The SS&C CEO spoke at the Deliver conference where the company announced a key hire for DST and updated AWD.
Bill Stone, chairman and CEO of SS&C Technologies, addressed the company’s acquisition strategy at its customer conference this week, saying that the SS&C client base has grown and diversified.
Stone’s comments came at the start of the annual SS&C Deliver 2019 client conference, which ran from Sept. 17 to 19 at the Gaylord Palms Resort in Orlando, Florida. Approximately 1,300 customers attended the event.
SS&C buys companies in response to what its clients need, Stone says. The company has built many products, but technology development takes a long time, and many initiatives have resulted in products that are now defunct or never saw the light of day, he adds.
By contrast, through acquisitions SS&C can quickly add proven solutions with real customers to its offerings, Stone says, while the company also benefits from the talent that frequently comes with the technology. “Many executives from acquired companies now play key roles on the SS&C management team,” he says.
Looking forward, Stone notes that the company expects to invest between $400 million and $500 million in R&D this year and further its “follow the Sun” strategy, building a global presence that allows clients 24-hour access to services, support and expertise.
Stone’s comments came before a fireside chat with Patrick Sharp, a former Stanley Cup champion and NBC Sports analyst. Sharp has won the Calder Cup with the Philadelphia Flyers AHL team in 2005. He also won a gold medal with Team Canada in the 2014 Winter Olympics and was an NHL All-Star in 2011, officials say. He was on the teams that won three Stanley Cups for the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010, 2013 and 2015.
Also, at the Deliver gathering, SS&C announced that it has named Craig Schachter, an industry veteran who joins from Finastra, as managing director and head of relationship management for DST Financial Services, Americas.
Schachter served in several capacities at Finastra, and was most recently global head of the fintech ecosystem. At SS&C, he will report to Mike Sleightholme, senior vice president and general manager of the DST group of SS&C.
“He has a strong track record of delivering strategic client solutions and building deep relationships globally with his customers. That experience will be invaluable as we look to maximize the full extent of the DST acquisition,” Sleightholme says in a prepared statement.
Schachter, who has also held key roles at FIS, SunGard and Xcitek, has 25 years of experience in the financial technology industry, officials say.
Also announced at the Deliver event was the second of three 2019 releases for AWD, its business process management (BPM) platform.
SS&C officials say the latest release enhances:
- Low-code development capabilities and improves operational efficiencies;
- Outbound correspondence capabilities via integration with the Microsoft Office Suite;
- Decision management through a new business rules engine;
- The user interface via a “guided processing” experience “that leads clients through work steps via dynamically-generated user forms.”
An AWD client, Americo Life, reports that it will “realize operational benefits” via the update release.
“Americo is committed to providing innovative insurance and annuity products to protect our customers,” says Brett Snyder, application systems administrator at Americo, in a prepared statement. “The continued investment in AWD, especially in the areas of correspondence and system integration, will allow us to streamline duplicative software and reduce costs. The AWD roadmap aligns with the direction of our own business and the needs of our clients.”
SS&C has plans to deliver more changes, including the AWD software releases, says Tracy Shelby, head of AWD at SS&C, in a prepared statement. “The third AWD release in late 2019 will focus primarily on expanded data analytics, feature updates to dynamic case management and enhancements to the user experience,” Shelby says.
(Editor’s Note: Over the coming weeks, FTF News will be posting Q&As and other coverage from the Deliver event. Louis Chunovic contributed to this news wrap.)