Strategic Assessments

Capital Markets is undergoing a wave of dramatic changes with sweeping implications. The traditional business is losing its alignment with the needs of clients, who themselves are trying to adjust to the rapid evolution of globalization with respect to trading Traditional trading is now the spring board into new business models, re-aligned operations, and supporting technologies.

Is your bank ready to be among those leading the evolution of trade banking?

Barton Heyman’s Assessment Service may be the next step. Its primary focus is to help financial institutions successfully navigate the industry-wide transformation resulting in new business models and regulatory changes. The assessment provides a clear gap analysis between the bank’s strategic objectives, current execution, and ability to execute.


The Trade Banking Assessment is comprised of three components which are tailored to your needs:

  • Business Advisory
  • Operations Assessment
  • Technology Assessment

Business Advisory

The business advisory focuses on the overall direction of your trade finance business.

Strategy Analysis

The first step is to understand the current strategy

Validate strategic assumptions through customer and marketplace research.
Evaluate strategy in light of competitors stated strategies and actions.
Determine how well the strategy aligns with the trends and forces in the industry – today, tomorrow?
Identify the industry role that the bank is playing and will play given the current strategy.
Determine if the current market segmentation is aligned with client’s actual needs.

Strategy Alignment

based on the results of the strategy analysis, determine if revisions are desired:

  • Confirm the role that the bank wants to play in the broader context of Trading. (Vision)
  • Identify impact of limiting factors, such as, credit appetite, risk appetite, investment in technologfy, etc.
  • Identify products and services adjustments to align with targeted market segments
  • Formulate/review the initiatives required to execute the strategy.
    • Marketing and Product Management
    • Sales
    • Operations
    • Technology

Operations Assessment

Operations are assessed in two dimensions:

Alignment with Strategy

Does the operational model support the objectives of the strategy? Can services be delivered with the quality, timeliness, and cost that are required by the strategy? How will new services and products (e.g. insourcing) be incorporated into existing operations?

Efficiency of the Processes

Identify opportunities for improvement in the front and back office processes and procedures, as compared to industry best practices. In the context of industry benchmarking, identify the dynamics of the bank’s operating cost structure and alternatives for improvement.

Technology Assessment

There are two main aspects to the technology assessment:

Existing Technology

Evaluate the application systems that support trade banking front office, back office and customer portal. Does it:

Support the Objectives of the Strategy – can it handle the new products and services that are called for in the strategy?
General Functionality – how well does it handle the current products and services – flexibility, quality of generated documents, degree of automation, products and services supported, ability to integrate to external systems, etc.
Support and Maintenance: Evaluate the stability, quality, and cost of support and maintenance for the applications used.
Hardware and Systems Software: Evaluate the applicability, performance, cost and risks.
Infrastructure: Is your existing infrastructure secure? Does it have the ability to scale adequately to meet growth targets?

New Technology

Evaluate the systems options available for the evolution of your trade business.

Product Selection – Insourcing, Document Preparation, Open Account, Various Supply Chain solutions to name a few. Which solutions provider can provide the best ROI?
Vendor Review – What products and solutions exist on the market which can bring business benefits quickly? Who are the real players to consider? Are ASPs an option – what are the risks?
Integration Planning – How can these solutions fit into your existing infrastructure? What tactical solutions exist to bring business to market quickly? How much will it really cost to launch these new products to market?

Elements of the strategy development process include:

Planning and development of organization’s objectives, long-range strategic plans, and identification of strengths and weaknesses.
Conduct studies for top management in areas such as technology partnerships, strategic growth opportunities.
Develop insights and recommendations into ways to improve capabilities that drive value.
Analyze financial reports, identifying key trends in the business.
Develop strategic concepts to jump-start the creative process.
“Sounding Board” – Roundtable discussions with DTI analysts on any of the above.

Business Development & Planning

Business development is a specific process designed to identify, analyze, and evaluate new business opportunities. Barton Heyman assesses new business opportunities through the analysis of market potential, customer needs, company’s existing and future capabilities, competitors, strategic alliances, and potential business models.

Business planning allows our clients to choose the best possible opportunities for their investments. Our business model analysis and design includes:

  • Value proposition
  • Targeted client segment
  • Resource requirements
  • Business activities
  • Stakeholder motivations
  • Revenue model
  • Cost structure

Project Finance

We develop project finance models for the financing of long-term energy project where project debt and equity used to finance the project are paid back from the cash flow generated by the project. Our team has been involved in solar, wind, biomass, waste-to-energy, natural gas and coal projects.