403(b) Plans

Background: Every institution or Plan Sponsor offering a 403(b) retirement plan to its employees has a plan document filed with the IRS that specifies the features and rules of the plan. Our client, one of the top three 403(b) Plan Providers in the U.S., prides itself on providing not only recordkeeping services but also high-quality plan document consultative services to their clients, the Plan Sponsors.

Problem: In 2017 the IRS ruled that all 403(b) plans must be restated by March 31, 2020, to meet new guidelines.   As Plan Provider, our client was struggling to find 403(b) Plan Document resources to help them assist their clients meet the plan restatement deadline. The Plan Provider issued an RFP to nine suppliers, seeking a company that could provide the best team of resources at a cost not to exceed a specified budget.

Solution: Using its 20 years of retirement/pension experience and extensive network, SynergisticIT was able to find plan document experts with the appropriate certifications (QPA, QKA, CPC, CRSP) and experience in reviewing and drafting plan/summary documents. These resources had a thorough working knowledge of systems such as Relius, ASC (McKay Hochman), DGEM, and the DATAIR DC Plan Administration system.

SynergisticIT was selected over eight other suppliers by working with the client to determine its exact, specific needs and providing a proposal that was deemed creative and responsive. Our proposal actually put forth a mix of resources that fit the client’s needs better than those originally requested by the client at a cost that was under the specified budget.

SynergisticIT worked with the client to develop a staffing plan. Within one month, all four resources were on-boarded and working on the project.

Results: With the help of the SynergisticIT team, the client is on pace to meet the March 31, 2020, Plan Restatement deadline for its 15,000 clients. SynergisticIT has helped centralize the preparation of plan documents and expand the consultative services offered by the Plan Provider.

For more information, please click here.

If you are a Plan Provider and you need assistance to meet the 403(b) Plan Documents restatement deadline, call us today at 732-379-4140 (or email us at info@synergistic-it.com) and ask to speak to one of the managing partners.  We are happy to help you.


Anti-Money Laundering (AML)

Project: Enterprise Financial Crimes Program
Client: Major Financial Services Company

Description: For a large diversified financial services company, SynergisticIT provided an AML data analysis expert for the ongoing enhancement and expansion of their Actimize implementation. Actimize coverage was expanded to include asset management and insurance products.

Technology: Nice Actimize, Actimize Institutional Surveillance (AIS), Actimize Risk Case Manager (RCM)


Asset Management

Project: BPO Investment Performance Data Management Project
Client: Major Investment Asset Management Company

Description: SynergisticIT provided senior level Project Management and Business Analysis specialists to support a Large Asset Management Company’s multiyear multimillion dollar data warehouse initiative. Our experts played a key role in the creation of a comprehensive RFP and in the selection of an outsourcing vendor who will provide a technology solution and a business service in the areas of Performance, Performance Attribution, AUM data management processes and associated reporting activities for the client’s entire investment portfolio ($130 Billion).

Technology: Eagle Pace, AWD (Automated Workflow Distributor), Market Data (Index, Referential, Pricing)


Big Data, Cloud, and IoT

Background: A large global commercial insurance company was embarking on a multi-year plan to create an IoT Sensor and Big Data cloud infrastructure. The goal was to empower businesses with real-time, actionable IoT intelligence to improve decisions and outcomes (fewer claims and lower premiums).

Problem: The client was having difficulties finding qualified resources in the Big Data and IoT space for a Proof of Concept (POC) they needed to execute to test the technology stack.

The client’s set of global staff augmentation suppliers were not finding qualified resources.  Some of the candidates they submitted looked good on paper but, when interviewed by the client, did not have the skills or the experience that were specified in their resumes.

The client realized they needed the help of a more specialized, technical niche consulting company that understands the insurance industry as well as the many complexities of the IoT and Big Data space.

Solution: The client turned to SynergisticIT to provide qualified contract consulting Big Data and IoT resources. We found qualified candidates for our clients by:

  • Analyzing the job requirements and working with our client to rework the requirements so each candidate did not have to be an expert in all aspects of Big Data, while deleting requirements that were outside the scope of the role; streamlining requirements in this way opened up each position to a wider, better, and more specialized pool of candidates.
  • Developing a customized search strategy for the client’s specific needs.
  • Having our expert recruiters, all of whom are highly skilled technical consultants, come up to speed quickly on the exact technical skills the client was looking for in these roles, including Hadoop, Spark, Cassandra, AWS EMR, Azure, Databricks and other technologies.
  • Thoroughly screening candidates and verifying that they had the skills and backgrounds specified in their resumes to do the job effectively.

SynergisticIT was able to quickly fill the need for Big Data Architects, IoT Sensor/PLC Programmers and ETL/ELT Data Architects.  Today we provide this global insurance company with these types of resources on an on-going basis.

Results: The client’s Proof of Concept was completed on time and the technologies and platforms to be used going forward were established. This resulted in the development of an IoT Big Data vision, IoT Reference Architecture and an IoT Big Data roadmap. The client is now well into their journey of creating IoT-enabled insurance products.

Our client gave SynergisticIT high marks for the resources we provided. In fact, a Big Data architect was hired directly by the client as their full-time employee.

For more information, please click here.

If you are an insurance company or a financial services institution and you need assistance finding qualified Big Data or IoT resources, call us today at 732-379-4140 (or email us at info@synergistic-it.com) and ask to speak to one of the managing partners.  We are happy to help you.


Brokerage

Project: Investor Services Application Development and Support
Client: Major On-line Brokerage

Description: SynergisticIT provided project management, business analysis and development resources in the development and support of an on-line broker’s Customer Service Application. The application provided Customer Services Representatives with the following brokerage call center functionality:

  • Brokerage Account Maintenance
  • Equity / Option / Mutual Fund Trading
  • Fulfillment Processing
  • New Brokerage Account Opening (Individual, Joint, IRA, Options, etc.)
  • Email Confirmation Processing
  • Account Transfers (ACATS)
  • Real-time Balances and Holdings
  • Alternative Investments

The Customer Service Application was developed by SynergisticIT to integrate multiple mainframe legacy systems and a set of Unix back-end systems into one seamless customer service platform for the client’s on-line trading support center.

The Customer Service application supported one of the first retail investment trading products available over the internet. Over a 10 year period, SynergisticIT provided ongoing business analysis, testing and development support for the Customer Service Application.

Technology: Windows, Client Server, Mainframe, Unix


Compliance / Risk

Project: Compliance  / Risk Data Warehouse
Client: Major Investment Bank

Description: SynergisticIT data analysts developed a process to migrate trade and risk position data to a DB2 data warehouse platform providing greater accuracy, transparency and AML Compliance and Risk reporting capability. Extensive business and data quality assessment was provided via data profiling of institutional trades and position risk data.

Technology: Infomatica ETL, Mainframe DB2


Data Governance

Project: Data Readiness
Client: Large Municipal Pension System

Description: SynergisticIT was contracted to provide a Data Governance expert to develop and implement a Data Governance strategy for a Large Municipal Pension organization. This project was part of a Data Readiness effort in support of an IT Modernization program to replace the client’s legacy pension administration system. The Data Governance expert is responsible for the development and management of enterprise wide policies, processes and standards for all data coming into and going out of the organization. This position reports to the Data Governance Council and Committee members.

Technology: Legacy Systems, Market Data Feeds, Trillium


Information Security

Project: Information Security Remediation Project
Client: Major Investment Asset Management Company

Description: SynergisticIT Information Security experts developed Information Security Policies and Procedures, an Incident Response Plan, and managed an Information Security Remediation project instituted to address internal audit findings.

As part of this project, SynergisticIT resources performed a Risk Assessment covering all business applications, server hardware and network hardware in accordance with Office of Comptroller of Currency (OCC) FFIEC standards. The resulting Risk Assessment became the standard for future IT Risk Assessments.

The Information Security remediation activities and deliverables were specifically designed to meet or exceed corporate, subsidiary, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and OCC standards.

Technology: Windows Servers, HP Unix Servers, Cisco Network Devices (Routers, Firewalls, Hubs), Lotus Notes, SAP, 100 Business Applications


Infrastructure

Project: SAP Migration Project
Client: Major Investment Asset Management Company

Description: SynergisticIT PM resources managed the migration of an SAP GL system from the client’s site to a remote hosting vendor site. The system platform was migrated from a Microsoft Windows Server environment to an HP Superdome Unix environment.

The purpose of this project was to migrate the hosting (or operations site location) of the SAP environment from the client’s New York Data Center to an IBM (Atlanta-Pre-Production, Raleigh-Production) data center. The SAP system was migrated from a Microsoft Windows Server and Microsoft SQL Server database environment to a HP UNIX server and Oracle database environment.

The project included the development of a new support model that included 1) IBM for Hosting and BASIS support and 2) Accenture for Functional support. SynergisticIT personnel were responsible for managing the project using a CMM Level 3 project methodology. Responsibilities included the coordination and management of 3rd Party vendors (i.e., Accenture, IBM and EDS) and other corporate business units as well as the client Business Team.

Technology: SAP, Windows Server, HP Unix


Insurance/Annuities

Project: Inforce Life Insurance Conversion Project
Client: Major Financial Services Company

Description: SynergisticIT provides on-going Project Management, Business Analysis, Quality Assurance and Actuarial expertise for a multiphase BPO project to outsource the life insurance administration business functions and system to an external vendor.

Technology: I-Series/AS400, ID3 – Administration System


Pension System

Project: Unified Pension System (UPS) Enhancements
Client: Large Municipal Pension System

Description: SynergisticIT provides ongoing business analysis, testing and application development services to support the maintenance and enhancement of a Large Municipal Pension System.

The Municipal Pension System has 120,000 members and $40 billion in assets. The Unified Pension System (UPS) contains all of the core system functionality including new retirement processing, accounting, investment administration, and death benefits administration.

SynergisticIT personnel work with the client IT, business units and external city agencies including the Office of the Actuary, Office of the Comptroller, and the Office of Payroll Administration to develop solutions for pension system initiatives. Recent projects include:

  1. Variable Choice – new investment choices for existing members.
  2. Pension Payroll Management System Enhancement – building a new interface in support of transition to citywide payroll management for existing retiree and beneficiary payments.
  3. Evaluation and development of a business case for building and launching a new feature-rich web site using cutting edge technology (SOA) to provide self-service capabilities to pension members.

Technology: IBM AS/400, SYNON, COBOL, Java, IBM Websphere, SOA