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Case Studies

MIFID II PROGRAMME – TIER ONE SWISS BANK

Driving the front office MiFID II programme for both buy-side and sell-side (debt, cash and derivatives), Consulting Professionals supplied a full team of specialists with financial product experience, deep product knowledge of MiFID II directives and structured change expertise (full people, process and technology expertise). The team, comprising a programme lead, project managers, business analyst and technical authors, supported the business with compliance and remediation in line with regulations.

MARKET RISK REPORTING

Consulting Professionals was engaged by a tier one investment bank undergoing a strategic project to ensure market risk data consistency. Our front office experience, knowledge of financial instruments and familiarity with market risk environments made us a good fit. Consulting Professionals helped to redefine the bank’s risk systems and implemented a risk reporting system that would create a single source for risk information.

TRADING AND RISK MANAGEMENT PLATFORM

Consulting Professionals was engaged to provide a top to bottom project support team to oversee the co-ordinated mobilisation and continued delivery of work streams forming part of the infrastructure programme. We supplied a team comprising a senior programme director, PMO, work stream leads and business analysts covering the multiple streams with E2E responsibility for programme delivery. The programme ran for two years and was completed on time and in budget, which enabled the organisation to meet its financial and regulatory targets.

REGULATORY REQUIREMENT FOR DOCUMENTING CLEARING MODEL

Consulting Professionals was engaged by a global clearing house to research and document clearing models for over-the-counter interest rate products. The documentation encompassed pricing, margin model, liquidity model, guarantee fund calculation and portfolio margining with listed IRS products. Our team of specialists ensured the client met all the requirements set forth by the regulators and satisfied clearing policies for model documentation.

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We can bring together precisely the tailored technical resource solution for your unique, time sensitive situation.

SERVER TIME MACHINE

For a Tier 1 bank that was experiencing an unacceptable number of outages post system upgrades we developed a solution which allows users (DevOps, System Admins, DBAs, Developers) to ‘rewind time’ and review the running state of a server at a point in the past. This technology reduces the MTTR (Mean Times to Recover) and also allows operations teams to more rapidly establish the root cause of an incident.

ENTERPRISE DEVOPS AND CLOUD TRANSFORMATION

Working with a large global enterprise we built a private managed cloud solution. Our team helped the organisation with DevOps and Continuous Delivery transformation, which are key enablers for the business to compete in a world where speed, agility and reduced time to market are becoming increasingly important. We also provided the organisation with tools to go faster while retaining a rigorous professional approach to managing IT.

HOSTING SERVICE MANAGEMENT

We developed a real-time automated mechanism to manage the hosting and allocation of Solaris zones for a global Tier 1 bank with circa 500 zones under management. Prior to our solution being implemented, the data was stored in multiple spreadsheets which was rapidly diversifying and exponentially increasing in volume. A real-time solution was engineered to manage the data flow continuously from its sources to ensure accurate compute allocation from the underlying physical assets.

READ ONLY SYSTEM ACCESS

A global Tier 1 bank with circa 40k Unix Servers and approximately 200k recorded system loginsper month utilised our groundbreaking proprietary software to benefit from a 90% reduction in Privileged Access logins. The upstream effect of this was a 90% reduction in change requests, incidents and access log reviews, offering significant resource and time savings. The organisation further benefited from fewer business-impacting incidents related to Privileged Users Access.

CLOUD AUTOMATION AND CONFIGURATION MANAGEMENT

When a global Tier 1 bank moved from traditional hardware-based applications to a cloud environment, it resulted in even the simplest of tasks becoming overly cumbersome. Our consultants were engaged to leverage their expertise in automation to manage and schedule the digital ecosystem. The solution was to implement an existing installation of Ansible Tower to provide better operations, stability and security.

AUTOMATED PATCHING

We developed automated solutions to reduce patching timelines for a client whose legacy systems can take up to 30 hours to patch. Our engineers worked closely with the client to bring patching times down to less than four hours. This resulted in £2.5m of savings in unplanned resource costs for the client per annum.

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The programme ran for two years and was completed on time and in budget, which enabled the organisation to meet its financial and regulatory targets.

SYSTEM CURRENCY AND PATCHING

We were engaged by a client managing a 100k server estate struggling to maintain a sustainable patching process. The organisation had a large legacy environment which had fallen short of the required Security Compliance Baselines. This resulted in a major audit and potential penalties for non-compliance. Our team were engaged to standardise and automate system health checks, pre- and post- a patching window. The advanced analytics and intelligence provided determined whether a system was patchable and allowed operations teams to take pre-emptive measures before a patching cycle. The analytics also ensured that each system was returned to a reliable status post patching.

PRIVILEGED ACCESS MANAGEMENT (IDENTITY AND ACCESS MANAGEMENT SOLUTION – IAM)

We completed a risk evaluation for a Tier 1 global bank on accounts that have access to the production environment. The evaluation was conducted on approximately 30k production servers; we discovered circa 15m accounts and 30m SSH keys. The evaluation identified orphaned accounts, shared accounts, UID/GID clashes, identity fragmentation and accounts that allowed direct access to systems bypassing security controls. The results showed a high risk of non-compliance to security controls and resulted in the creation of an Identity and Access Management Risk Reduction Programme which had visibility at the highest level.

DISASTER RECOVERY

With an ever-increasing pressure on organisations to ensure near 100% system availability and regulations mandating annual disaster recovery testing, BCP has become an essential part of any infrastructure operations team function. The tests are typically disruptive, effort and resource intensive, and when they identify critical flaws in the environment this leads to system downtime, data loss and long MTTR (Mean Times to Recover). We developed frameworks to eliminate the planning and testing cycles by continuously monitoring the health and drift of configuration between Prod and DR, allowing operations to take pre-emptive measures to ensure near 100% reliability of the infrastructure and successful DR failover.

SYSTEM CONFIGURATION COMPLIANCE

We were engaged by a client to automate the compliance checks on all servers post build. The client required a mechanism and dashboard to ensure provisioned servers were compliant with engineering, operations and security baselines to ensure reliability of servers entering the production environment. The client provisions circa 8k servers per annum. Prior to our solution being implemented, a manual check took approximately 45mins per server – today the same check is automated and takes seconds to execute.

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