Sep 18, 2020

Identifying the Right Technology Platform

Overview

The client, a worldwide group of independent financial services firms, offers fund administration, custody and fund trading, financial products, and corporate and trust solutions to global alternative asset managers.

The client’s reconciliation infrastructure primarily consisted of a legacy version of SmartStream’s Transaction Lifecycle Management (TLM) platform that integrated with its proprietary systems and in-house enhancements. In terms of vendor costs, the model was very inexpensive, but created a large human capital requirement across its global employee base. The reconciliation infrastructure also did not provide the company’s desired flexibility to scale with the business’ growth objectives or was compatible with its vision of moving to a cloud-based environment.

The client asked Cutter Associates to assess its business requirements and evaluate the reconciliation vendor landscape to identify the best technology platform to enhance its capabilities and scale for growth. Following requirements documentation, Cutter leveraged its expertise to develop a short list of potential vendors and led the search to assist the client with the evaluation and selection of a vendor.

Cutter Solution

We assessed the client’s existing infrastructure and workflows and met with key stakeholders from its Strategic Reconciliation and Operations & Technology teams to discuss pain points and requirements. Once requirements gathering was complete, we realized that the client wanted to explore two potential avenues ─ a tactical enterprise-wide replacement for its current process and a more strategic vendor partnership in which the client could potentially commercialize vendor technology.

After identifying these unique requirements, we leveraged Cutter’s published reconciliation research report to take an expedited approach to review and select a shortlist of vendors that received a technical RFP and were invited to present a live product demonstration to the client.

We created the technical RFP and a customized vendor demo script. We evaluated the vendor demonstrations along with RFP responses using detailed criteria defined with the client. We also conducted an initial gap analysis with the company’s Strategic Reconciliation Team to identify areas that required follow-up vendor presentations.

Based on the demonstrations, RFP responses, and follow-up presentations, we evaluated the products and delivered our findings and an initial recommendation for the best vendor for the client’s tactical solution and the best one for its strategic solution.

After follow-ups regarding end-to-end workflow and implementation efforts with the client, we confirmed our final recommendation. We then outlined the roadmap for the tactical reconciliation replacement and provided key considerations for the client to review if it decided to take a more strategic approach.

With our help, our client identified the vendor solutions that best met its unique tactical and strategic objectives to support its reconciliation solution and make a final decision on the future direction of its reconciliation business. By capitalizing on collateral created in previous vendor selection engagements and on Cutter’s vendor-agnostic research on reconciliation solutions, we reduced our client’s costs for the selection process and ensured it had all the necessary information to complete the proper due diligence to make a final decision.