In 1998 we were asked to participate in a system selection for a major public pension plan. This quickly became a larger exercise as the client at that time had no in-house independent system to maintain. We wrote extensive and detailed requirements and conducted a selection exercise. Our approach was to quickly survey the large population of providers and scope that population down to a much smaller number of contenders. The contenders were then asked to respond to the detailed requirements, not by checking boxes and self rating as is the case in many selections, but by explaining and providing evidence of exactly how functionality supported the clients’ business needs. We supplemented this work with site visits to vendors and to reference clients. On completing this work we spent time with client staff and managers analyzing the results and compiling them into a model that allowed us to compare systems and weigh the relative importance of client requirements.
Once the selection was made the challenge became implementing the system. The client, not having previously used an in house system faced a lot of organizational change. In order to succeed we:
- Created a target operating model, mapping organizational units, skills and processes
- Proposed a new organization structure
- Implemented the new investment accounting system
- Created the investment accounting technical infrastructure including data feeds and interfaces to internal and external partner systems and the reconciliation networks to support them
- Re-engineered an internally developed Fixed Income trading system
- Developed a data warehouse to support the client’s reporting needs
- Developed, and implemented procedures to support the new operating model
- Trained client staff in the new procedures
- Supported the transition to a brand new investment accounting function
We had experience working with Public Pension plans and a depth of experience of major organizational transformation in this area. We had the investment accounting experience, the management consulting experience and the systems development experience. We had experience building reporting and business intelligence infrastructure for clients.