Building a secure, low-code trade system for Pemberton

by | 15th April 2021

We’ve already highlighted how our valued client, Pemberton, boosted their business resiliency with Microsoft 365’s stack of cloud-based applications.

Today, we’d like to get a little more technical.

As a leading European credit manager, Pemberton need to keep their firm continuously efficient, secure and competitive. To do this, they place heavy importance on application development.

But, as with most technical projects, application development is often easier said than done.

In this case study, we breakdown into how Chalkline helped Pemberton implement Microsoft’s low-code automation platform, Power Apps, with resounding success.


Unsuccessful trading systems

When joining Pemberton in 2019, David Fanning (Head of Technology) set to work on implementing a required portfolio management system.

While trying to complete the project over the following six months, it became apparent that the trading system simply wasn’t fit for purpose. Pemberton eventually decided to replace and retire the system entirely.

Instead, they chose to develop an in-house data platform with added trade capture functionality.

The application needed to capture trade details from the portfolio management department, verify them, and then forward them to the loan admin on an automated basis.

However, as Pemberton are in a heavily regulated sector, they are required to demonstrate:

  • Separation of concerns in each of the workflow areas
  • Separation of responsibilities
  • Good risk management practises
  • Verification of data accuracy
  • End-to-end automation where possible

Ultimately, any system they built had to comply with the FCA’s stringent regulations.

Microsoft’s fast, low-code solution

Facing a looming six-month deadline, Pemberton were under increasing pressure to get the system built and operational. Yet they couldn’t find a good enough tool on the market.

They didn’t want to be chained to an expensive, overly complex system or something that had more functionality than they needed.

It was at this point Pemberton engaged with Chalkline. Together, they were able to create an in-house solution that leveraged Microsoft Azure’s stack and accommodated most of their requirements.

Using Microsoft Power Apps, they built an application implementation on top of their database to integrate with their loan admin. This allowed Pemberton to create the trade system workflow they were looking for, with the added benefit of Microsoft’s in-built security measures, including multi-factor authentication and access control.

‘The overall development timeline went well. We had strong support from the business teams; they were really involved on the testing, and the turnaround from Chalkline was very good.’ – David Fanning, Head of Technology

Now, the application is the firm’s only process for getting certain trades into the system or loan admins. With this, they can rest assured that the automation workflow is in fitting with their unique regulation needs.

But what exactly were the specific benefits of this solution?

Automation, without the fuss

‘Previously, I would have had a small team of developers and database developers working together to build the solution. This is a much simpler stack. It’s a much simpler solution and it’s very easy to manage thereafter.’ – David Fanning, Head of Technology

With the help of Chalkline and Microsoft Power Apps, Pemberton now enjoys many benefits beyond the simplicity of the application.

Specifically, Pemberton were able to:

  • Retire an expensive portfolio management system on time and on budget
  • Separate responsibility throughout the workflow
  • Define the workflow process and operational requirements
  • Simplify trade ingestion to one process
  • Reduce operational risk for all associated processes

Going forward, Pemberton wants to expand its use of Power Apps to other areas of the business. This will help to eliminate spreadsheets, as well as further improve efficiency and modernise processes.

It’s safe to say, then, that this is just the start of a brilliant foray into automation.

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