A deep understanding of your industry provides the insight needed for a more successful outcome.
The Willow Group supports financial services clients in a broad range of business areas including securities brokerage, investment management, trust, banking, and insurance.
E-mail or call us for more information on how our depth of experience delivered the right results on these client projects.
- For a financial services firm's brokerage unit, we performed an assessment, conducted an RFI/RFP process, recommended a strategic direction and platform, and planned and led a front, middle and back office systems conversion that affected all operations of the brokerage unit. The project moved the client from growth restricting internal systems to a scalable service bureau platform that allowed the client to move to a new business model. To enable the client to continue to effectively run its day to day business operations while undertaking this significant program, we formed a team of seasoned consultants to plan, lead and execute the effort. Our team provided overall program direction, business and technical program management, business and process analysis, operational data store design and development and training planning and support. This effort was budgeted for $12 million and we delivered for $10.5 million.
- The asset management division of one of the top 10 banking companies in the United States wanted to reduce risk by implementing a more robust pre-trade compliance checking process within its trading operations group. The Willow Group worked with the group to analyze needs and then recommended an approach and potential solutions. In order to reach the division's objectives regarding compliance control comprehensively and effectively, internal processes needed to be redesigned and new automated systems were required to support not only pre-trade compliance, but trade order management and portfolio management functions for the fixed income and equity desks. The Willow Group led the Request for Proposal process to select the new systems and worked with the project owners to develop a business case to successfully secure funding from the bank's capital expenditure review board. We then drove the implementation project which included systems conversions, new automation and process and procedure changes by providing overall project management and business analysis support. With the new systems and procedures in place, the group was able to expedite portfolio compliance checking and effectively control a streamlined order management process.
- The US securities brokerage, investment banking and asset management subsidiaries of an international financial services organization undertook a challenging program to re-organize two broker/dealers and convert to common broker desktop, trading and back office systems. Early in the planning, the brokerage operations group was identified as the area that would be most affected by this program. The Willow Group partnered with the brokerage operations group throughout this multi-year effort to provide key support that reduced program risk, increased the effectiveness of the group's participation in the program and allowed the group to run their business with the least possible disruption and lead critical organizational change.
To reduce risk, we instituted strong project management disciplines and cultivated appropriate communications vehicles to ensure accurate information was available on a timely basis to key decision makers. We established standards for process development and documentation that allowed team members to get up to speed quickly. To let the operations staff focus on daily operations, we organized our team by business area, assigning consultants with strong technical skills in the business analyst role (requirements gathering and management, process improvement, procedure writing, user test case development, etc.) who also had specialized industry knowledge that allowed them to understand the objectives and issues of their business counterparts. This way, our team could engage the stakeholders and effectively manage their involvement, while taking on responsibility for creating and gaining approval for all deliverables.
The Willow Group had responsibility for a $32 million budget, the largest single allocation of the overall program. Besides driving the back office conversion, which included business process redesign, vendor systems requirements management, legacy systems integration and user acceptance testing, The Willow Group had key roles in initiatives to combine the chart of accounts for the two broker/dealers, and to consolidate and move fixed income trading and trade clearance and settlement operations to New York.