Nearly 10,000 U.S. Bank client accounts migrated to new custody platform.
It was a tense weekend in the Milwaukee office as Wealth Management and Investment Services (WMIS) team members rushed toward a major technology milestone. Armed with ample caffeine and snacks, the team worked through the night to migrate nearly 10,000 client accounts from an outdated custody platform to a production environment on a modern SEI Wealth PlatformSM (SWP).
In a superstitious, yet very successful tradition dating back to 1999, Dale Smith, WMIS transformation officer and executive sponsor of the SWP initiative, decamped to Wisconsin Dells (only 90 minutes from Milwaukee) to be close enough to help the migration team should any major issues arise, but far enough away not to jinx it.
“Way back in 1999, during one of our first custody platform conversions with SEI, I had to be out of town for a wedding," Smith said. "This meant being on frequent checkpoint calls throughout the entire weekend and, embarrassingly, having my phone ring in the middle of the ceremony (my friends forgave me, fortunately.) Despite the challenges of leading the charge remotely, the conversion was very successful. We did many trust conversions in the years that followed, and I always stayed out of town as an added ‘insurance.’ We’ve never failed to convert on time and budget, with smooth migrations for our customers and employees.”
WMIS has experienced immense growth over the last five years – assets under custody and administration (AUCA) have grown from $5.9 trillion to $9.5 trillion.
“SWP is used to hold (custody) our customers' cash and assets and manage their financial transactions across global markets, so having a cutting-edge and scalable platform is critical to positioning our business and our clients for the future," Smith said. "SWP will support our growth through robust servicing capabilities, as well as allowing transactions across multiple markets and currencies, which aligns with the demands of our global client base.”
The superstitious approach seems to have worked again – the conversion was completed in record time, with very few bumps. Once it was clear that the accounts had migrated smoothly, Smith resurfaced in Milwaukee to lead the team through a successful first week in production.
Some important numbers that demonstrate the vast scope of the multi-year initiative:
In addition to those impressive metrics, “I’d include what I’m sure feels like millions of hours of meetings, planning, testing, re-testing, readiness preparation and implementation," said Jeff Awsumb, program director for the SWP implementation initiative. "This accomplishment is especially significant because we are the first SEI client to implement the SaaS (software as a service) only version of the SEI Wealth Platform.”
Gunjan Kedia, vice chair, WMIS, added: “This initiative is a herculean effort and we could not have done it without the help of so many internal partners across U.S. Bank, not to mention SEI, who has been our technology partner for 45 years. We’re looking forward to using this new technology to deepen our client relationships and enhance the digital client experience.”
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