How Consider-it supported a dynamic fund manager to revamp its investment operations using Microsoft’s Power Platform

Migrating robust but heavily Excel-dependent investment operations processes to a new solution principally driven by Power BI and Power Automate delivered 100% on scalability, transparency, automation, and efficiency.

Furthermore, this well-resourced project attracted organisation-wide buy-in, enhanced the ‘Ops‘ team's legendary self-sufficiency and enabled them to develop new solutions independently.


Our client is a leading fund manager in the APAC region with multiple strategies focused on equities, global and within APAC.

Over the past ten years, the complexity and volume of their operations have increased substantially. Specifically:

  • The volume of funds and mandates have doubled
  • The number of fund structures and portfolio managers multiplied
  • Trading strategies have diversified
  • Multiple new key service provider relationships have been established

However, two things hadn’t changed to accommodate these increases in business complexity and volume.

  1. The size of their high-performing Investment Operations team
  2. The underlying technology facilitating their processes.

The problem

Many of their established investment operations solutions were heavily reliant on Microsoft Excel and its underlying technology.

These solutions had catered for up to fifteen funds and thirty mandates for over a decade. They included:

  • Reviewing and verifying daily GAVs and unit prices
  • Reconciling service provider data against in-house systems
  • Sending trade instructions
  • Database management, including executing stored procedures
  • Periodically delivering portfolio data to portfolio managers and other stakeholders
  • Reconciling registry data.

These solutions have been tweaked and extended over the years. However, the mechanics and interfaces were fundamentally unchanged.

The solution


Despite these robust processes, this situation wasn’t sustainable in the medium-to-long term as the client’s business needs changed and their environment diversified. The solutions presented challenges and limitations across the key benchmarks for the operations team – scalability, transparency, automation/efficiency, and ongoing maintenance.

Continuing to layer complexity over existing solutions designed for a less diverse environment made little or no sense. It would have set the Investment Operations team up for a scenario that harboured unwanted ‘legacy’ and created disparate pain points.

The client opted to migrate their existing heavily Excel-dependent model to a new model driven principally by two major components of the Microsoft Power Platform – Power BI and Power Automate. The Microsoft Power Platform is a collection of dynamic products designed for heavily data-dependent businesses searching for intelligible ways to maximise the value of their data.

The Power Platform is a low-code solution developed with end-users front and centre. Its highly evolved tools simplify accessing and analysing data, even for users with limited or no technical background.

Our client is an established user of Microsoft products. Consequently, the Power Platform app subscription process was super easy. There were zero new contracts to execute and no new service provider relationships to maintain.


Key benefits of migrating to The Microsoft Power Platform

Migrating the investment operations day-to-day and periodic processes and mechanisms to the Microsoft Power Platform would:

  • Consolidate everything in a centralised, purpose-built, highly transparent environment
  • Capitalise on this sophisticated platform’s capacity to build new solutions as required
  • Eliminate many cumbersome manual interactions, freeing the team to focus on more critical tasks
  • Achieve outstanding results without the need for extensive coding or development experience.


Rising to the ‘rebuild’ challenge

Kudos to this dynamic Fund Manager’s Senior Managers, who provided all the required resources. They allocated a realistic training budget and assigned a Investment Operations Analyst to work with me on the project. The analyst bought into the transition 100% and played a crucial part in upskilling the team and making the project sustainable.

Organisation-wide buy-in is crucial to the success of a transformational technology project. Our client delivered this in spades. As a result, we engaged the operations team at every stage of the design and build process enabling us to:

  • Factor in and absorb a decade’s worth of accumulated knowledge to ensure that we removed any obsolete/superfluous or ‘legacy’ components and that the solution was a perfect fit for the team’s day-to-day activities
  • Convince the end users, i.e. The ‘Ops’ team and their supervisors and managers, that the new solutions would achieve the same goals in a new look environment and mitigate risk as well or better than the existing solution.

Although the environment is fluid and busy, strong buy-in backed by the appropriate resources laid the foundations for a smooth transition to the new solution.

What we did


We implemented the project in June 2022. Four weeks of implementation, onboarding, and training were preceded by several weeks of scoping the solutions, preparing a demonstration, and accumulating the necessary logic.

The team then staggered the release of the new solutions into the live environment over the ensuing months.


Demonstrating the solution with actual data

To illustrate the Microsoft Power Platform’s capabilities, I demonstrated a prototype solution for the Investment Operations team.

This demonstration was:

  • Configured with actual data and associated Power Platform applications
  • Configured in an environment to mirror several of the client’s existing solutions
  • Designed to show how deftly the current solutions could be transformed within the Power Platform
  • Designed to illustrate the tangible benefits of migrating to the Power Platform


Training to ensure the Investment Operations team’s self-sufficiency

Their lean Investment Operations Team has an exceptional record for pre-empting errors and problem-solving. The entire organisation relies on their agility and responsiveness. The team’s capacity to act quickly depends mainly on its self-sufficiency.

Maintaining this functional independence was front and centre in migrating out of an Excel-based model and onto the Power Platform.

Consequently, we dedicated significant time during implementation and onboarding to breaking down the solutions into their components and training the team on the underlying logic.

Our client’s investment in training has maintained the Investment Operations team’s legendary self-sufficiency. Since the project ended, I haven’t received a single call from them looking for support with any of the solutions.

Niall was thorough, flexible, and efficient in delivering solutions that further enhanced our processes. The thoughtfulness of the Consider-it approach has meant that we have been able to be self-sufficient in maintaining and building upon the solutions post-implementation.

Head of Investment Operations

The Results


My recent follow-up with the client confirmed that the proposed project outcomes have been more than satisfactory.
Investment Operations team’s self-sufficiency

The team is entirely self-sufficient within the Power Platform space – they’re using around thirty Power BI reports within a dozen datasets and have over twenty Power Automate workflows running.

They’ve already independently expanded their operations model within the Power Platform. For example, they recently implemented new logic. They created a Power Automate workflow to periodically retrieve data from a service provider via API and load it to their SQL Server database, requiring no manual input.


A centralised operating environment

The Investment Operations team has a sophisticated environment for all their efficient and highly automated yet transparent processes. The ease of access to the low-code Power Platform reduces key person risk and ensures consistency when developing new solutions.


Event-driven workflows and exception-based reporting

A formidable combination which will:

  • Minimise manual input
  • Remove the watching and waiting for data
  • Keep the team informed of the high-level picture and abreast of any outstanding items


Anywhere, anytime access for managers

Managers can view Power BI reports at a glance on their PC or mobile devices, thanks to the Power BI Service via a browser or the Power BI Mobile App.

The Last Word


The project helped lay the foundations for migrating our processes to a centralised platform that allows us to build fast and robust data-driven solutions. Niall guided us in creating interconnected solutions that are easy to manage and maintain.

Investment Operations Analyst

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