Designing a syndicated loans deal management system
The customer, a global provider of virtual data rooms, needed a dynamic system for better management of allocations from their investors.
A syndicated loan is provided by a group of lenders. It is structured, arranged and administered by one or many commercial banks / investment banks, known as arrangers or book runners. It involves multiple enterprises and the book runners work with the other participating ﬁrms. Typically, one enterprise takes the responsibility of handling the books.
This was the ﬁrst attempt in the syndicated loans domain to bring diﬀerent systems together, such as content management, deal management, syndication, allocation and book building. It was also the ﬁrst attempt to use book building over a web service.
The system addressed the following:
1. The business process was lengthy and technical, requiring meticulous attention from diﬀerent users at diﬀerent times.
2. The system’s range of users included relationship managers, sales executives and syndication agents.
Each of these roles came with speciﬁc needs.
3. The new system, unlike older ones, needed to be a seamless and integrated interface, as per business process and user needs.
4. The content heavy book had always been managed by software such as MS Excel in the past. To create an equivalent utilitarian software such as it, on a web service, was a steep challenge by itself.
- Personalized landing pages were designed for each role. The services were designed to provide relevant business data for each role.
- The user can move from one screen to another without using ‘navigation controls.’ Special attention was paid to the interaction design between the screens.
- The screens were designed so that the related information always supported the main task. This helps the user to easily access any additional information without discontinuing the ongoing task.
- The content heavy book building screen beneﬁtted the most from content strategy. The screens could now ﬁt in the data and simplify the process.
Owing to the large number of data elements and business functions, it was imperative to understand the mindset of diﬀerent users. A quick user research showed that each role is distinct and is played by a person of diﬀerent psychographic background.
A card sort was conducted to understand the grouping of elements and sequence of the business ﬂow. Our aim was to:
- Make the system lean and easy to use.
- Using business innovation, strip the content down to its basic essentials.
- Discuss the purpose and signiﬁcance of all the required additional data with users, before including the same on the screens.
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