Case: Strategic Optimization

The US business of a global financial services firm was exploring options to optimize its back office and associated vendor relationships with an eye towards reducing its cost profile and improving efficiencies.  The client was a full service, global firm providing investment banking, wealth management, and prime brokerage services but suffered from a high ‘per-trade’ cost profile that was driven by a disparate operating platform. The client did not fully understand how they were ‘really’ leveraging external vendors vs. their internal systems and had no gauge for where they compared to the market. There was a lack of a formal vendor management framework and vendor contracts were outdated.

A high-level strategic assessment was conducted by IM2 to identify opportunities to optimize the client’s operating model. The project team leveraged subject matter experts, market knowledge, a strategic peer group comparison, and conducted over 50 interviews and work sessions.

Activities Performed:

  • Developed a detailed view of the client’s operating and technology platform, architecture, workflow, processes, and vendor relationships
  • Delineated operational functions performed internally vs. those performed externally by vendors or service providers
  • Conducted vendor assessment including contract, SLA, and market pricing benchmarking
  • Evaluated vendor services and functions leveraged by the client vs. internal capabilities and invoiced amounts
  • Provided strategic direction to support business decisions, identifying pain-points, and recommendations on best practices
  • Offered solution on how to optimize transaction submission processes to reduce billable vendor transaction counts


  • Delivered an operational and functional schematic illustrating and describing how the client was leveraging its vendors, internal systems, and how those processes connected to operational activities required to support the business
  • Identified processes requiring manual intervention and high staff counts and provided recommendations to optimize workflow and cost footprint
  • Provided framework to reset the client’s vendor relationships and establish a unified management strategy. Tools were created to reconcile actual transaction counts vs. invoiced counts
  • Vendor management best practices were identified to highlight governance, contract, pricing, performance, and measurement improvements
  • A market benchmark was performed to identify opportunities for savings and contract renegotiations
  • An opportunity menu was provided of optimization and save opportunities

The client realized over $12 Million in annual savings as a result of implementing recommended solutions.

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