Capital Markets | Organizational Design & Change Management

Designing a flatter, leaner organization structure saves $70 million annually

Designing a flatter, leaner organization structure saves $70 million annually

What We Did

This capital markets firm, which handles millions of transactions each day, is undergoing a comprehensive technology and process transformation program to lay the foundation for future growth.

To realize the full benefits of modernization, the firm needed to revisit its organizational design and plan for significant changes to its workforce. That’s when they called in West Monroe. Our team, with decades of experience in human capital management and organizational design, in just 12 weeks, brought the experience to:

  • Evaluate alternative org designs, and their financial implications
  • Analyze operations and identify opportunities for improvement
  • Build consensus around a target organizational structure
  • Assess the financial impacts of several human capital cost saving levers
  • Define an organizational change management strategy to sustain the success

Armed with clear direction, the firm is now ready to turn transformation into tangible results.


expected annual people cost savings through organization structure changes


organizational layer eliminated – from 7 to 6


increase in number of FTEs per manager – from 2.5 to 4.0   

Project Timeline

Created a formal organizational design team
Analyzed employee and organization data to develop a clear picture of current operations and workforce
Tested structural plan alternatives and modeled cost savings across the top three layers of the organization
Elaborated the design through the remaining organizational layers. Assessed financial and staffing implications of the changes and fine-tuned design to optimize savings.

The Challenge

This  firm’s three-year transformation program will establish new core operating procedures, that come with optimized business processes and a significant amount of automation, while preserving the integrity of the capital markets it serves. The challenge: What would the company’s workforce look like with a completely new operating model? That’s where West Monroe came in.

An Undeniably Different Approach

We understand that successful transformation is not just about employing automation to reduce costs. It’s about having the right skills and org structure to operate with optimal efficiency and productivity. Our team is purpose-built for this challenge – with a multidisciplinary blend of financial services, human capital management, and organizational change management experts. 

First, we helped the firm create a foundation for making effective organizational design decisions. This meant creating an organizational design team comprised of key executives and transformation leaders. We also analyzed employee, functional, and operational data, using our real-time organization visualization and modeling tool, to establish a clear picture of current operations, as well as opportunities for improvement. 

Working in rapid iterations, leveraging real-time organization modeling, we led executives through the process of identifying future organizational design criteria and formulating and testing potential structure options. This approach engaged individual leaders throughout the firm to rethink their organization at a detailed level. Ultimately, the exercise produced a preferred organization structure model that align the company’s workforce with its transformation plans and future strategy.

Finally, we worked with the firm to understand the financial and staffing impacts of multiple human capital cost saving levers  that could facilitate some of the required workforce changes.

Returns You Can Measure

This project increased the client’s ability to focus its talent retention and development efforts to make sure it has the right people, knowledge, and skill sets to operate the business in the future, while realizing the expected benefits of its transformation. 

The results? The capital markets firm can save approximately $70 million annually through structural changes that create a simpler and leaner organization. The future model increases the average managerial span of control from 4.4 to 4.7 people and the modal span of control from 2.5 to 4.0 people. It eliminates almost all instances of two or fewer direct reports. And it reduces the number of layers in the organization from 7 to 6.   

What’s more: Realigning skillsets means the company is able to offer better opportunities for growth and clearer career progression for its employees.

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