Cortal Consors Reaps Rewards of Successfully Shared Services
Client:Cortal Consors, a BNP Paribas subsidiary
- A variety of systems and the amount of data processed
- Staff had to be redeployed within the group
- A large number of parties involved
- Partner with CSC for project management
- Migrated to the new management system without any problems
- Completed according to the anticipated deadlines
- Began immediately to deliver significant savings
A pioneer and European leader in online brokerage, Cortal Consors is moving forward in an extremely competitive market characterized by slim margins, perpetual innovation and a very demanding clientele. An efficient, responsive and cost-effective management system is thus a real competitive advantage, which is what led the company in 2008 to initiate a major project to set up shared back-office and accounting systems.
In order to significantly reduce its costs but also to ensure the continuity and adaptability of its systems, Cortal Consors decided to migrate its securities management activities to a specialized platform developed and operated by Euro Securities Partner (ESP), a joint venture between BNP Paribas and Crédit Agricole Titres. The company also decided to integrate its accounting activities into the accounting system of the BNP Paribas group. CSC was then called upon to help manage this delicate and complex double project.
A Closely and Finely Managed Project
By the end of 2008, a preliminary study had confirmed the financial, functional and technological benefits of the options being considered. The project ― called Schubert ― was however a particularly delicate one, with three major challenges. Firstly, technical, due to the variety of systems and amount of data processed. Secondly, human, as part of the staff had to be redeployed within the group. And thirdly, methodological, given the large number of parties involved: in addition to internal teams and those of ESP, several IT and operational entities at group levels within BNP Paribas were also concerned.
Cortal Consors assigned CSC the task of supporting it in managing the project, and running the project management office (PMO). “With this type of project, with so many stakeholders from various places and with different agendas, it’s essential to establish the conditions for dialogue, and to not underestimate the level of guidance needed,” notes Benoît Gommard, managing director of Cortal Consors.
CSC thus defined the parameters for very close monitoring and regular follow-up, which made it possible from the beginning to set the pace for the project, which was subject to various time constraints. “Although it requires the mobilization of enormous resources, this type of project isn’t very visible for clients, so we had to move quickly to restart our investments in the front office as soon as possible,” explains Benoît Gommard.
CSC Active on All Fronts
Another advantage of managing the project so closely was that it made it possible to identify risks of slippage or a lack of resources or competences very quickly. And it was precisely the ability to respond rapidly to changing needs that prompted the selection of CSC as partner. “We were looking above all for a partner capable of helping us keep up with events and with the capability to rapidly mobilize additional resources when necessary,” explains Louis Rouvrais, Corporate Information Systems Director at Cortal Consors.
In addition to running the PMO, CSC was soon entrusted with managing the whole project, and as events developed, the scope of its involvement was gradually broadened. Consultants came on board to reinforce internal accounting teams, to make sure the specificities of the brokerage business were also taken into account.
CSC went on to support the project management activities for both securities and accounting by defining requirements and change management, and provided its expertise when determining the service levels for the various applications. CSC also managed testing and delivery by coordinating all the parties involved. “Over the course of two years, almost 30 people with highly varied profiles were involved in the project,” estimates Abdallah Daouadji, partner at CSC.
A Guaranteed Return on Investment
The major mobilization of resources in the days before the launch perfectly illustrated the solidarity that had been built up within the project team, and on 17 January 2011, Cortal Consors migrated to the new management system without any problems. Completed according to the anticipated deadlines, Project Schubert began immediately to deliver significant savings. It is on target to generate a return on investment within three years.
"CSC was able to fully commit to providing us the technical and methodological support we needed," affirms Benoît Gommard. Louis Rouvrais was impressed above all by CSC’s ability to remain serene: "CSC was always able to take a step back, and use a rigorous and methodological approach to matters, with the aim of always being able to offer solutions.”
Building on this success, CSC is continuing its assignment by providing support after the go-live phase to consolidate the system as quickly as possible. The management platform now serves as the basis for future service offerings from Cortal Consors, which has always made innovation one of its top development priorities.