The asset management industry continues to undergo secular change driving the need for firms to rapidly transform their operational efficiency, portfolio management capabilities, and distribution support.

In response to these challenges, asset managers are focusing on operational agility; customized operating models and technology solutions that result in a more cost efficient and nimble platform that strategically aligns the firm for future growth. Embedded in the strategy is the need for data to be real-time, reliable, integrated and be a leverageable asset across the firm.

Operational Transformation Levers:
Investment operations leaders have core levers to transform outdated investment operations, operating models, and tech stacks in support of their firm’s growth and profitability goals.
Investment Operations

Olmstead believes that asset managers who embrace today's challenges can design a 'fit for purpose' operating model that is agile, cost-effective, and structurally designed as a strategic platform for growth. We provide clients with current insight and pragmatic advice for outsourcing decisions, service provider selections, and introduction of new technologies. Data is always a focal point of transformation, a strategic asset and a competitive advantage.

Olmstead leverages a unique, data-centric set of tools to capture the needs of the users, transformers, and consumers of data across a firm. This approach enables an asset manager, at the very outset of a project, to fully comprehend the current and future data needs across the firm. This insight enables a firm to customize a transformational operating model that is aligned to their business strategy and can be implemented on time and on budget.

How can Olmstead help?

Helping your firm assess and design your target operating model and business transformation:
  • Current state analysis, functional review, and future state design
  • Identifying efficiency opportunities
  • Aligning your data management & governance strategy
Helping your firm weigh the benefits of outsourcing from an asset servicer; from design, to partner selection, to conversion planning, and onboarding:
  • Aligning your operating model to an outsourced environment
  • Aligning your business strategy with a cost / benefit analysis
  • Conversion planning, project management, and onboarding / implementation support
Providing a deep dive analysis of asset servicers and technology providers; assessing and aligning your business strategy with market capabilities.
  • RFP, vendor analysis, scorecards, and decision support
  • Vendor oversight, contracts / SLA's / KPI's
  • Conversion planning and management reporting
For more information on Olmstead's Back Office Provider Selection Service and our proprietary RFP approach, please click here

Supporting your firm's regulatory challenges by designing operating models and technology solutions that meet your reporting requirements while leveraging data as a strategic asset of the firm.
  • Analyze data and reporting requirements
  • Operating model & business transformation alignment
  • Workflow mapping, procedures, and controls
Investment Operations

Operational Agility Review

The #1 question on a COO’s mind: "How are we positioned to respond to the ever-increasing number of industry demands?" Today’s industry challenges require an asset manager to have an operating model that has the agility to solve for rapidly evolving business needs. Olmstead’s Operational Agility Review study will quickly provide a broad-based view of your organization’s strengths and challenges in flexing the operating model to address future demands that inevitably, and often unpredictably, will head your way.

For more information on OAR, click here.

Client Testimonial

"Olmstead has helped us strategically transform our operating model in the process with an Investment Data Hub and an outsourced IBOR solution. Their ability to drive value creation, foster key decisions, and hit milestones has been impressive."

- CFO of Funds, Global Asset Manager

The client was seeking an objective 3rd party with a broad industry perspective to spur creativity and develop a vison for an operating platform that is transformational, achievable, and positions the firm for growth. Following an assessment of the existing operating model, Olmstead produced strategic recommendations consisting of operating model enhancements, additional opportunities for outsourcing, improved service provider oversight, SaaS strategy, and data management/governance. Olmstead also created a high-level roadmap to help guide the client’s transformation.
Olmstead evaluated the client’s fragmented operating model which supported their investment teams via manual and offline processes, to produce a strategy toward outsourcing their Middle Office functions. Designed a strategic operating model and evaluated opportunities for outsourcing transaction execution, cash processing, IBOR reporting, and other functions.
The service provider engaged Olmstead to assess their operational support model for a key client relationship and define a target operating model as part of a broader remediation plan. Olmstead evaluated the service provider’s operating model, client service, and data delivery capabilities to identify potential gaps in servicing and opportunities for improvement. Olmstead identified opportunities to improve data quality, system processing, organizational alignment, and timing of delivery - and assessed each for associated risk, business/client impact, and relative priority.
The client engaged Olmstead to assess their existing Fund Treasury function to provide strategic recommendations and a roadmap for transformation. Recommendations included opportunities to improve the operating model, eliminate redundant tasks, leverage 3rd party service providers, optimize data, and improve organizational structure.
Olmstead managed the client’s Back Office and TA service provider selection RFP for their $30 billion mutual fund business. Collaborated with the client’s internal teams to capture requirements, identify opportunities for improvement, and reengineer the oversight model. Worked with the client to synthesize the providers’ responses against the client’s strategic decision criteria to aid their selection of a partner.
Olmstead assessed the client’s CRM and Account Master applications to capture data gaps and lineage issues that were obstacles to the client performing a variety critical processes. Determined a strategic approach for enabling processes through data and infrastructure improvements, governance, and procedures. Led project through discovery, business requirements, development prioritization, business process change, and technical implementation.
See more samples of Current & Recent Investment Operations Engagements


 Data quality and data capabilities within an asset management organization is vital when addressing operational transformation Often, data practices are an afterthought when attempting to engage in an operational transformation initiative.  Read More
The ever-changing landscape of the financial markets continues to influence how investment managers evolve to keep pace. Increasingly, firms are shifting from a bottom-up, siloed approach to a top-down, orchestrated effort to holistically transform the investment lifecycle, “front-to-back.” Given the magnitude of change and the critical importance to the firm’s success, these large-scale transformations will no doubt feel daunting. You may ask yourself, where should I begin? At the front of the investment cycle? The middle and back? Or at the foundation, the data strategy? As the adage goes, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?”  Read More
Olmstead’s latest perspective “The Race is on: Acquisitions and the Evolving System and Service Landscape”, reviewed the recent press regarding single platform (front-to-back) solutions; some having been enabled via strategic acquisitions and others developed over time as an intentional build. As a result, asset managers have found themselves with more questions than answers, primarily – is the front-to-back single platform concept the next logical evolution?  Read More
The latest evolution of front-to-back outsourcing is here: A new solution to the age-old problem of data management. These offerings bring a critical new class of service to front-to-back offerings and will certainly raise the bar; the service provider will assume accountability and must get it right.  Read More
 Agility is a critical characteristic for asset management operations teams and is defined by their ability to adapt and flex their operating model to absorb change resulting from the following:  Read More
If you are like me, you have solicited multiple bids for a home improvement project where cost has often started out as the leading driver for selecting a contractor. However, as the project progresses you quickly realize there is more to a project than simply the price. As construction delays pile up, phone calls go unreturned and your frustration grows, buyer’s remorse may set in. While cost is important, there are other required attributes such as reliability, responsiveness, quality, creative solutioning, and meeting agreed upon deadlines when selecting the right partner. The same is true in selecting a custody and fund accounting business partner.   Read More
When was the last time you thought about service provider oversight? If you’ve experienced a significant error event, noticed a decline in service quality, anticipated a cost-benefit that hasn’t materialized, or have existing SLAs and KPIs that could be more clearly defined; you’re probably thinking about oversight, and you’re not alone.   Read More
Bringing investment management in-house has deep implications beyond where investment decisions are made. Without a well-defined strategy for how to support the end-to-end investment lifecycle, asset owners put themselves at risk and may never fully realize the intended benefits of increased flexibility, control, and lower cost.  Read More
An operating model that once worked brilliantly ten or even five years ago may no longer be producing the best results for your organization today. As the asset management environment changes over time -- more complexity in asset and transaction types, cost pressures, regulatory changes -- the op model must continue to evolve.  Read More


Michael's LinkedIn Profile

Michael is a Managing Director in Olmstead Associates’ Operational Agility practice, leading our middle office strategy and outsourcing competency. He is a proven industry leader with over 25 years of demonstrated success guiding asset managers and service providers through complex initiatives to realize strategic business objectives. Michael has experience leading some of the investment management industry’s most prominent middle and back office transformations including operating model redesigns, and operational assessments involving technology, outsourcing or offshoring evaluations.

Prior to joining Olmstead, Michael was a Managing Director for Accenture in the Asset Management consulting practice. Michael also spent 10 years serving as a Principal with Beacon Consulting, where he was instrumental in the build out of their Outsourcing and Technology Assessment capability. Additionally, Michael has held numerous management roles at Brown Brothers Harriman, Eagle Investments, PFPC and JP Morgan. Given Michael’s extensive experience in the middle and back office accumulated from his leadership roles in consulting and operations, he can offer clients a unique perspective from initial strategy through implementation.
Joe has over 20 years experience leading the design, development, and adoption of technology and business process change across the trade lifecycle. As a consultant, he has experience leading multiple strategic initiatives, including middle and back office operating model redesigns, technology evaluations, and outsourcing due diligence.

Prior to joining Olmstead, Joe was a Principal Product Manager at Cambridge Associates where he was responsible for the ongoing development and implementation of the firm’s OCIO investment management platform. He was also a Managing Associate at Beacon Consulting Group (now Accenture) and has held multiple leadership positions at DTCC/Omgeo and Brown Brothers Harriman
Sara's LinkedIn Profile

Sara has over 20 years of experience in middle and back office operations strategy, technology strategy and implementation, business process improvement, and change management. At Olmstead, Sara has guided operations departments in assessing risk and inefficiencies and created plans and models to achieve operational agility, provided strategic oversight to operational redesign programs striving for improved service and workflows, and led large-scale projects to prepare asset management firms for middle office outsourcing.

Prior to joining Olmstead, Sara was a Vice President of Asset Servicing at BNY Mellon, where she held a leadership role driving the business and systems integration programs that followed the BoNY and Mellon Financial merger, and subsequently was a key product development contributor to many major technology advancement initiatives. Sara holds graduate degrees in business disciplines from Bentley University and Harvard University.
Dawn brings over 25 years of experience leading transformation initiatives across front, middle and back-office organizations, having worked for multiple service providers and a financial technology firm. These initiatives have included operating model redesign, technology assessments, and design, development and implementation of supporting technology solutions both in-house and outsourced. Prior to joining Olmstead, Dawn served as a Vice President of Global Markets at State Street Bank and Trust where she led several key programs driving revenue through operational efficiencies and the implementation of key technologies.  Most recently, she led efforts to consolidate and redesign collateral management functions to align them with a new technology platform.   Prior to this, Dawn served as Managing Director and Global Head of BoNY’s Global Middle Office Outsourcing implementation team where she was accountable for several large-scale outsourced implementations. Dawn holds a graduate degree in Economics/Finance and a master’s degree in Finance from Bentley University.
Elaine has over 14 years of diverse experience in hedge fund operations with a focus on creating structure and firm-wide standard best practices.  She has extensive experience working with cross-functional teams on projects to increase operational efficiencies and promote automation.  At Olmstead, she has supported strategic initiatives including operating model assessments, legacy technology replacements, and data management transformations.

Prior to joining Olmstead, Elaine was a Senior Operations Analyst at The Baupost Group, LLC working in back and middle office operations where she was responsible for bilateral derivative negotiations, collateral movement, cash liquidity and forecasting, and trade settlement.  She also worked in operations at GMO LLC and held leadership roles at State Street Corporation
Ed brings over 20 years of experience in the Asset Management and Asset Servicing businesses where Ed has held both leadership positions as well as senior manager roles. Ed has experience in leading operating model transformational projects, middle office outsourcing / application selection efforts, master data management projects, outlined and facilitated business / data strategy, data governance, and information delivery / business intelligence solutions. Ed has also directed Enterprise-level operational teams chartered with supporting data management, business analysis, business intelligence, and data strategy. Ed utilizes his background in both business processing and technology to help bridge the gap between business strategy and requirements through technical design and solutions.

Request a Meeting
Olmstead Associates is a leading specialized consulting firm to the investment management industry. For over 20 years, Olmstead has provided consulting expertise to help investment managers plan for, select, and implement solutions. Our Operations, Technology, and Data experts, proven methodologies, and leading edge tools help inform our clients to make better decisions and lower project risk.
Contact Us
Call Us: 617-778-0372617-778-0372
Email Us:
185 Devonshire St, Boston, MA 02110185 Devonshire St, Boston, MA 02110
Linkedin Twitter