Expense Management

In early 2005, after a complete overhaul of the financial tracking systems, it was apparent that Fund Services was not as efficient as it could be. Industry competitors were working at a 50-55% expense ratio while WSS was considerably higher. As the Technology Director for all Fund Services Applications globally, Varun was challenged to reduce expenses, while continuing to help growth fuelled by an increase in market activity in the Funds space.Varun set in motion, an ambitious plan - by performing a "bottoms-up" review of every expense being allocated to Fund Services and then reconciling back to the "top-down" allocations usually found in the P&L view, Varun was able to identify allocation anomalies and expense reduction opportunities.

Varun presented the various approaches and plans to the then new CEO, Jamie Dimon in late February - he was given approval to proceed with creating a program that would massively reduce the expenses. With a 8 month target time frame, Varun established a small SWAT team that looked at all the opportunities identified.

After eliminating waste at every level - various opportunities were identified; Excess or inefficient use of hardware, software, redundant or stale code, non-used assets, non-used reports and output, elimination of applications, streamlining and staff optimization, outsourcing of certain functions.

By actioning these items the Funds Services business was able to shave upwards of $35+ million dollars of expense allocations.

This ground-breaking initiative set the stage for creating small skunk-work operations, funded to help reduce inefficiency and expense, so that the resulting benefits could be used to either help the bottom line or reinvestment into the business.