Independent System Selection

July 27, 2015

The central trading platform of one of Europe’s largest asset managers, trading a wide range of asset classes, had reached a de-facto end-of-life. Brickendon was initially engaged to undertake a review of the available applications in the market, to assess their suitability for the client’s business and to construct a business case supporting a recommended strategy. This process then progressed to running a formal Request For Proposal (RFP) process and leading the commercial negotiation with the vendors to reach the best financial deal for the client.

The Challenges

  • Brickendon had to quickly understand and document the client’s current business practices and usage of the production system
  • The wide range of asset classes traded, coupled with 10+ years of bespoke customisation, increased the complexity of analysing and summarising the client’s current requirements
  • The client desired a very short timescale from initial engagement to final recommendation
  • The recommendation had to be backed up by a full business case, which needed to include the commercial terms proposed by the vendors and estimates of the cost of completing the migrations
  • The client also asked Brickendon to consider the option of building a bespoke system

The Brickendon Solution

  • Brickendon began the engagement with a series of interviews with key stakeholders and SMEs in the organisation to define the full scope of the client’s requirements. This needed to include both current usage, as well as all outstanding enhancement requests
  • Brickendon constructed a shortlist of vendors and began introductory meetings
  • Within a fortnight, Brickendon had produced and distributed a detailed RFP document, which summarised the full scope of the client’s requirements for a new system
  • Whilst the RFP was completed, Brickendon began a series of workshops with the vendors designed to validate key requirements
  • Within a month of the engagement, Brickendon had produced a weighted scorecard describing each key component, and reduced the shortlist of systems to two finalists
  • These two vendors were taken forward to commercial negotiation. Brickendon’s long experience and familiarity in such negotiations ensured that the price points achieved were extremely competitive

Key Success Factors

  • Highly-experienced staff with specific expertise in the vendor applications
  • Experienced front-office staff enabled the client’s requirements to be understood and captured efficiently
  • Familiarity with the buy-side business led to excellent stakeholder engagement
  • Senior staff were employed to conduct the commercial negotiations on behalf of the client

Client Benefits

  • The client gained an independent review of vendor systems and a recommended strategy for future development
  • Recommendations were backed up with a fully-developed business case, enabling an informed decision to be made, taking into account the cost implications over a 10-year period
  • The comprehensive RFP process and efficient summarisation and presentation of results ensured that the stakeholders could compare the alternatives at a high level, whilst also drilling into the detail behind each score if required
  • During the commercial negotiations, Brickendon secured additional functionality for the client which aligned with their longer-term strategic requirements
  • Brickendon worked in harmony with the client’s staff, ensuring that key stakeholders were fully engaged and consulted, and staff working on the existing system were kept informed and included in the process
  • The business case included project plans for the migration process, ensuring that the client could move from analysis, through recommendation and decision, to implementation without delay

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