International investment company Baring Asset Management is to install a global customer relationship management (CRM) system in a multi-million pound deal designed to boost new business.
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Baring, which manages more than £34bn of funds and equity, is to install an Internet-based CRM product by Siebel in an investment understood to be worth up to £5m.
The deal, due to be announced within the next few months, highlights the growing popularity of CRM packages in the financial services sector, as companies strive to improve monitoring and provide added value services over the Web.
The Siebel package is primarily targeted at sales people and will be available to all Baring's 1,600 staff worldwide. The application will enable them to pull off financial data on the performance of competitors from a central database and use it to poach business from rival funds that are under-performing.
Bill McDougall, group head of information technology for Baring Asset Management, told Computer Weekly the Siebel package would give it a global overview of customers. "In the past it was very difficult to get a global view of a global customer," he said. "I think investment and asset management banks will have to improve their CRM systems."