TECHWORK 23: Christian Schumer, ICG
Schumer started his career in McKinsey & Company’s London office, where he served financial services clients for about 10 years on a wide range of strategic and operational projects. He then joined Deutsche Bank where he worked for eight years, initially in the corporate strategy team and subsequently in a number of operational roles, including for the UK CEO and as head of transformation for anti-financial crime, leading a large-scale remediation programme for the UK.
Schumer joined ICG as head of transformation in 2019, with the objective of supporting the business in making ICG’s platform more scalable for the company’s growth. He holds an MBA from London Business School.
After joining ICG, Schumer led a review of ICG’s corporate and business services function, together with a Big Four consulting firm, to improve the scalability of the platform. ICG had seen rapid growth with AUM increasing to $75bn in 2022 and business lines expanding to include structured and private equity, private debt, real assets and credit. As a result, there was scope for processes across the business to be upgraded and enhanced to align with its market-leading position and create greater consistency across the different business lines.
Through this review, Schumer and the team identified improvements in four areas. One: implementing a data platform to connect the different systems of ICG and creating analytical and reporting capabilities on the back of this data platform. Two: streamlining key cross-functional processes and implementing workflow tools to enable them. Three: optimising outsourcing arrangements, strengthening oversight governance and optimising the outsourcing footprint. Four: implementing a more functionally-aligned organisation.
Following the review, Schumer worked closely with the relevant businesses and ICG’s technology function to deliver on these four objectives, and to date, the business has made great progress in all four areas.
Examples include the implementation of a data platform and connecting it to all core systems within ICG. It also involved creating analytical and reporting capabilities using Anaplan and Power BI. Work is underway to also connect some of ICG’s third-party administrators and further build out the platform.
Another example is completing process reviews of key cross-functional processes, including the new fund setup process, deal process, tax compliance and valuations, and implementing workflow tools where appropriate. A workflow tool for the new fund process went live earlier this year and is supporting a streamlined process, while the firm is also improving cross-functional communication with both internal and external stakeholders, and putting in place centralised document management.
Further improvements include standardising governance and oversight processes across ICG’s current third-party administrators, outsourcing its loan agency operations to a third-party provider, building out a centre of excellence in India, and working with a leading business services provider to support the growth of its corporate and business services functions.
And finally, the firm is implementing a functionally-aligned organisation in its corporate and business services functions.
In addition to platform scalability, Schumer has also been responsible for managing ICG’s transition away from Libor and setting up new offices, including one in Dubai.