Bison Bank provides wealth management, asset management and investment banking services. The bank established itself in the Portuguese market after the acquisition of Banif – Banco de Investimento (BBI) by Bison Capital Financial Holdings Limited (Bison Financial), a company owned by Bison Capital Holding Company Limited (Bison(, based in Hong Kong and with a strong presence in China, Europe and Africa.
Bison holds assets that allow the bank to leverage a solid and distinct network of information, enabling its clients to benefit from a myriad of investment opportunities in several countries. Thus, the bank will act as a financial bridge between Asia, Europe and Portuguese-speaking countries.
António Henriques, Executive Director at Bison Bank, explains that the business areas are managed via two alternative channels – the head-office in Portugal and the branch in Hong Kong, which has just been opened.
The intercontinental connection, between the Asian market and the international market, that gives support to Asian clients who are interested in investing and expanding the range of their activities internationally, is the main distinguishing factor of Bison Bank, compared to other banking institutions in Portugal. This also includes international investors that are interested in investing in Asia.
Claranet has always found innovative solutions to integrate the different types of environment, while supporting the run-the-bank and the updating process of some legacy solutions.
The Executive Director states that Bison Bank plans to build a portfolio with 60% of its business based in Asia by 2022. Currently, the bank’s dealings are almost exclusively based in Portugal and that’s the reason why the main goal is “to build a bridge with Asia, importantly, as we have a sole shareholder based in Hong Kong”.
António Henriques says:
It would be unthinkable to establish a bank in Portugal with the ambition of having 60% of its business based in Asia without a proper digital strategy”, admitting that “it would be an absolute mistake”.
Digital transformation implies changes at many levels and when Bison Bank started to design its infrastructure, analysing the existing proposals in the market, they understood that the classic solutions did not ensure neither the needs nor the agility that the business requires.
For this reason, they focused their efforts on developing a hybrid cloud, since it allows the level of agility and scalability necessary for the quick introduction of technological solutions and also allows for a quick update of the corresponding system and information recovery solutions in case of unavailability or loss of the main systems.
Thus, after a careful analysis, Bison Bank turned to a partner with proven expertise in responding to a company’s needs and building the technological structure that supports its business. Claranet was the chosen partner.
We are an investment and wealth management bank. Our ambition is not to be a retail bank with all the digital components associated with a bank of that nature. We have the advantage to be now starting our digital path as it allows us to quickly be where the other banks are. We have launched our first app at the end of the year that is now over, and we will have some surprises soon”, says António Henriques.
The partnership with Claranet “allowed for more innovation capacity. Once the processes started to be developed more quickly, we gained time in the different stages of development and implementation, creating a kind of virtuous circle, in which innovation promotes more innovation in these same processes. We gained agility, scalability and mobility; we increased security and resilience. We reduced operational risk and costs”, says António Henriques.