16.12.2008 | Germany

MEAG Optimizes its Asset Reporting with S&T

Consolidated Reporting System Supports Decision Making Processes

In cooperation with the client, S&T has modified and extended the existing analysis and reporting system for MEAG, the assets management branch of the Munich Re and the ERGO insurance group. This has involved the integration of group-wide standards which have been rolled out to more than 50 data sources. MEAG is thereby benefiting from significantly more efficient quality assurance and considerably less complex reports; these reports form the basis for decision making processes at MEAG.
“High data quality and near real-time reporting are critical for our group-wide reporting of assets,” states Barbara Dworsky, Head of MEAG – IT Derivatives. The MEAG asset managers are responsible for managing securities, real estate, investment funds and other assets held by the parent company, the Munich Re Group, amounting to approximately 179 billion euros. Private and institutional investors also entrust MEAG with the management of their assets. Analysis and key figures are of critical importance to MEAG for their work with institutional clients - the MEAG Mandate Management service. The Mandate Management Unit monitors client holdings, proposes investment strategies and remains in close and regular contact with the clients. Dworsky outlines the requirements, “Our clients want to know what yields, risks and balance sheet figures they can anticipate“. Having acquired IMG in 2007, the S&T Group has over 15 years of experience in the planning and implementation of Business Intelligence (BI) solutions. “Our experts unite industry knowledge with BI skills and expertise. As well as MEAG, customers such as Zumtobel, Roche, Evobus, Generali Czech Republic, Danone, M.Video in Russia and A&D Pharma in Romania rely on our competence and talent”, explains Georg Komornyik, Region General Manager for S&T DACH.

Heterogeneous Analysis Environment

“Our objective was to replace the existing island and individual applications step-by-step and to reproduce them in the group’s STAR data warehouse”, comments Claudio-Peter Prutz, Head of MEAG IT/Organization Development. Prior to this project, the consultants and financial analysts had to access two parallel system worlds for the various analysis and reporting tasks: the group-wide STAR (Standardized Asset Management Reporting) data warehouse, based on “SAP Business Intelligence” (SAP BI), as well as a multitude of individually programmed applications, most of which were implemented with Microsoft Excel or Microsoft Access. “We had a heterogeneous environment of analysis tools, databases and spread sheet applications, some with powerful macros for the calculation of key figures“, explains Dirk Zinckeisen, Head of IT CoRe (Asset Controlling & Reporting). The individual programs were nested with each other and were interdependent. The problem: the data was of varying quality, and aggregation and amendments could only be reproduced with difficulty and with great attention to detail. Furthermore, the necessary know-how was heavily linked to the relevant experts in the various specialist areas. “Quality assurance is quite an effort in such a decentralized environment of applications with redundant data management, and the contingency risk is too high. We were not able to technologically support this environment in an adequate manner”, remarks Zinckeisen.

Consolidation with Standard Applications

The responsible managers at MEAG therefore decided, at the end of 2006, to consolidate the reporting environment. As well as an improvement in quality, the aim was to provide leaner processes, more rapid reporting and simpler use. In addition, the objective was to flexibly incorporate increased requirements resulting from the German Commercial Code (HGB) and accounting requirements pursuant to IFRS, as well as changes to the specialist structures. These goals were to be implemented using standard SAP-BI products as far as possible. “The S&T staff impressed us in particular with their combination of reporting skills, knowledge with regard to data modeling and their comprehensive experience with SAP in our industry sector”, explains Zinckeisen. The existing Excel and Access applications have been integrated into the STAR environment. In addition, a design for sub-monthly reporting has been created, and further key figures and inventories have been added. With support from S&T, a total of 400 standardized key figures, attributes and structures have been checked, modified or newly established.

“The challenge for the realization was the data modeling, in other words the configuration of the reporting base“, says Dr. Juri Grassmann, Senior Consultant at S&T DACH. The entire volume of data from the 50 associated source systems adds up to around five million data sets, and the STAR SAP BI has a capacity of 800 GB. There are currently around 400 information, analysis and editorial users registered in the system from across the world. “We have been able to discard a complete parallel world”, reports a satisfied Dworsky. “All our goals have been realized. We have integrated further central segments into the standardized platform for asset management reporting. Quality assurance is considerably more efficient and a complete reorganization of the reporting models has enabled the standardization and simplification of reports.”

About MEAG

MEAG MUNICH ERGO AssetManagement GmbH in Munich is the asset manager of Munich Re and ERGO Insurance Group. With offices in New York and Hong Kong, MEAG has an international orientation and also manages the assets of clients outside the Munich Re Group. MEAG currently manages assets to the value of around € 179 billion.
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