Thomas Miller Investment

Case Studies

Thomas Miller Investment

Contract Negotiation, Front Office Systems and Outsource Implementation

Provided programme management and leadership to establish the Eze Castle system to support asset management and trade execution functions and to implement middle office outsourcing for institutional and private wealth clients.

The Thomas Miller Group is an independent and international provider of insurance, professional and investment services. Most of the businesses they own or manage are acknowledged leaders in their chosen markets.

Thomas Miller’s origins are in the provision of management services to mutual organisations, particularly in the international transport and professional indemnity sectors; where today they manage a large percentage of the foremost insurance mutuals.

Increasingly Thomas Miller apply their knowledge and expertise to the development of specialist privately owned businesses.

Principal activities include:

  • Management services for transport and professional indemnity insurance mutuals
  • Investment management for institutions and private clients
  • Professional services
  • Building defects insurance and risk management

Thomas Miller investment expertise has steered the boards of its Clubs through the financial difficulties, skilfully and safely. Thomas Miller Investment now offers those same services not only to other sectors but also to private individuals.

Business Challenge

In 2011 Thomas Miller Investment (TMI) identified the need to replace the systems supporting their institutional and private wealth businesses and having been unable to find a suitable systems solution turned their attention to an outsource solution, extending their selection process to include outsource providers who were willing to provide trade management, investment administration and custody services for circa £3.5bln of assets under management for their institutional clients, on-shore UK private wealth clients, and off-shore private wealth clients.

The selection process identified the Bank of New York Mellon (BNYM) group as the preferred provider subject to contract, and extended the scope of required services to include the provision of a front office and trade order management system based on Bank of New York Group representations of their capability to provide an end-to-end solution and with Pershing providing specialist on-shore and off-shore UK dealing, investment administration, and custody services for the private wealth business.

Thomas Miller has experience of implementing large infrastructure projects and of negotiating supplier contracts but having no direct experience of conducting these activities in the field of investment management outsourcing they determined to secure experienced assistance, selecting Knadel for programme implementation and contract negotiations leadership and Berwin Leighton Paisner for legal drafting and advice, both through a competitive tender process.

Solution Approach

A programme structure was established to provide the governance process for a multi-disciplined programme team to work with BNYM.

The legal workstream managed the process of negotiating the terms for 6 contracts (all within the Bank of New York Mellon group), the HR workstream managed the process of staff re-alignment and displacement, and the IT workstream managed the hosting of the Eze Castle software and ensured that the infrastructure to provide effective communications between TMI and BNYM were established.

The Isle of Man based operations workstream identified, documented and communicated detailed TMI requirements and mapped these through to the BNYM service solutions, identified and closed service gaps, agreed service levels, finalised key performance indicators and provided sign-off of the proposed solution against the TMI acceptance criteria. During this interaction, TMI extended the scope of contracted activities to include performance and risk analytics and client reporting services, activities that were to have been retained by TMI.

A similar requirements based process was followed for front office and trade order management activities and a combined business and technical stream defined file content, formats and hand-off protocols for executed trade files to be sent from TMI to BNYM and for the “overnight” positions and valuations files sent daily by BNYM to refresh the TMI front office and trade order management system.

Migration to the BNYM end-to end solution was phased, with trade order management and trade execution systems provision, trade management, investment administration, and custody in scope for the first phase and performance and risk analytics and client reporting following in a final phase.

A separate project team was established to implement the on-shore and offshore private wealth businesses to Pershing.

Knadel Value

Knadel provided contract negotiation leadership to TMI, utilising a principles based approach, effectively managing the process and providing TMI senior management with advice. A key aspect of the leadership was to ensure that the negotiated key principles were consistently applied through all 6 of the BNYM contracts.

Knadel were instrumental in helping TMI finalise their outsource scope, in determining their end-to-end operating model, and in leading the implementation to migrate to it. Knadel provided expert advice and consultancy support to the TMI programme sponsor, programme leadership, project discipline and subject matter expertise, established and managed the programme governance structure using Knadel templates, finalised detailed plan activities and secured implementation plan sign-off from internal (TMI) and joint steering groups, managed and supported the TMI workstream leaders, managed the workstream interaction between TMI and BNYM, and managed the plan implementation, maintaining status, risk, issues, and dependencies logs. Knadel provided insight, guidance and focus to a range of stakeholders at critical decision-making points.

Outcome and Business Benefit

TMI has retired two aging administration systems, has replaced largely manual processes with improved systems based support and controls for its front office investment management and dealing functions, and has improved operational efficiency by utilising an outsourced operating model through a strategic partnership with a provider who is able to support them as they grow the scope and breadth of their business and who is able to help them meet the challenges posed by their clients and the markets in which they operate.