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This article was originally published 29 November 2020 in Investment News.

Pioneer New Zealand wealth technology firm, Chelmer, has rolled out an upgraded software suite under the new Myriad branding.

Andy Robertson, Chief Innovation Officer, said the software reboot “embraces the modern technology development paradigm”, enabling wealth management firms to fashion flexible multi-application workflow processes within a single framework.

Robertson said Myriad allows businesses to create bespoke user interfaces (UIs) and “micro services” with seamless communication between the multiple software applications operating in the financial markets today.

“In this industry, we believe it’s important to provide UIs that are flexible and reflect the persona of both the firm and the individual,” he said. “That’s why, we’re focused on making our UI components clean and simple; so dashboards or portals can be configured for different types of users or customers, with information presented the way they want it and in a consistent way.”

According to Robertson, the common media image of financial markets professionals “looking at eight screens on the trading floor” in fact represents “the complete failure of technology”.

He said software systems have piled up in the financial industry in an ad hoc way with little thought to how they all communicate.

“The new fintech focus on building their own apps has actually made the situation worse,” Robertson said. “You might have 20 apps on your desktop that all look different and don’t talk to each other.”

Myriad, he said, has been designed to solve this age-old problem.

“The industry has been chasing the dream of a simple, unified adviser desktop for some time,” Robertson said. “Myriad is the closest we’ve ever got to achieving that.”

As well as freeing up wealth management firms to personalise their internal processes, the new Chelmer technology stack opens up opportunities for new features and third-party data to be integrated faster and more seamlessly into UIs.

The Myriad upgrade, which applies to the core infrastructure and UI services, is built according to protocols developed by the Financial Desktop Connectivity and Collaboration Consortium (FDC3) – a global initiative looking to encourage interoperability between software applications used in the financial industry.

Formed over 30 years ago in New Zealand, Chelmer has since extended its presence to Australia and Asia with about $40 billion managed on its technology.

Robertson said some customers, including the group’s cornerstone New Zealand client, Craigs Investment Partners, have begun migrating to Myriad.

“Clients are in the early stages of shifting to Myriad but there will be more transitions over the coming months,” he said.

In October this year, Chelmer presented Craigs with a commissioned artwork to mark a 22-year business relationship. “Craigs and Chelmer will each have a piece of the artwork,” the October release says. “When put together, the two pieces create one solid form, with Chelmer as the solid background piece, representative of their robust technology and long-standing team.”

Currently, Chelmer software supports the Craigs’ front, middle and back office operations, for wealth management, cash management, broking, and custodial services.

Chelmer opened an office in Manila last year but it also has representation in Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam and Sydney.

Robertson said the firm was a player in the rapidly growing managed accounts industry in Australia.

“We’re hot on discretionary services,” he said. “We work closely with IMAP (the Australian managed accounts industry association).”

Australian managed accounts operate similarly to the discretionary investment management service (DIMS) offerings in New Zealand, albeit with some significant differences in the background details, Robertson said.

For more about Myriad click here.