Case Studies

    Corporate Pension Liability
    Global/International Equity Manager
    Risk Exposure Management
    Insurance Asset Management
    Merge Intermediary Business Units
    Launch Asset Management Unit
    Institutional Equity Asset Management
    Institutional Fixed-Income Management


  Proprietary Papers



Merge Intermediary Business Units

Aligned functional units and personnel for effective distribution

Project goal:
To analyze, organize and lead expanding business units of a global investment management firm.

Business context:
As a result of mergers, the organization was comprised of decentralized, independent departments offering multiple investment products and brands. Management recognized the need to evaluate and streamline the organizational structure to maximize synergy among the business units, with the goal of generating sustainable, long-term growth.

The initial macro-level restructuring involved aligning the functional business units of the merged organization under the leadership of a newly appointed senior manager. One unit was the intermediary business – those business channels that sell products to intermediaries for further distribution to their clients. Two years earlier, Jeff Margolis was charged with quickly yet thoroughly learning and managing the intermediary business of one of the organizations, including variable annuity, defined contribution and registered investment advisors. Given his practical knowledge and experience, Mr. Margolis was selected to lead the collective unit. This appointment marked the beginning of his integral role in the restructuring decisions and management of the organization.

Merging the intermediary business units of two firms required identification of strengths and weaknesses of personnel and products, and analysis of brand recognition and leverage in various distribution channels. The analysis revealed the organization’s ability to expand its footprint on clients’ product lineups by maintaining two established brands – institutional and retail. To create both internal and external efficiency, the distribution teams were integrated. From an internal perspective, the streamlined team reduced redundancy, and capitalized on the individuals’ expertise and experience. Concurrently, clients benefited from multiple brand and product offerings, and more focused service.

The organization successfully merged two distinct businesses, aligning functional units and personnel for broader, more effective distribution of a comprehensive product offering of two brands. With an emphasis on asset retention and gathering, the organization restructured personnel to capitalize on the segment specialty of the individual salespeople, create efficient geographic coverage and maintain existing client relationships with minimal disruption.

Lessons learned:
Business mergers require stringent analysis and thoughtful decisions that blend the strongest elements of each organization, while understanding and considering inevitable differences in organizational cultures. A business merger or organizational restructuring is a unique opportunity to identify key strengths, uncover obstacles and build a world-class organization. In our view, organizations are best served by approaching restructuring, of any scope and scale, with a “roll up your sleeves” attitude to gain in-depth understanding of the situation and to make informed, forward-looking decisions.