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Analyst Group Restructure

A large Financial Services firm had a team with dozens of analysts doing project work, analysis, data reconciliation, reporting and some client-facing tasks. Most project analysts had more than 5 years tenure, yet many of their tasks were low complexity, such as data entry. It was also very difficult to compare the performance of the different analysts, since each one seemed to have a unique work mix based on their client mix.


The director of that team had received cost reduction targets from the Business Head, and therefore needed to find a way to reduce cost without cutting back on the work. The team also had a peak workload every fall. Greg undertook a detailed analysis of all the activities and sub-tasks performed in the team, conducted time studies and volume counts, assigned a complexity factor to every sub-task, and took into account seasonal variation in volumes. He then restructured the team so that a critical mass of low complexity, back-office activities were isolated and moved to a team of junior analysts hired at the firm’s in-house center in India. This required process mapping and process redesign to minimize handoffs while ensuring adequate quality control. Greg leveraged regular attrition and job openings in adjacent teams to bring down the size of the US team without requiring a reduction in force. The result was:

  1. The job satisfaction of the US analyst team improved after routine, low complexity tasks were removed from their responsibilities.

  2. Managers were better able to assess the performance of their US & India analysts.

  3. The most high-risk tasks were identified, and then assigned to only the most experienced employees with a solid track record of quality and reliability.

  4. The newly-created analyst role at the firm’s India center created an exciting career path for their employees, as the role had prestige and a higher salary. This increased employee retention among the highest performers.

  5. The director was able to meet his cost reduction targets.

  6. After a year, the top performers on the India team were able to take on some of the complex tasks that were with the US team. This had several benefits: 

    1. If there was sudden, unexpected attrition on the US team, an India-based employee could step in on an interim basis while a replacement was hired and trained.

    2. During the peak fall season, the US team got additional help from the India team.

    3. This provided further career path opportunities for the tyop performers on the India team, further lengthening their retention at the firm.

    4. Working together on client projects allowed the US and India teams to form a close bond, which improved communication, collaboration, productivity and quality.

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