Projects Delivered | Stephen Gallant

Stephen Gallant In-depth knowledge of FX, credit and rates asset classes, regulatory programmes, client on-boarding, system migrations, and financial crime. Complex banking systems, identify potential risks, and streamline operations through mitigation and optimum corrective actions. Excellent communicator, presenter, and problem solver with proven capability to establish beneficial relations with multi-disciplinary functions.

6prog consultants and work delivered – by Stephen Gallant

Steve, Certified ScrumMaster®

The Challenge I faced on joining the programme was to ensure that Global Custody FX process for all locations was documented and understood to enable a new global reporting solution to be delivered, which would provide evidence that the bank was fairly executing their FX orders  (both within documented timeframe and without front running).

The client was an International bank that was trying to get ahead of the regulators whom had previously fined other global custodians for their lack of pricing transparency within their FX execution businesses. 

The project plan was set out in order to complete the analysis / process flows primarily for the London office (where I was based) and to then use the documentation created for London as a baseline for the other global locations.

The first step that was taken was to complete a list of all areas / functions that were involved in the complete front to back process for the custodian FX business. Once this list had been verified  as complete, individual workshops were set up with each of the areas in the order of the process flow. Within the workshops, the process of the area was discussed and the systems used for each step of the process was confirmed.

Secondly, a process flow was drawn up for each of the involved areas and was sent for confirmation / sign off by the involved areas. Once each area had signed off their section of the flows, these were put together in order to create the full front to back flow and was presented to all involved areas so that any potential missing or ambiguous steps could be discussed and corrected.
Once all of the individual areas had agreed the full front to back flow, this was then presented to the senior management team for the final sign off. 

The final London document was then distributed to the other global locations for them to advise where their processes and systems differed to the London baselined document. Once the first feedback had been received from the global locations, conference call workshops were set up in order to be able to complete and confirm the process flows for each of the custody locations.

Once the process flows for each location was completed and signed off, the next phase of the programme was to enable the required reporting to be set up. The reporting required two different reports be be set up as from the process flow piece of work, as it was clear that the client operated two different pricing policies for the FX business across the regions, with the main difference being the execution windows that were used.

I was tasked with defining and setting up the report that would be required for the execution model being used by the London custody business. Working closely alongside the development team, a report was defined whereby the internal system timestamps and execution rates were compared to the mid market rate (being pulled in from a market leading data company) at the time of execution.

This enabled the client to provide evidence that trades were executed within the pricing policy guidelines and definitions and also showed the execution rate compared to the mid market rate at time of execution. Within the reports, tolerances were set up in order to flag up any trades which were outside a set percentage of market rate and any trades which were executed outside of the execution window set by the time the order was accepted.

The final piece of work was to setup and implement a new operating model to work alongside the new reports. Working alongside all of the involved business areas a new TOM was set up and implemented including set timelines for report creation and distribution, exception management, ownership and record retention.

Overall, I left the client after 12 months with a new report and operations model around it, a complete set of global location process flows for the FX custody business and a reduced risk of a regulatory fine for lack of transparency in FX execution.

At time of publication Steve is available for work.

6prog is a facilitator of freelance contracts and commentator on recruitment in general. For more information reach out hello@6prog.com

6prog interviews | Brett Delle Grazie

An experienced DevOps consultant with over 20 years in the IT industry. A background in software engineering,dealing with everything from embedded systems through to fully distributed systems. 

Hi Brett, what have you been up to recently?

Hi Andy, I’ve recently finished a three year engagement as DevOps Practice Lead with a large Government organisation, having been responsible for significant portions of their CI/CD pipeline processes adopted by all the various teams.

Can you take me through that journey?

As part of a business change programme, my team and I, were responsible for radically transforming their existing CI processes for multiple bespoke applications into a true CI/CD pipeline giving the organisation far greater agility than they had previously. They went from quarterly releases to two weekly incremental releases with greatly improved idea-to-production cycle times.

In addition to being responsible for the CI/CD processes we were also part of the live support team for the applications delivered upon our platform. Here the use of an everything-as-code, immutable infrastructure and cloud native approach drove improvements as well. We ensured that applications could deploy their own monitoring, alerting and custom dashboards with the application deployment. We also ensured that the tools we used were equally accessible to development teams from the outset, the result was development teams delivering dashboards that had operational as well as business value up-front as part of the application deliverable.

In order to achieve all this we had to engage early and constantly collaborate with our colleagues in Architecture, Security, Operations and Management. Without that collaboration and support none of the above
would have been possible.

How much of the organisation does this type of project affect?

Quite a lot! We delivered software developed for internal, public and business to business use and during my tenure shifted from hosted infrastructure to public cloud as well. All while addressing GDPR regulation
and the usual associated security concerns when moving to public cloud.

What was a key take-away in this project?

I know it’s a cliche but early, frequent collaboration is key. The early collaboration led to a guiding/mentoring behaviour between the teams instead of a traditional policing approach. Experienced individuals felt free to raise concerns or challenge a design or strategy, but were accepting if their challenge was not ultimately accepted.

Over such a long period, scope change is inevitable and strategic decisions once thought immutable may need revisiting as understanding improves and the unknown unknowns become more known. Collaborative behaviours allowed this to happen naturally at appropriate times without people trying to maintain their illusory fiefdoms of control.

How do you deal with challenges?

In short, have a plan and a roadmap, engage early and deliver incremental business value.

Brett

I’m an engineer and I love challenges. I love learning, so researching, decomposing a problem into a workable plan or developing solutions is something I thoroughly enjoy. I’m also not afraid to seek help when needed so I’m always learning.

On the people side of things I strive to listen to all parties, be polite, honest, upfront and operate in the best interests of the client. In my 20+ years in the IT industry, 10 of which have been consulting, I’ve always found this to be the best operating policy.

In my first job as a software engineer straight out of University I had the fortune to be mentored by a senior engineer of extraordinary talent, patience and skill. For that reason alone I try to act as a mentor to Developers or DevOps people that need help. Watching them grow into competent engineers with my help is my way of thanking my friend for his assistance when I was young and green.

What is your biggest achievement?

A few years back I was brought on as DevOps Team Lead for a bank that had a huge engineering team. On my first day observing, I had one team member rage-quit a meeting in what I learned later to be frustration with
the team’s lack of progress and poor behaviour. That team member turned out to be one of my greatest allies in instigating change.

AWARD > the DevOps Industry Awards 2018 "Manager of the Year"

I went about breaking the silos and getting people to communicate. As we helped individual teams with their specific issues, they helped us fix bits we couldn’t do on our own. The results were an astronomical improvement in team interactions and rapid improvement in cycle time for development tasks. That was in addition to some very serious technical improvements to their infrastructure and pipeline processes on their internal and hybrid cloud operations.

On the day of my leaving, many months after, the CEO pulled me aside and said:

“I cannot thank you enough for the work you have done here.

You have made a significant impact that we are all
the better for, thank you”

Client
6prog is a facilitator of freelance contracts and commentator on recruitment in general. For more information reach out hello@6prog.com

6prog Partners | IPSE

Contract recruitment made better

Contract recruitment made better

Today we are talking with Peter Thompson who is a Outbound Membership Manager at IPSE

Hi Peter, what is IPSE best known for?

We make sure freelancers, interim managers, consultants and contractors are represented to Government. By producing insightful, hard-hitting research and effective policy campaigns, we fight to create a better environment for the self-employed to run their businesses and ultimately, ensure our economy remains one of the most flexible in the world. 

Ok great how long has IPSE been helping freelancers?

IPSE has been representing the interests of the self-employed since 1999. IPSE was originally formed as the Professional Contractors Group to provide independent contractors and consultants with a representative voice in opposition to the original IR35 proposals. 

Why do freelancers become members of IPSE?

IPSE Plus members receive the following services and benefits

  • IR35 tax and legal helpline for advice
  • Contract templates
  • Tax investigation costs
  • Moneysaving offers and rewards with big high street names
  • Bi monthly magazines Modern Work, My Money, and fortnightly newsletter
  • Events and networking opportunities.
  • IPSE academy – training
  • Government and industry lobbying
  • Guide to being a freelancer
  • Pre-tax investigation costs
  • Up to £10,000 if a client goes bankrupt
  • Up to £5000 for jury service
  • Up to £200 if you are ill or injured
  • Up to £1000 if an agency breaks it contract
  • Up to £500 per day for tax compliance meetings
  • £5000 of life insurance at no cost
Is there a discount for 6prog members?

Yes, £50 off the joining fee if you click click here and write 6prog in as your code.

What is going on at the moment at IPSE HQ?

IR35 is dominating talk though with the new leaders of both the Libdems and the Conservatives we will be lobbying to inform them of the negative impact the legislation will cause

latest news

Why does 6prog have partners?

6prog has built many (many) years of experience industrywide and used most applications and systems. Where we have seen software that hits a number of key markets or has massive benefits to the user we like to partner to give them access to additional markets.

Partner companies are led by innovators who are passionate about delivering exceptional service too.

About

We are IPSE, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed. Our name is both an acronym and the Latin word for ‘self’ or ‘by oneself’ – a reference to our chosen way of working.

Let us support you IPSE has dedicated Policy, Press and Research teams who work on behalf of freelancers and the self-employed.  We lobby government departments to ensure that you have a voice in party policies and manifestos.

LINKS

Partners

About

Demo Request

  • The New Contract Recruitment Process

ABOUT

6prog was started by friends from Brighton, UK and Los Angeles, USA. We had all experienced recruiting, being recruited and working as a recruitment partner and felt that these tasks would benefit from a single solution. We discussed various propositions with a large number of people in our own networks and summarised the following characteristics with this multi billion dollar industry.

• Recruiters spend too much time doing paperwork when they should be networking.
• Freelancers spend time chasing updates which can just be messaged directly.
• Clients want multiple levels of recruitment expertise but would rather not have multiple suppliers.
• Project Managers don’t have the time to read through multiple online profiles (the reverse job board service? “no thanks”).
• Everyone wants clearer communication.
• Everyone wants fair payment and fair charges.

So we designed a workflow that allows members to deliver their function most effectively. Recruiters can be anyone with a book of contacts (it’s more valuable to a PM if you can recruit from people via experience or word of mouth). Project Managers and Freelancers can talk to one another. It’s fine – it really is! Recruiters are paid a fixed fee agreed per opportunity. Also margins should not exist (too many reasons to list!) and therefore the software is funded by the low transaction fee. 

Importantly, our ethos is membership driven. All members are charged in the same way at the same fee. Finally we decided to get a team together in order to build a modern solution for project managers, freelancers and recruiters. We launched in April 2017. 6prog is pushing it’s platform to do even more than it already does today. Become a member and help us on our shared journey to revolutionise how projects, recruiting and on boarding get better.

How can 6prog help what you need to do?
make your valuable network valuable