Your competitive advantage is our proven track record in successfully advising Financial Services firms, including portfolio managers, pension funds, broker/dealers, global custodians, marketplace/clearinghouses, industry regulators and more.
Our company is trusted by many of our industry’s most senior executives. Consulting Services include the critical aspects of our customers’ lines of business, including trading, mid- and back-office, finance/treasury and regulatory compliance and surveillance. Additionally, we participate actively in the development, validation and implementation of our customers’ strategic objectives. This involves the sharing of highly confidential information about their own strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) within the marketplace.
New Products & Services
Establish new lines of businesses and affect the modernization of current businesses. Advise both executive & line of business management teams on their client engagement strategy, operations and technology alignment, feasibility for expansion (e.g. foreign business), regulatory rules and requirements (domestic and international), and risk mitigation strategies when contemplating new or differentiated product offerings.
Business Process Optimization
Design, develop and implement new or enhanced operational processes across front, middle and back-offices using Lean/Six Sigma principles. Lines of businesses reduce operational cost and risk by effectively mapping their new or existing business process flows then integrating them with new technologies, such as Cloud Computing, Integration as a Service (API’s), Blockchain, Data & Applications (D&A) and artificial intelligence (AI or BOTS) platforms.
Securities Industry Consolidation
Leading the marketplace in consulting services pertaining to the consolidation of securities dealers of all sizes. Advise executive management, finance and their investment banking personnel on feasibility (business case) and strategic options for execution and clearing (e.g. self-clearing vs. correspondent services). Assist in transition management including providing subject matter expertise on securities operations, compliance and technology applications. Manage the conversion of the Client Books of Records across asset classes required for a successful integration.
Line of Business Requirements
Develop the detailed business and related technology requirements. Prepare the artifacts for ensuring successful business driven solutions are implemented. Deliverables include Current/Future State, Gap Analysis, Target Operating Models (TOM), various financial modeling scenarios (e.g. MFR / RAC for Capital Adequacy), Quality Assurance (QA) Strategy & Planning, all of which include best practices for successful deployment.
Our capabilities span across the investment industry lifecycle, including front, middle and back-office processes and related systems.
Consulting Success Stories
Wealth Management Firms
For Dealer consolidation, we have led and completed the successful conversion of over 100 billion dollars of our customer’s own client assets to date. In addition to conversions, we have developed the detailed business specifications and solutions for cash management, mutual funds reconciliation and management reporting services (across front, middle and back office) for several of Canada’s largest independent dealers. For another of Canada’s largest independent wealth providers, we performed gap analysis with recommendations (CEO, Board Level Reports) and established a Joint Operating Committee framework for operational governance, so the firm could better assess and manage shared services for both their introducing and carrying broker businesses. For a major U.S. based dealer, developed debt capital markets guidelines and corporate risk management policies for establishing their institutional fixed income trading desk. This included recommendation and guidelines for establishing repo trading activities to finance trading operations.
Bank Dealers and Custodians
Provided strategy, design, and requirements for two Canadian Bank Dealer’s Prime Brokerage (securities lending & electronic trading) and Institutional Services divisions. Provided a new process to manage correspondent wire payments more effectively, conducted a gap analysis for U.S. Trading, and designed an FX Hedge solution (multi-currency pairs & multiple settlement periods). FX Hedge enabled positions and outages to be identified at the front office level via increased automation, while achieving process efficiencies within Finance, Treasury, Securities Operations and Equity Trading. Completed business case and assessment for establishing a Bank’s new custody division to service its portfolio manager clients. Provided the Canadian market strategy and conducted review of trade surveillance reporting for a large U.S. Bank Dealer’s executive management (CEO/COO and CCO).
Exchanges/Clearinghouses & Regulators
Led the program for the successful launch of a Clearinghouse’s Central Counterparty Clearing (CCP under PFMI) platform and served as both executive (CEO, Board,) and program advisor for the modernization of its cash and derivatives clearing platforms. Provided advisory to major equity exchanges for Smart Order Routing and differentiated product offerings, including non-cash equity and multi-currency exchange trading. Project Manager for a securities industry regulator’s new trade reporting & surveillance system. The securities regulator has also formerly approved First North as consultant to its dealer members requiring action planning/remediation and certification.
Electronic Securities Dealers
For five dealers (Discount Brokerage & DMA) located in both Canada and U.S., established a highly profitable securities lending business, developed the strategy and assisted in successful conversion to self-clearing, conducted the firm’s readiness assessment for regulatory acceptance/signoff, prepared requirements and recommendations for advanced order routing & execution, completed back-office transaction mapping, and advised executive management on correspondent service options and providers.
Business case and detailed requirements for a major Pension Fund’s strategy to internalize their asset management program that was subsequently launched. Assessed current/future state and target operating model for a government pension plan’s multi-asset securities trading and enterprise risk management systems. Executive advisory for a major asset manager’s differentiated Fund offering.