Case Study

Front-to-Back Transformation

A Global Asset Manager was faced with a decision to replace their aging accounting platform or outsource their investment operations functions. They engaged Olmstead to lead an assessment of their current operating environment, data strategy, and technology architecture to inform a transformation strategy.

Due to dependencies on the accounting infrastructure, replacing the client’s legacy trading platform was added to the scope of the transformation effort. The client had been expanding their bespoke, proprietary trade order management system and peripheral trading applications over multiple decades to support three distinct investment teams. Built initially as an asset class-specific platform, functionality was added incrementally over time as the client’s investment strategies expanded into additional asset classes. The client was seeking a modern platform that would address the unique needs of each investment team. 

Vendor products for accounting, reconciliation, and trading were selected, as was a managed service for data aggregation. These implementations are enabling the client to realize the following benefits for their operations teams and portfolio managers: 

Eliminate manual trade allocation and automate 97% of pre-trade compliance tests

Shorten periodic accounting & performance cycles by 35%

Enhance data controls to increase quality and reduce errors

Retire 85% of all proprietary technology, including 100% of trading applications

Expand asset class trading coverage to all marketable assets

Asset Manager’s Primary Goals

    • Enable expected business growth and expand asset class coverage without adding headcount
    • Improve data and reporting environment while enabling access to real-time data
    • Reduce manual tasks within portfolio management, order allocation, trade execution, “as of” transactions, net of fee performance, and various other processes
    • Automate pre- and post-trade compliance tests and streamline workflows
    • Consolidate all post-trade matching and settlement workflows onto a single platform
    • Reduce the time it takes to onboard a new account

Olmstead’s Key Strategies

  • Underpin operational transformation efforts with comprehensive and holistic approach to data, and implement a data-focused operating model
  • Reduce technology footprint by adopting a modern SaaS solution
  • Achieve greater operational efficiency by eliminating disparate and manual processes through integration & automation
  • Focus on scalable solutions, enabling the client to support product, investment, and AUM growth
  • Ensure solution outcomes included redirecting client staff’s efforts from low-value tasks to high value-add tasks
  • Leverage investment management industry knowledge and experience to facilitate implementation strategy, lead project execution, and augment resources as needed

Olmstead conducted the assessment of the current state, and led the search for an accounting solution and a replacement trade order management system (OMS). Due diligence was conducted with prospective vendors, which included proofs of concept (POC) and the development of implementation plans to inform project costs, resourcing, timeline, and future state operating model recommendations to facilitate executive decision-making.


Olmstead’s Approach Overview

  1. Assess the market to identify commercially available solutions that meet the client’s business and technology selection criteria.
  2. Issue a customized RFP and score vendor responses based on ranked selection criteria to select finalists for due diligence.
  3. Rationalize the pros and cons of implementing a single OMS vs. multiple order management systems.
  4. Conduct a thorough due diligence with vendor finalists, including a POC to further assess fit and make final selections.
  5. Synthesize evaluation outcomes to inform target state options and strategy.
  6. Develop informed implementation plans in coordination with respective vendors and key client stakeholders.