SmartStream to expand operation in Middle East


The Middle East is emerging as an important processing hub in financial markets and is home to some of the fastest growing and most innovative financial organisations in the world, which is driving demand in IT innovation, said Ken Archer, CEO of SmartStream.

He said following the opening of SmartStream office in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) that the firm has 13 clients among leading banks in the Middle East along with international banks operating in the region.

"It is important to be in the region close to our clients. We have several deals with new clients in the region. SmartStream will be offering its range of market leading Transaction Lifecycle Management (TLM) solutions, already used by more than 75 of the world's top 100 banks, direct to the Middle Eastern market. The company's flexible software design ensures it can rapidly deliver solutions that can create more efficient, customer-focused, cost-effective, compliant operations for the region's financial institutions," he told Emirates Business.

"We carried out a feasibility study over the past 18 month and we found that a lot of our clients are interested in the Middle East or already have presence in the region. The DIFC was ideal for our expansion due to the increasing transactions taking place from there."

Archer also announced that SmartStream has developed a new joint venture offering IT solutions for firms and banks to carry out their key processing transactions.

"The joint venture was developed as firms are more interested in hiring independent organisations to carry out their key processing services. It will reduce IT operating costs for companies by around 80 per cent because it will serve a large number of clients at the same time. Deutsche Bank is the first client to join this facility," he said.

"However, the integration process will take time. Deutsche Bank has nine different IT systems in different geographies and it should integrate these systems to SmartStream system and then integrate them with the joint venture," he added.

Archer said the company is allocating 22 per cent of its operating cost for IT research to introduce innovative IT solutions.

SmartStream was bought by DIFC Investments for $200 million (Dh734m).