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BNP Paribas WM onboards Bondlinc for FI operations

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BNP Paribas Wealth Management (WM) has onboarded a new fintech firm to fulfil its bond trading needs, Lemuel Lee, Asia deputy head of investment services told Asian Private Banker.

The French lender is working with Bondlinc — a trading automation platform that aims to digitalise private banks’ and securities houses’ access to bond market intel — to automate the process of creating updated fixed income prospectuses in a bid to comply with regional regulations.

Lemuel Lee, BNP Paribas WM

“Bondlinc has extensive sell-side experience and works with a number of distributors,” said Lee. “Their cloud-based database that aggregates bond prospectuses in the market is one of their offerings that really caught our attention.”

“This is critical in soliciting fixed income products as we need to have up-to-date prospectuses ready for clients. Bondlinc’s automation is much more efficient than manually uploading prospectuses, which we have been doing.”

Ong Eng Keong, Bondlinc’s CEO, said the firm is “excited” to work with BNP Paribas WM “to improve, automate, and standardise the existing client bond-selling processes”.

The parties are currently finalising the integration and aim to roll out the solution across BNP Paribas WM’s Asia offices before the close of 2018.

Committed to fintech
According to Lee, BNP Paribas WM welcomes working with fintechs as they allow the bank to better allocate its resources and shift away from “inefficient manual labour” and invest more in “adding value such as advisory and services”.

“Regulations and technology are constantly evolving; we need to keep abreast of the changing technology in the market and stay ahead of the competition,” he said, adding that the wealth manager constantly assesses its capabilities, considers what it can build, and scans the market for new developments.

“If a solution in the market is more mature and makes sense as a complement to our platform, and we believe we do not have the expertise to build it in-house, then we work with fintech providers,” he explained.

Currently, Lee said, projects with “a couple more external vendors across multiple fronts, spanning from research to execution” are underway.

Earlier this year, BNP Paribas unveiled new digital tools which were developed at what it calls its ‘factories’, located in Singapore, Geneva, and Luxembourg. At the time, Pierre Vrielinck, head of global Asian markets at BNP Paribas WM, said partnering with fintechs is “essential”.

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