A Large Financial Services Company required assistance with converting new client’s portfolios into the company’s internal systems. The assignment required Relevante’s professional to translate the incoming assets into the company’s internal system under tight timelines.
Relevante’s professional’s time was distinguished by the high level of activity. Assets totaling more than $100 million were moved into the client’s system. Attention to detail, timeliness and establishing good lines of internal communication were critical. The professional’s responsibilities were expanded to auditing trades and cash disbursements. During this time, the asset conversion process was under review for restructuring and automation. The Relevante professional provided information in the analysis phase of the project as to volume and variety of the asset activity. They also were consulted as an information source for the current process.
The Relevante professional was able to seamlessly fit into the organization and assume the responsibilities of the position.
A national retail apparel chain with over 1100 stores required the review of its refuse brokerage expenses for all the stores for a period of 3 years. The apparel chain required an independent firm to review the expenses so as to develop a comprehensive risk management plan for the future.
Relevante’s professionals examined the current process for payments of brokerage to various vendors across the country and identified large control weaknesses in the existing processes that were being followed. This was done on a store by store basis, where individual invoices and payments of the vendors were verified with the existing company policies.
Relevante’s professionals developed a comprehensive risk management structure so as to mitigate future risk of excess payments made in this area.
A leading retail apparel chain required the performance review of their telecommunication expense management firm, which was outsourced the work of managing the retail chain’s telecom expenses. The scope of work included working with the client as well as the expense management firm to validate accrual reports, establishing a process to accumulate actual payments, track turnaround statistics on bill receipt-to-pay, validate proper accounting and coordinate evaluation of various reports generated.
Relevante professionals obtained the list of sites which the service provider managed. The diligent team identified a number of accounts with incorrect coding and which negatively impacted the client. Relevante’s professionals also worked with the client’s telecom group to validate the inaccuracies and made the necessary corrections. Further, Relevante’s professionals also developed an internal site database to house all outsourced phone data.
The coding corrections ensured an accurate GL and accrual reporting structure for the client. An ongoing Bills Late Arrival (BLA) report was also developed to avoid statement inaccuracies. It was brought out that the outsourcing firm lacked adequate controls for accurate payment timings, and a project is underway to develop systems for avoiding payment efficiencies. Relevante’s professionals ensured that the client reduced its outstanding payments to the service provider due to inaccurate procedures followed by the service provider.
Our professionals also highlighted various areas of control weaknesses to the client and also developed & implemented remedial control measures which have ensured greater financial reporting strength for our client.
A Fortune 500 Chemical Company’s facilities department provided property related services to both internal and external customers based on defined SLAs. In October, 2004, the company’s accountants noted that the Accounts Receivable (A/R) over sixty days old had grown to an amount of over $200,000.00.
Relevante professionals were asked to step in and review the entire A/R process of the department and reduce the outstanding A/R.
Relevante professionals first made a thorough review of the A/R and determined why it had grown, and also helped in collecting the A/R. By March of 2005, the A/R over sixty days old was reduced to under $10,000. Relevante’s professionals also designed a systematic process to collect and manage the SLA, billing & A/R processes on a permanent basis.
A large healthcare education provider was seeking to expand its product line so as to boost its sagging revenues. They approached Relevante to develop a comprehensive business case to identify the best possible products as well as the markets so as to achieve their goals.
Professionals at Relevante studied their current product mix as well as their current markets and suggested a related product in two new geographical locations other than the United States. Also, the financial implications, the competitive landscape, manpower requirements and the infrastructure requirements for the new product were chalked out in the comprehensive business case.
The product was a run away success due to the lower cost alternatives suggested by Relevante and has subsequently increased top line as well as bottom line of the client.
A leading pharmaceutical company and a cancer awareness organization wanted to collaborate in responding to the growing need of women to receive health information from trusted voices. The pharmaceutical company contributed significant web based intellectual property, market research and start-up funding to the new venture. The cancer awareness organization contributed a built-out cancer awareness web portal with a large and loyal community, a network of cancer prevention and care thought leaders and a team of professionals capable of managing medical information web sites. The new entity needed help in developing their business model, service offerings, a viable financial model to secure funding and operating and marketing plans to successfully launch the company.
Relevante worked with the client to develop a business plan and successfully launch the company. We assisted the client in identifying and contracting the services of some of the best-known physicians in the country to develop and provide media products under a single brand. We facilitated the design and launch of a new web site that delivered women’s health information in the areas of expertise of the physicians under contract. We led the fundraising process to secure funding needed to grow the company. The client was able to successfully secure a prominent name in the health world, received national media coverage, secured several large revenue generating contracts and achieve profitability by its second year of operations.
A multinational chemical company was in the process of outsourcing a part of its Human Resources processes to third party vendors. The chemical company required assistance in developing financial parameters for its “Invitation for Bid” documents and evaluations of bids received subsequently.
Relevante’s professionals worked in conjunction with the top management of the company to develop a comprehensive IFB document for the company. Relevante’s professionals were also extensively involved with evaluating the bids received by employing financial modeling techniques for allocation of various components of overheads that were mentioned in the bids so as to assist the company in its decision making process regarding the award of the bid.
A large healthcare provider implemented a new billing system and needed assistance with auditing the technical charges for lost revenues, mapping out a billing flow process and developing a procedure for training purposes for the ancillary areas. The assignment required a Relevante professional to audit and reconcile the system integration and quality assurance.
A Relevante professional reviewed several days’ technical charges of the company to find numerous errors and discrepancies between the ancillary areas and the billing system. This indicated revenue loss, lack of internal controls and needed training within the organization which were brought to management’s attention.
This professional reconciled all ancillary areas in question, identified lost revenue, created flow charts for each area and a flow chart for the billing cycle including related ancillary interfaces and a procedure document to be used for training purposes. Additionally, a list of recommendations were offered to management.
A leading financial services company based in Philadelphia, PA needed to identify new business segments so as to garner greater market share. They needed to achieve this by leveraging their existing resources & with a minimal amount of additional spending.
The client requested Relevante to develop a strategic overview document which would identify the specific segment in the financial services domain that they needed to expand into.
Relevante’s professionals identified the lucrative factoring industry as the core new business segment. This business segment fitted in well with the client’s existing leasing business as it was a forward integration of its existing business line and could be done without incurring large capital as well as revenue expenditure. Factoring services coupled with related financial services like credit recommendation services & private label programs gave the client the ability to increase its revenues & profitability thereby successfully leveraging their existing resources to achieve greater productivity.
Relevante’s professionals prepared a detailed overview document which highlighted the following:
Size of the factoring industry
Relevante’s professionals sized up the existing and the potential market both internationally and within the USA. This analysis enabled the client to understand the various facets of the opportunity that lay ahead of them.
Competitive landscape in the USA
The Relevante team analyzed the existing players in the factoring industry on various parameters including turnover, market share, geographical presence, focus areas of business, profitability etc. This analysis enabled the client to understand the benefits that they could achieve by leveraging their existing resources to a greater extent.
The existing product offerings of the competition were analyzed and the high revenue drivers were identified by the Relevante team which was factored into the recommendations made to the client.
Financial models used by the competition
The financial models of the competition were analyzed so as to identify the capital structure model & the overall profitability drivers.
Sales & marketing strategies
The sales and marketing strategies adopted by the competition were analyzed and that enabled Relevante’s professionals to provide the client with a strategic marketing framework that was currently being followed by the industry leaders in the segment.
Technology requirements of the industry
Since the factoring industry is a highly knowledge based and service oriented business, Relevante’s professionals suggested a technological solution that took into account risk management, pricing, market intelligence, structured deals and legal and operational complexities.
Laws & regulations affecting the industry
Since the factoring industry in North America is unregulated, with the exception of those factors that are bank-owned and who report to the United States Federal Reserve Bank, the provisions of the Uniform Commercial Code Article 9 which have a bearing on the factoring industry were analyzed in detail and their implications were highlighted in the overview document to the client.
Key manpower requirements of the industry
Human Resources in the factoring industry includes people who understand the businesses of their clients very well in order to be able to provide best in class services in a competitive financial services industry. Therefore key management and operational personnel that satisfied the above criteria were identified. Relevante’s professionals also assisted the client with the staffing requirements that were needed to kick start operations and move forward effectively.
Relevante has provided due diligence support to numerous M&A transactions on both the buy-side and sell-side. Furthermore, on behalf of a potential private equity investor, Relevante performed a due diligence investigation to assess the financial position and financial operations and agreement schedule preparation for one of its portfolio companies. The particular due diligence allowed the portfolio company to execute its investor’s growth strategy without distracting the company’s time constrained and inexperienced financial staff.
Relevante’s professionals provided the valuation analysis that guided several growth by acquisition strategies to execute projects ranging from $0 to over $200 million in annual revenues in diverse companies operating in 48 states with over 2000 employees. Relevante professionals also identified appropriate liquidation of assets along the way.
Relevante’s team has provided analytical support to numerous M&A transactions on both the buy-side and sell-side. Industries have included financial services, travel and hospitality, retail, publishing, distribution, professional services, and general industry.
Relevante executed the financial integration plan to consolidate three different financial systems from three different corporate acquisitions completed within a six month time period. The consolidation included synchronizing the general ledgers, modifying internal controls and processes, preparing clean opening balances, reconciling transferred account data and report analysis, and retraining corporate staff.
Relevante professionals have provided post-closing reviews for diverse businesses in manufacturing, distribution and services. Specifically, Relevante has worked with corporate clients to administer certain definitive agreement closing conditions including, but not limited to, fixed asset and software licensing audits, closing binder preparation and accounting system integration planning.
A leading pharmaceutical marketing company was challenged with organizing an effective E-promotion program. They needed help with segmenting the responses to E-promotions to gather consumer intelligence on various marketing approaches. They were also desirous of organizing the responses to facilitate an easy CRM interface for follow-up. They needed help with developing and implementing these solutions in a short period of time. Simultaneous with this need, the company was experiencing data management problems resulting from multiple databases needing to feed information into a user friendly consolidated reporting infrastructure for various constituents to access on an as needed basis.
Relevante personnel collaborated with the client’s internal project management and technical staff to document and implement the operating process and technical architecture for the client’s E-promotion programs. The solution consisted of sending e-mails to potential customers and segmenting the responses in various categories based on pre-established algorithms. This automatic categorization facilitated easy follow-up communications to those potential customers. To address the multiple database data management challenge, our consultants led the database consolidation effort by working with internal project management and development personnel to design a database to support the multiple external database feeds and the processes for applying updates to the database. They also developed a web reporting interface.
Due to a staffing change in the Payroll Department of a leading medical device company, the Relevante Consultant was called in as an interim Payroll Analyst. The scope of work included processing payrolls for over 1,200 employees with different pay frequencies, in eight different subsidiary companies, working in all 50 States within the US and Puerto-Rico. The Relevante consultant set up payroll files for employees of a newly acquired subsidiary; updated 401k and GTL accounts, and handled tax issues relating to all 5O States.
The Relevante consultant assisted the client with organizing the department, providing some structure for work flow, documenting procedures, and improving existing internal controls. Assistance was also provided in training the Payroll personnel and helping to improve the Payroll processing system by working with the client’s Finance and Human Resources departments to validate inaccuracies and make the necessary corrections; outstanding tax accounts were brought up to date. Due to more staff changes during the two weeks after the original assignment ended, the Client requested a Relevante consultant for help in the training of the new staff. The changes implemented by the Relevante consultant in the original assignment helped the client to cut their payroll processing time by 50%. The changes have also improved the efficiency and internal controls within the Payroll Department and were instrumental in the hiring of a new Payroll Manager, who is pleased with the changes made.
Based on the work done in the Payroll department, the client is considering having Relevante consultants work in their Finance department, which is currently going through staff changes.
A fortune 500 chemicals company was selling a $300 million segment of its business to a European company and, as part of the sale, had agreed to perform interim financial reporting and accounting services for the buyer during the extended transition period. The buyer was planning to port all financial and operational data for the purchased business segment to its own SAP system at the end of the four month transitions period and all required data would have to be “carved out” from the selling company’s system. The selling company had never performed these types of services before and realized that the task would be very time consuming with many unforeseen issues. It was decided that experienced outside financial services support would be necessary to fulfill the agreement.
A Relevante professional with this type of divestiture and “carve-out” experience was called in to help. Expectations included coordinating and monitoring the efforts of a large team of internal client accounting professionals to ensure that day to day accounting transactions continued to be recorded properly for the segment. Relevante professional services also included preparation and issuance of monthly consolidated financial statements for the segment on schedule and as required by the buyer. Day to day accounting and analysis was performed via the client’s SAP R/3 enterprise accounting system. Monthly consolidated financial reporting required utilization of Hyperion Enterprise. Throughout the transition period, additional unusual issues were addressed, investigated, and resolved to assure a smooth transition for the buyer.
At the end of the transition period, the buyer experienced a smooth transition and successfully ported all required information to its own SAP system. All significant issues were resolved timely and to the satisfaction of both the buyer and selling company.