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Message from the MD
 
As the late David Frost might have said, 2013 - what a year that was for Altus! Record sales and profit, 40% more members of staff and a shiny new office are some of the more obvious highlights of what was a fantastic year for Altus! 
 
Our Consultants are experiencing unprecedented demand for their business and technical architecture expertise from a wide range of financial services organisation. With continuing high levels of repeat business and now our 40th client on board, 2014 looks very promising indeed.
 
Not to be out done, our Products team are busy servicing the increased interest around our market leading Altus Transfer Gateway (ATG), with a host of new customers starting live electronic transfers in the coming months and the prospect of Pension Transfers to support next.  The industry adoption of truly open standards and interoperable solutions presents significant opportunities for the family of Altus Gateway products in 2014.
 
On behalf of us all here at Altus, I’d like to thank you for your continued support and commitment and wish you a happy and successful 2014. 
Altus Consultancy signs 40th client
 
Altus consultants have started work for another new client, helping one of the UK’s leading card and electronic payment providers to transform its technology landscape. Altus was selected for our in-depth knowledge of business and technical architecture plus our track record of successfully applying this to major transformation programmes. This latest project brings the total number of Consultancy clients to 40 and, given the high levels of repeat business we enjoy, marks a very significant achievement. 
Transfer and Re-reg Market Update

2013 was an exciting year for electronic transfers and re-registrations. From a standing start, the project now has over 80% coverage of platforms and fund managers.

The first half of the year saw some significant challenges and somewhat justified resulting bad press. The second half however saw a dramatic improvement, with many more counterparties getting ‘wired up’. This resulted in a reduction of ‘manual paper’ transfers and re-registrations and transfer times tumbling from weeks to days and even hours.

In November, the open standard for transfers was expanded to include pension transfers, additional asset types (equities) and the automation of custodians (intermediate Unit Holders). 

You can read our full update
here.
'Financial Services by Numbers' Webinar
 
December saw our first webinar around the topic of TCO entitled 'Financial Services by Numbers'. In this webinar we looked at ways to make sense of your operating costs, in particular IT, and how these can be mapped on to more useful and familiar models of your business and support decision making on change initiatives. 

Topics covered included: What are operating costs and why do we need to understand them? The categories of operating costs, Technology operating costs, building an IT cost model, IT cost reduction planning, estimating and decision making, visualising IT costs for impact and benchmarking your operating costs against the industry.

You can view the webinar in full
here. 
The Altus Transfer Gateway (ATG) User Group Meeting took place on 14th January from 10am – 2.00pm, hosted at SWIFT Offices, London.

The second ever ATG User Group saw representatives from 16 companies in attendance from all around the country. The user group made for lots of interaction and lively discussion on the latest information on the ATG roadmap, transfer market update, TeX SLAs and MI reporting. The group also provided an open forum for participants to discuss operational issues, enhancements and other market practice changes. Feedback was great from the attendees and we will be planning a biannual user group from hereon.

To receive details of the next user group meeting please contact
marketing@altus.co.uk.
Altus Business Architecture Training

Altus works exclusively in financial services and the course content for our training is focused on the needs of an FS company – we use real examples, models and case studies to share with delegates our practical experience of dealing with the challenges they face in their own day jobs. 

Our 3 day Business Architecture Training course has been put together following years of experience working within many business architecture functions across the Financial Services sector.  As well as training many of our clients, we have delivered the training internally to support the growth of our Consultancy business. Companies who have completed the course include Barclay's, Legal and General, Lloyds Banking Group and Prudential.

For more information on our onsite courses please contact
 training@altus.co.uk or click here for more details.
Will Watling joins Altus
 
Altus has hired ex-Capita Financial Software Product Director William Watling in December as Product Marketing Director. Watling joined Capita in 2008. He previously worked as Product Director at CMG-Logica and FIS Software. Altus is delighted Will has joined the team, he is well recognised for his creativity and capacity for forming propositions for new initiatives which Altus are keen to develop in the months ahead.His in-depth knowledge and years of industry expertise will be an invaluable asset to the products side of the business.” 

Watling is quoted saying: “The post-RDR market continues to transform itself. I look forward to using my experience in understanding the core issues and challenges the industry faces to drive innovative and creative product initiatives, built on the foundation of established administration tools Altus has already developed.”
 
Altus will be exhibiting and speaking at the 13th annual International Transfer Agency Summit. ITAS 2014 takes place on 25-28 February at the Abbaye de Neumunster in Luxembourg.

ITAS is proving itself once again as the key event for catching up with business partners as well as listening to and debating with some of the leading figures in the fund operations industry. The conference is packed full of incisive presentations from over 60 senior expert speakers including our own Products Director Ben Cocks speaking on the panel 'Funds Automation in 2014 - What level of progress are we making?'.

As one of our valued contacts, we would like to offer you a special 25% Discount off the booking fee. You can Book this online quoting VIP: FKP2372EMSNS.  
We exhibited at the annual TISA conference on the 13th November. One of the aims of TISA is to help companies provide a high quality, efficient service to their customers. An excellent line up of speakers provided a mix of views on current thinking and developments in the tax incentivised savings and investment industry from policy, media and industry perspectives.
We have moved!

 
As of December, Altus main Bath office has now relocated to a fantastic Bath city central location, conveniently situated opposite the train station. Our phone lines have also changed and we can now be contacted on 01225 438 000. You can now find us at:

Altus Ltd
Royal Mead
Railway Place
Bath
BA1 1SR
 Are platforms doing enough to speed up re-reg?
IFAOnline
Platform View: True due diligence
FTAdviser
Anyone for ‘one pot, one scheme aggregator follows virtual member’?
Pensions Insight
Altus: foster competition in pensions
FTAdviser
Altus hits back at FCA over re-registration
FTAdviser
The pension transfer debate
Professional Pensions
Platforms - October 2013
FTAdviser
Crackdown on UK fund market raises alarm
Financial Times
Pershing to launch electronic re-reg service
Money Marketing
FTAdviser
Financial Planner Online
Wealth Adviser
Fundweb
Automated Trader
Finextra
What advisers are saying: The race to the bottom
Money Marketing
Platform industry losses near £50m despite AUA growth
Investment Week
Altus: Platform industry in profit for first time
FT Adviser
Platform industry 'nudged' into profit in 2012
IFAonline 
Are we really witnessing a flight to wraps?
FT Adviser
Are platforms doing enugh to speed up re-reg?
IFAonline
Tisa policy director Malcolm Small to step down
Money Marketing
Baby steps: Are profitable platforms now a permanent fixture?
IFAonline
Calculating the client money risk
FT Adviser
Altus poaches Capita products director William Watling
Money Marketing
 'Altus Mince Pie Taste Off' (AMPTO) 2013
 
Now, for the fourth year running, Altus Consultancy have put their analytical skills to the test with the Altus Mince Pie Taste Off 2013! After strenuous testing of appearance, filling amount, texture, aroma, structural integrity and of course taste a clear winner was decided
 
Congratulations to Sainsburys 'Taste The Difference' who came out on top this year with an overall average of 4.15 out 5.
Altus consultants Adam Jones, Mike Cox and Kevin Kirschner all passed their CF1 exams in December last year. In addition Kevin also passed his TOGAF Training. Well Done!
Altus back Bath & Wiltshire Boys

 
Altus are proud to announce that we have now become this season’s main partner for the BWB programme. The partnership will allow the junior teams to continue their training programme at Chilcompton and Keynsham in all age groups as well as various school festivals.  We look forward to working with BWB and to a successful season ahead. You can view the full article here.

Putting the Pieces together
David Henderson


"Anyone for 'one pot, one scheme aggregator'?"
Ben Cocks



 Parting is such sweet sorrow
Bruce Davidson


Pensions and Care costs - two separate things?
Malcolm Small



Platforms in the black
Kevin Okell





The application of Hindsight
Chris McCullam




The dead hand of regulation
Adam Jones




The trouble with Annuities...
Malcolm Small




Keeping the receipt
Chris McCullam



Ain't necessarily so...
Mike Cox

 
Altus will be exhibiting at the ALFI Spring Conference at the Nouveau Centre de Conférences Kirchberg, Luxembourg from the 19 - 20th of March 2014. 

The Spring Conference traditionally focuses on the investor (investor information, regulation, protection) with a Gala Dinner organized on the evening of the first day of the conference. Last year’s Conference gathered more than 780 delegates and 53 exhibitors. Click 
here for more details.

Keep up to date with what's going on in Altus and follow our Industry specialists opinions on hot topics, breaking news and government initiatives. Come along and join in the debate...

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