Project Description

The Challenge

A top 10 global investment bank wanted to expand their global equities trading business by creating a new equity finance trading desk in New York. SunGard’s recently developed Apex trading system was chosen as the platform but was unproven at the time as a front to back system.

A previous implementation by the bank of a front to back securities finance trading system had resulted in a highly customised, bespoke IT solution which was technically “brittle”, that could not be easily migrated and was based on process heavy anti-pattern use cases.

The Solution

The bank sought a suitably experienced IT delivery capability to ensure a more business -strategy focused, flexible and ultimately valuable outcome.

Ignitr took overall responsibility for the project’s delivery, managing the output of 15 separate work streams including software and infrastructure elements. This saw ignitr working with the bank’s existing internal teams and contractors, providing project management, requirements analysis, technical solution architecture and test design expertise.

Ignitr brought valuable experience in the successful implementation of global securities lending trading and settlement systems, with a pragmatic and business focused approach, coordinating competing priorities and objectives.

The final platform included ground-up development of custom interfaces for all necessary bank standard applications, multi-entity risk management capability, SWIFT messaging adoption for settlement, payment and confirmations, and the creation of a new transactional trade workflow that were subsequently adopted and rolled out as a bank standard.

The Success

The first pilot phase was delivered in four months, and a fully signed off solution was delivered to production by month nine, a timeline that other consultants described as unachievable. Several new software applications were deployed as part of the overall new platform, including those from two new software vendors. The project remained within budget and the bank’s senior management declared the project a success.

A cohesive, inclusive and positive project management approach led to the effective management of a number of systemic challenges and the fostering of a strong project culture of “ownership of quality”. By collaboratively validating designs, asserting quality awareness, engaging with vendors, carrying out early and systemic testing, only three user acceptance testing (UAT) cycles were required to reach final sign off. Anecdotally, total business test effort was understood to be around 50% less than comparably sized projects.