Strategic Consulting

Overview

C&A Consulting provides strategic financial markets operating structure consulting and advisory services to help firms and public sector organizations/agencies enhance their competitive operating and market stance.

  • For profit entities (such as private equity firms, outsource/BPO service or technology providers, etc.), C&A serves as a strategic advisor facilitating the discovery of market opportunities — both organic revenue expansion of existing or new product/service design, and the identification of acquisition opportunities or operating due diligence analyses for non-organic revenue growth.
  • For public sector organizations/agencies (such as pension funds, regulatory organizations and utilities), C&A has developed custom target operating models, performed benchmarking analyses, and executed structural reviews of their services coverage or operating environments to help focus their efforts on improved operating performance and service offerings to their internal and/or external clients.

C&A practitioners both assess an organization’s unique strengths and opportunities and analyze strategic and tactical coverage gaps or issues, as a means for facilitating the discovery of recommendations and to discern new approaches to elevate your organization’s market performance and differentiated positioning.

In most of our private and public sector engagements, C&A provides broad and deep experience in the financial services markets — the one common element our clients benefit from — to gain real insight into how they can shape or re-shape their thinking, and, in turn, create value within their enterprises, either in real increased revenue performance (organic growth or acquisition) or operating improvements that range across the board from their operating model structure, positioning of systems and technology to outright core process and organization transformation.

We are first, and foremost, problem-solvers — while at our fundamental core, operating strategists who can execute their recommendations.

We aim to provide strategic insight, with a contemporary take on the convergence of dynamic trends and disruption across the financial services business, trajectory of future regulatory changes and leading approaches that firms should explore in the many technology spheres firms are expected to operate with.

Our Expertise

Our deep bench of practitioners bring financial services industry knowledge and expertise across many domain practice areas.

We lead with a hands-on approach and pragmatic execution.

  • Our expertise combines the talents of a senior consulting practitioner with C-level executive leadership experience to provide clarity, and strategic and operational understanding of complex organizational structures and criteria for operational success.
  • While leading major operational and strategic transformation at top-tier investment banks, asset management, global wealth management, mortgage servicing, alternative investment (e.g. hedge funds, private equity) and capital markets firms, our consultants blend visionary thinking with pragmatic strategy and a real sense of the demands for services and products in the marketplace to make recommendations and optimize results for your business. Many of our top practitioners can trace their lineage to the direct development of many of the products and services that transcend today’s financial services marketplace today.
  • Our team takes pride in delivering thoughtful insight and knowledge to successfully catalyze (or catapult) your organization to the next level. We filter through the noise and static to determine what progressive strategies can lift your organization to new heights.

Successful Track Record Of

Performance + Execution

We are proud of our successful track record in delivering sound, strategic consultancy engagements for senior executive leaders and their management teams to achieve core objectives.

We continuously strive to deliver high-impact results that maximize revenue growth and evolve a cohesive, coherent and executable business and IT strategy for clients.

With our bench of subject matter experts, C&A’s financial services markets experience spans the spectrum of Real Estate Mortgage Servicing and Origination, Institutional and Alternative Asset Management, Global Wealth Management, Private Markets, Banking, and Investment Banking/Broker/Dealer/Capital Markets.

Coverage of the Strategic Consulting Practice

Our practice delivers the following client advisory services:

  • New Business Models (e.g. Governance, Risk Management Operating Models and Frameworks)
  • Mergers & Acquisitions, Joint Venture, Divestitures – Target Identification
  • New Product and Solutions Development
  • Strategic Planning, Program Development / Management and Execution
  • Due Diligence for Investment Decisions, Information Reporting
  • Growth and Segmentation Strategies
  • Competitive Market and Product Analyses, Peer Reviews
  • Performance Analyses, Benchmarks
  • Regulatory Impact on Business Lines
  • Market & Customer Channel Analysis
  • Brand, Reputation Management

Client deliverables:

  • Business, Operating and Technology strategy and structural assessment
  • Operations assessments; Diagnosis of operational deficiencies
  • Best Practices Recommendations: Operating and structural reviews
  • Blueprints / Roadmaps of new business models
  • New product and solutions development plan
  • Target list: Mergers & Acquisitions, Joint Ventures, Divestures advisory
  • Progress reports: Operational due diligence reviews, management reports
  • Strategic planning, program development, and implementations reports
  • Vendor selection list, related management programs
  • Competitive market analyses

C&A Strategic Priorities

  • Innovation and differentiation are hallmarks of C&A Consulting, through the business and operating models we design for clients.  Our approach pairs innovative business models with revenue growth through innovative business models and unique solutions.
  • Flexibility and Speed of Execution. C&A maintains flexibility to lead a complex strategic transformation or a tactical baseline assessment.  Our entrepreneurial approach enables us to pivot with great flexibility, precision and speed amidst dynamic markets and to deliver executable solutions.  Our ability to execute programs strongly stems from one major factor – our expertise in identifying and mitigating the program or project risks early, and addressing the root cause of such risks.
  • Goals. Whether an assignment involves organic strategic investments, strategic partnering/venturing or acquisitions — our practice facilitates revenue growth and new opportunities in existing and emerging markets, industries and geographies.

New Products / Solutions Development

C&A is continually immersed in the marketplace — reviewing various needs of clients, the solutions offered by providers of products and services, and qualitatively evaluating the breadth and depth of new products and solutions — to realize clients’ goals and enhanced market expansion.  We see various product pipelines, what is working and what is not working, and gaps in offerings and opportunities for new thinking.  Our core consulting practice provides  a point of market intelligence in how the market looks.  We then harvest and distill these opinions and ideas into actionable efforts to provide differentiated insight and ideas that lead to the creation / development of new products and solutions.

Develop Strategy Blueprints and Due Diligence Programs

C&A develops and implements strategy blueprints and plans to improve accountability and transparency and to support due diligence initiatives for an organization’s operations.

Key examples:

  • Restructure, ‘revitalize’ and assess business practices, technology and operating structure, controls and processes
  • Realign or rebuild business operations and technology infrastructure
  • Develop strategic plan to identify operational efficiencies and opportunities for improvement, to cost-contain or streamline infrastructure platform
  • Remediate operational, governance and compliance deficiencies

Business

Drivers

Increased Financial Services Regulation and Compliance

The financial services industry continues to face heightened regulatory scrutiny and compliance, based on the recent financial markets downturn and recovery over the past 10 years.  However, even with the very large cross-currents that firms face – to move forward with current requirements, to wait for changes to regulatory implementation dates, changes to the regulatory landscape and organization charters – all still highlight the need to stay ahead of the  core trends and to always strive for sound, practical best practices that can reduce organizational risk, as well as promote expansion in the business.

Corporate financial reporting and disclosure requirements have added new pressures on firms to demonstrate greater transparency and accountability to investors, customers, regulators and key stakeholders, resulting in substantial changes how technology is designed and deployed in many firms today.

Furthermore, company leaders are held to a higher standard than in the past, and consequently expect investments in technology to help drive new business while providing robust and reliable systems and infrastructure.  This trend necessitates the robust deployment of flexible operating platforms and tools, data governance and documented business processes, paired with automated controls and dashboards supporting a culture of compliance and security.  For example, advanced software data analytics technology and automated processes can help extract critical insights and perform data reconciliation and reporting across multiple sources, systems and interfaces.

C&A is well-positioned to help deliver and deploy effective strategies for your organization to address and satisfy these regulatory and compliance requirements.

New Business Models

Organizations today must continuously embrace change.

C&A develops strategic business models for organizations that adopt this very operating principle.

At the intersection of business and technology, today’s organizations must exemplify nimble operating structures, talent and resources to quickly adapt to external environments and pressures beyond their control.

C&A’s approach is to immerse our practitioners in the very fabric of each organization to hear our clients’ pressing concerns.  We then develop and recommend forward-thinking business models to enable productive and efficient business processes and operations, with less cost – that increase an organization’s competitiveness, bolster core businesses, or perhaps enter new markets.

Through combined expertise, analytical insight and proven methods, C&A performs assessments to identify operational deficiencies and to determine the adequacy and effectiveness of your firm’s business practices, policies, procedures and technology systems.

We may then recommend ways to increase or optimize efficiency, productivity, automation and cost reductions.  C&A may explore strategic investments, alliances, joint ventures and partnerships or the establishment of a dedicated unit or division to evolve your company’s business model.

M&A

C&A can help your organization build new revenue paths to success with a holistic Mergers and Acquisitions (‘M&A’) strategy.

Mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures or divestitures may strategically well-position an organization for future success and growth.  Gaining a new customer base, accessing or expanding one’s presence in new products/services, or gaining market share may outwit the competition and extend your brand into promising market opportunities.   We see areas of opportunities to both horizontally or vertically extend products and services, develop second generation iterations of products or enter new markets with existing products, by repositioning current capabilities with new, refreshed orientation of dynamic markets, but still require the depth to create responsive organizations that are willing to reposition their thinking, resources and capabilities.

C&A consultants work with organizations and firms to identify and execute select M&A strategies, aligned with an overall enterprise strategy.  We conduct a diagnostic study for the sector and begin the development of a medium-term reform strategy.  C&A advises on M&A and R&D initiatives, as well as evaluates new ventures and product solutions by performing due diligence of these opportunities.

Rapid Advances in Technology

Keeping pace with transformational changes in technology presents both a challenge and a mandate for today’s successful financial services organization.  Technology can be leveraged as an enabler to drive true transformation and greater process efficiencies. Advances in IT solutions, standards, and protocols require rigorous management and oversight to ensure efficient operations and healthy returns.  Outside intelligence on new tools and capabilities also creates a rapid and often chaotic pace of technology evolution where mis-steps can set firms back materially.

Faster technology product cycles and upgrades, combined with new IT skills needed to manage these solutions, have prompted organizations to explore opportunities for automating day-to-day processes that drive efficiency and improve the customer experience.

Front- to back-office operations must be flexible to accommodate unique, revised requirements for new trade and transaction entry processes, data access control, portfolio maintenance and reporting.  For example, deploying a new sales management tool, document management solution, system upgrade or data center migration will often involve multiple, yet disconnected stakeholders.  With advances in technology, companies can seamlessly integrate disparate systems with a well-conceived plan that improves efficiency, control and collaboration.  The evolution of connecting some of these capabilities directly into social media technology also creates a new level of active controls and oversight to be efficiently integrated into the firm’s architecture and operations.

The feverish pace of development in new technologies is creating new, emerging business models.  Companies must develop, or hone, their corporate strategies and continually reassess their business and operating models, to remain competitive.

What / How C&A delivers

Key Business Outcomes

The examples below best exemplify how C&A’s work has delivered practical strategies and efficient executions for clients:

Market Opportunities

  • Advised on merger and acquisition of a top mortgage service provider to enter a new business market segment and create revenue growth opportunity for the firm
  • Designed and create new mortgage loan programs and guide project management of the entire design, platform acquisition effort and go to market strategy
  • Conducted operational and technology Due Diligence Reviews of target firms for Private Equity firms
  • Identified new services in the private markets industry, a new variant of existing products and services for a platform services firm (combination of technology and service offerings). This leveraged our client into several new organic markets and new revenue streams on a repositioning of existing capabilities and technologies.

Operating Effectiveness

  • Designed and structured a new business model for a leading financial services firm in the private markets investment industry
  • Created new products/solutions for technology and BPO services firms
  • Developed strategic plans to identify operational efficiencies and opportunities for improvement, to cost contain or streamline infrastructure platform
  • Facilitated a major regulator’s service desk operations expansion to facilitate the addition of a number of new products as well as higher and more precisely measured service levels over increasingly more complex products handled by the service desk.

Risk & Regulatory

  • Serving in a Monitorship role, oversighted the target firm’s remediation strategy in reviewing its operational, governance and compliance deficiencies with a strategic view of highlighting targeted best practices that repositioned many of the core processes and technology management practices
  • Defined best practice risk assessment and management processes for a leading alternative investment firm
  • Strengthened technology controls, transparency and the oversight environment in light of the new DFS regulatory requirements in various financial services firms.

Management Practices

  • Identified and implemented best practices enterprise data management programs in alternative and pension investment management and mortgage servicing firms
  • Provided Project Management and project leadership/guidance for various sponsors, stakeholders, technology teams and third-party vendors
  • Qualified and recommended various technology systems and best-in-class third-party vendors/solutions in the investment management, broker dealer/wealth management and mortgage origination and servicing industries
  • Performed benchmarking studies, designed target state operating models and reviewed the lifecycle maturity status of various operations groups, along with competitive market analyses
  • Transitioned key operating senior management (C-suite) roles during periods of focused transformation programs in the investment management industry.