Technology / FinTech – Case Studies
Solutions that are Practical and Measurable
C&A provides broad and deep experience in the FinTech 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.
FinTech Transformation – assessment and modernization of an enterprise technology team
The client is a FinTech firm delivering a white-labeled SaaS product, offering a full lifecycle of services in the credit lending arena. C&A’s original assignment was to assess the firm’s technology environment including the architecture, systems development methodology, DevOps/Change Management practices, the technology stack, infrastructure scalability, and management skills and strengths. The full project development process, from product management and design, requirements, and technical specifications, to quality testing and user acceptance was also evaluated.
In a second stage, after extensive review of the findings and recommendations, C&A was asked to assume several key operating roles on an interim basis to accelerate the firm’s efforts to implement a more agile and scalable process for software development, cloud-based infrastructure management, and project and resource planning. The objective was to enable a consistent and predictable delivery of high-quality products enabling the firm to optimize revenue opportunities and enhance its standing as a market leader in the space.
After performing its current state assessment and target view design, C&A has augmented the technology management and senior staff roles for the client covering the following scope of work:
- Serving in leadership roles of CTO and Head of Infrastructure, and in operating roles as a senior Systems Analyst and as senior staff for Production Operations.
- Reorganizing the technology staff in the structure of the target state recommendation for each of the major functions – systems analysis, technology architecture, applications development, devops/change management, and infrastructure management.
- Rearchitecting major elements of the platform structure to migrate the systems from a legacy monolithic structure to a microservices configuration with a modern data structure and technology stack.
- Standing up an off-shore team to augment systems development and improve time-to-market delivery at lower cost.
- Improving the program and project staging steps in every one of the major initiatives currently in progress, both internal and client driven.
- Creating and formalizing the program and product roadmaps and communicating the stages and bodies of work with major stakeholders and their teams. This practice is also being mirrored with the major client stakeholders and technology counterparts involved with integrating the product platform and technical features.
- Re-engaging the technology staff more proactively with its internal and external clients to enhance communication and assessment and mitigation of risks and issues.
- The client’s operations have been stabilized, with improved software releases, fewer “patch” releases, and significantly enhanced monitoring.
- The firm is now moving quickly toward a more agile, modern technology architecture and planning for configuration-based development which will be more efficient, accurate and cost-effective.
- The firm’s technology efforts are now better aligned with the needs of the overall enterprise priorities and staff performance excellence. Overall communication of development efforts and statuses have materially improved and the staging of work and deployment of the codebase is also improving. Overall, the executive team of the firm is now better supported in its efforts to partner more effectively with its clients.
- Inwardly, the infrastructure management, development practices and other protocols such as tools management, testing methodologies, development cycle and steps, etc. are all part of the transformation toward excellence, agility, and modern design.
- Finally, the predictability of the team’s performance is improving as the firm continues an accelerating path of client acquisition and growth.
Capital Markets Issuance
Crossroads of FinTech: Re-writing the Playbook, the convergence of innovation vs. transformational acceptance in the financial markets – SMEs who can think ‘out of the box’
Note: Because of the proprietary nature of this client’s scope (as well as a number of other FinTech or innovation-driven clients in the blockchain, brokerage FinTech, seed/venture funding, and lending areas of the financial industry), C&A is limited in its disclosure of the specific areas of work and research it has performed.
C&A was asked to dimension the operational support requirements and high-level processes for a FinTech client building out a new platform for the initial issuance of fixed income instruments into the market, covering a wide range of investment vehicles (i.e. registered, 144A, private placements, etc.) The engagement covered not only the core operational transaction steps covering the full lifecycle of a potential transaction and its maintenance in the marketplace, but also a number of regulatory elements spanning the onboarding/integration of various parties and all of the operational procedures and services needed to complete a fully enabled issuance of securities. This also required C&A to review and validate potential differences in investment types under different issuer circumstances spanning the entire market from portal crowdfunding processes to formal fixed income underwriting processes.
Our client needed assistance to better understand the key operational support requirements for the issuance of securities adapted to their newly developed execution issuance model. C&A’s team of market knowledgeable SMEs covered the universe of market models for capital raising activities, the core platform providers for support services and a wide level of expertise and operational elements needed for each of the major investment types to complete the expected product lifecycle. While the client communicated a clear business direction on the core service and associated technology to support their potential offering, they engaged C&A to evaluate the current market practices associated with securities issuance and to bring their operating expertise to develop and then validate the operating and functional model requirements for their innovative platform. C&A also examined the core processes and flows that would be needed to support their business and various alternative methods to acquire operating support with several different providers for the various supporting processes given the client’s proposed business service was going to break with existing market protocols.
C&A worked with the client to fully understand the details of their service offering and identified the key support processes (i.e., AML/KYC for issuers and investors, Security ID set-up, depository/book entry eligibility, Confirmation/Affirmation processes to facilitate STP, etc.) that would need to be in place. We then aligned various alternative options to arrive at a proposed solution state for operating model, core processes and example partner integrations, that best fit the client’s target product structure and their target client base expectations. C&A then vetted these proposed process requirements against market infrastructure service providers and other participants such as regulators. C&A continually educated our client and provided them with ample opportunity for discussion and feedback throughout the engagement, so the final deliverable would be consistent with their expectations. C&A’s final deliverable included detailed process flows, process overview descriptions and recommendations, key data requirements, and regulatory requirements for each process needed to support their platform model. The team also developed and vetted an initial list of potential suppliers for certain of the ancillary processes as well as key contacts.