Union Investment is one of Europe’s leading asset managers for private and institutional clients, developing and providing a wide range of investment solutions in various asset classes and investment styles, including equity, fixed-income, money market, alternative investments, and quantitative structured funds. Established in 1956, and firmly rooted in its German home market, Union Investment has grown into a leading international asset manager through subsidiaries and strategic partnerships. Today, it is one of Germany’s largest asset managers, with more than US$250 billion worth of assets under its management, and more than 4.5 million customers. The company manages close to 1,000 funds, which have won a number of awards and are licensed for sale by 1,100 banks through 13,000 branches, one of Europe’s densest sales networks.
“We had already had good experience with Oracle Application Express in the past, especially developing individualized and easily adjustable web applications which are stored in Oracle Database, and we had also established a good relationship with Oracle Partner MT AG,” said Rolf Fillinger, team leader, Union Investment (Union IT-Services GmbH). “However, we researched the market to see if there was a product available that could fulfill the vast scope of our fund management project requirements, but there was none. When we decided to develop our own application, we needed to choose between Java based and browser based. Going with Java would have meant a cost-intensive, full-client version for 800 people, and so a browser-based solution was preferable, and at this stage only Oracle APEX could meet our needs.”
Instead of expanding its existing system, Union Investment decided to introduce a new system with the necessary interfaces and then perform a data migration. The project consisted of two phases. First, all new dialogs were provided in a simplified form, which were coordinated with stakeholder departments. Following final specifications, the second phase resolved issues such as authorizations, internal and external views and interfaces, and involved more than 270 expert examinations, seeing the project through to successful production.
To develop the FondsProfiler application, Union Investment worked with Oracle Platinum Partner MT, which provided 19 staff during the development phase—including Oracle APEX, PL/SQL, data modeling and interface experts, project leaders, and a quality assurance engineer.
“We had a detailed list of specifications that we needed in our fund management application, and at that time, only MT AG had enough German-speaking and Oracle Application Express dedicated manpower to fulfill our business requirements in time,” said Fillinger. “We were very much in a hurry to get the application up and running and, as often happens in those cases, we came back to the programmers with a lot of change requests during the project. MT AG did a great job, providing 10 to 12 full-time programmers plus external staff, and even though we modified the project scope a few times, they provided an optimal solution to fulfil our requirements.”