Concertiv Case Study: Market Data, Travel and Technology

Global Investment Advisor Centralizes Procurement Strategy; Saves $800K in Just Three Years

A leading investment advisor had been growing rapidly since 2015. With a global investment footprint and offices in Connecticut, London, and Dublin, the firm offers a broad range of credit and hard asset classes, including corporate loans and bonds, liquidations, real estate, and aviation.

Of course, this early scale and rapid growth created its own unique set of challenges. Keeping the price-conscious CFO up at night was an increasingly complex vendor landscape that was exponentially accelerating, and a belief that vendors were disproportionately squeezing them on costs versus their size.

A host of competing priorities left the CFO little time to devote to procurement as a strategic priority. As a result, the firm had decentralized its strategic spending and procurement functions across their Finance, Operations, and Deal Teams.

These rising administrative burdens across the company as their critical vendor landscape grew were further complicated by the need to coordinate decisions and support structures across multiple timezones – a particular concern in their corporate travel and market data spending.

Facing escalating costs, increasing pricing opacity, and minimal leverage in their buyer negotiations, leadership decided to outsource their procurement strategy – and went in search of domain experts who would focus exclusively on their corporate spend, efficiently manage their vendors, minimize current administrative burdens, and aggressively negotiate on their behalf to source the best possible prices with their vendors.

When making this decision they wanted to avoid a generalist team focused on broad enterprise procurement. Instead, they sought a partner with true category expertise within key operating areas who could drive operational efficiencies at the highest level. Additionally, they hoped to find a tech-enabled partner, with a platform optimized to streamline existing operational issues, and increase their decision-making speed. Finally, bonus points for a partner with affiliate relationships that would allow them to add more leverage via aggregated purchasing opportunities.  

Enter Concertiv, which has been delivering a Procurement-as-a-Service offerings for nearly a decade. This holistic suite of people, process, and technology offerings uniquely targeted at solving strategic spend and procurement optimization goals for leading mid-market Asset Managers and Professional Service Firms.

After aligning on a firm strategy to aggressively reduce prices, the new partnership was off to the races.

Cost Savings 101: Start Where it Hurts the Most (On Land and In the Air)

The biggest initial pain point for a global asset manager with multiple offices? Accelerating travel expenditures.

After analyzing the firm’s current spend, the team discovered they could drive bespoke purchasing opportunities by leveraging their combined spend with other customers and affiliate firms, and as a result they were able to implement their best-in-class airline discount programs.

Alongside significant air travel cost reductions, Concertiv loaded their hotel program in both the US and UK with the client, as well as continually reviewing and suggesting the best Travel Agencies to support Cross Ocean as they grew larger.

Price Reductions and Operational Wins Expand the Relationship to Market Data and Tech

With a year under their belt, Concertiv had developed a reputation for high-quality work and successful negotiation with the firm. Looking for other savings and efficiency wins, the team to explore if a more comprehensive program could drive even more cost efficiencies in the organization, in multiple operating categories:

Market Data:

With prices continuing to spiral and upcoming contract renewals and new product procurement on the horizon, the firm turned to the Concertiv Market Data team to analyze existing spend and recommend savings opportunities.

Launching into this new partnership, the Market Data team launched into an exhaustive due diligence process, ultimately identifying all the firms existing agreements so that they could consolidate the hundreds of contracts in one place.

From here, they drove a hard negotiation program, at the CFO’s behest, with the firms’ vendors, many of which had existing relationships with Concertiv. This true category expertise sets Concertiv’s approach apart from generalized procurement services and helps drive top quality savings.  

Technology:

Another major pain point for the firm was the rapidly expanding technology spend footprint –which was accelerating as the firm reached new employee or subscription access levels.

On top of these new cost efficiencies from contract renewals and new product procurement negotiations, they leveraged their Concertiv partnership to assist with user provisioning and entitlements.

Concertiv leveraged their strong vendor relationships in Technology to negotiate complex, high dollar contracts in both software and service, improving service levels while driving increased cost savings.

For the CFO and operations team, one of the best parts of their new outsourced procurement strategy was a right-sized relationship that could grow with the firm as it scaled. In fact, the 18 contracts Concertiv negotiated in the first year grew to 2.5X just three years later, with nearly 50 successful contract negotiation offloaded in the global asset manager’s past renewal cycle.

Better Service, Less Operational Load and Nearly $1M in Savings – All in just Three Years

Like most business relationships, Concertiv’s relationship with our global asset manager grew based on shared goals and vision – and a whole lot of cost savings - $800K in lifetime savings throughout the three-year relationship, to be exact.

In fact, firm leadership is realizing over$100k/year in recurring savings on just their Technology MSP relationship alone, importantly, with no reduction in service quality. Leveraging Concertiv’s tech-enabled platform, today, the team also enjoys on-demand access to procurement assistance for the host of vendor categories covered by the relationship, and often additional value-adds (including for deal related work).

Needless to say, the additional operational support has been extremely well received by the front office support teams in Finance, Legal and Compliance. Rather than “moonlighting” as experts in vendor negotiations beyond their purview, internal operating staff can now focus on their key competencies: growing their AUM and supporting their investment professionals.

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