A global OCIO provider with over $100 billion AUM decided to change from a proprietary trading platform to Charles River. Their current order management system supported trading for in-house branded mutual funds, third-party-managed collective trusts, separately managed accounts and alternative assets. The system also acted as IBOR and provided data to several downstream applications. The firm struggled to add scale due to manual model trading, trade execution and compliance and data integration. Account types included Defined Benefit Plans, Defined Contribution Plans, Not-for-Profit and High-Net-Worth individuals. Key stakeholders included trading, relationship management, performance, actuaries and portfolio management. The project scope included implementing Charles River across multiple regions, process improvement initiatives, data automation and system integration. Meradia was engaged to lead the overall implementation program for the US business, including project management, testing oversight and collaboration with stakeholders across regions, to define and execute process improvement opportunities.


Meradia was engaged for 14 months to lead the Charles River implementation. Analysis included:

  • Conducting a detailed review of the client’s current state environment
  • Documenting current and future state workflows with a focus on automation
  • Performing data analysis
  • Assessing system integration

Responsibilities included:

  • Overseeing the entire implementation program
  • Researching process improvement opportunities
  • Testing oversight, use case and defect management
  • Executing a full-scale testing plan
  • Coordinating with project managers, key vendors and custodians to facilitate joint process and agreement on duties and timelines


Successful Charles River implementations require experienced resources. Meradia served as the program lead, the testing oversight and business analysts. Industry and implementation knowledge was critical to the overall success of the project; and to the coordination, testing and training of multiple teams across regions. Key results:

  • Implementation of Charles River
  • Current state and future state analyses across regions to create a more uniform solution
  • Automation solutions to improve trading process flows
  • In-house and third-party software integration
  • Testing oversight and management
  • Security data normalization across North America

Business Outcomes:

  • Implemented US business in 14 months compared to 30 months for Canada*
  • Provided significant vendor cost savings ($1M+), quicker redeployment of internal technical resources and BAU time to market
  • Automated pre- and post-trade compliance rules, improved operating controls and trading automation
  • Provided scalability to facilitate the LOB’s rapid client growth


* After the Canadian implementation was complete, Meradia was engaged to ensure that the US-based implementation was efficient. The US-based business is 3x the size of the Canadian business and far more complex, including more complex account types, investment vehicles and de-risking plans. Additionally, Canada has one custodial relationship while the US business runs 20+ export files to multiple custodians.

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