IBM wins seven-year super funds deal

IBM today inked a seven-year $140 million business transformation outsourcing (BTO) deal with the Russell Investment Group.

Under the terms of the agreement IBM will assume control of Russell's member administration service centre in Australia.

It involves the transition of service centre operations and the bulk of the company's 199 staff to IBM Australia.

Russell will maintain all client relationship functions, while IBM will leverage its global consulting know-how and IT skills to transform and improve the service experience members have with their superannuation fund.

Initial work will include the implementation of new customer relationship management (CRM) processes and other technologies to allow the financial services firm to be more responsive.

IBM's goal is to create a personalized experience for members, with a multi-channel service offering - across Web, phone and on-site facilities. Russell's Member Administration Service Centre administers $19 billion in member assets, including the flagship $2.5 billion Russell SuperSolution Mastertrust.

According to Russell's Australasia managing director Alan Schoenheimer the deal has been prompted by unprecedented changes in Australia's superannuation environment, such as the rise in superannuation outsourcing and member choice, which have driven demand for cost-effective, faster, more complex member administration services.

"We believe a seismic change in superannuation administration is about to occur as choice takes hold and more people begin to 'own' their growing super balances," Schoenheimer said. "Super administration requires scale and constant technological innovation to stay at the leading edge of member services. This deal with IBM gives us the ability to scale as well as access world-leading technological innovation to meet the changing needs of our super fund clients and their members."

Growth is also a factor.

IBM Australia managing director Glen Boreham, said the deal was an important step toward IBM's goal to expand its consulting and technology presence in fast-growing financial services sectors around the globe.

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