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THE NEWSLETTER OF PHOEBUS SOFTWARE LIMITED SPRING 2017 ISSUE 9

PHOEBUSFOCUS 2017: A year of change Welcome to the ninth issue of Phoebus Focus, the magazine that keeps you informed of the latest developments from one of the industry’s leading and fastest-growing software providers. It’s fair to say that 2016 was quite a year with the referendum on our membership of the EU dominating headlines. This is something that will impact the financial services industry for many years to come and PSL is committed to taking the lead with clients as any ramifications of Brexit become clear and are fully understood. Since the last issue of Phoebus Focus, PSL has continued to grow and we have achieved a number of important client wins. With many existing clients also requiring new modules and functionality, 2017 is set be another successful year for PSL. We are finding there is now real market demand to take advantage of the many benefits that online can deliver and PSL is well placed to help clients in this area, having committed significant R&D to this channel in recent years. The strength of the PSL offering is that it is built on the robust and proven loan and savings management solution which clients rely on and trust. You can read more about PSL’s offering in this area on pages 4-5. PSL now has more than 20 live clients in different sectors originating and servicing a range of products across first charge residential, secured loans, asset finance, development finance, commercial mortgages, unsecured loans, bridging finance and deposits. The PSL management team remains committed to ensuring that we always strive to hit the high levels of service our clients have grown to expect. As a company, our continued growth means we had to move to bigger offices in Solihull, UK. Designed to boost creativity and innovation, we look forward to welcoming as many clients and visitors as possible to our new premises in the near future.

Double award win

2

PSL achieves ISO 27001 certification

3

Extending our online offer

4

Phoebus looks to the future

7

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CSR double win For the second year running Phoebus Software

Richard Pike, sales and marketing director of PSL

Ltd (PSL) has scooped a Corporate Social

says “Giving something back to both the local and

Responsibility (CSR) award at the Mortgage

global community is fundamental to PSL. It is a

Finance Gazette awards. The award reflects PSL’s

key ethos of ours to have a positive effect as an

efforts in giving something back to the community.

organisation - and this encompasses everything

After winning the CSR award last year, PSL has

from the development of students and young

expanded even further on the number of charities

people, to helping less fortunate people in other

it works with and the ways it gives back, both to

parts of the world. Minimising any environmental

the local community and to the wider world. As

emissions is also crucial. “While we do these

well as supporting both local and international

things because they matter, it is also nice to have

charities, PSL is also part of a Knowledge

been recognised for this with the unprecedented

Partnership Scheme with Aston University. Staff

achievement of having won an award for our CSR

from PSL mentor some of the students and provide

for two years running.”

them with work experience; this enables graduates

 

to apply their degree, start a ‘real’ job straight away and gain further professional qualifications. PSL has also retained its status as a Carbon Neutral Company having offset its annual carbon

Read more about PSL’s charity work on the back page.

emissions for six years now.

PSL brings up the hundred Phoebus Software Limited (PSL) has become the 100th Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) Associate member. The Council of Mortgage Lenders is the main trade body representing UK mortgage lenders. Bringing lenders together on matters of common interest, the CML aims to speak for the collective mortgage industry. The CML promotes good practice, collects and publishes data on mortgage lending, comments on market issues and liaises on behalf of members with the many organisations, government departments, and commentators who have an interest in the UK’s £1.3 trillion mortgage market. In welcoming PSL, CML director general Paul Smee comments: “I am delighted to welcome Phoebus Software Limited as the 100th current CML Associate. As a keen cricket enthusiast, I know the significance of a century and am pleased that PSL will be the 100th business to discover how CML helps its associates make the most of their contacts with the 97% of the mortgage market whom we represent.”

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Hampton Mortgage Servicing chooses Phoebus

H

ampton Mortgage Servicing, which

providers and the PSL system had the most

provides a comprehensive specialist

integrity and was thus most suitable for

administration and servicing platform

our needs. We have got to know the Phoebus

for shared equity and second charge mortgage

team very well over the years and we are

portfolios, signed a contract with Phoebus

pleased that they are implementing our solution

Software Ltd to provide its servicing platform.

for us.” This contract win continues to cement

The company has a proven track record in

Phoebus Software Limited’s position as the

realising value from Shared Equity mortgage

market leader in providing servicing software

portfolios and the leadership team has a

solutions to the third-party administration

combined 200 years+ experience in mortgage

market both in the UK and Ireland.

and operational management.

Limited’s sales and marketing director, adds:

By opting for Phoebus, Hampton Mortgage

Richard Pike, Phoebus Software

Servicing will be able to migrate its existing book

“Hampton Mortgage Servicing is a notable

onto the Phoebus cloud based platform, a service

client win for us, achieved through our solid

that is becoming increasingly popular with both

reputation as an effective market leader in the

new and existing clients.

provision of servicing software as well as great

client engagement. The Phoebus servicing

Paul Morris, managing director at Hampton

Mortgage Servicing comments: “Phoebus has an

solution via the cloud will provide Hampton

incredibly good reputation for being both flexible

Mortgage Servicing with a highly flexible and

and reliable. We compared a number of different

reliable solution.”

ISO 27001 accreditation delivers bestpractice information security management PSL has achieved ISO 27001 certification for Information Security Management. ISO 27001 is an internationally recognised information security standard which provides a comprehensive framework for identifying and assessing information security risks, applying controls, and measuring and improving the effectiveness of those controls. Achieving ISO 27001 enables PSL to continually improve its control environment to the very highest standards, while achieving full legal and regulatory compliance. Through its attainment of this certification, PSL has demonstrated its commitment to information security and data protection of its client’s information which extends into its private cloud platform. PSL achieved the accreditation to further improve its services while providing assurance to all financial organisations that it works with, that the data and information provided to Phoebus is looked after to the highest international standards. Warren Higgins, Head of Operations at PSL said, “This is a great achievement for PSL and clearly shows how seriously we take security and data protection. This should provide confidence to everyone PSL works with, that their information is protected to the highest standards.” PHOEBUS FOCUS 3


Phoebus powers up to ext Take Atom Bank as an example. It’s the UK’s first bank built exclusively for mobile. Taking inspiration from gaming technology, it’s redefining what a

T

bank should be, making things straightforward,

and Post-Millennials to name but a few. They

For Phoebus Software Limited (PSL), the emergence

all have one trait in common: widespread

of Atom – in tandem with a genuine hunger by

use of the internet from a relatively young

‘traditional’ players to want to up their game –

age. This immersion in technology leads to

posed a challenge: How do you take the industry’s

a view of the world where online is not just

best-selling tailored loan and savings management

normal – it’s actually preferable. It means that

system, with a deserved reputation for taking care

all businesses need to meet the needs of this

of all a client’s lending and savings needs, and

growing demographic with products and services

make it more relevant to today’s market?

that provide an experience that these users are

As PSL’s sales and marketing director Richard Pike

comfortable and familiar with. While 10 years

explains, the jump is not as fanciful as it might

ago it would have been far-fetched to suggest

first appear. “PSL is not just about delivering a

that banking would have much in common with

great product that is fundamental to the success

gaming, this is exactly what’s now happening in

of all our financial services clients. As a company,

the market.

we place great value on partnerships and are

hey have a bewildering number of labels:

personal and easily accessible. And it’s available

Generation X, Generation Z, the Internet

through an App with log-in supported by face and

Generation, iGeneration, Millennials

voice recognition.

The rise and rise of equity Equity release, where people over 55

PSL has a proven solution for equity release

borrow against their property,

providers and also supplies equity release

is rapidly growing in popularity

solutions to Pure Retirement and more2life.

with circa £10m of housing wealth

Equity release has evolved and changed

withdrawn every working day. Equity

significantly in recent years and new providers

release is widely predicted to continue

have entered the market increasing the range

to grow strongly as new generations

of products available. Equity release is

of ‘property-rich, income-poor’

typically available to those who are aged

retirees cease work and need to

55 to 95, and own a property worth at least

supplement income.

£60,000, from lenders and funders to

encourage business in this Sector.

Legal & General Home Finance,

which launched its new equity release product range using the latest version of the Phoebus mortgage originations and servicing mortgage platform, is one of the key players in the equity release market.

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end offer online driven by the needs of our clients, which means that

Additionally, the market has seen an

we continuously innovate on their behalf,” he says.

increasing number of ‘challenger banks’ as

So when Atom was searching for a partner to

the UK securitisation market remains flat

provide originations and servicing across its

and the traditional method of raising funds

secured business lending proposition and account

through deposit taking has become more

servicing for its residential lending portfolio, PSL’s

attractive, with online and digital channels

robust solution – together with a willingness to be

offering a viable route to these funds. PSL has

actively involved in providing modern API services

now delivered Hampshire Trust Bank’s new

– made a perfect fit.

online retail deposits solution.

Yet PSL is not solely working with digital-only

“There is now a real demand in the market to

entrants who are developing new ‘green field’

take advantage of the many benefits that online

solutions for the market. More ‘traditional’

can deliver,” observes Richard Pike, PSL’s sales

players are also investing more heavily in online

and marketing director. “As a result, PSL has

and digital for a number of important reasons.

committed significant R&D to ensure our clients

First amongst these reasons is the significant

can take advantage of this channel and we

commercial benefits that online capability

have a number of new solutions now available.

delivers. Companies can drive significant

This is all built on the robust and proven loan

costs out of their businesses by encouraging

and savings management solution which our

online behaviour. For customers, having the

clients rely on and trust, but which now offers

ability to see balances and check payments online

a different dimension and opens up a range of

reduces the need for telephone calls and letters.

commercial possibilities.”

release Most equity release is in the form of a “lifetime

The growing interest in equity release is seen

mortgage” or “roll-up loan”, where interest is

as the latest sign of growing reliance on

only paid at the end of loan when the borrower

housing wealth as a key pillar of later-life

dies or moves. The size of loan is limited by the

financial planning.

borrower’s age, with more being available to lend to older home owners.

PHOEBUS FOCUS 5


Putting the ‘voice of the customer’ at the heart of what we do

T

he appointment of Lisa

business and we’ve cultivated

Phoebus technology and getting

Meredith as Phoebus

a culture of honesty such that

the most from its usage,

Software Limited’s

clients are happy to share their

regulation or even on specific

(PSL’s) Head of Client

views. Having said this, there

products such as development

Management underlines PSL’s

are more things that we can –

finance or deposits.

commitment to ensure that

and will – do, particularly on

“These will take shape over

the company continues to do

the strategic side,” she adds.

the next few months but the

everything it can to improve

This means working more

important principle here is that

the quality of delivery and

closely with clients to help

clients set the agenda so that

service that clients receive.

them with opportunities if

the user forum becomes more

Lisa is no stranger to many

appropriate and developing a

of an activity driven by them

clients having joined PSL 10

better understanding of client

which they have an investment

years ago and having worked

business needs. “I believe

in,” she stresses. “Although

most recently as a project

we get a better solution and

I am part of PSL’s management

manager before taking up her

quicker delivery if we engage

team, my primary concern is

current position.

with clients at an early stage

our clients’ satisfaction. I want

“One of the most fulfilling

and look to work collaboratively

to make a difference and

aspects of my job is in

on projects. If we write the

I want the best for them,”

talking to clients and building

story together, there is far less

she concludes.

rewarding relationships

room for error. Having a better

with them” she explains.

view of a client’s commercial

“The role of head of client

needs also means that we can

management was created

mobilise our business to meet

to ensure that our clients’

these and really add value to

voice is represented internally

their business.”

within PSL and to ensure

Lisa has already instituted

that we meet their various

a good deal more on-site

needs both operationally –

activity from the support

so any issues get sorted as

desk as she believes that

soon as possible – but also

face-to-face communication

strategically.” Lisa believes

is fundamental to developing

that client communication is

good relationships. She is also

hugely important. “In addition

consulting clients to ascertain

to forums such as the Phoebus

their needs in terms of how

User Group where we gain

PSL runs user groups. This may

valuable input on product and

result in a greater number of

service issues, we have many

user group meetings with a

client-facing people within the

specific focus on topics such as

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PSL looks to the future

W

ith turnover steadily increasing and

and we’re also exploring ways of being more

staffing now at over 100 FTE, it’s no

proactive with clients by partnering more closely

surprise to find that Phoebus Software

with them and exploring future opportunities

Limited’s (PSL) managing director Paul Hunt is

together,” he says.

optimistic about the future. With the challenger bank sector remaining buoyant – the last few

Reflecting on the last couple of years that has

years have seen the highest number of banking

seen several new client wins, Paul explains that

licence applications made in many people’s

the business has had to change the way in which

memories – Paul believes that there are many

it approaches new opportunities. “As part of our

opportunities ahead for the company.

organic growth, each year new clients we serve are becoming larger and have more complex

He predicts that the market will remain strong

needs. We are finding some newer clients also

and explains that PSL is intent on cementing its

have emerging requirements as they move into

position as one of the leading systems suppliers

different market areas,” says Paul.

in the loans and savings sectors. He says. “The market is being driven forward by the lack of

PSL continues to invest heavily in its employees

wholesale funding, meaning that there is an

as Paul believes that this ultimately leads to

appetite to create new deposit taking institutions,

better client relationships. PSL’s new offices

and use any funds received to fund lending. This

in Solihull, UK have been designed with both

plays well for the Phoebus solution as a product

staff and client interaction in mind with many

which is flexible, robust, highly proven, and

interactive and breakout areas available. More

can be deployed quickly for both lenders and

about the new offices is mentioned later in

deposit takers”

this issue.

PSL continues to aspire to delivering high service levels and client satisfaction meaning that bringing on board new people and integrating them into the PSL way of working is a core focus for the business. “The Phoebus solution has a lot of pedigree and we’ve spent a lot of time and effort in bringing people in with the appropriate technical skills and industry expertise so we can maintain the high levels of service that our clients have rightly come to expect. We will always look to improve in this area and it is essential that we are led by our clients in terms of their needs and expectations. We’ve recently added Lisa Meredith to our senior team as head of client management PHOEBUS FOCUS 7


Charity round-up PSL supports international charity Kiva, which helps to alleviate poverty around the world. Kiva provides small loans to people in developing countries to enable them to develop business ventures or improve their working or living environment. This empowers people to lift themselves and their families out of poverty. Over the past year PSL has also been supporting St Basils, a Solihull charity which helps 16-25 year olds who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. So far, PSL staff have taken on the Great Birmingham 10K, the Two Castles Run and the Birmingham Half Marathon and have successfully reached its fundraising target for the year. Another new local charity for PSL is Tappy Twins, a support organisation for children in need. It teaches children how to use energy therapies for emotional healing and personal development to gain powerful relief from physical and emotional stresses. In recognition of its efforts, PSL has won the Mortgage Finance Gazette “community services” award two years running.

Office move boosts innovation and creativity Phoebus Software Limited (PSL) has recently moved offices to a refurbished 15,000 sq ft location in Solihull. The new offices at Lansdowne Gate were designed with a key focus on staff wellbeing and productivity. The office design also encourages collaborative and flexible ways of working. The move was made necessary by a growth in staff numbers to over 100 and the new space will accommodate both existing employees and several new joiners over the coming months. Staff wellbeing was central to the new site and a team of staff from many parts of the business took over six months to design the offices to get everything ‘just right’ and help bridge the gap between work-life balance, creating an environment where the two are merged in harmony. In addition, every member of staff is offered free gym membership, while the company also provides fresh fruit and refreshments. PSL also provides a calendar of wellbeing events that range from lifestyle coaching to guitar lessons, to promote a thorough wellbeing of mind and body in its staff. The office also has a state of the art training suite that will accommodate up to 16 delegates and is available for both internal and external training.

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www.phoebus.co.uk

Phoebus Magazine 2017  
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