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Privé Technologies Uses AWS to Go Global While Innovating 50% Faster

2021

Privé Technologies is driving business growth worldwide by using AWS. Based in Hong Kong, it is transforming financial management through its modular platform, including both front-office and back-office tools, to help financial institutions digitize their wealth management offerings. Privé Technologies uses Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service to orchestrate containers and Amazon Managed Streaming for Apache Kafka for real-time data streaming.
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If we didn’t have AWS, we wouldn’t be close to the success we are having today.”

Julian Schillinger
Cofounder, Privé Technologies

Financial Crash Opens New Opportunity

The saying, “Never let a good crisis go to waste,” springs to mind when listening to Julian Schillinger, cofounder of Privé Technologies, describe the company’s beginnings. The idea for the company took shape after the financial crisis of 2007–2008, when mis-selling of financial products was the root of the disaster. “Following the crisis, regulators instructed financial institutions to give clients well-rounded advice. And we launched Privé Technologies to help them do just that,” says Schillinger.
 
Based in Hong Kong, Privé Technologies specializes in digital solutions for wealth management and investment services where advisors help customers maximize the value of their portfolios. According to 2020 figures, the global wealth management market is worth about $446 billion. That figure is expected to rise to $584 billion by 2023, and Asia Pacific is one of the fastest-growing regions. Not only is wealth management growing, it’s fundamentally changing. Data analytics and automation are playing bigger roles, and robo-advisors, delivering advice based on algorithms, are increasingly used. “In today’s FinTech landscape, portfolios are constructed faster and are more personalized,” comments Schillinger. “Rebalancing portfolios, if needed, is also automated.”

Bringing Wealth Management to the Masses

Privé Technologies has developed a platform that provides financial advisors with wealth-management-in-a-box, including data analysis and process automation at the market’s cutting edge. “We are empowering advisors, enabling them to quickly discover, track, and compare financial products for clients,” says Schillinger. “Most importantly, we’re also giving financial institutions a solution they can buy, instead of spending time and money building their own.”
 
The company is working with global financial institutions such as Citibank and Credit Suisse and is expanding to focus on providers of super apps. It is also collaborating with non-financial players such as Samsung, with which Privé Technologies is creating a wealth management ecosystem in the palm of the user’s hands. “We truly believe we can bring wealth management to the masses and ensure that people get the best advice regardless of the size of their investments,” says Schillinger.

Maintaining a Laser Focus

With its global ambitions, Privé Technologies needed a high-performance infrastructure that could scale easily. “Constructing a data center wasn’t viable because of the resources required,” says Schillinger. “We also knew that our talents lay in building services and not managing infrastructure, so we looked to the cloud.” Based on this decision, the company turned to Amazon Web Services (AWS). “We felt that AWS was ahead of the game and had a first-mover advantage. It took away all the IT management complexity due to its managed services model, enabling us to maintain a laser focus on our software.”
 
The business launched its initial AWS environments without any challenges. “AWS was really helpful, and its solutions architects ensured we had the right setup,” Schillinger comments. For its core foundation, Privé Technologies takes advantage of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) for virtual machines to run software, Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) for its databases, and AWS Elastic Beanstalk to deploy and scale applications.

Innovating 50% Faster

Over time, Privé Technologies’ IT architecture evolved and the business adopted a microservices approach, with solutions such as Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS) and Amazon Managed Streaming for Apache Kafka (Amazon MSK) for real-time data streaming. “Amazon EKS took away a lot of the administration for Kubernetes clusters—reducing our IT management costs by one-third,” comments Schillinger. Besides lowering cost, its microservices architecture has enabled the company to reduce time to bring new products and features to market. “We’ve cut our innovation cycle in half and that’s crucial when you are operating in a fast-moving industry.” In addition, Privé Technologies has since become a Select Technology Partner in the AWS Partner Network (APN).

Instant Scalability for a Volatile Market

The increased capacity for innovation is helping Privé Technologies develop its capabilities for analyzing complex financial instruments such as structured products. “With the market volatility in 2020 and trade volumes increasing by up to eight times, it has become more important for customers to understand their risk exposures,” says Schillinger. However, calculating risks requires varying amounts of processing power depending on the volatility of financial markets. With AWS, the company can easily spin up virtual machines to make these calculations when trading volumes fluctuate. “Previously, our ability to react was much slower with an on-premises infrastructure and it would take weeks to set up servers to handle periods of instability.”

Reduces Security Costs by Two-Thirds

Besides scalability, AWS also helps Privé Technologies stay secure. To adhere to local data residency laws, the business leverages multiple AWS Regions so data can be stored locally. Furthermore, the redundancy in each AWS Region ensures that Privé Technologies can maintain its service in the event of the loss of one AWS Availability Zone. Just as important, Schillinger says, are the multiple certifications that AWS has acquired, including ones from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and System and Organization Controls (SOC). “By leveraging existing protocols and certifications that AWS already has in place, we can have a smaller security team to oversee all our infrastructure, reducing our security costs by two-thirds.”

An Infrastructure Built for Success

By relying on the AWS Cloud, Privé Technologies has become one of the fastest-growing companies in Asia. On the back of its cloud infrastructure, Privé Technologies has expanded globally with a large roster of blue-chip clients and partners like Citibank, Credit Suisse, and Samsung. Moreover, the company notes that many developers have approached them expressing interest in working with AWS solutions to develop its capabilities around data lakes and machine learning. Schillinger believes that using AWS solutions has contributed to the company’s achievements and growth. He concludes, “AWS has been a key enabler for us to provide better innovation to the financial industry. If we didn’t have AWS, we wouldn’t be close to the success we are having today.”

To learn more, visit aws.amazon.com/financial-services.


About Privé Technologies

Privé Technologies is an innovator in financial and wealth management technologies. The company provides end-to-end solutions for banks, financial advisors, independent asset managers, and insurance companies.

Benefits of AWS

  • Enables global expansion
  • Cuts time to innovate by 50%
  • Reduces IT management costs by one-third
  • Lowers security overhead by two-thirds

AWS Services Used

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) is a web service that provides secure, resizable compute capacity in the cloud. It is designed to make web-scale cloud computing easier for developers. Amazon EC2’s simple web service interface allows you to obtain and configure capacity with minimal friction.

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Amazon Relational Database Service

Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) makes it easy to set up, operate, and scale a relational database in the cloud. It provides cost-efficient and resizable capacity while automating time-consuming administration tasks such as hardware provisioning, database setup, patching and backups.

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Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service

Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS) gives you the flexibility to start, run, and scale Kubernetes applications in the AWS cloud or on-premises. Amazon EKS helps you provide highly-available and secure clusters and automates key tasks such as patching, node provisioning, and updates.

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Amazon Managed Streaming for Apache Kafka

Amazon MSK is a fully managed service that makes it easy for you to build and run applications that use Apache Kafka to process streaming data. Apache Kafka is an open-source platform for building real-time streaming data pipelines and applications.

Learn more »


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