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Case Study on Financial Research and Analysis

The Customer

The customer is a global asset management firm with an investment strategy built around their proprietary approach to global investing. With a research-driven methodology, the customer's strategy optimizes equity allocations to outperform traditional cap-weighted international equity indices. By using well-researched financial data, the customer strives to provide professionally managed portfolios that allow better diversification and liquidity of funds.

The Requirement

The customer's business situation entailed extracting financial data and studying the influence of financial regulations and policies of a country to derive key market indicators and indices. The information derived from 45 different countries formed the groundwork for their global equity allocation methodologies and investment strategies. Monetary and fiscal policies were constantly reviewed, analyzed and updated in accordance with a predefined template. The availability of comprehensively researched and analyzed financial data was a crucial part of their business endeavors.

Our assignment required the researching and collating of financial data from across 45 countries, while ensuring the compliance to pre-defined standards and preparing periodic summaries based on the research.

The Challenges

The challenges that the business requirement posed were as follows:

  • Providing qualified resources for research and analysis
  • Writing summarized economic reports derived from various online sources in a phased manner
  • Collating and summarizing information based on a set of 12 pre-defined standards defined by the customer; the major ones among them included financial compliance, corporate governance, money laundering, class action lawsuits, financial regulatory mechanisms, and adoption of IFRS
  • Updating the existing reports in accordance with the standards set by the customer
  • Conducting thorough online research to extract relevant information and present it in a comprehensive report
  • Offering multi-lingual support to include non-English speaking countries within the purview of research
  • Providing economic report summaries in the Microsoft Word format
  • Analyzing and reporting on major events which affect the global markets and ensuring conformance to the criteria set by the customer

The Solution

The Outsource2india approach comprised the following elements:

  • The reports were furnished in the prescribed templates provided by the customer
  • A dedicated team comprising of a senior analyst and 3 research analysts was exclusively assigned for the project
  • The team included members who had qualifications in Business and Economics - enabling them to make contributions that complemented their skills
  • Earmarked necessary resources to meet any contingency during the course of the project
  • Exercised discretion while assigning the work related to countries and standards to the team members, in order to match strengths with job roles
  • Relevant updates were meticulously included after a thorough research was carried out on public domains. The updates were made through the 'track changes' tool to assist the adequate review of the reports
  • The quality evaluation process followed by Outsource2india was based on a highly evolved and stringent 3-tier quality check policy, a standard procedure which is followed for all our Research and Analysis projects.
    • Level 1: QC layer involved a self-check by analysts/ senior analyst to comply with the Standard Operating Procedure and Process Check List
    • Level 2: QC layer involved Quality check by the Senior Analyst/ Team Leader for completeness, accuracy and appropriateness of the language
    • Level 3: Final QC involved a 'Client Eye Check' by the Project Manager, which included checking whether the output delivered matched the requirements from the customer's perspective

The Products and Services Used

Our analysts used authoritative and trustworthy websites like the official IMF website and country-specific government sites to conduct their research and derive information with regards to monetary and fiscal policy standards.

The assignment was a 3-month exercise. It required a team comprising of a senior analyst and three research analysts, all of whom worked on a full-time basis. Additional resources were provided as and when required to avoid bottlenecks during the course of the project.

The Results

  • The customer was able to leverage on high quality staff without having to incur the extra costs of hiring an in-house team of analysts. Thus, the short-term staffing need of the customer was eliminated
  • The customer witnessed an impressive 50% higher savings as compared to hiring a full time team of in-house resources
  • The customer only needed to employ a coordinator, who ensured adherence to quality standards at all stages of the project

The customer benefitted from a significant improvement in operational efficiency, which was made possible through regaining the focus on core business functions

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