Acies named Asia’s top risk management consulting firm for 2021

04 October 2021 3 min. read

Mumbai-headquartered consulting group Acies has been named Asia’s top risk management consulting firm for 2021 at a leading industry competition. 

At the Asia Risk Awards, which celebrates excellence in the world of risk management and provides awards across some fifty different categories, Acies was lauded for its work with more than 15 Indian insurance companies and global banks on interest rate risk management. 

Established in 2017 in India, Acies has two offices across the country (Mumbai and Gurugram) and four internationally (Singapore, Malaysia, Mauritius and the US). The consulting firm specialises in topics within the finance and risk domain, and has rapidly established itself as a leading player in the field. 

Acies named Asia’s top risk management consulting firm for 2021

According to Managing Director Muzammil Patel, Acies currently works with “at least 15 of the biggest insurers in India” on managing interest rate risk. The backdrop: due to falling interest rates during the pandemic, many insurers are seeking ways to optimise how they manage their interest rate risk, and even offload some risks. 

Collaborating with regulators and big international banks, Acies helped design a specific forward rate agreement product that offsets interest rate risks for insurers. “We worked with some large banks with an intention of coming up with an industry solution that would allow insurers to de-risk the interest rate guarantee they give to the end-users,” explained Patel. 

Consultants from Acies engaged with banking and insurance regulators to address concerns, modify product structures and enable a standardised roll-out to the industry to ensure responsible and sustainable growth of the forward rate agreement product.

The consulting firm then helped insurers with the implementation, including setting up risk management and accounting frameworks, and a derivatives system. The derivatives system, Kore considers transaction entries, daily mark-to-market updates, daily margining and, subsequently, ledger entries to be passed onto the accounting system. Acies also built a solution that helps generate risk measures (used among others for regulatory reporting).

Patel: “We want to make sure the insurers are working on a fully-hedged basis; that they are accounting for derivatives correctly and they can prove to the regulators they have the requisite offsets and risk capital. When that happens, it gives them more latitude to de-risk the entire spectrum.” 

Meanwhile, Acies is currently working with participating banks in underwriting the forward rate agreements. “As banks are writing this volume of derivatives, you will end up having capital implications. It is important for the banks to run a fully-hedged operation to avoid any systemic risks.” 

All in all, the consulting firm’s work has been “fairly impactful to the insurance industry and its ability to provide more stable and specific pricing to customers,” believed Patel. 

Other winners at the Asia Risk Awards 2021 include: Bloomberg, Moody’s Analytics, Oracle, Murex, and banks such as Barclays, BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole and Standard Chartered.

Last year at the ceremony, the top risk consulting firm prize went to Big Four firm KPMG.