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Fenix Consultancy Intl. Ltd.
Office 13
Telfords Yard
6-8 The Highway
United Kingdom

T: +44 20 7477 2637


Services: Project management

We have experienced project and programme management from every perspective, reinforcing the importance of clear and open communication focused on ensuring project objectives are met.

We have worked for a wide range of financial institutions (investment banks, private banks and insurance and fund management companies). Services provided include project office setup and support, project management, quality assurance, system development and business analysis.

The point of a project is not merely delivery. The focus must be to realise benefits, whether cost savings, enabling new or expanded business, risk reduction, etc. Our perspectives are shaped by our understanding of the current state and vision of the future.

This focus enables us to support and guide your external service providers. In this sense, our services can be viewed as complementary to, rather than simply competing with, such parties.

For example...

Consider the meaning of control with respect to software implementations. From experience, we understand the financial, regulatory, reputational, even political ramifications; the impact of rework, downstream process and support weaknesses; the impact on groups that the user might not consider.

UAT test cases are important. Designing an appropriate process is important. Conducting thorough training is important. These are practical questions, and a theoretical understanding is not enough.

Illustrative projects

Programme management
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Often, we have the opportunity to build long term relationships with our clients. Although we pride ourselves on our ability to make a positive contribution on day one, the benefits of such a relationship are obvious. On one such occasion, Fenix consultants were able to play a key role in the delivery of a massive technology change programme for a US investment bank.

Taking a series of management positions, our lead consultant delivered a series of important global projects, while supporting programme managers and operations and business heads. A background in operations, technology and front office enabled him to relate effectively across all counterparts.

Working with internal resources as well as other consultancy firms and vendors, Fenix consultants project managed the delivery of a dividend and coupon processing system, reference data repository and confirmation automation. In addition, we acted as implementation manager for a series of system implementations, changing the front and back office infrastructure of the cash equities, convertibles and equity derivatives businesses.

We were able to contribute beyond the narrow boundaries of project or programme manager. In addition to these key roles, we were also called upon to take on operational responsibilities, including an interim management role cleaning up key controls and improving procedures.


Project delivery
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The client, a major European investment bank, was experiencing significant systemic difficulties in relation to the pricing of convertible bonds. The weaknesses of the existing systems infrastructure included multiple points of data maintenance (terms and conditions), delayed price calculation cycle time, lack of data integrity between existing applications, and propensity of existing spreadsheet based systems to pricing errors.

Fenix consultants proposed that the existing pricing and publishing applications should be retired, and replaced by a new convertible bond pricing and publishing engine. Fenix consultants delivered the project scope, project definition and functional business requirements documents for the development of the new pricing engine.

In conjunction with its sister company, a specialist Investment Banking software development business, Fenix consultants managed the development cycle and rollout of the new system to convertible bond trading desks in London, New York and Hong Kong.

The business benefits of the convertible bond pricing engine system included:

  • Improved control of algorithms used to produce published prices
  • Improved cycle time via encapsulation of all pricing data within a single calculation engine
  • Elimination of duplication of effort resulting from multiple points of data entry (terms and conditions and calculation variables) in legacy systems
  • Reduced system maintenance costs due to retirement of legacy systems
  • Reduced unit cost and improved process efficiency
  • Single point of access for pricing data across all strategic applications and for all key process stakeholders - sales, trading, research, client
  • Development of a robust platform for future delivery of web applications to the Bank's client base


Business analysis
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The client, a global financial institution, needed to implement a core processing system for its German private banking arm. The scope of functionality required extended from order routing through to settlements processing. The client required that the system could process thousands of orders per day in fund, equity and fixed income products across a wide range of markets.

Simultaneously, the client wished to in-source both trade settlement and a portion of its trade execution, maximising operational efficiencies and taking advantage of the opportunity to internalise trade flows. Extensive liaison was needed, both within the organisation (across multiple locations) and with external service providers.

Fenix staff contributed business requirements documentation for a significant portion of the project, as well as providing project management resources to ensure a timely delivery. The blend of cultural understanding, operational experience coupled with excellent analysis and documentation skills gave our consultants a unique ability to contribute to such a critical undertaking.


Programme Office
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The client, a global financial institution, was outsourcing all core processing of its Investment Business in the German retail banking arm. This involved moving from a combination of an existing outsource supplier and in-house processing to a full service outsource supplier covering trade execution, settlement and custody services on multiple products. Further complexity was presented by the large volume of daily business and the extremely challenging timeframe in which the migration had to be implemented. Consequently, there was a large project team assembled both internally and externally covering among others, business analysis, IT build and test, UAT, new interface rollout, migration and operational readiness.

The client had a critical need to manage many competing priorities and resources within the overall project timetable. Fenix were engaged to take over the PMO function after the start of the project when it appeared the project had critical timeline risk and placed one of their seniors into the position.

This pivotal role involved re-working and management of the existing project plan, monitoring key milestone deliverables and changing priorities to keep the project on track. Secondly, all project issues and action points were routed through and managed by the PMO. Resource conflicts were determined and eliminated through changing responsibilities and resource redeployment. Thirdly, effective reporting mechanisms were implemented to escalate and eliminate potential issues and risks before they had any opportunity to negatively impact the project.

Acting as the central escalation point the Fenix consultant also participated in the steering committee to ensure that decisive and effective solutions were in place when they needed to be. Resource management was an essential part of the role and our consultants experience in dealing with business and IT at all levels ensured that the client received optimal return on both internal and external resources.

The most important summary contribution was to bring an ailing project from the brink of failure, back on track and manage that through to a successful implementation.


Project Management - Externally Driven Change
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The client, one of the world's largest pension fund houses, wished to move from a passive style of fund management to a more active style to stimulate further growth in returns for its investments. In addition the client also wished to bring back in house' externally managed funds. One of its key targets in this overall endeavour was to obtain a 'quality stamp' from external auditors in its core processing activities - SAS 70 a and b.

Fenix consultants were engaged to undertake a systematic review of all processes from asset allocation to post settlement reconciliation activities from an operational risk perspective. Adhering to it's internally developed risk assessment approach Fenix were quickly able to advise senior management where their greatest attention was needed. Using the output of the risk assessment the client built a multi year change improvement plan to address and eliminate the identified weaknesses in their processes, systems and resources - titled Quality and Stability Programme.

Further, Fenix were engaged to overhaul the end to end process documentation. Process flows and detailed procedural documentation were put into production by the Fenix project team with key contributions from internal resources.

As a consequence of the Fenix deliveries the client successfully applied for SAS 70 certification from its external auditors for operational processes.

Subsequent to the above deliverables Fenix were reengaged to perform a systematic review of all front office processes to bring them up to the same high levels of quality.