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Integrating CACEIS IS Finance teams into CACEIS

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Estelle Lamouline, Director of Finance Control, joined CACEIS on 3rd July 2023, the closing date for the acquisition of RBC's European asset servicing activities. This article looks at the preparatory work carried out by the finance departments in the months leading up to Day-1 and explains the steps required to fully integrate the CACEIS IS finance teams into CACEIS.

How did you prepare for Day-1?

The finance department completed a great deal of preparatory work to be ready for the beginning of July (Day-1) to ensure a smooth transition for the entire CACEIS group.

Firstly, we integrated the accounts of the ten RBC group entities into CACEIS' reporting systems and adapted processes to align accounting methodologies. CACEIS IS’ accounts closing procedure was completely redesigned to match CACEIS’ closing deadlines and the accounting systems’ data interfaces.

Estelle Mamouline - Director of Finance Control, CACEIS IS BankCACEIS IS Finance staff worked closely with their CACEIS counterparts to identify any differences in the interpretation of accounting standards, however joint workshops revealed that as both Groups report under International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), there were virtually no differences.

Secondly, we looked at staffing. We set up a dedicated Finance team for the Malaysian operational centre.

I would also like to highlight a fruitful approach to teamwork on both sides, with regular productive meetings and effective prioritisation of issues. We applied Agile methodology involving ad-hoc brainstorming sessions to remove any barriers, we appointed a products owner for each subject, and used a software tool to log user feedback to provide senior management with a weekly overview of the project's progress.

Finally, CACEIS IS staff underwent intensive training to ensure they were up to speed on CACEIS’ reporting systems.

The closing was a success, having integrated the accounts of the ten CACEIS IS companies on time and provided key reports to regulators within the required timeframe.

More than nine months on, what are the next steps?

In the short term, we are focussing on preparing the legal mergers between CACEIS and CACEIS IS entities in the countries where they currently co-exist - Belgium, France, Ireland, Luxembourg and Switzerland. In addition to the legal and financial aspects, the respective finance staff will join together in single teams and CACEIS’ accounting production systems will be adopted as the standard.  Work streams have been set up within the Finance department to closely monitor the various aspects that are critical to the success of this stage.

Finance teams will also ensure that the migration of CACEIS IS clients to CACEIS’ IT systems takes place under optimum conditions to provide adequate reporting to regulators.

Once the legal mergers and client migrations have been finalised, we will be able to focus on the project to modify the accounting system - both the general system and the client accounting system. This major project will radically transform the Finance function in terms of tools, processes and added value for the company and our clients by using market-leading standards that will allow us to extend time slots and operational cut-offs, further strengthening our Follow-the-Sun model.

The project to unify our teams and systems over the short and medium term is particularly motivating and rewarding. It is a key factor in our goal to build the new ‘One CACEIS’, and I am delighted to be part of it.

Important information – CACEIS’ corporate identity is currently being used to sell fraudulent offer relating to placements or investments. CACEIS has nothing to do with such offers, please be vigilant and avoid becoming the victim of this type of fraud. You can consult blacklists and alerts from authorities on the ABEIS website.