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Sun Hung Kai Financial

"We need a solution that was super-efficient and extremely fast, and Sybase IQ successfully meets those requirements.  The system not only addresses our immediate system challenges but it can also be scaled to accommodate future growth and other business requirements."

Carl Chan
Chief Technology Officer

Sun Hung Kai & Co. Limited, which operates under the Sun Hung Kai Financial (SHKF) brand, is Hong Kong's leading non-bank financial institution, with more than 1,700 dedicated financial professionals across more than 60 locations in Hong Kong, Macau, China and Singapore, and approximately USD $6.4 billion in assets under management, custody and advice. When SHKF needed a new solution to manage its trading services it turned to Sybase IQ to help develop and expand its the new platform.

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An Evolving Organization
With its foundation dating back to 1969, SHKF has evolved over four decades into a diversified and dynamic financial institution, offering a range of tailored financial solutions through its one-stop platform. With a strong and diversified business strategy, SHKF boasts a comprehensive service offering, which includes securities trading (on and offline), foreign exchange, bullion, commodities and futures broking. It also provides loans, margin financing for securities, corporate finance services, nominee and custodian services, consumer finance and insurance broking, in addition to online financial information.

SHKF's reach to clients is further enhanced through multiple investment channels, including personalized broking services delivered through professional investment consultants, an expanding branch network and a fast, efficient and secure online trading platform.

Maintaining Superior Service
To support its futures and options trading service across multiple markets, SHKF previously utilized a traditional RDBMS to generate customer statements prior to the markets opening.  However, with the number of trades in those markets rapidly increasing, SHKF found that the time required to generate the customer statements expanded to fill up the batch processing time window.

Other challenges SHKF faced due to the escalating volume of trades included an increasing demand for disk space, which was heightened by the need to keep historical records for ad-hoc data analysis. Carl Chan, SHFK's chief technology officer explains, "With the increase in market volumes and customer growth, SHKF has been actively exploring ways of improving our existing technology in order to maintain the superior services we provide to our customers."

New System with Room to Grow
With pressure mounting to meet the challenges of ever increasing market volumes, SHKF carefully evaluated a range of solutions. Finally, it addressed the challenges by implementing Sybase IQ and Enterprise Connect Data Access (ECDA) to host a new analytics system for report generation and data analysis.

"Sybase IQ really stood out because of its excellent performance and its data compression capabilities," said Chan. "We need a solution that was super-efficient and extremely fast, and Sybase IQ successfully meets those requirements.  The system not only addresses our immediate system challenges but it can also be scaled to accommodate future growth and other business requirements."

Sybase IQ, a column-based architecture is specifically designed for analytics, so loads and queries are performed at an extremely high speed.   ECDA operates as a gateway, so the primary database objects can be accessed from Sybase IQ transparently.

The Sybase system runs AIX 64-bit on IBM pSeries hardware as the primary server. Another identical AIX server is setup with the same software and a local copy of the new database as a standby. SHKF uses an Actuate Report Server connected to the Sybase IQ database to query data for generating statements and reports.

Faster Performance, Lower Costs and Greater Data Efficiency
Sybase's Professional Service team took six months to complete the implementation, which involved database migration from the old system, programming the report layouts and extensive user testing. 

The success of this implementation provides SHKF with a number of significant benefits over its previous system: an always available system; increased reporting and query performance; as well as greater storage capacity. 

"Sybase IQ combines speed and agility with a low cost of ownership, enabling us to perform analysis and reporting in a timeframe that was previously impossible," said Chan. "Daily statements that we send to our customers used to take over two hours to generate, they now take just over seven minutes.  Meanwhile, our monthly commission income report now takes only four minutes compared to the previous three hours and 30 minutes, and our monthly AE payout report now takes only five minutes instead of three hours."

With faster performance, lower costs and greater data efficiency, SHKF now enjoys high speed data loading and query processing. The new technology ensures daily batch processing runs efficiently within the time window despite the increases in data processing volume.

The performance improvement on the batch job processes has made day-end and month-end processing much more efficient. Today, the total monthly batch processing time to process all the reports SHKF requires takes just 15 hours, a 300% improvement on the previous time of 47 hours. The Sybase technology has dramatically improved system performance and the time it takes SHKF to generate the statements for its customers. Additionally, SHKF can now leverage Sybase IQ's Multiplex capabilities to accommodate future growth requirements. For SHKF, customers receive statements in a timely manner, IT operations are more efficient, and the company is ready to handle its accelerated growth.

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