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Financial Services Global In-House Centre (GIC) – Case Study

The Background

Equiniti, owned by the private equity firm Advent International, is the UK’s largest share registrar and a pivotal player in the financial services sector, with over £1 trillion in share value under management. It specialises in providing complex administration, processing and payment services supported by leading technology to assure delivery to clients, their employees, pensioners and customers. Equiniti’s services benefit over 30 million people in the UK and 180 countries worldwide. The business processes over 72 billion payments annually, manages over 88 million documents and has reunited £540 million of lost funds with their owners. Additionally, Equiniti works with around 50% of FTSE100 companies, holding records for over 18 million shareholders and is responsible for around 20% of all pension payments in the UK supporting 7.4 million pension scheme members.




The Situation

Equiniti needed to be able to respond quickly to new market opportunities and position themselves to meet the ever changing demand for new and innovative products. The objective was to generate revenue to meet ambitious growth targets and improve bottom line performance.


A fragmented internal IT structure needed to be overcome in order to achieve this. Equiniti looked for a partner to propose a pragmatic solution to solve these issues.

The Approach

CIO Plus was commissioned in March 2013 to examine the company’s IT strategy.


CIO Plus undertook a strategic review including a standard IT health check, a relationship analysis of Equiniti’s major supply contracts and benchmarked IT spend against comparable organisations.


In April 2013 CIO Plus produced a report that set out a proposed IT strategy to build on improving efficiency, increase the company’s ability to innovate and deliver new IT based products whilst significantly reducing IT costs.


After due consideration by Equiniti, CIO Plus presented the full business case, including budget, to the board in September 2013 which was unanimously approved. Furthermore, CIO Plus was retained by the company for the management and delivery of the project which would achieve pay-back within 1 year.

The Solution
The solution was implemented in less than 12 months and included:
  • Full integration of the disparate IT functions
  • Migration to a ‘services based’ organisation
  • Removal of duplication
  • In-sourcing underperforming off-shore contracts
  • Consolidating data centres and re-engineering the network
  • Establishing a GIC in Chennai for 450 IT (IM, AM and AD) and BPO staff to form a base for these improvements and designed to provide significantly increased flexibility
The Delivery
CIO Plus implemented its proven GIC transformation methodology based on best practice from more than 40 successful Indian based projects. This structured methodology covers the whole IT life cycle from analysis and business case definition through to stabilisation and optimisation of the new facility. This approach resulted in the successful delivery within budget of:
  • Selection of the location and negotiation of the contractual terms for the establishment of the GIC in Chennai
  • Special Economic Zone (SEZ) application and approval
  • Office design and layout including a ‘3-D Office Walk Through’ for client approval before finalising the design
  • Negotiation with the incumbent out-sourced suppliers for the termination and the transfer of services back to Equiniti in Chennai
  • Planning and management of the fit out of the office in Chennai – delivered within 3 months
  • Planning and definition of the Target Operating Model including job descriptions, sizing and governance
  • Planning and execution of the recruitment and training programme
  • Planning and execution of the knowledge transfer for the in-sourced services moved from Bangalore to Chennai
  • Planning and execution of the service migration
  • Ongoing stabilisation and optimisation of the services, including KPI measurement and dashboard, process adherence and utilisation
Extracts from the business plan and photographs of the project have been included in the attached appendix.
The Outcome
The facility went live on 14th March 2014 greatly increasing flexibility and significantly reducing IT costs. There was a 70% reduction against the previously outsourced off-shore contracts and the forecast increase in profits of 15% will be delivered when the full complement of BPO staff is on board later this year.
This was achieved against a background of significant change without any noticeable disruption to services, including the flotation of the Royal Mail which Equiniti was responsible for share registration. This was one of the largest corporate actions in the UK in 2013.
"We never thought that this would have been achievable in the timescales set out by CIO Plus. Now, after a very painless experience, we have a great IT & BPO facility in India and we know that it would not have been possible without them."

Sam Halford, Managing Director Equiniti India

Appendix: Business case extracts and project photographs​

1: Final choice of locations Ramanujan vs. DLF (Extract from September 2013 board paper)

2: Chosen location DLF (Extract from September 2013 board paper)

4: Plan view of the 3-D computer model – October 2013

3: Bare warm shell in DLF Chennai – September 2013

6: Completed IT area – February 2014

5: IT Area in 3-D computer model – October 2013 NB: This model is interactive and allows for virtual ‘walk through’ of the entire office by the client.

8: Bharat Joshi, Deputy High Commissioner for Chennai and Sam Halford, Managing Director Equiniti India 14th March

7: Guy Wakeley Equiniti CEO – Formal office opening 14th March 2014

9: Fully operational IT area 14th March 2014

Relevant Collateral


Read what Equiniti had to say after 12 months of operation here.

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