Product Evaluation and Strategy

Working with vendors to improve their product offerings, market segmentation and analysis and defining road maps for required development to take new solutions to market

Sample Projects

Competitive Analysis for a Leading Investment Accounting System Vendor

  • Conducted an extensive review all main competitors
  • Specific focus was on one market leader’s functionality
  • Conducted multiple interviews with product SMEs to understand current functionality
  • Produced a highly detailed function by function comparison to the market leading product 
  • Provided an extensive matrix of comparative strengths and weakness
  • Created a full product gap analysis
  • Presented recommendations to senior management including suggested prioritisation of new functionality development required


Consulting on the Acquisition and Platform Strategy for a Data Management Managed Service

  • Consulting for a multi-billion outsource provider on their acquisition of a data management solution owned by one of the world’s largest financial institutions
  • The outsourcers’ client had developed an in-house data management solution for their funds business and considered it strong enough to take it to market and sell to other investment managers
  • The outsourcer’s proposal was to move the product offshore and sell it as a managed data service to the industry
  • Provided the data management expertise in an 18-month competitive bid process 
  • Prepared and presented to board level at the end client
  • Wrote plans to convert the in-house product into a multi tenanted managed data management platform
  • Designed the outsourcer’s target operating and service model 
  • Assisted with the successful transition taking on multiple parts of the financial institutions onto the new platform


Private Banking Opportunity Analysis for a Large Global Software Vendor

  • Worked with a team of experienced private banking experts on the market opportunity for a mainstream asset management system vendor to build a new solution for private banks
  • Conducted a market sizing and opportunity analysis including projected revenue opportunity which ran into tens of millions over five years 
  • Interviewed many C level staff at 10 major private banks
  • Carried out an in-depth functional requirements gathering
  • Produced a full gap-analysis of the vendor’s current product offering
  • Wrote the development requirements and an 18-month project plan to build the solution
  • Produced a full costing and staffing plan
  • Presented the analysis and recommendations to proceed to board level at the vendor


EMEA Product Strategy for a US Based Multi-billion-dollar Software Corporation

  • Built relationships with consulting firms and partner firms 
  • Conducted strategic reviews of companies that might be open to acquisition or partnerships
  • Created a matrix of all vendors in the space based on market share, product quality, regional expertise and fit with the vendor’s strategic plans
  • Developed strategic plans to execute horizontal and vertical moves across the product set
  • Built a complex financial model to convert a product from an installed software solution to an ASP service
  • Presented the solution to all EMEA clients and started to execute on an acquisition strategy but the vendor itself became a target and was acquired by another large US vendor 


Product Design and Launch for a Major Investment Management System Vendor

  • Presented a revolutionary new product idea to a global vendor to solve the complexities of redenominating securities into euro
  • The design was componentised to allow security and holdings data to be easily imported from any back- office system, manipulated easily in a smart GUI and then exported out to any system in any format
  • The redenomination process was fully rules based and allowed clients to simulate the conversion of securities accurately and quickly from legacy European currencies into euro before making the transition for real
  • All conversions were kept historically and could be reprocessed by rule, currency or other definable criteria
  • Ran the full product lifecycle from the initial conceptual design to the finished product 
  • Presented to board level securing internal funding
  • Designed all the functional components of the system
  • Led development, testing, pre-sales and live implementations
  • Demonstrated the product at several market events and to prospects all over Europe
  • Wrote a detailed functional manual for the system and oversaw a professional copyrighter to produce a glossy product manual
  • The product was sold to nine European blue-chip asset managers within five months of the development commencing including Deutsche Bank and Schroders 


Product Launch Feasibility 

  • Feasibility analysis to ascertain whether developing a leading hedge funds’ in-house OTC price management system could be launched as a marketable product for other hedge funds and asset managers
  • Conducted a market analysis of competitive products and advised where the product should be expanded / developed 
  • Suggested adding a service model to add value to the proposition
  • Functional analysis included:
  • General price management workflow
  • Instrument coverage
  • Analytics and benchmarks
  • Data feeds
  • Golden copy production of prices from 10-12 vendors
  • Produced a short, medium and long-term development road map ultimately recommending the product should move towards the lucrative front to back data management market 
  • Worked with the client on a ‘go to market plan’ 


Product Review of a Hedge Fund Trade Management System

  • Analysis for a small hedge fund that had developed a trade management system with links to Prime Brokers
  • Review of whether the product could be a marketable product for the hedge fund community
  • The analysis included:
  • Market sizing and segmentation
  • Suggested target market and their appetite for systems
  • A review of likely competitors and their usual pricing points
  • Possible named target clients with the rationale on suggested pricing points
  • Guiding principles for system changes and suggested system offering
  • A high-level financial analysis including required development estimates, high level possible projected revenues and profitability 
  • Presented a set of recommendations and possible routes to market 


Analysis for a Leading Data Management System Vendor to add Dashboard Functionality to Their Product

  • Working closely with a European based vendor on the design of new charting, graphing and analytics dashboards
  • Reviewed existing dashboard functionality
  • Produced a competitive analysis of other data management vendors with existing dashboard functionality
  • Defined logical workflows where a dashboard and graphing would offer most value to the product
  • Reviewed possible technology and plug-ins
  • Designed and produced mock-ups and prototypes of several dashboards
  • Presented the analysis and made recommendations to the board


Design of Extended Front Office Functionality for an Investment Accounting System Vendor

  • Working closely with a large Japanese fund manager on several brand-new areas of functionality  
  • Gathered requirements and wrote working prototypes 
  • Demonstrated the prototypes back to the end client
  • Developed ways the new modules could be built using extension tables in the existing accounting system
  • Developed a way for all screens to be re written by the end client in Japanese
  • Wrote functional specifications for developers
  • Oversaw the development process and gained acceptance from users
  • The new areas included: 
    • A FX trading application for converting all proposed trades back to JPY showing real-time P&L 
    • An associated hedging tool for creating proposed trades, importing these into the underlying investment accounting system and automatically running reports showing the pseudo effects 
    • A best quotation module allowing real time import of fixed income quotes from market makers
    • A fixed income modelling tool allowing the user to model by for example duration allowing them to create proposed trades and see the effect on their portfolio


Product Design for a Compliance System

  • Used knowledge gained in previous engagements to assist with design and build of a truly unique portfolio compliance system
  • The product used latest development techniques to allow even the most complex compliance rule to be built via a GUI 
  • The process was broken down into manageable blocks meaning a business analyst could create a rule very quickly without resorting to coding
  • The design was so leading edge it could run thousands of compliance rules several times faster than any of the leading vendors 
  • The build was made using a team of Agile developers
  • Led daily stand ups and assigned tasks to team members
  • Built out a Professional Services offering writing a methodology for Agile implementation
  • Hired a team of implementation consultants and led the first client roll out
  • Presented on the vendors’ new consulting capability as part of many product demonstrations at several market events and to prospects in Europe and North America