BACKGROUND

A large insurance company’s asset management division retained Meradia to help facilitate the conclusion of a challenging implementation of, and conversion to SS&C’s Sylvan’s Global Performance Measurement and Risk platform. Meradia provided portfolio accounting, performance measurement and testing expertise and identified and troubleshooted errors hindering progress. Issues impacting Sylvan, the data flows, defined acceptance criteria, test scripts/plans, project staffing, production staffing and workflow were included within Meradia’s scope of work.

ANALYSIS

While working with the team, Meradia identified several key issues that needed to get addressed and remedied:
Business requirements were incomplete and did not capture all upstream data sources that would be needed. Meradia needed to re-evaluate requirements and interview key stakeholders to provide a more complete assessment of data to be converted.
There was a lack of internal knowledge of Sylvan that prevented the project team from identifying issues and areas of risk.
Sylvan was missing key required functional elements in the account set-up, data load and calculation areas.
The quality of the legacy system underlying data needed to get cleaned up. A data scrubbing effort was added to the project timeline and roadmap as a critical dependency.

Meradia’s team instituted a streamed and phase approach that:

  • Identified and resolved performance discrepancies between the legacy (Confluence, etc.) systems and the Sylvan systems.
  • Defined and performed testing to ensure the accuracy of calculated portfolio and performance benchmarks.
  • Liaised between project team and program management staff to ensure accurate and timely reporting of issues, project status, milestones and timelines.
  • Created and delivered, in conjunction with both the technology vendor and the end-client, an effective training curriculum (including training materials) for users of the new platform.
  • Recommended and tested changes in software coding to align calculation methodologies across multiple applications utilized by the end-client’s performance measurement group.
  • Designed, tested and validated new operational reporting tools and procedures in order to meet strict operational readiness requirements.

RESULTS

The new performance measurement & risk system, Sylvan, was introduced into production ahead of schedule despite the early project challenges prior to Meradia’s engagement. Meradia helped accelerate the retirement of Confluence Unity (the legacy system) and avoid additional upgrades to that platform. Unity had been in service at the insurance organization since the mid 90’s and the firm operated on a very old version of the platform. The new platform was also a significant enhancement to all the organizations’ front office & distribution teams and most importantly the new platform significantly enhanced the client experience.

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