Banking & Finance
Standard Bank Group Limited is one of the most established financial services groups based in South Africa and operates worldwide in 33 countries. Standard Bank established its London office in 1992, serving as the base for Corporate and Investment Banking’s expansion into emerging markets. The Bank is now a leading player in commodity‐related financial services, today being a member of the London Stock Exchange, the London Bullion Market Association, the London Metal Exchange and the London Platinum and Palladium Market. The London office employs over 1,200 staff and serves as the hub from which the Bank manages all international operations outside Africa. Standard Bank offers a comprehensive range of products and services across a broad range of sectors including energy, power, agribusiness, transportation, mining and metals, telecoms, infrastructure and Financial Institutions.
Its offerings include corporate advisory services and financing solutions across the debt and equity capital markets, with expertise in syndicated lending, project finance and structured trade and commodity finance. It has a comprehensive range of trading and risk management solutions across the foreign exchange, interest rates, credit, equities, commodities and money markets. In addition, it provides wealth and asset management to high net worth individuals. The Bank’s world‐class risk and capital management systems ensure that all services are delivered efficiently and effectively.
Standard Bank was relocating its London office from 88,000 sq ft premises at Cannon Bridge House to new premises at 20 Gresham Street. The construction Project Management firm for the Relocation project was Trench Farrow, who already had experience of working alongside PTS Consulting on a recent Relocation project for EDF Trading. Following a competitive ITT process, Trench Farrow recommended PTS Consulting to Standard Bank to act as its IT Consultancy partner for this Relocation. The new Global Head of Infrastructure and Facilities at Standard Bank also had previous experience of working with PTS Consulting on several global projects at Barclays Capital. This earlier experience gave Standard Bank the confidence that PTS would ensure the successful deployment of all IT Technology in the new building at Gresham Street. As IT Consultancy partner, PTS was engaged to work alongside Standard Bank’s professional project team to ensure that all IT requirements were accounted for and delivered as an integral part of the overall Relocation programme.
IT Relocation Strategy: In order to compile an IT Relocation Strategy for Standard Bank to act as a guideline for future project activity, PTS conducted an analysis of the existing technology in use by Standard Bank, as well as a review of the future needs of the business. To facilitate the next phases of the project, PTS delivered a strategic plan for Standard Bank to work to, including a high-level budget and programme of works.
Design, Specification, Procurement and Project Management Quality Assurance: Moving forward with the IT Relocation, PTS Consulting was able to provide independent advice on the design, specification and implementation of all IT and Telephony technology to ensure adherence to specified performance specifications and standards. With a rigorous procurement methodology, PTS Consulting was able to reduce the number of vendors selected, delivering Standard Bank economies of scale and cost benefits.
The IT and Building Infrastructure included: a Converged Voice and Data Network to support 1,200 users; a dedicated Structured Cabling System and IT Equipment Room, the Audio-Visual equipment used in meeting and conference rooms; and, Trading Floor technology to support over 150 positions.
The Voice Technology workstream included: an IP Telephony platform; a Dealer Voice System (DVS); and, Voice Recording technology. The new DVS platform is anticipated to set a new global standard for the Standard Bank Group. Of particular benefit to the Bank has been PTS Consulting’s guidance and recommendation to adopt a fully converged network instead of separate Data and Voice deployments. The implementation of a highly resilient IP network, over which voice, data and video traffic can run, has enabled Standard Bank to achieve economies of scale and ease of management through the consolidation of equipment, licensing and support.
Market Data Management: As a BAU activity but closely coordinating with the Relocation project, PTS Consulting conducted a comprehensive data cleanse of Standard Bank’s Market Data systems. This activity enabled the Bank to have: transparency of market data contracts and costs; the ability to provide salient usage reports to IT management, business management and compliance; and, the opportunity to use a new fully populated system to identify consolidation/cancellation of services and global commercial negotiation opportunities. This underpinned an optimisation exercise to deliver value for money on the services that are required. Additionally, PTS Consulting conducted a gap analysis on Standard Bank’s Market Data administration process to capture the mode of operation at the Bank and advise on the adoption of new standardised procedures and processes.
The key features the project delivered to Standard Bank included:
- Strategy, Design, Procurement and Project Management Quality Assurance for IT Relocation of 1,200 users to ensure future‐proof IT infrastructure within new London premises.
- IT Infrastructure implementation of: Data Network, Structured Cabling, Audio Visual Technology, Trading Floor Technology, and the IT Equipment Room.
- Voice technology roll‐out of: IP Telephony, Dealer Voice System and Voice Recording.
- A fully converged network supporting voice, data and video traffic, delivering increased efficiency and ease of management.
- Consolidation of technology solution vendors through Procurement and Vendor Evaluation process achieved economies of scale.
- Full transparency of Market Data and Telecoms Inventory and Expenses along with standardised procedures for ease of future administration and management.
- Comprehensive IT testing and migration programme planned alongside the professional team over 5 weekends aligned with overall relocation and construction programmes.
Rob Threadgold, Technical Infrastructure Manager and Relocation Project Manager, Standard Bank commented:
“The IT equipment room handover has been particularly efficient, the technical standards of which could then be transferred to our existing off‐site Data Centres. With PTS Consulting’s help, I was delighted to complete the IT Relocation and we are now reaping the benefits of our improved technology.”
With Project Management assistance from PTS Consulting, the IT Relocation was completed to the Bank’s deadline. The Client has been particularly pleased with how PTS Consulting integrated into the professional project team.
Kingsley Poulton, Global Head of Infrastructure and Facilities, Standard Bank commented:
“We have enjoyed a good working relationship with PTS Consulting throughout our Relocation project. The reason for this is that the PTS Consultants took the time to understand our business requirements and apply the duty of care and quality of service required by Standard Bank. This insight, coupled with PTS’ extensive knowledge of the construction process meant that we were able to trust PTS to ensure the successful integration of IT into our programme.”
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