10:27 pm - Monday December 18, 2017

BPO opportunities in investment banking

Business process outsourcing (BPO) is a subset of outsourcing that involves the contracting of the operations and responsibilities of specific business functions (or processes) to a third-party service provider. Originally, this was associated with manufacturing firms, such as Coca Cola that outsourced large segments of its supply chain.

BPO that is contracted outside a company’s country is called offshore outsourcing. BPO that is contracted to a company’s neighboring (or nearby) country is called near shore outsourcing.

Often the business processes are information technology -based, and are referred to as ITES-BPO, where ITES stands for Information Technology Enabled Service.  Knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) and legal process outsourcing (LPO) are some of the sub-segments of business process outsourcing industry.

The main advantage of BPO is the way in which it helps increase a company’s flexibility. However, several sources have different ways in which they perceive organizational flexibility. In early 2000s BPO was all about cost efficiency, which allowed a certain level of flexibility at the time. Due to technological advances and changes in the industry (specifically the move to more service-based rather than product-based contracts), companies who choose to outsource their back-office increasingly look for time flexibility and direct quality control. Business process outsourcing enhances the flexibility of an organization in different ways.

The mission of a BPO specializing in investment banking area is to “enable a trading business without having to build the delivery mechanism”

Size of the market

Equity research market $25 billion. 20% of US institutional money managers have part of their research conducted in the overall offshore market. By 2014 it is expected 70% of institutional money managers will have something in the offshore market. In 2012 more than 75 per cent of major financial institutions had moved some processes overseas, compared with less than 10 per cent in 2001. The average number of staff each institution has offshore increased to 5,500 in 2006 from 150 in 2001. In 2001, two-thirds of offshore activity was technology-related. In 2010, more than 80 percent involved a full range of business processes.

Why off shoring?

Credibility of many accounting firms in the US at stake due to the scams, scandals and other irregularities. We have capabilities inherent to produce research in the area of investment banking, mutual funds, etc. Faced with a dearth of skilled workers and shrinking profit margins, banks that want to remain competitive in the global market place can’t afford to miss out on high quality – and cheaper – foreign talent. Typically investment banks move their research analysis operations offshore in order to take advantage of time difference between US and Asia as well as the cheap labor.

Investment banking has a lot of number crunching that to a large degree can be done anywhere. Offshore operations give financial service companies a foothold in new and emerging markets where there are more revenue opportunities than mature markets like US. Financial industry has reached such a level of globalization that it matters less and less  where the actual research  is generated and matters more what the cost of generating those products are. Banks cannot afford not to do outsourcing anymore.

Economics of off shoring in investment banking are strong and the risks are being successfully mitigated. Save time and efforts. Mutual funds and hedge funds ask firms to provide research coverage of more publicly traded companies. Reduce expenses, improve processes, place workers in advantageous time zones and add needed global capabilities.

To release bank’s front staff from mundane work so that they can spend more time with customers. Getting things have done – positive action basis – no cowboy action but thought through action. Difference in time zones and availability of cheap labor. An Economic Imperative.

Competitive Landscape. Cost reduction, re-examining risk architecture. Leverage abilities across a number of clients. Release  clients from managing operations to manage business. Standardize operational processes. Reduce costs and increase access to new technology


It involves not  only pricing issues also issues like quality of service, expertise  of the provider, how much trust does an outside firm have in a certain company to outsource the research service, etc. Possible end customer backlash due to identity theft crimes

Areas offshorable

Initially to focus on low end areas like research editing, transaction process, data collection and dissemination to different investment companies

Financial Research

Equity Research

Independent research to new technology offering

Equity research, fixed income, credit and quantitative research

Financial analysis and research

Critical, need based investment banking and equity research

To help provide clients with investment recommendations

By taking press releases and data feeds and digesting them, the components can be made into basic analyst reports

Conduct due diligence and to screen prospective clients for investment banking business

Back office functions

Call center operations

Such BPOs can handle foreign exchange trades and highly complicated credit derivative contracts

Customer relationship management

Pipeline management

Workflow management

Data warehousing

Client profitability analysis

Investor data bases

Content superiority

Hedge funds – background work, information gathering, basic levels of analysis, back testing of hypothesis

Compliance requirements

Analytic operations

Basic financial modelling and comparable analysis

Compilation of pitch books

From processing wire transfers to power point presentations

Technology related tasks (as in Bank of America’s Continuum)

Processes related to loans made to midsized and large companies

Loan review functions, collections, investment banking analysis

Valuations, daily profit and loss, risk reporting, confirmation processing, settlement and accounting services like books and records reporting and regulatory reporting

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