On the heels of Y2K, Morgan Stanley's treasury knew it was time for a technology makeover. Its cash forecasting system was old and straining under the weight of more volume, and its programming language, SmallTalk, was rapidly becoming obsolete. But given its size and scope-assets total $500 billion and cash flow is in 29 currencies-Morgan Stanley's treasury managers knew that the solution was unlikely to be any off-the-shelf system. A replacement would require the investment bank to embark on an immense and time-consuming project to create a totally new system, but treasury decided it had no alternative. "We weren't able to find any outside vendors able to meet our needs," says Alexander Frank, Morgan Stanley's treasurer. "Our environment is complex. As a result, we needed a level of customization that led us down the [in-house] path."

It took two years, 12 full-time treasury employees and a project cost of $18 million to create Proteus, a global forecasting and funding system.

The biggest challenge: maintaining, reconciling and making available unprecedented amounts of diverse real-time data over a single platform. Because the project was so large, it was broken into three phases. In the first phase, the core Proteus system was designed and then beta tested in Latin America, Canada and Europe. In the second, Proteus was expanded to all currencies and rolled out globally. Finally, exception-based reporting was installed, which searches for data anomalies and raises alerts to cash management. "Every single area was involved in massive amounts of testing–thousands of man-hours," says Robert Newton, an executive director at Morgan Stanley.

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to Treasury & Risk, part of your ALM digital membership.

  • Critical Treasury & Risk information including in-depth analysis of treasury and finance best practices, case studies with corporate innovators, informative newsletters, educational webcasts and videos, and resources from industry leaders.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and Treasury & Risk events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including PropertyCasualty360.com and Law.com.

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.