable investing, the firm provides services to charities, private clients, pension funds, independent financial advisors, families, and institutions.

Sarasin & Partners is responsible for investing £13.9 billion on behalf of its clients so auditable processes are crucial. However, paper forms and manual processes interfered with efficiency. With K2 Software, the firm is streamlining processes like logging operational risk incidents and making compliance more efficient. After automating just 1 process, staff members involved in the process save 8 hours of time per week, and more process improvements across the business are on the way.

75%

reduction in time for incident reporting

416

hours saved per staff member per year

£1,000s

in cost savings

Company
Sarasin & Partners
Website
Industry
Financial Services
Country
Capabilities Used
K2 Software

Who they are

Sarasin & Partners is a privately owned firm of asset managers specialized in sustainable investments.

What they needed

Sarasin & Partners is responsible for investing £13.9 billion and it needed processes to be easily auditable.

How they did it

With K2 Software, the firm is streamlining processes like logging operational risk incidents and making compliance more efficient.

Automating processes across the business

Challenge: Inefficiencies with paper forms

With a focus on sustainability, Sarasin & Partners continually seeks ways in which to reduce paper consumption across the business. Before implementing Nintex K2 Five, the firm often relied on paper forms, which complicated processes involving several departments and staff members.

For example, documents requiring approval signatures could be generated by 220 members of staff and passed across up to 8 different desks, over 3 floors in the building. Approval processes took many days to complete, and it was often necessary for employees to phone or email their colleagues to ascertain the status of an approval. Hard-copy documents took time to collate, and the firm realized it needed to automate processes around critical processes.

Initially, the firm set out to automate just one process: logging incidents around operational risks. After evaluating many of the common risk management and incident reporting solutions used in the financial industry, the IT team at Sarasin & Partners realized a process automation platform would be a better fit for a company focused on large-scale business process improvement.

Solution: A solution for continual improvement

“The risk management packages offered a lot of functionality we weren’t going to use and were similar in price to K2 solutions,” said Stuart Bonnell, Head of IT at Sarasin & Partners. “By opting for K2 instead, we gained a business workflow platform we could use to not only improve our incident reporting but also streamline many other processes throughout our business as part of our ongoing program of continuous business improvements.”

Now, Sarasin & Partners has six automated processes in production and many more in development. With its very first solution, the firm reduced the time required to record operational risk incidents, share information internally, identify mitigations, and take appropriate action by 75%.

The IT team at Sarasin & Partners found it very easy to get up and running with K2 Five. After two days of on-site support, the team was able to refer to online training resources and quickly build bespoke business processes. “It was very easy to integrate K2 Five with our in-house investment management system using the SQL broker,” Bonnell says. “It really did take just a few clicks.”

Looking ahead, the company has plans to develop many more automated processes, further increasing the return on its investment from K2 Software. “Users have provided positive feedback that our processes are quicker and more straightforward than they were before,” Bonnell says. “Now we are moving ahead with new processes to aid the continuous development of our business.”

The end-to-end time required for our incident reporting process has reduced by 75%. In the risk management team, this has resulted in the equivalent saving of one day per week for a full-time member of staff.
Stuart Bonnell, Head of IT, Sarasin & Partners
Improving the efficiency of regulatory compliance

Challenge: Ensuring compliance takes time

Because Sarasin & Partners is responsible for investing £13.9 billion on behalf of its clients, it is absolutely critical for the firm to have robust and auditable internal processes that comply with stringent legislation enforced by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK and other regulators.

While the firm’s processes already complied with relevant regulations and were followed diligently, they were not as efficient as they could have been. Furthermore, when audits occurred, employees faced the time-consuming task of collating all the necessary hard-copy documents to provide evidence of the firm’s regulatory compliance.

Solution: Simplifying compliance processes

Another automated process helps Sarasin & Partners comply with General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) in a more efficient way. The automated workflow sends notifications to members of staff advising them about which data sets will be deleted and what action they need to take if they want to retain certain data within the GDPR legislation, simplifying the firm’s already rigorous compliance processes.

K2 Software also improves the firm’s readiness for audits because the records needed to evidence compliance with regulations are all online in a consistent format in the same place. One automated process for reviewing and approving literature about financial products and promotions is estimated to save a week of time in the lead-up to audits, which can occur up to 3 times per year.

Managers have also gained greater transparency monitoring the progress of tasks and generate reports. For example, managers can gain clearer oversight of the number of declarations made by members of staff about personal financial trading and act quickly if any potential concerns are identified.

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