By Rachel Wilkerson, Pre-Sales Solution Architect, Bravura
My journey into financial services and technology has not been a typical one. Having graduated 15 years ago with a degree in Human Sciences, where I spent my final year researching the neurodevelopmental factors of autism and dissecting human cadavers – I did not expect to be where I am today!
Following a few years of backpacking around the world and then working in operations at Lloyds Banking Group, the opportunity came for me to further utilise my analytical skills in the financial services sector, after being awarded a place on an IT Graduate Scheme with IFDS (now SS&C).
During my time there I trained as a Business Analyst, learning the components of the financial services industry, the fundamentals of the software development lifecycle, requirements engineering and business process modelling. I was also part of the team delivering their Wealth Management Platform (Bluedoor) to St James’s Place, which was the pioneering platform implementation for SS&C.
I joined Bravura in 2015 and up until this year (2023) worked predominantly in the Consultancy team, meaning I’ve been at the heart of the analysis, solution design and implementation of our software and technology solutions.
During this time, I had the opportunity to work across a range of products: our wealth platform and digital portal (Sonata/Sonata Digital), our Funds Administration system and digital portal (Rufus/Rufus Digital) and our business process management and automation tool (Orchestrator). This variety has allowed me to gain a breadth of understanding of the challenges and needs of our different clients across our industry segments and to experience first-hand the business problems that our products and solutions solve.
A highlight for me was leading the consultant team delivering Orchestrator to one of our leading clients, as part of a major operational transformation programme. This involved comprehensive business process re-engineering to deliver operational processes that achieved high levels of straight through processing (STP) and automation. It has been hugely rewarding for me to contribute to such major achievements for our clients. We’ve had some excellent results from the programme of work, including achieving a near 60% reduction in processing time (read more here).
This year I have moved into the Sales and Propositions team as a Pre-Sales Solution Architect. In this role I bring my product and industry experience into an environment where we shape and take to market new propositions and demonstrate our established products and capabilities to prospective clients.
PLSA Annual Conference 2023
Alongside my colleagues from our product, propositions, business development and marketing teams, I recently attended the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) annual conference where Bravura Solutions was one of the exhibitors.
What struck me the most was the depth of passion from all the attendees to improve retirement savings outcomes for individuals, in an age where this is more important than ever. There are many challenges facing the industry such as the ongoing journey of digitisation, secure data management, ongoing regulatory compliance, member engagement, ensuring financial literacy across generations, and the rising costs of servicing and administration, to name just a few!
Bravura’s technology is at the forefront of solving these challenges with our scalable products that already serve some of the industry’s largest pension providers. Our wealth and pension platform Sonata comes with in-built regulatory compliance and flexible communication solutions. It supports a digital-first operational model along with accompanying modules, which are all built and maintained with operational efficiency and data security as core principles.
Looking forward, we continue to innovate our solutions to fit an evolving industry and create better outcomes for both savers and providers. Topics such as digital advice, digital assets, improving transfers automation, and enhancing our functionality to support a modernised workplace pension market are all on the horizon. The significant amount of change happening right now means it’s a hugely exciting time to be in the industry. Working together, we can all help deliver better value and improved outcomes throughout the entire wealth value chain using next-generation technology.
In case you missed it, check out our Bravura Group in Numbers video which was playing on our stand this year at PLSA, which focuses on highlighting how our solutions can support businesses increase efficiency, value, and scale.