BACKGROUND

An independent registered investment advisor with over 100 institutional clients retained Meradia to design new operations and technology processes and workflows. Their trading and operations staff juggled multiple trading platforms and two different portfolio accounting systems. They had already selected target platforms for both trading and accounting. The client selected Meradia based on our proven expertise running OMS and accounting conversions, including historical data conversions; and because of Meradia’s experience with both selected platforms.

ANALYSIS

Meradia conducted a detailed review of existing people, processes and technology. To ensure all stakeholders fully understood the existing architecture and the full scope of change, we documented the existing technical architecture including connections to custodians, trading partners and downstream systems. The existing processes were complex and complicated by the multitude of execution platforms. Some allocations were done in the current OMS while others had to be manually worked out for the retail sponsors. Some orders had to be manually entered to proprietary sponsor platforms.

Meradia designed a future-state built on a single OMS and portfolio accounting platform, considering all interfaces to external entities, upstream and downstream systems. Meradia documented those interfaces along with data mappings and defined detailed test cases. Meradia then consulted with all implementation managers (client, OMS and portfolio accounting) and managed a consolidated project plan including target dates, status meetings, stakeholder updates, and designing acceptable workarounds to roadblocks.

Lastly, Meradia devised and executed a plan for the migration of historical positions and performance returns. We worked with the client on collecting and scrubbing that data. We built SQL scripts for error and gap detection and entity identifier conversions. Meradia also built daily test plans to execute specific test cases and ensure production parallel consistency by using SQL scripts that detected quantity and market value differences and orphans on either side.

RESULTS

The team migrated and validated all historical data by the target go-live date despite several surprises during the project. The first hurdle occurred when one of the vendors was unable to deliver a key requirement. Meradia identified and helped broker a solution, then assisted all parties with the technical design and implementation. The second obstacle was to address delays caused by the client’s lack of clean historical data and complete, authoritative requirements. Meradia helped the client identify and remedy these deficiencies when the vendor could do little to help.

Flexibility and adaptability are essential when executing any complex project. Meradia has the skills and credibility to drive consensus across stakeholders when timely decisions need to be made to keep projects on track.

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