Zadig Gestion in the cloud
Zadig Gestion, based in Luxembourg, is an investment funds management company. Through its
UCITS funds (Undertaking for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities) and its
discretionary management mandates, Zadig oversees €1.4bn assets on behalf of clients who are
essentially pension funds, Private Banks, institutional investors and Family Offices.
La Historically the company started in the UK as Zadig Asset Management LLP but expanded into Luxembourg in 2010. Now, the Grand-Ducal entity is the company's operational nerve centre, taking responsibility for everything to do with management, including risks and regulatory compliance. London, for its part, refocussed on investment advice. Given its size and the significant controls, especially regulatory and legal, which govern its business, on Zadig's move to Luxembourg, the decision was made to subcontract its IT management to a third-party specialist in the field. Following a market investigation, System Solutions was chosen. "With System Solutions we found a partner who we can communicate with permanently and obtain immediate responses in particular thanks to its agility", says David Pawelkowski, company director and Governance manager. "Another compelling argument was clearly the fact that System Solutions enjoys PSF status (Financial Sector Professional), the required preliminary for any Grand-Ducal actor especially operating in IT outsourcing in the financial sector."
En By entrusting its IT management to System Solutions, Zadig Gestion made use of this to review to some extent the way it understands its IT resources. "Up to now, the IT solution simply consisted of an outsourced server. We certainly had remote access to it but we suffered from bandwidth problems. Even sending a simple email could be a problem. We wanted to be able to guarantee efficient access in any circumstance. So the decision was made to switch over to the System Solutions Private Cloud by having recourse to the Citrix technologies."
Another change: the switching of the London office IT, which had been keeping its own servers onsite, to a hosting and virtualisation model. "Previously, data had been exchanged directly between the two offices [Luxembourg and London], which sometimes had problems." So the London servers were virtualised and repatriated to Luxembourg, in the System Solutions Private Cloud.
“Not only because of the traditional constraints of IT management and the stricter ones of our line of business but also because of the CSSF obligations, all our procedures involve a high degree of complexity and technical knowledge", says David Pawelkowski. "We were too small for acquiring the IT architecture to satisfy the CSSF requirements and what is more for employing an internal IT team to manage and maintain it. We had to dedicate one or two programmers and extra space in our premises for this. So the only solution was outsourcing. Indeed, calling on an external provider allowed us to benefit from economies of scale in investment terms. We would not have been able to cope if we had had to do everything internally. "The fact of relying on a partner like System Solutions also has a reassuring aspect." We no longer have to deal with the IT infrastructure. We can concentrate on our business which is fund management. Everything to do with infrastructure management and operation, backup procedures and technical interventions in real time is handled by System Solutions.
Our personal responsibility is to ensure that funds are managed optimally, whatever happens. The cloud provides this reassurance. Even if a major worry affects our offices, we have the option of reconnecting to our servers, applications and data and continuing our business", says David Pawelkowski. To guarantee Zadig's ability to continue to operate whatever the circumstance, System Solutions has implemented synchronous replication mechanisms between the production sites. Furthermore, backing up is also structured at several levels: firstly on discs, and secondly on tape with outsourcing to a third party site (Securitas). "This means everything is covered: replication,
storage and backup", stresses Pierre-Michel Lemaire, PSF Director of System Solutions Luxembourg. A third site is added to this to arbitrate in the event of an incident at one of the two sites.
Finally, Business Continuity Positions (BCP) are provided in the System Solutions offer allowing the Zadig team to continue working in a professional space in the event of a major incident arising at its operational offices.
Because System Solutions satisfies the CSSF's regulations, Zadig Gestion and consequently its clients and the end investors whose capital it manages, enjoy a series of guarantees in terms of security, availability, compliance with best practice and data protection all of which strictly respect professional secrecy. Like for the abovementioned data availability, sustainable operation is also the norm in security matters. "The CSSF for example requires the use of two firewalls of different makes, operating in reciprocal support", explains Pierre-Michel Lemaire. "In the same spirit of requirement and reliability, as provider of outsourced services, we have to be OSIP certified (operator of primary IT systems). Therefore, like our financial clients, we are required to supply financial reports every month, to generate risk analysis reports and annual descriptions and to monitor the new regulations in force by regularly adapting our internal procedures".
Apart from the design, hosting and management of Zadig Gestion's IT infrastructure, System Solutions also supports its client with the analysis and revision of its IT resources: re-dimensioning the servers, adding new systems, and extending the storage space accordingly. "A change with our funds management software for example will require the availability of a new dedicated server", explains David Pawelkowski. "We also expect the System Solutions technical teams to support us in matters related to telephony and connectivity. It is clear that, insofar as we have delegated everything, we have to work hand in hand with our service provider", concludes David Pawelkowski.
David Pawelkowaski: "Given our line of business and our size, it was unrealistic to constitute and manage a complete IT infrastructure internally and to maintain essential competence with the tools."
System Solutions was created in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in 1996 by Robert Roux. The company started its activities as an IT retailer and very rapidly developed an offer of infrastructure services for datacentres. In its 22 years existence, System Solutions has evolved to now become a 'global ICT partner'. Around its core business, System Solutions has developed a complete set of services, ranging from the sale of standard IT equipment, to 'business consultancy' services, including delegation or staff recruitment. Today, System Solutions operates its own datacentres, and so provides an answer to the growing demand for managed services and IT 'as a service'. System Solutions has expanded geographically; System Solutions France started in 2005, and is based in Metz, System Solutions Belgium launched its activities in 2010, from headquarters in Walloon Brabant and an operations office in Brussels.
The company’s financial stability is guaranteed by the official PSF status level 1 in Luxembourg.