The Global Operations team for a large fund manager was struggling to effectively manage its multiple custodian banks. Without access to meaningful, standardized metrics or service level agreements on a regular basis, there was no way to quickly identify issues or analyze trends. Long reports with quantitative and qualitative information were being produced, but the salient points were buried in minutiae. Overall, it was nearly impossible to answer a critical question: “Is the fund’s custodian bank doing a good job?”
Partnering with leaders in Operations, a Leverage consultant analyzed numerous reports from the custodian banks. Based on that analysis, the consultant then developed and proposed a core set of top-priority metrics. All stakeholders agreed upon clear measurement definitions, and thresholds for “caution” and “issue” status. By having custodians participate in the design of these new metrics, user buy-in was also created, as everyone worked toward the common goals of transparency and risk mitigation.
Custodians now deliver a simple, meaningful 2-page report, enabling Operations leaders to confidently answer questions related to custodians’ performance. By introducing trending and rolling averages, overall performance can now be effectively monitored, enabling leaders to stay ahead of any potential issues. Monthly service review meetings are now more efficient, since they cover only the problematic areas, and custodians can come prepared to discuss their remediation plans. This streamlined approach gives fund manager staff charged with oversight important additional bandwidth to focus on value-added services.