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How Abbove developed a unique wealth planning technology that integrates in no time into a complex data environment

Stefanie Keymeulen
September 21, 2022

Meet Alexandre Pitsaer, Data Engineer at Abbove since 2020. Alexandre has a vast experience in data processing, optimization and integration which he definitely put to good use at Abbove these past few years. By developing a unique technology and methodology, he was able to create a system that perfectly integrates our wealth planning platform with the complex and ultra-secure data systems of financial institutions in no time.

You may already know that at Abbove, we develop a wealth planning platform for financial institutions and their clients. However, the fact that this platform primarily provides a unique and scalable data model that unifies fragmented wealth data from different systems may be new to you. 

So, let's start at the beginning. When we developed the platform five years ago, we marketed it as a digital wealth passport, an environment where wealthy families and their advisors could gather all the data about their assets and liabilities in order to maintain a global overview of their wealth. Meanwhile, we plugged into that asset passport tools for financial planning, inheritance planning and reporting. This made it a truly all-round tool for advisors who want to assist their clients as best as they can in managing their assets.

Despite the enlarged scope of our platform, the first step remains the foundation of everything: gathering all of a client's wealth data into a clear, uniform and, above all, complete database. Without that, no accurate planning or solutions advisors can offer their clients. Today, Abbove is precisely that interconnected platform that can collect, unify and offer data from different data systems in a scalable model for advisors. And we have Alexandre’s work to thank for that.

The File Integration Framework: a unique development

In less than a year, Alexandre developed an accelerator that allows large financial actors to integrate their existing data systems with Abbove without much effort from their side and in a short time. As such, banks can integrate our platform into their core banking systems in six months, despite their high security standards, as we recently did with Quintet Private Bank.

Behind this accelerator is a unique technology that Alexandre developed from scratch. To do so, he drew on experience from his previous jobs and called on his own technical creativity. He baptized his technology "File Integration Framework," not entirely illogical for a framework based on exchanging files between different systems.

"Specifically, the File Integration Framework allows encrypted data from different systems to be sent to and interpreted by Abbove's platform," Alexandre explains. "It works as follows: the client first generates a data file from any of his systems. Then that data is encrypted and signed and the file is sent to Abbove's server via the secure SFTP protocol. The file is then decrypted, signatures are verified and a procedure of preprocessing takes place to validate the consistency of the data in the file. After this, the data is sent to Abbove via our API and the information on our platform is updated based on business rules that were set up with the client."

The benefits of this File Integration Framework are multiple. Because it is a file-based technology, it is first and foremost agnostic. In other words, it can be used to send files containing encrypted data to Abbove from any system, from portfolio management systems to CRM systems. This also implies that our clients do not necessarily need to have integration experts on their team to use the technology. Individuals who can export data reports from their systems can do the job. Last but certainly not least, the File Integration Framework also performs quality control. After the flow described above is completed, the results are sent to the client so that he can immediately evaluate the quality of the integration and data transfer. In this way, reduced quality is immediately detected and can be rectified.

Technology and methodology make the magic happen together

Yet the success is not only in the technology, but also and especially in its combination with a tailor-made methodology that helps to implement the technology.

"The methodology we apply consists first and foremost of workshops that we organize with the customer. In these, we determine together the rules that will define the entire integration process with the File Integration Framework. We then document those rules in an Integration Blueprint, which acts as a kind of reference document and explains how the whole integration works for that client. This means we have a kind of standard framework in which our clients can operate with some level of personnalisation. It's partly by coupling that methodology with our technology that we manage to so quickly and efficiently develop a scalable data model that advisors can exploit to formulate accurate advice and offer appropriate solutions to their clients," Alexandre concludes.

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