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Published on: Feb. 25, 2023, 12:53 p.m.
Equiniti India’s offshore excellence
  • Lynam: India is the backbone of the group’s innovative practices

By Sajal Bose. Executive Editor, Business India

In today's world, managing specialised services and complex financial tasks have become much easier thanks to technology. Based in Bengaluru, Equinity India provides financial technology services to EQ’s global clients. The EQ Group is a UK-based company, and Equinity India serves as its offshore arm. EQ India operates with EQ’s entities in the UK, US, Netherlands and Poland. Paul Lynam, CEO of EQ Group, was in India recently to inaugurate the company’s new offices in Bengaluru.

Says Lynam: “The EQ Group offers sophisticated processing and payment services, as well as effective technology solutions that make it simple for increasingly complex and regulated markets.” The company's goal is to help its clients manage their financial tasks and services seamlessly and quickly, with just a few clicks. It's worth noting that behind this smooth process, there is a lot of complexity and technology involved. Equinity India's services require sophisticated processing and payment systems, as well as effective technology solutions that are tailored to meet the needs of its clients in regulated markets.

With 20 per cent of its global employee base in India, EQ India is well positioned to offer specialised business-centric process delivery such as shareholder services, estate registrations, payment reissues, transfers, multicurrency settlement and central reconciliation, investment services, pension solutions, KYC and customer experience centres.

“The Indian centre continue to be a hub of innovation and delivering excellence, both in operations and technology spaces. The driver of our success has been winning the customer’s confidence globally by offering speed, quality and consistency,” says EQ India managing director Anand Ramakrishnan.

As the backbone of EQ’s development, EQ India is now expanding its operations. The new state-of-the-art facility in Bengaluru accommodates more than 800 employees. In addition to the sprawling 75,000 sq ft workspaces, it offers modern amenities like a cafeteria, sports room, and breakout rooms. The new age facility will be a significant part of EQ’s global operations and will cover its core shareholder operations as well as technology development.

EQ India’s rapid growth is certain, as the offices are situated at the heart of the information technology hub in Bengaluru with proximity to a substantial talent pool. The company is looking at gradually increasing its manpower from 1,300 to 1,700 this year. Currently, it operates in Bengaluru and Chennai. “The reason to step up manpower is because we expect more services coming from the US where we have not offshored as much as we have done in the UK,” points out Ramakrishnan. 

One of the largest global players in financial services and shareholder management for nearly 200 years, the EQ Group handles 70 million shareholder records and £90 billion in payments each year. The group’s clients, which include 70 per cent of FTSE and 15 per cent of NYSE listed companies also rely on it to look after 1.1 million share plan investors and it interacts with 27 million shareholders and pensioners.

“We are the largest company in share management in the UK and the second largest in the US after Computershare,” says Lynam. “Our company is also the fourth largest pension registration company in the UK.” The share registry management contributes 60 per cent of the group’s revenue of £600 million.

  • Ramakrishnan: stepping up operation in India

    Ramakrishnan: stepping up operation in India

Siris Capital Group, a leading private equity firm in the US, has completed the acquisition of Equiniti. Siris invests primarily in technology companies with mission-critical products and services. “With the Siris investment, EQ will have access to the resources it needs to scale up the business to reach its full potential. We have aspirations to grow and take the leadership position globally,” Lynam affirms.

EQ India uses technology to build smart solutions that enable it to deliver best in class services to its customers. Some of the key technology platforms are Sirius, Xanite and Compendia. Sirius is a fast, scalable and robust platform for the modern world. Its ability to manage the large volumes of data of EQ’s FTSE100 clients is unparalleled in the market today, claims the management.

The advanced capabilities of Sirius, EQ’s internet-based share registration and employee share plan platform, allows its web and technology infrastructure to remain leading-edge, providing a single view to employee shareholders. The sharing of infrastructure between ESP Portal and Equinity Shareview ensure a consistent user journey for its clients’ employee shareholders. Sirius also processes large tasks, such as paying dividends and carrying out corporate actions, with ease.

Xanite is a platform fundamental to EQ’s core wealth management and investment solutions. It offers a configurable, fully integrated, browser-based, comprehensive front-to-back solution that can either be deployed as a single application or integrated as components into clients’ existing platforms. Its web-enabled front-office tools give customers direct access to the Xanite platform. EQ India offers Functional Testing Services to the Xanite platform and a few other applications under its portfolio. The team has rich experience of the product and its capacity is being expanded so that wider services may be provided.

Compendia, which was ranked the UK industry’s number one pension administration platform in 2014, is a powerful web-based solution for comprehensive, long-term, value driven management of occupational defined benefit, defined contribution, career average and hybrid pension schemes. Compendia provides the complete range of administration, reporting and communication services to support pensions schemes run in-house or by third-party administrators, to meet the needs of trustees, employers and members.

It offers a solution that provides a seamless and consistent member experience across all intelligent devices including smartphones, tablets and desktops. The company developed its entire software platform in-house. It has invested heavily in the technology.

The group provides services to a wide range of private and public organisations too, including the UK Armed Forces Veterans pension scheme. By offering multiple services, it allows clients to focus on their core business. Some of the coveted customers across all segments of the company are Anglo American, AstraZeneca, DS Smith, Barclays, London Stock Exchange, Sage, GSK, TESCO, Shell, United Utilities BT Group and Prudential, among many others.

Praising EQ, Robert Welch, group company secretary, Tesco Plc remarked: “A big thank you to all at Equiniti for excellent advice and guidance. It was great to get above 90 per cent on all resolutions and this reflects all the excellent work that has gone into our annual report and shareholder engagement.”

  • The EQ Group offers sophisticated processing and payment services, as well as effective technology solutions that make it simple for increasingly complex and regulated market

India is home to some of the finest talents in the IT industry. Software and services exports from the country have been rising. The main driver for global companies to move high-end work to India stems from the availability of the best talent. There is definitely a cost arbitrage at the junior and mid-level but this difference reduces gradually as it moves towards senior technology professionals. However, setting up global development centres in India is cheaper than in the UK or European countries.

“We will continue to grow in India. The cost in India is 40 per cent cheaper than in the UK,” says Lynam. But the single biggest challenge he finds is to replace the skilled manpower raised in EQ’s ecosystem. EQ India aims to improve the group and individual performance of its people by increasing and honing their skills and knowledge. The company did not reveal attrition levels. But Ramakrishnan claims they are lower than the industry average. The company aims to lower them in the coming years.

EQ India currently serves the EQ Group as backend operation support. It may explore India as a market for its products in the future, taking into consideration the country’s growing population. The potential will be appraised. “There is no definite timeline for the same,” says Ramakrishnan.

EQ India has demonstrated it is a significant offshore arm of the Group. But the future lies in the Group’s ability to continue with its cutting-edge technology, thereby adding value to its customers. There is a massive opportunity here.

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