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Global financial services firm: developing a North American market entry strategy

Our client, a global financial services firm that specialises in wealth management technology for major financial institutions, recently acquired a sell-side post-trade technology provider. As a result, they were looking to expand into the North American market – a geography with a growing demand for a more robust, technically flexible, straight-through-processing (STP) solution. We partnered with them to help identify whether their product offering could compete among the large legacy players that dominate the North American market. By reaching out to our global innovation network, we assessed the viability of their proposition, discovered trends in the market and identified what value proposition they could provide beyond the current competitive offerings.

  • Outcome 1: Used our innovation network to conduct 17 subject matter expert (SME) and potential customer interviews to gauge market interest in our client’s capital markets offering
  • Outcome 2: Provided strategic growth recommendations that addressed the sustainability of organic growth, scaling power of inorganic growth avenues, and creation of internal cross-sell opportunities
  • Outcome 3: Identified 7 major buyer preferences to inform strategic recommendations

The Challenge

Globally, the market volatility that came with the onset of the pandemic continues to persist, and this has given rise to a major increase in retail investors. According to one study, international trading continues to increase significantly, with daily trading volume growing at an average of 17.2% YoY (varying from nation to nation due to general culture and institutional environments).

As trade volumes increase, the need for more equipped and capable post-trade operations providers has emerged. Often, established legacy providers have updated the front-end user experience but are using decades old back-end technology that contributes to lags in system performance, and are therefore struggling to keep up with the ever-increasing trade volumes and efficiency of modern technical solutions. This is felt by many sell-side institutions that use post-trade solutions.

Our client, however, has a state-of-the-art front-end and back-end solution provider that can support post trade users’ efforts and the growth aspirations of many sell-side firms. They identified that due to the size and relatively limited breadth of opportunities in the North American market, there was a potential opportunity to be explored, expanding from EMEA and APAC, into North America.

We helped them do just that, providing a bespoke research report to gauge the actual appetite and opportunity in the North American market.

The Approach

To identify whether our client’s post-trade solution would resonate in the North American market, we took a multi-step approach consisting of internal stakeholder interviews, using our exclusive innovation network to obtain hard-to-access industry information from potential competitors and clients, industry executives and SMEs. These insights, supplemented with secondary research, meant our team distilled a potential target market for the client in North America, developing strategic recommendations for entry.

The Impact

After four weeks of outside-in research, extensive conversations with external market experts, internal stakeholders, and potential clients, our team delivered a detailed research report with insights and strategic recommendations to enter the North American market.

By using our wider global network, we gathered insights unavailable in the public domain to better understand the benefits and challenges of entering the market. From this we developed 7 major buyer preferences, provided a ‘three pronged’ approach that combines sustainable organic growth, inorganic acquisition channels, and internal process optimisation and helped them prioritise aspects of this approach.

In this way, we’ve helped our client reach a strong position to deepen growth globally.

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Eric Rich