Tag Archives: financial services

How the wealth management industry is in position to benefit from today’s economic climate

There is no shortage of issues confronting the wealth management industry in 2009 as clients react to the historic economic events of the past year. These events have removed any lingering doubts that what began as a subprime mortgage crisis has become a global financial crisis. This is leading to a fundamental restructuring of the global banking industry, with a significant effect on wealth management products, services and distribution. As it has done in the past, the industry will move forward, with an immediate focus on regaining the confidence of clients, shareholders, regulators and governments.

As the restructuring unfolds, the wealth management industry will emerge as an obvious beneficiary of a new economic order. The evidence is clear. Wealth management divisions of many global financial services companies have already been the recipients of reinvestment budgets and funding even as their parent companies face overall profitability challenges in the short term.

Wealth managers cannot ignore the immediate effect of what has occurred. As the dust continues to settle from the events of 2008 and 2009, some key consequences have emerged and firms’ strategic direction must now take them into account. First, both existing clients and prospects have suffered wealth erosion like they have never experienced before.

Second, skepticism of complex financial products has greatly reduced investor appetite for risk in their portfolios. Taken together, these two factors have created an atmosphere in which investors are much more reluctant to invest. However, this still is an area of growth.

Do you think the wealth management industry is poised to benefit from the economic crisis? To learn more about wealth management in 2009, download BearingPoint’s white paper.

What Drives Merger Integration? Experts Reveal What Your Organization Needs to Know

This timely three-part podcast series offers technology, global markets and banking best practices for successful merger integration and outlines the ins and outs of merger integration. The podcasts dissect how and where organizations can improve their integration processes from a technology, global markets and banking perspective respectively, and serve to answer listeners’ primary questions about best practices for integrating organizations before, during and after a merger.

Julien Courbe
Julien Courbe
Managing Director

The first podcast in the series, “What is Driving Merger Integration: A Technology Perspective,” showcases managing director of BearingPoint’s CIO Advisory Practice Julien Courbe.  Julien’s insights span numerous best-of-breed recommendations, including the imperative need to enroll the business in all aspects of technology decisions during today’s lightning-speed mergers, where the two must work in aligned partnership to drive cost savings and efficiency.

Peter Horowitz
Peter Horowitz
Managing Director

The second podcast features BearingPoint senior vice president of Global Capital Markets Peter Horowitz.  “What is Driving Merger Integration: A Global Markets Perspective” highlights the importance of aligning and maintaining company values and vision, and prioritizing client, product and service segmentation appropriately to move toward the future of the business.

Frank Mackris
Frank Mackris
Managing Director

The final podcast in the series, “What is Driving Merger Integration: A Banking Perspective,” features Frank Mackris, vice president of BearingPoint’s Banking practice.  Frank speaks to the increasing complexity of today’s mergers, and stresses the need for decision makers to seize opportunities to create new cultures, blend leadership and advance technologies to move forward with the best of everything from each organization.

To shed additional light on this timely topic, read the merger integration Q&A where the experts further elaborate on their ideas. What do you think drives merger and integration? Share your thoughts with us.

Cost Management for IT Organizations

Join BearingPoint Managing Director, Julien Courbe, as he walks us through the latest edition of BearingPoint’s Financial Services Technology Journal on cost management for IT organizations. The fluctuations of financial services firms’ business volumes reflect the cyclical nature of the overall financial markets. These dynamics are often caused by specific crises or a slowdown in the economy. Professional IT managers know that controlling costs and aligning expenditures with overall business goals and spending are critical to organizational health. But it’s a classic case of “easier said than done.” With continuing overcast skies forecast for the global economy, every step you take to infuse your IT organization with fiscal agility now should be appreciated – at the bottom line and in every line of business.

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The November 2008 issue of BearingPoint’s Financial Services Technology Journal offers effective, up-to-date thought leadership on IT cost planning. From the critical right-now technologies (e.g., service-oriented architecture, cloud computing) to practices that involve outsourcing and out-tasking (i.e., outsourcing simple tasks) to new paradigms in service models, executives and technology leaders should find this journal to be an invaluable resource in their efforts to improve their organizational operating leverage.

Cost management – Financial Services Technology Journal

The fluctuations of financial services firms’ business volumes reflect the cyclical nature of the overall financial markets. These dynamics are often caused by specific crises—such as the most recent subprime mortgage problems—or a slowdown in the economy. These fluctuations require that executives and technology leaders have the ability to restrict spending levels in market downturns and quickly scale up when business volumes rise again.

During previous periods of market turbulence, executives have demanded budget cutbacks and cost savings from their IT organizations. However, because many IT costs are fixed, IT executives have limited options for reducing expenditures. Typical cost-saving initiatives entail rationalizing IT assets and resources and renegotiating vendor contracts.

Fixed IT costs cannot be scaled back easily to react quickly and appropriately to market downturns. Optimization of the “operating leverage,” which is defined as the percentage of fixed costs relative to overall operating costs, increases a company’s ability to lower its IT operating expenses quickly during an economic slowdown.

This issue of the Financial Services Technology Journal discusses approaches to optimizing operating leverage. We examine key areas or “levers” that often transition well from a fixed- to a variable-cost basis. Including articles that relate to these levers and provide key considerations for defining and assessing how to better manage IT costs.

Surviving the Credit Crunch: Tactics and Strategies for Loss Mitigation

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Join BearingPoint Managing Director, Lowell Alcorn, as he explores the strategies needed to understand loss mitigation. In recent weeks we’ve seen all the turbulence within some huge financial services organizations, and many are wondering what lessons can be learned from this crisis. When speaking with Lowell Alcorn, he explained that the two most important take-aways from the crisis are the need to improve risk management and managing data through aggressive loss mitigation. Key executives need to understand their risks and be able to report those risks. Many organizations also need to tighten up their aggressiveness around loss mitigation. Each and every company out there should be able to fulfill those two requirements when conducting business.

For future success, key executives should outline clear incentives, process and partnership changes. These three elements will keep a disaster from happening again. For example, as loans are being put together, we need to ensure that securitization documents need to be reviewed and possibly rewritten; a great case for proper process changes. The investors who own the loans need to form a tighter relationship to outline some common incentives. This will define a clear partnership where incentives are agreed upon. These investors also need to have leeway. Right now it’s contractually based, but there needs to be more agreement to ensure a successful outcome.

By making the necessary changes outlined, it will provide the end customer with more flexibility and stability in the future. This flexibility might provide someone with the opportunity to stay in their home, or different options to make payments. This will also ensure that the end customer has provided a lot more documentation prior to being granted funds they’ve requested. This crisis has taught us that we need improved risk management and reporting both internally and externally to ensure that risk is managed appropriately and that everyone involved is up-to-speed on how and why the transaction transpired.

Risk Strategies for Market Survival

Join BearingPoint Senior Business Advisor, Larry Taylor, as he explores some of the risk strategies that can assist with market survival. With all the turmoil in the financial services space in recent weeks, it’s important to know how the industry got in to this ‘mess’ to prevent future occurrences. In this podcast, we discuss the fundamental changes that every company needs to make, as well as steps to go about implementing.

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The major change all companies need to make is to dispose of non-working assets. If an asset hasn’t been profitable in over a year, it’s time to move on. Another change that is focused on is the need for regulatory compliance. Each and every organization needs to emphasize regulatory requirements efficiently. Lastly, you need to “shrink smart” and manage risk management in an appropriate fashion.

Throughout this podcast you will learn the “right” way to cut expenses and how to keep the regulators happy. We also found that there are many financial institutions that have remained successful despite the recent downturn. Tune in to learn the secret to their success and ways to bring their strategies into your own environment.

Risk Strategies for Market Survival

Join BearingPoint Managing Director, Sandeep Vishnu, as he explores risk strategies for market survival. With all the turmoil in the financial services space in recent weeks, everyone is wondering how we got into such a mess? What began as a contained subprime crisis has spilled over into all segments of the financial services industry, in what seems like a domino effect. In this podcast, we discuss the fundamental lack of risk transparency and risk governance as the two most important factors that led to this crisis and how companies can better prepare themselves for the future.

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There are multiple lessons that can be learned from our current financial situation. Companies need to focus on transparency within their organization and develop a culture that is more risk sensitive so that risk governance takes on a more important role than it has in the past. We are learning that had senior management been aware of their data and level of risk, they might have seen what was emerging within their organization. To ensure we don’t ever see another crisis at this magnitude, companies need to instill a risk base culture that has a set shared of values among its employees. This doesn’t happen overnight, but there are steps that can be taken to head in that direction.

First and foremost, the data challenge needs to be made head on. If we’re going to eliminate this challenge in the future, we need to conquer this challenge now. The governance challenge needs to also be met. This is where BearingPoint can assist. We have developed numerous solutions to assist our clients with their current situations. We are putting a focus on what can be changed within a current organization. There are certain elements that if put into place now, can help institutions with their future struggles.