The background to and the motivation for the establishment of Everest came about as the result of scarcity of software in the retirement fund industry with capabilities of running the liability recording and reconciliation elements of the administration process. The ability to develop a system that utilises the actuarial skills of pension and provident fund valuation with the expertise of fund administration provides enormous opportunities in an underdeveloped local market.
The current providers of licensed actuarial software are limited to several large international software companies. This software is not written taking into account South African legislation and is significantly customised for this purpose. Until now, employee benefit administrators have been purchasing various foreign applications to support their functionality needs. Each of these applications requires its own data storage and user interface, causing data to be entered and stored independently. Such a non-integrated environment of multiple applications and multiple databases results in added expenditure through duplication of training, duplication of resources and lost productivity.
For the administrators of Pension and Provident Funds, the main focus of their work is in the processing and management of their clients’ data. These houses have in the past resorted to in-house maintenance and design of their administration system which deviates from their core business. There is a growing need for a company to introduce a product and maintenance contract, which assumes responsibility for the task of system management. By removing this division, administrators can concentrate on their business without the need to embark on high capital expenditure to manage the technology aspect of their business. Everest provides that element which assumes that responsibility.
Many systems currently being utilised are basic administration systems that do not allow for functionality beyond traditional collection and payment procedures. These systems become obsolete, unable to keep up with market trends such as the functionality required for the housing and reporting of individual investment choice. Many providers of administration build onto their existing systems, making the entire process relatively cumbersome and more costly than one fully integrated system. The ability to combine a document management system with a customer relationship management (CRM) tool will streamline and enhance the service offered by administrators.