Case Study: Regional Target Operating Model

Client Challenge

A large regional Asia-Pacific based asset management company with a presence in numerous locations throughout the region.  By the early 2010’s, it had surpassed US$100 billion in AUM and was well positioned for rapid growth over the next decade and beyond, anticipating a doubling in AUM somewhere between the years of 2018-2021.

This client built its original technology infrastructure in the period from 2003-05 utilizing technology that was modern (at the time) and appropriate for a firm of its size.  Its core technology consisted of an Order Management System (“OMS”), a data warehouse which doubled as its performance measurement engine, a fund accounting system and various smaller ancillary systems.  With few exceptions, its tech model was to purchase an application along with the right to modify the software.  Thus, in addition to providing production support, the client engaged in developing these software applications itself, all of which required a sizeable, multi-functional IT team. 

Shoreline Approach / Deliverable

As a first step, Shoreline performed a current state analysis (process and technology) and interviewed all senior executives to form a composite view of the firm’s perception of its strategic objectives and positioning.  A summary of findings was then ‘played back’ to the executive committee and validated accordingly.

Based upon the client’s business objectives, the detailed TOM design concluded that the company’s operating model lacked scalability, carried higher than acceptable operational risk and lacked the flexibility to allow the company to execute upon its strategic vision, whether that be the inability to add new products or strategies, engage in corporate actions such as M&A, etc.

At the conclusion of the TOM Design phase, Shoreline provided specific recommendations to the client’s executive stakeholders:

(1) a holistic functional model.

  • Standardisation of similar processes across the firm.
  • Centralisation of functional activities (where possible).
  • Alignment of the organisational structure.
  • Investment in an Enterprise Data capability and platform.
  • Outsourcing of non-core functions to quality specialist service providers.

(2) A new organisational structure was recommended, approved and enacted, creating functional reporting lines across the entire company and normalizing the responsibility of senior executives.

(3) Recommendations regarding the client’s technology and operating infrastructure: 

  • Implement a new Portfolio and Order Management System (“POMS”) whether it be a new instance of its existing application (as opposed to the previously attempted upgrade) or a different application altogether.
  • Outsource Middle Office.
  • Implement a new Data Management Platform.

Client Benefit

The program was approved as recommended and implementation commenced in mid-2016.  Shoreline remained involved throughout the multi-year engagement with numerous consultants placed in strategically important roles such as the project manager for the outsourcing stream, data management specialists, change management specialists and business analysts.

The program was successfully completed in early 2019 below budget and slightly ahead of scheduled completion.  Some of the key elements of success for the program were:

  • Consistent and sustained executive support.
  • Mission or scope creep was controlled.  With few exceptions, the client stuck to its original blueprint.
  • Strong execution.  While the implementation team necessarily morphed to accommodate each new phase and set of challenges, the program maintained strong leadership and executed well throughout.
  • “Change Management”.  The people element of the change (particularly significant with any outsourcing initiative), was managed from an early point with a dedicated Change Management team who remained involved throughout the program. 
  • Service providers were held to and delivered upon their side of the bargain.
  • Macro factors (e.g., market conditions, business performance, etc.) were not unfavorable to the program.
  • Regulatory approvals and other extraneous factors, while arduous and time-consuming, did not arise as showstoppers.


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