Technology Strategy and Development Case Studies

–Strategic sourcing, contracts and vendor management

Portfolio Accounting Technology and Operational Outsourcing

Challenge: Ultra high net worth unit of a global brokerage had an unprofitable client mix, too many small accounts and a higher cost structure than standard industry metrics. The technology and operational infrastructure only supported the existing low-end services business model. The internal IT staff did not have the skills and business knowledge to support enhanced systems and comply with the strict regulatory environment.

Solution: Planned and led technology and operational outsourcing to increase margins and client service quality, while maintaining key business and technical integration links to the rest of the firm. Managed team of over 150 across trust administration, IT, operations, and compliance functions. Led all stages of vendor relationships from business case analysis to final cutover and ongoing support Implemented enterprise portal, sales and workflow applications to fully integrate operations nationwide.

Benefits: Reduced costs by outsourcing mission-critical software, portions of an IP network and statement printing, and by renegotiating data feeds charges. Initiatives improved divisional cost structure by over 45% while complying with SEC and OCC regulations. Provided capability to deliver premium services to more profitable high-end client segments.


Client Statement Outsourcing

Challenge: Monthly statements for a bank’s wealth management business unit were continually shipped late due to in-house printing delays. Statement quality was below competitive standards, with no graphical elements.

Solution: Outsourced statement operations to a premier printing supplier. Developed business requirements document, sent RFP to multiple vendors, and evaluated responses. Built application links between internal accounting and external printing systems. Created electronic notification process for pulling erroneous statements from production until final mailing.

Benefits: Expedited client statement printing cycle from 3 weeks to 3 days. Reduced costs 50% via duplex printing and advanced softproofing. Introduced graphics, flexible inserts, secure online portfolio reports and other value-added services. Enhanced compliance by automating CD archival of historical statements.



Systems regulatory compliance (SEC, OCC, OTS, FFIEC)


SEC GRAS (Global Research Analyst Settlement)

Challenge: SEC ruling required brokerage firm to disclose independent and internal analyst ratings for equity holdings in client statements. Business was required under more stringent regulatory requirements to report historical data. Trust accounting systems and statement printing were outsourced, which complicated regulatory responses and data interfaces.

Solution: Worked with legal and compliance groups to define compliance requirements and appropriate business responses. Integrated Reuters and internal data feeds to create historical data warehouse from daily and monthly corporate data. Led work with accounting system and printing vendors to modify applications and develop software to dynamically apply business rules and generate disclosures at run time.

Benefits: Cost-effective solution provided flexibility for evolving regulatory, operational, and technical requirements. Seamlessly combined research, portfolio management, and printing from client viewpoint.


Compliance and Regulatory Audits

Challenge: Business unit did not have dedicated IT and operational professionals that understood its core business and could represent it in internal and external regulatory audits. The highly-regulated unit outsourced most of its IT processing and operational infrastructure to corporate resources and external vendors. No single person had comprehensive view of all systems.

Solution: Assumed acting role of IT business compliance liaison and vendor representative. Evaluated business and operational impact of regulatory changes, corporate strategies, and vendor product releases. Coordinated team of legal, compliance, IT specialists and outsourced services providers to respond to directives. Established reporting structure and implemented new systems and processes. Led internal and vendor disaster recovery exercises.

Benefits: Successfully led IT section of 15 corporate, SEC, OCC, OTS, FFIEC audits and raised divisional ratings. Trained a permanent IT business compliance team.


Complex project management and implementation


Stock Option Data Warehouse and Reporting

Challenge: Fortune 500 company employees and financial managers required timely access to personal stock option data and related SEC plan information stored in several locations. Information was distributed via Email and printed reports.

Solution: Integrated employee stock option tracking software package with corporate Intranet and legacy systems. Developed complementary data warehouse allowing subsidiaries to manage multi-currency data remotely and generate financial reports on demand. System allowed personalized access control by individual managers.

Benefits: Reduced costs and processing errors by allowing employees to view data and request option exercises and transfers online. Financial managers reduced processing time and increased accuracy of SEC reporting.


Global B2B Sales and Marketing Portal

Challenge: International product growth at foreign manufacturer stalled due to rising operational costs in a commodity business.

Solution: Developed B2B sales and marketing portal enabling worldwide customers to place orders and research product features at global industrial supplier.

Benefits: Increased global sales by 45% and reduced operational costs. Decreased order errors and turnaround time.


Integration of software, hardware and data feeds systems


Bank Consolidation

Challenge: The trust division of a global brokerage firm was running two separate banks: one state chartered and one federally chartered. This dual-bank structure duplicated business processes and regulatory burdens.

Solution: Obtained legal and regulatory approval for a single federally-chartered bank. Integrated business, technical, and operational strategies. Coordinated internal operations and external vendor systems to eliminate redundant programs.

Benefits: Increased margins by streamlining operations, reduced costs for ongoing systems enhancements, and decreased regulatory reporting requirements.


Cash Sweep Program Implementation

Challenge: New higher margin brokerage cash sweep vehicle could not be rolled-out until eligible accounts were identified and portfolio systems were modified. Accounting system run at outsourced data center did not support complex account tiering required by the new product. Lack of consistency among business units caused confusion in consolidated client statements.

Solution: Analyzed financial, legal and compliance requirements with corporate specialists. Coordinated program team of 500 vendor and internal resources to define business requirements, redesign vendor application architecture and modify internal infrastructure to support new product.

Benefits: New cash sweep program added millions to bottom line in increased margins. Attained consistent client statement presentation across business units.



Product strategy and development

Launch New Product Lines with Enhanced Reporting and Analytics

Challenge: Fast growing financial and data services firm needed infrastructure to support current and future growth.

Solution: Developed Intranet/Extranet applications to improve reporting and analysis capabilities. Internet infrastructure built to support planned geographical expansion in the US and international locations.

Benefits: Systems enabled analysts to process externally generated data and launch additional product lines. Reduced processing time by over 85% and allowed company to offer customized reporting and expand client base. Flexible design accelerated operational integration on acquisition by a larger firm.


Customized CRM Product Strategy for Executive Recruiting Firm

Designed technology and operational plan to improve productivity and customer relationship management for an executive recruiting firm. Plan included Intranet and Extranet infrastructure to support national expansion and expedite candidate processing. Integrated best-of-breed enterprise software packages with customized solutions.


Financial Product Strategy

Designed Internet-based financial analysis product used by investment banks and corporations to identify potential joint venture partners based on industry metrics and financial performance.