The future of finance: Evercore’s vision for transformation and growth in capital markets

Gabriela Mendoza, director, FP&A at Evercore, shares her journey of implementing Anaplan, including the challenges faced in streamlining and centralizing data, the benefits gained in accurate forecasting and reporting, and plans for future expansion into treasury management, deal management, and corporate cost allocations.

Jenn Ruder 0:00:03.4:

Thanks, everyone for joining us this afternoon and thanks Gabriela from Evercore. We’re going to plan to use this session to chat for, to speak a little bit about Evercore’s journey, where they started, where they have gone and what they’re hoping to accomplish in the future. Evercore, compared to some customers that you’ve heard from already today started using Anaplan rather recently, just over a year ago, so hopefully a new lens, a new perspective. Also amazing to have two women sitting here on stage, during Women’s History Month, so thanks so much, guys.




Gabriela Mendoza 0:00:37.3:

Thanks Jenn.


Jenn Ruder 0:00:40.8:

Do you want to just get started by sharing a little bit about Evercore and about yourself and your role?


Gabriela Mendoza 0:00:42.8:

Absolutely, for those who don’t know me, my name is Gabriela Mendoza. I am a director and FP&A at Evercore. Evercore is a prestigious, independent investment bank here in, headquartered in mid-town Manhattan, so not too far away from here. Really, I’ve been here at Evercore for almost nine years, seven of which were in the FP&A team, so I can definitely say that things have changed with the growth of the firm and exponential growth at that, especially over the last five, ten years. We’re really looking forward to leveraging the tool that can really help and cater to that growth. A little bit about our Anaplan journey. We just started actually scoping out last year, around this time I believe, right Jenn?


Jenn Ruder 0:01:34.9:



Gabriela Mendoza 0:01:34.6:

Already we’ve done Phase 1, go live around Q4 of last year, so it took us… I think we were pretty efficient honestly in our implementation process, but one of the really good things was having a good consultant firm to help us along the way. Why we chose Anaplan, I would say a couple of things. One, we really wanted a tool that would help properly and accurately forecast revenues, compensation, all the financial analysis. More like I previously said, is cater to all the growth that we’ve had over the last couple of years. Our former CSO had used Anaplan in the past and they were really, really interested in having Evercore evolve and use the tool. It’s so powerful, it has so many capabilities and we’re really excited to get started I would say.


Jenn Ruder 0:02:39.4:

Yes, absolutely. It’s been a great journey. I know you’ve spoken to a little bit of what you’re looking for in a tool, but what were some of the challenges that you were facing as an organization prior to selecting Anaplan?


Gabriela Mendoza 0:02:48.3:

That’s actually a really good point. I feel personally, and maybe I can speak off of behalf of a lot of financial services and institutions. It’s just like streamlining data, centralizing data. We had a financial planning tool, but it was more like a data hub where we stored numbers and forecasts and things and that put a lot of analysis, through analysis we had to export the information, use spreadsheets. They were great and it served its purpose, but we really needed something more. The dashboarding that’s available and Anaplan really helped for our CFO for example. We can talk a little bit more about that later, but I think one of the main challenges was trying to get the data clean and in its right spot so that we can have some really good analytics and inform management appropriately.


Jenn Ruder 0:03:51.9:

As Gabby mentioned, Evercore went live with their FP&A model back in Q4 last year. They also are using Anaplan for their deferred compensation modelling. Could you share a little bit about maybe some of the capabilities or insights that you’ve gained now that you’re in Anaplan and using the tools since going live?


Gabriela Mendoza 0:04:12.0:

Yes, no, so we’ve already… I’m thinking about the honeycomb that I feel that everybody looks at, but already we’ve implemented various, I would say, honeycombs. We have our financial planning honeycomb; we have headcount planning and I actually wanted to touch a little bit about that with some of the challenges that we were formally discussing. A lot of that process was rather manual. We’d reach out to the businesses, we’d get their ASS, we consolidated, inform our management, hey look, these are the ASS, these are the investment that we want to have. For business, these are the corporate investments. A lot of that process was manual. In Anaplan now, and this is something that is huge for us, but in Anaplan, we have developed in-house a centralized planning process specifically for headcount, but we have compensation metrics as well. That really streamlined the data as well as… We were easily able to aggregate on a full…


Gabriela Mendoza 0:05:25.5:

We can look at things from a business unit perspective, corporate perspective, full firm perspective and much more easily inform management and track more than anything. The business unit controllers and corporate controllers are able to, on a monthly basis, update, based off any planned editions and, or departures regretted or not regretted, obviously, but they’re able to track and it’s so much easier for our team to facilitate that maintenance and the planning evolution over the year. That’s a really great capability. Some other things that we’ve developed in Anaplan was in terms of reporting, a lot of our reporting was, like I said, coming out of Excel spreadsheets. It looked great, we’d put in a PowerPoint, and it looked awesome, but in terms of data-housing, we’re now able to provide reports directly from Anaplan that has all the information that we need for management. We have a lot of management reports that we’ve built already with the help of our consultant.


Gabriela Mendoza 0:06:33.9:

It’s really informed and streamlined a lot of the processes. We’ve managed a monthly meeting with all of the stakeholders to identify any material changes within the forecasts and we use Anaplan for it now. Before we would have to download the data from our old platform, organize it in a way that is helpful for the stakeholders and present it. It’s literally a click of a button, ensure that everything ties, everything looks great, and we present it. Some of the members here on my team do a great job in ensuring that everything is looking great. Also, if we need to change anything, there was times when things needed to be changed, it was really easy to make those updates. There’s a lot of capabilities. We’ve leveraged already everything that we’ve built, which was great. In terms of deferred comp, I will say, I won’t say too much because I wasn’t heavily involved in that process, but I know one of the reasons why Evercore chose Anaplan for deferred comp is their compensation structure is very complex.


Gabriela Mendoza 0:07:51.9:

A lot of platforms were actually, they just couldn’t accommodate our compensation structure, so Anaplan being so customized, well, they were able to leverage that and truly work together to build something that works for us.


Jenn Ruder 0:08:06.6:

Definitely, and I definitely want to give credit to the team here because Evercore has filled a handful of dashboards on their own which has been really exciting to see. Including one for Tim Lalonde, the CEO.


Gabriela Mendoza 0:08:14.6:

Yes, right. I think two things. One, our team is really eager to learn. It’s a brand-new, very powerful platform and our team wanted to jump in. We have certified model builders in our team, I think we have four of them already. It’s been really great to see how they want to jump in, and, hey, I think we can do this, or what about… Just playing around with the tool and seeing what output we can produce. One of the members of our team had a really good idea of, hey, let’s have a specific CFO dashboard to be presented for our CFO. Actually, our CFO can just jump in and look at the latest KPIs, historical data, and information, click of a button, zone into a specific business. They are performance metrics. It’s been really helpful. He’s very much data-driven and he loves it. I’m really happy that we were able to produce that. We did it internally with a couple of tweaks from our consultant, but they built it themselves and it really comes to show how easy the tool is. Obviously, once you have the 50 hours of certified … certificate, it’s easy, it’s easy to navigate. You can do a lot of things with it I would say.


Jenn Ruder 0:09:46.5:

Absolutely. We’ve spoken a little bit about the highs of the implementation and your journey so far. Could you share maybe about some of the more unexpected challenges that we ran into along the way? What maybe some potential customers might want to look out for as they consider Anaplan?


Gabriela Mendoza 0:10:01.9:

Sure. I think we started; our rollout was in May I believe.


Jenn Ruder 0:10:09.0:

April or May.


Gabriela Mendoza 0:10:12.2:

Our kick-off was in May. I would say two things, one was the implementation itself. This is more of an internal Evercore thing, although I think it applies to everybody, but having properly planned a little bit more on the info side, on all the security develops, all of that. There was a lot of policies and procedures that we had to abide by that I think we weren’t as privy to. They need time to approve certain rollouts, certain projects. We were like, okay, here’s the information, when can we get their approval? They were like, hold on! We need a little time to review. Maybe, from a project management standpoint, really looking at all the aspects of the implementation in terms of security. Our IT is obviously very stringent, and that’s not a bad thing, but really understanding, hey, how long is your process from start to finish for this phase, this phase, and this phase? So that we cannot be held back, or we’re not waiting for them. That’s probably one thing for… Anaplan itself, I would say, Anaplan, I had to change my mindset a little bit. It’s not like when I build an Excel model or report. You’re kind of just building in formulas. The Anaplan way is a little different I would say.


Gabriela Mendoza 0:11:40.2:

Just changing your mindset to how you’re pulling modules or first creating modules and then using those to build reports. It’s not hard, it’s just something that you have to learn and adapt to.


Jenn Ruder 0:11:56.7:

Yes, I would say much more scalable too.


Gabriela Mendoza 0:11:58.7:

For sure.


Jenn Ruder 0:11:58.7:

Applying across the business.


Gabriela Mendoza 0:12:02.0:

For sure.


Jenn Ruder 0:12:02.0:

We spoke a little bit about Tim getting in the model for example, could you speak to how Evercore has got a bunch of different user types involved and maybe who they are and their roles?


Gabriela Mendoza 0:12:12.2:

Yes, so we have Tim, who like I said is very data-focused. He’s very much excited to have a specific dashboard that was created for him. A lot of our business unit controllers or stakeholders who use the tool pretty regularly have been really happy with the tool. It’s something, for example, somebody in our equities business loves how easy it is to upload information and almost instantly you get your output, and you have your analytics that are built. We have those folks, our IR team, we work a lot with them and have a lot of data that’s presented in a way that will help them inform the research analysts and all the external parties that they work for, I mean, collaborate with rather. We have a lot of people who are excited about it. I mean, we’ve just rolled out, in December, so we’re all learning still and we’re in the process of trying to see what’s next and kind of looking at our roadmap. We have some really good ideas, but so far, everybody’s learning to be comfortable with something different, something powerful and we’re excited to do more with that.


Jenn Ruder 0:13:34.7:

Yes, absolutely, and even the deferred comp team being able to interact and collaborate with them, with their module and having it sent to you


Gabriela Mendoza 0:13:44.0:

Yes, that’s going to be huge because… For the compensation for forecasting, deferred comp is their output, you can estimate that for the rest of the year, for next year, obviously there’s going to be puts and takes. In the past we would reach out to the deferred comp team and three days later they would come out with, okay, here’s the estimated expense for this business or whatnot. Now, when they finalize their implementation, it’s going to be a quick report. We’re going to ask them for a couple of parameters and they’re just going to click some buttons. It’s almost instantaneously, so that’s huge for us.


Jenn Ruder 0:14:32.7:

Could you speak a little bit about how you’ve been able to gain champions internally? I know we just were talking about billing out a center of excellence and Evercore are still early on their journey, but you’ve already identified some great people and have the right governance thoughts in place. Could you speak a little bit to that?


Gabriela Mendoza 0:14:48.2:

We don’t have a formal COE now; we just bought the tool last year. Again, there’s a lot of interest in being a part of a huge platform like this. A couple of our honeycombs, we have a couple and looking out to several years we’re excited to expand. We have our finance IT department, who’s very much interested in collaborating with us and being that support that we need in terms of the technicalities of Anaplan. Our FP&A department, they are all on board, whether they like it or not! No, I’m kidding! They’re all on board, they want to learn, they’re very much kind of like the first line of defense for any of our sequels. If they have any questions, if they have, hey, can I do this a certain way? Or I built a report, is there something I can build that maybe gets there a little faster? Just improvements on all fronts. I would say we have a couple of champions, but we’re still early in the process.


Jenn Ruder 0:16:03.4:

As expected! Could you share a little bit about what return on investment you’ve already seen in the last year or so and maybe what you’re looking to accomplish in the years to come?


Gabriela Mendoza 0:16:12.4:

Yes, we have a couple of things that come directly to mind. In the past, our budgeting process… We do our budgeting process; we like to struggle and… We do our budgeting process during our comp season. We do it between the end of Q3 and the beginning of Q4. By the end of the year, so by the end of December, we had a pretty finalized budget for 2024. In years past it’s always been, maybe not, struggle is probably an aggressive word, but it’s a lot to do comp season and comp forecasting as well as budgeting. This year, we’ve used Anaplan and there’s a couple of things that really helped us streamline massively and it just improved the process. We’ve built files already that were kind of leveraging the data or the inputs from various stakeholders to provide full-firm analytics. We also reorganized our process, in and of itself, the actual budgeting process to make it easy for revisions. The output of that, was immediately, following a specific deadline, was immediately presented to the CFO.


Gabriela Mendoza 0:17:36.3:

If he had any changes, those were communicated, and things were just working. The actual data itself was uploaded in a way that was seamless for us to retrieve. That was huge, that to us was huge. A couple of other, I guess, very good, helpful things that happened to us was that in forecasting alone, that’s… We’re developing a better cadence because the data itself is a lot cleaner. Our forecasting process is a couple of buttons, things download. We review them and they’re easier, they’re just so much easier to be presented to management now.


Jenn Ruder 0:18:22.4:

Yes, absolutely, thank you. Could you share a little bit about what is upcoming for Evercore on their roadmap?


Gabriela Mendoza 0:18:27.7:

We just started… Well, a couple of things. One, before we go out and go to Phase 2, we want to ensure that our stakeholders are comfortable with the tool. They have a lot of time to go through, play with models if they need to, or build reports. If they have any questions, or any enhancements for that to be communicated, so we can build it in our official Phase 2. We’re looking at potentially treasury management, potential integrations with our treasury management system, cash forecasting. There’s a couple of ideas of our deal management system and forecasting revenues by deal. We technically already do it, but it’s more of a manual lift. Having some sort of integration or some sort of pipe that connects that data so that we can easily download probabilities or deal probabilities and better inform our revenue process. We also have some compensation, like performance compensation metrics that we’d like to get in there for specific businesses. What else? I don’t remember off the top of my head. I mean, there’s a lot we can do, we can do a lot of stuff.


Jenn Ruder 0:19:56.4:

Past allocations, things like that.


Gabriela Mendoza 0:20:00.2:

Yes, yes. We’re thinking about how to incorporate that in Anaplan, but corporate cost allocations and developing and identifying specific drivers that we can allocate. Corporate costs right now, everything is done manually, but the data is there, so we can easily build it in Anaplan and develop these drivers to really allocate corporate compensation.


Jenn Ruder 0:20:26.6:

Yes, absolutely. That was all the questions that I had for Gabby; we have a few minutes left. I know we’re standing between everyone and happy hour, but if anyone has any questions, we can certainly take them now.


Audience 0:20:42.4:

We’ve been hearing today a lot about how people are replacing spreadsheets with Anaplan and knowing that investment banks are spreadsheet-heavy, do you have plans to expand your capabilities or models beyond the FP&A function into some of the front office?


Gabriela Mendoza 0:21:05.4:

I have talked to the CFO about this. Currently, we do not. Anaplan, it’s primary focus right now is supporting the FP&A function and the team, doing management reporting. Eventually, well, we have had count planning, but really expanding our headcount planning, our capabilities as well as compensation capabilities. In terms of front office work, we haven’t really explored that yet. I don’t see why we couldn’t potentially in the future.


Jenn Ruder 0:21:42.5:

Yes, I think even with the deal management possibility, that could integrate a bit with the front office.


Gabriela Mendoza 0:21:48.0:

Right, yes, that’s currently… My view for that is how does that inform my revenue forecasting for business? In terms of the actual front office, we haven’t really explored that yet.


Audience 0:22:12.4:

Hi, so, well, I wasn’t expecting to hear myself! I think we’ve had a lot of great feedback about how the impact of Anaplan being adopted and being used especially for FP&A. My question would be what do you think helped to have people adopt this? Going from spreadsheets to actually doing all of your planning in Anaplan is a bit of a transition or an adjustment, especially for people who are accustomed to whatever established process. What do you think was helpful in that, or maybe inversely, what do you think would have been more helpful to ease that process along?


Gabriela Mendoza 0:22:45.2:

Wow, that’s a really great question. It’s twofold, one we made them do it. No, I’m kidding! I think it was a lot of knowledge transfer. The process, the actual forecasting process, the business units know better, know best how to forecast for their respective business unit or corporate cost center. For us, it’s how do you actually do it in Anaplan? A lot of the ways we did it was our team internally would have knowledge transfer sessions with their respective business unit controllers or corporate cost controllers to really understand the tool in and of itself. That when they are able to ingest information it’s easier and they’re a lot more comfortable. We still have, even to this day, we had somebody call this morning, ‘Hey I need to, I forgot how to do this one thing, is there any way we can set up a session?’ I said, ‘Oh well, we have a conference this afternoon, so maybe tomorrow!’ That collaboration is vital. A lot of people are really interested in doing more. Granted, like I said, we are kind of early in the process, but they’re interested and working together.


Gabriela Mendoza 0:24:05.4:

Our FP&A team works very closely with our business unit controllers, our finance controllers, so we collaborate and work things through. Have a team session, we’ll share our screens, things of that nature. It’s been very helpful so far.


Jenn Ruder 0:24:20.7:

Yes, and I think too involving the business unit controllers early on was really helpful because we were able to get their feedback and start to incorporate some of their requests.


Gabriela Mendoza 0:24:31.6:

In the actual build.


Jenn Ruder 0:24:32.5:



Gabriela Mendoza 0:24:33.5:

In the actual build… As we were implementing… That’s a really good point, Jenn. As we were implementing the actual tool, we would do preview sessions with them. We would say, ‘Hey guys, this is what we’re thinking, this is how we’re thinking about building our headcount planning tool or page. Do you guys have any feedback, is there anything that you think would be more useful for your specific business?’ ‘Oh yes, I think we should add this kind of compensation as well associated with that.’ We can see our headcount planning impact with the associated comp for those additions. Little things like that, we really try to collaborate with everybody so we can help the entire finance organization. It was really helpful. We tried not to work behind the curtain and just say, ‘Hey, this is what we’ve done!’ I think that’s actually one of the best things that, one of the better things that we did was just start showing little bits and pieces in the beginning and adjusting and adapting as needed.


Gabriela Mendoza 0:25:39.7:

I forget we had another conference or a panel a couple of months ago. An individual mentioned that they couldn’t get buy-in from their teams, from their organization. I spoke to this man afterwards and I was like, ‘Well, how did you build it, how did you communicate from the start?’ They were kind of like, ‘No, well we just finished the product and then showed everybody, like hey, this is the new planning tool.’ I think that’s one of the things that I really learned, is really getting buy-in from your stakeholders early on was huge for the success for our implementation.


Jenn Ruder 0:26:19.8:

Absolutely. I think we are just approaching the end here, so thank you so much Gabby, and thanks to everyone for your questions. I think this is the last session of the day so enjoy the rest of your evening.


Gabriela Mendoza 0:26:31.2:

Thank you.




Gabriela Mendoza, Director, FP&A, Evercore

Jenn Ruder, Delivery Director, Spaulding Ridge