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



Launch Asset Management Unit

Timely Market Introduction with 12 Products

Project goal:
To build the institutional investment management business of a Fortune 100 financial services organization.

Business context:
The organization created a business plan to launch an institutional investment management unit. Jeff Margolis, a senior executive with valuable experience, was hired to both execute the plan and help manage the business. During an initial review of the plan, Mr. Margolis revealed that its assumptions were unrealistic with respect to products, pricing and personnel.

With the anticipated business launch date rapidly approaching, Mr. Margolis was charged with quickly and strategically creating a revised plan. Through careful analysis of the plan, considering the business’ positioning in the marketplace, suitability of the product lineup, and appropriateness of the managerial structure, Mr. Margolis suggested a new approach to the business.

Extensive analysis disclosed that the existing products and infrastructure would not support desired growth for the institutional business. A number of initiatives were recommended, including the addition of new portfolio strategies, creation of unregistered commingled funds and GIPS compliance verification.

The business successfully launched on the scheduled date. Two consultants were tapped to further analyze the business post launch – one assessed the product menu for optimal positioning, while the other refined the business based on marketplace conditions and the organization’s realities. The business was launched with approximately a dozen products, with primary focus on real estate, a capability that could be clearly differentiated in the marketplace. Mr. Margolis was instrumental in helping to organize the real estate sales and marketing effort, including crafting the message, positioning the product, and targeting institutions in North America and Europe. Ultimately, a specialized real estate sales team and focused external sales agents were hired, leading to considerable success including a prestigious $500 million separate account.

Lessons learned:
Business plans should be constructed in a disciplined, thoughtful manner, connected directly to implementable actions that are aligned with realistic expectations and necessary resources. One of the most common business plan weaknesses is a lack of consideration of and disconnect from marketplace realities. In our view, one way to help avoid this mistake is to perform a “SWOT” analysis, which outlines Strengths (S); Weaknesses (W); Opportunities (O); and Threats (T). Strengths and weaknesses are inward looking features, which examine the organization’s best and weakest characteristics, including investment capabilities, sales and client service, and back-office and administrative functions. Opportunities and threats are outward looking features, which analyze the environment to determine forces that will or could potentially impact the organization, such as the competitive environment, market dynamics and pricing pressures.