Interview with Marcin Werner in the “Bank” monthly – 12/2017
Software means added value
An Interview with Marcin Werner – Chairman of the Board of the Risco Software Sp. z o.o.
The IT sector likes to describe itself not only as software and services, but as, first and foremost, an added value for their clients. What is the operating philosophy of Risco Software?
Marcin Werner: Without a doubt every IT company aims to generate an added value for the final client and defines and communicates this value in a different way. At Risco we develop products for the financial sector. This is a very unique industry, our Clients expect us not only to have the typical IT skills and know-how, but also to e.g. have an understanding of relevant legal regulations concerning their business. Such an understating requires extensive trainings and knowledge gathering. We need to be constantly up to date with Polish and European legislation and always obey the most restrictive technical standards. Every programmer on our team is well-trained in all of the contextual aspects needed for the proper understanding of the business processes our solutions are to support.
Let us take e.g. systems we develop in order to help our clients comply with particular regulations, such as EMIR, MIFIR, or –soon to be implemented- RODO. Our model of work ensures a Client will gain a significant added value sourced from the vast knowledge and know-how of our employees, as well as their openness to all that is to come and become important and urgent to our Clients. To sum up, at Risco Software we generate the added value for a Client through our constant investment in the skills and knowledge of our specialists, which results in a comprehensive business consultancy, far exceeding beyond the scope of exclusively IT services.
Your Motto says „Open minded IT guys”. What lies behind it?
Marcin Werner: This is not some catchphrase invented by a PR agency, but an opinion of one of our Clients that we found to be particularly in line with what Risco represents. We take pride in our openness and swift responses to new technologies, or the aforementioned changes in the legal environment, that lead us to developing new IT products and services. This is reinforced by openness to people, both: inside and outside of Risco. As to our team, each of us is a unique individual with various takes on the industry and the world in general. Therefore we put a lot of effort into making sure we are all well integrated and always remain open to each other. Everybody on our team can feel comfortable and be certain his or her opinion will be heard with respect and taken into account. Also as the board we put a very high value on the internal communication. This approach translates to the communication with our Clients. After all, not without a reason we are spoken of as our motto reads. Our customer satisfaction surveys constantly point to the values I have just mentioned and this is how we know we positively stand out in this area.
Has Risco Software finished building its stable identity? 18 years on the market sounds quite impressive…
Marcin Werner: 18 years is in fact a long period of time and we are proud we’ve made it through quite a few market crises whilst constantly improving our financial results and enhancing the portfolio of clients. The process of building our Company’s identity however is continuous. Our main asset is the previously mentioned openness, our Clients so highly value each time we measure satisfaction from our products and services. That is why we keep our proverbial finger on the pulse and react to the changing business conditions. On top of that our identity is shaped by the unchanging team, coworking for over a dozen years- the Dream Team, as we like to call it. They allow us not only to fulfill the requirements and comply with orders of our Clients, but also to create our own cutting-edge solutions for various industries, especially the banking one. Risco Software’s portfolio of products consist in a large part of the original solutions of our IT developers. We already service almost 100 well-functioning IT systems and still continue to grow.
It is often said the traditional banking evolves in a new direction. How do you respond to changing expectations of the market?
Marcin Werner: Traditional banking will long remain needed. Let’s just take into account various age and expectations of clients, to name a few reasons. However banking does change and aims to maximalise the degree of possible digitalization and automation. Of course the role of banks will always be very important, but its character will change. Banks of the future will remain financial institutions, at the same time they will become dynamic technological and software companies. Opened, due to API, to the external environment such as e.g. fintech they shall provide financial services often using artificial intelligence and big data solutions in the process. As a software company and a system integrator we help banks in undergoing this transformation. At the same time we don’t limit ourselves to the said banks only. We also cooperate with other institutions of the financial and insurance sectors. On top of that within the framework of our R&D we work on our original IT solutions.
What do you work on now and what are your plans for the 2018?
Marcin Werner: Our systems serve the purpose of i.a. fulfilling the European requirements and are constantly being expanded. Right now we are finalising a few major projects concerning MiFID2 and MiFIR regulations. We’re working on a new module of our flagship “Cesarz” system which supports the process of reporting transactions to the, so called, ARM (Approved Reporting Mechanism). We also introduced another novelty into the system by adding a module of post-transactional reporting to APA (Approved Publication Arrangement) that needs to be ensured very shortly after a transaction is entered. A major competitive advantage of our offer comes from its comprehensiveness. We cover not only the reporting itself, but also enrichment of the content by the data from external sources: ESMA and ANNA-DSB. Each of those modules can be implemented into an already operating system, but it also constitutes a separate product in our offer. We pay a lot of attention to the system supporting transaction clearing in the CCP (Central Clearing Party), such as e.g. the Polish KDPW_CCP. In this area we are now finalizing, with one of the polish banks, a project innovative even in the European scale. Our roadmap for the upcoming year contains another module of the Ceasrz system supporting STFR (Securities Financing Transactions Regulations reporting). Prior to that we intend to add reporting required by the Best Execution and SI (Systematic Internalizer). I realise those names might not tell much to an average reader, but they are very well known in the world of banking, especially in the treasury departments. Our offer concerning regulatory systems contains also ones supporting banks in implementation of communications with the systems of National Audit Office, such as Express Elixir, Ognivo e-Zajęcia, or most recently implemented CMO (“Centralny Mechanizm Oceny”). We are also working on adjustment of our systems to ensure they fulfill new RODO-related requirements.
Is this the full scope of your operations?
Marcin Werner: We don’t want to fall behind on any part of the IT market. Constant evolution of our industry means that focusing only on more traditional areas of operations may cause one to overlook new, often fascinating possibilities of development. We are, for instance, very much interested in the Blockchain technology, especially in the area of the, so called, Smart Contracts and we are already developing certain solutions within our R&D. One of the most important challenges for us now is the world mobile systems and applications. Traditionally for Risco Software our first step here was to educate our specialists. Thanks to this approach we can offer, to our current and prospective clients, a full package of mobile solutions, beginning with a business analysis, and ending with software that may operate on any of the major mobile platforms such as e.g. Android and IOS. We don’t like waiting with our arms folded, so we started with developing solutions useful to our own Company. It’s well-known how important it is to effectively plan various leaves for the whole team, and now I can conveniently oversee this process thanks to an intuitive and aesthetic app on my phone.