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Cost Savings Hiding in Plain Sight

Cost reduction initiatives dominate the capital markets industry as few participants are untouched by the financial crisis. It is very possible some industry participants will not survive in their current form and those that do will survive in part by successfully driving down their expense base. Across the industry, headcount reductions and other controllable expenses have been addressed and revisited multiple times and industry leaders are now asking where the next round of savings will come from. These cost savings are hiding in plain sight, imbedded in inefficient processes and technology portfolios - and the next round of savings will come from rapidly extracting them. The industry operates in long time, end-to-end front, middle and back office environments supported by technology portfolios containing proprietary and vendor packages. Rapidly assessing this environment, identifying inefficiencies and using the resulting forensics to drive change will create opportunities for savings. Forensics include creating process and application heat maps highlighting what's broken, identifying breaks between procedure manuals and process execution, and displaying unclear organizational structures. Examples of common inefficiencies include: • Inconsistent front, middle and back office definitions • Right task, wrong organization • Repetitive processes and validations • Multiple, non-integrated sources of data • Workflow not optimized • Unclear process ownership • Process variations across multiple sites • Development times are long and costly • Costly current architectures • Cost transparency. This approach can be applied at any point in the operating environment and is highlighted by two components Rapid Process Assessment and Rapid Portfolio Assessment. Common to each are quickly assessing the current state (where the forensics are gathered), designing an optimized future state and creating a blueprint and roadmap to get there. Key Benefits include: •Creating a cost reduction blueprint and roadmap driven by process and technology forensics •Identifying cost take out opportunities and separating quick hits from longer term benefits •Sequencing events to maximize savings •Ensuring operating model risk is not comprised in the pursuit of cost savings •Creating a cost reduction blueprint and roadmap driven by process and technology forensics. While cost reduction initiatives can be difficult, creating and executing a plan that results in actionable forensics lowers the degree of difficulty and risk.

 

 

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