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Fund administration firm: enabling growth through automation

The client is a leading fund administrator that have seen rapid growth in both clients and jurisdiction over the last few years. However, manual processes combined with the challenge of finding the right talent were limiting their ability to grow whilst maintaining their high-quality, bespoke services. Elixirr helped them design and build a target operating model that allowed them to scale without the reliance on manual processes, breaking the link between revenue and people.

  • Outcome 1: Identified and prioritised ~50 projects integral to achieving the target operating model (TOM)
  • Outcome 2: Set up a Process Optimisation and Digitisation Capability Centre focused on reducing manual processes significantly across the organisation
  • Outcome 3: Secured funding from Group Board to launch Phase 1 of TOM delivery, including 10+ projects in tandem
  • Outcome 4: Designed and set up 2 Centres of Excellence, forecast to generate ~£10m additional revenue over 3 years, and introduce capacity creation and cost efficiencies

The Challenge

Already a leader in the fund administration industry, the client wanted to build upon their position of strength and continue their trajectory of market leading growth whilst maintaining a sustainable margin. Due to the specialist nature of the industry, competition for talent is fierce – increasing headcount in line with new business is not a viable growth option for any organisation that hopes to expand at the rate the client was forecasting to. Instead, as in many other industries too, fund administrators are increasingly looking towards process improvements as an enabler for growth. 

As a major factor in their success, the client provided high quality, bespoke services to their clients that were rooted in manual, repetitive processes. This caused capacity constraints that risked the business qualifying out of opportunities. The company therefore needed to adopt a future-fit operating model that broke the link between people and revenue by optimising and digitising their ways of working, without losing the personal touch that they were renowned for and proud of.

The Approach

Working with the Executive Board, our approach focused on first designing a target operating model that reflected the client’s core values, and then working with the business to begin building central components of the future state.

We did this by:

• Running a 2-day off-site, exposing the Executive team to innovation and best practice models in their own and lateral industries to inform the design of the target operating model

• Over the course of 12 weeks, creating a target operating model through a Group-wide capability assessment and series of design workshops to identify 5 key design principles that guided the target state

• Creating a transformation roadmap and business case that received Group Board sign-off

• Establishing a transformation management office (TMO)

• Introducing a bespoke ‘Programme Increment (PI) Planning’- inspired approach that tracked costs and benefits at a project level

• Setting up two key Centres of Excellence (COE)

The Impact

We successfully designed the new operating model and project roadmap to achieve the client’s sustainable growth ambitions, including increasing revenue per full-time, enhancing net revenue retention, and reducing manual processes significantly by 2026.

Supported by messaging that Elixirr helped to plan and deliver, the operating model has been communicated across the business and received a very positive reception, with the client’s employees bought into the vision. Benefit realisation is underway, and an entirely new service offering is in the pilot phase, supported by the Capability Centre and COEs model we introduced together.

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Emiko Caerlewy-Smith