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 align 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 Toolkit:
Investment operations leaders have 5 core tools to transform outdated investment operations, operating models, and tech stacks in support of their firm’s growth and profitability goals.

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
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

Client Testimonial

"Olmstead has also 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."

What your peers are asking:
  • How do we become more nimble and deliver operational alpha?
  • What is our sourcing strategy?
  • What emerging technologies should we be considering (RPA, AI, machine learning, Blockchain)?
  • What does digitization mean to us?
  • How can we transform when we can barely keep up operationally?
  • Can asset servicing providers truly provide value-added data and analytics?

Led service provider search for mid-size asset manager’s custody and recordkeeping services for ’40 Act mutual funds, collective investment trusts, Canadian registered funds, and alternative products. Olmstead worked with the client to create a customized RFP and scoring methodology focused on the asset manager’s strategic drivers. Olmstead facilitated the RFP analysis, service provider inquiries, structured site visits, and conducted the evaluation reviews. Olmstead also provided a forward-looking financial analysis to facilitate cost comparisons over time and under various growth scenarios.
Led Fund Accounting conversion effort of a large asset manager’s ($800B+) migration from State Street to BNYM. This was part of a broader effort that included a Middle Office lift-out. Olmstead oversaw joint user acceptance testing, managing the status from amber upon project arrival to green. Our team developed the scope document and project plan for Test Parallel, for Pricing and for SWIFT trade processing. Olmstead identified and remediated high profile issues regarding nearly 300 customized UDTs (user defined technologies).
As part of an initial Discovery Phase, Olmstead worked in support of Enterprise IT and Fund Administration teams to provide an assessment and recommendations for enhanced future state investment data capabilities and analytics, ultimately leading to a next generation platform for growth. This included an enterprise data management framework that aligned the future state roadmap and a strategy to successfully implement a Fund Administration and Investment Data Hub solution for regulatory reporting. The roadmap included the need for an accurate investment book of record, capabilities for effective Portfolio Risk metrics, as well as a solution that centralized and standardized fund and investment data in a repository that cleansed and validated for consistent and accurate use.
In preparation to support regulatory requirements (N-PORT, N-CEN) and to better manage its enterprise data consolidation challenges from its sub-advisors, the client was looking for a consulting partner to assist with and drive a data management strategy that would provide a roadmap to the desired future state, including an Investment Data Hub. After completing an SEC Modernization readiness assessment for a large 40-Act Fund Sponsor, Olmstead executed the readiness plan to help meet the June 2018 reporting deadline. Olmstead advised the client on a new operating model to support the regulatory deadline, while also boosting operational agility by elevating their analytics reporting capabilities, and building scale into their business and IT architectures. Olmstead also supported the design and implementation of an Investment Data Hub.
See more samples of Current & Recent Investment Operations Engagements


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
The multi-affiliate operating model is increasingly under review as asset managers seek synergies from their infrastructure to bolster their margins. Whether firms have intentionally structured a multi-affiliate business model or possibly find themselves running multiple platforms due to acquisitions, these redundant platforms are obvious targets to drive organizational agility while improving margins. Some of the initiatives intended to rationalize the models have been announced publicly and their stories highlight the need to have a clearly defined roadmap, buy-in across the impacted entities, and measurable goals defining success.  Read More
With the growing desire to simplify operating models and reduce technology footprints, asset managers are assessing multiple paths of transformation to enable profitable growth. As was noted in Single Platform: Next Logical Evolution for Asset Managers?, recent developments and acquisitions have promoted advanced capabilities and introduced various new forms of front-to-back, ‘single platform’ solutions to the market. As a result of these advancements, rather than addressing a singular point of failure or concern (such as a new IBOR or OMS consolidation), firms are considering broader evaluations of their operating environments with the hope of achieving greater scale, nimbleness and data empowerment across their enterprise.     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
Highlighted by the recent activity of acquisitions, service providers are investing significant resources in developing their capabilities to provide investment managers with an end-to-end platform to support their operating model. The goal being a comprehensive, integrated technology solution with a single version of the truth that can be leveraged to support a manager’s needs across the increasingly blurred lines of the front, middle, and back office. Assessing this evolving landscape is integral in establishing the operating model that will best support an investment manager’s growth strategies.  Read More


Neal’s LinkedIn Profile

Neal leads Olmstead Associates Operational Agility consulting capability, focusing on helping the investment management community evolve its operations into an enabler of corporate strategy. He has extensive experience leading operations and technology transformation initiatives having delivered numerous solutions for highly sophisticated, complex global investment managers.

Prior joining Olmstead, Neal was a Relationship Executive for State Street's largest and most strategic clients where he was responsible for global client strategy, thought leadership and service delivery spanning all of State Street's business lines and global locations. He also was Senior Department Head in State Street's Investor Services, supporting the U.S. Mutual Fund business for large global clients. As COO of State Street's EMEA Investor Services, Neal was responsible for all operations across Europe, including establishment of a BPO capability in Poland and integration of State Street's acquisition of Deutsche Bank's European custody business.

Neal holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation and is a member of the Boston Security Analyst Society.
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.

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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.
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