Integration of Investment Systems and other Bedtime Stories
Is a smooth transition, implementation or merger more than a fairy tale? Find out in this story of Knights, Dragons and Kings in the faraway land of Investalot …
There will always be circumstances beyond one’s control – be it a dragon, famine, or a tricky integration project. Thankfully, a few brave soldiers stand ready for the challenge, wherever it may be.
Once upon a time in the far away land of Investalot … a small group of noble Knights met on the crest of a new dawn. And with the white-hot sun at their backs, these intrepid few began their grand adventure – to save the kingdoms in their fair land from ferocious dragons.
ICC was established in 1993 to provide institutional investors with exceptional quality management consulting and technical services. Our expertise covers both the business and the technical aspects of investment systems for Insurance, Banking, Asset Managers, Mutual Funds, Pension Funds, and Government Agencies. Our consultants collectively have hundreds of man-years of broad and deep experience with such clients concerning:
- Investment Operations & Accounting
- Custody & Fund Accounting
- Enterprise Data Management
- Data Quality Management
- Securities Lending
- Investment Management & Trading
- Analytics & Performance Measurement
- Mutual Funds
- Business Intelligence
These knights were dragon slayers of the new millennium. Realizing all dragons are unique, each of knights possessed a different discipline to combat the beast. Still, few understood why it took the collective efforts of this band of brave warriors to save a kingdom from a single dragon.
Why it’s such a difficult problem.
A typical large investment software integration project costs millions of dollars (internal and external costs), and can take anywhere from 9-24 months to complete.
Because of the substantial need for both technical and business expertise, the most efficient vehicle for a smooth transition is a handful of people with cross-functional knowledge of multiple areas, including investment accounting, operations and systems.
Using in-house resources with departmentalized functions often blurs the “Big Picture.” As the project progresses, it is unavoidably necessary to resolve issues that cross departmental boundaries. It is necessary to properly conduct training and hand-off responsibilities to in-house staff for ongoing support of the production system.
The king was skeptical. “Why do we need anyone but our own people? My subjects are loyal, capable and brave.”
The leader of the knights stepped forward, smiled, and began to speak: “Yes, but if they don’t kill the dragon quickly, it will destroy the Kingdom.”
Okay, I agree it’s difficult, but we have very good, capable people in-house.
That’s true. The culture of most companies encourages and empowers staff to do what is necessary, regardless of difficulty. The challenge for executive management is to make sure their people are not biting off more than they can chew. Our mission as a company is to help management balance these two perspectives, while accelerating achievement.
ICC does not suggest that the client outsource all aspects of this project to us. We envision ICC consultants performing critical tasks from planning through production and training in-house staff to manage the system.
“You make bold claims, Sir,” said the king. “Is there proof of this knowledge and skill?”
The leader of the knights reached into his knapsack and produced a handful of deer hides scrawled with squid ink. “What is this?” the king asked.
“Resumes,” the leader replied, and they walked toward the war room.
What kind of background do your people have?
Our team has a combination of business and technology experience, mostly with investment systems. Some are more appropriately described as management consultants with substantial technical expertise, and some have a high level of accounting and operational experience. Our team is skilled at resolving issues that span multiple disciplines. ICC’s consultants have hundreds of years of combined experience with investment systems technology.
The king was still not convinced. “I’m not sure how we would use you,” his royal voice rang out.
“That’s why we would like to talk about it for a couple of days to see how things fit. No charge.”
“No charge?” the King inquired. “You are certainly strange sorcerers.”
“No, Your Majesty, consultants.”
Not sure how you’d use us?
We don’t have a cookie cutter approach to our clients’ issues. But we do have a wealth of real life experience with such systems to draw upon for your company’s benefit. It typically takes a one or two-day on-site meeting to assess problems and opportunities for your specific situation. Generally, ICC begins by focusing on a small project with specific deliverables in order for the client to get more comfortable with our style and capabilities.
We like to talk to the client by phone once or twice in order to set reasonable expectations for what can be done in a one or two-day on-site meeting.
On the third day of their visit, the knights walked briskly from a meeting with the kingdom’s blacksmiths, noblemen and warriors. Suddenly, a dark patch collapsed the sun’s grasp on the kingdom. It was the dragon – indeed it was larger than the great king had expected.
With a regal step, the king turned to address the knights – but they were already hard at work. And the king smiled. His kingdom was in good hands.
ICC is a boutique consulting firm that provides advice and counsel to executives, management, and project personnel. We focus on business, operational and technology risk and mitigation in the insurance, banking, securities and investment management and related financial service industry sectors.
To find out more about the ways in which we can help, please call us at 603-912-5406 or complete the form below.