InvestEdge is a provider of wealth management solutions to large banks, trust companies, brokerage firms, and financial advisors. InvestEdge solutions are used by more than 100 investment firms representing more than $1 trillion in collective assets under management.
The company offers an integrated suite of tools that simplify and streamline portfolio management, trading and rebalancing, performance reporting, compliance monitoring, data aggregation and more.
The Tech Decision
InvestEdge partners with progressive leaders of investment firms who advise and serve high-net-worth individuals and families. The company’s primary focus is helping clients grow through innovative thinking and proven wealth management technology. Top advisors nationwide use InvestEdge as a key part of their investment technology platforms, enabling them to provide the high degree of sophistication and quality clients demand.
Though the InvestEdge business was growing, the internal software development methodology wasn’t evolving to meet the needs of the business. Increasingly tech-savvy customers were becoming increasingly impatient with the slow pace of innovation. The need for a more product-driven development methodology was apparent.
InvestEdge first attempted to solve the problem by implementing small process changes and improvements, but quickly realized a bigger change was necessary. As with any industry, considerable challenges accompany ambitious changes. InvestEdge’s fundamental challenges included supporting the company’s innovation arm while also being able to turn around professional services work in a reasonable timeframe. An additional challenge included reacting to new information in the middle of the development process without derailing the schedule. To prepare itself, the business would need to break from it (unscalable) homegrown Waterfall system and establish more efficient documentation and training for internal operations.
“Scaling for growth is a classic challenge within our industry,” says Roland Collins, CTO and Founder, InvestEdge. “InvestEdge lacked the in-house expertise to properly establish the needed agile processes and procedures to position us for success. We needed expert advice and guidance to build our internal processes in a more disciplined manner.”
InvestEdge turned to its long-term consultancy partner, Anexinet, for assistance. Anexinet took a holistic approach by conducting interviews with all InvestEdge stakeholders—including executives and VP-level personnel—to gain a deeper understanding of the client’s current state and processes. The process revealed InvestEdge’s lack of a cohesive product management process, its “old school” product development and testing process, and its weak approach to resource forecasting.
“Anexinet’s in-depth, multi-faceted approach determined the root cause of our issues and identified the sources of the challenges we are facing. It was clear we suffered from an outdated process that was impacting everything InvestEdge was doing,” Collins added.
Anexinet helped InvestEdge scale for growth by implementing an Agile product management and software development methodology that drastically increased its ability to roll out innovative new products at a much faster pace – for example, InvestEdge built a new Compliance Middle Office product, a Manager Model Exchange, and UMA functionality within a year of the transformation.
Anexinet outlined their entire process and provided documented analysis and recommendations for remediating challenges to InvestEdge stakeholders. The consultancy engagement included:
- Employee interviews and working sessions.
- Improving the consistency of deliverables—especially employee training.
- Synthesizing findings to specific people, process, technology categories and themes.
- Determining root causes and formulating programs to address these issues.
Anexinet determined InvestEdge to be a strong candidate for an Agile product management and development methodology adoption—not only for the IT organization but for the business as a whole.
Agile is a term used to describe a product and software development approach that emphasizes incremental delivery, team collaboration, ongoing planning, and continual learning. Agile is not so much a single solution as it is a mindset: one that drives an approach to software development. There’s no one approach that works for all situations. Rather, the term “Agile” has come to represent a variety of practices that align with an organization’s value statements. For this reason, professional assistance is a prerequisite for true Agile adoption.
With its phased software development lifecycle of planning, execution, and delivery, implementing Agile (and conducting the scaling strategy workshop) were departures from InvestEdge’s typical technology engagements. Over a six-month engagement, Anexinet demonstrated its expertise at prescribing a successful work method, with documented guidance and clear employee principles.
“Anexinet displayed excellent discipline and a full understanding of the Agile methodology. They were confident in their assessment of our operations, met every deadline, and knew all the pitfalls to avoid. With their expert guidance, we achieved a successful transformation to meet all our scaling requirements,” according to Collins.
By encouraging InvestEdge team members to share their understanding of processes and outcomes, Anexinet’s Agile development methodology produced a more collaborative practice that fostered a closer team environment.
With a more collaborative process in place, InvestEdge drastically increased its ability to roll out innovative new products, at a much faster pace. All teams’ deliverables became more transparent, and operational bottlenecks became immediately visible so that they could be quickly addressed. In addition, a more disciplined product management approach enabled a faster delivery cycle. Leveraging the new methodology, InvestEdge built a new Compliance Middle Office product, a Manager Model Exchange, and UMA functionality, all within a year of the transformation. Not only were employees enthusiastic about the results, the fundamental changes inspired by the Agile methodology also had a positive effect on InvestEdge’s client base.