Mark Ashford

Mark Ashford


Mark has over 15 years of IT experience as a Business Systems Analyst, including over 14 years at an advanced level and have worked with large teams to build enterprise systems from beginning to end in the banking and brokerage industries.

His experience covers management of process re-engineering projects, feasibility studies, developing commitments to deliver; data gathering, and extraction, data mart design and construction and introduction of Business Intelligence tools.

He has developed implemented and executed Quality Assurance [QA] strategies for departments and groups as well as detailed test plans which have been executed to ensure quality deliverables.

He has implemented an SDLC Process & QA strategy, including documentation into a company that did not have a structured development environment or planned QA methodology.

He has been responsible for all QA strategies, deliverables and implementation testing of Retail Risk products and services provided to RBC Internal Audit Service field auditors.

He has implemented, change management and process reviews both at the system and operational levels.

He has developed and provided training and mentored junior BAs on complex systems and system redesigns as part of project implementations and reviews of existing systems.

He has coordinated multifaceted projects with numerous internal departments and external vendors, managed project planning, timelines and budgets and has presented project reports and other material project information to management at all levels of the organization.

He has worked in diversified environments for major financial institutions with large integrated systems and for the General Counsel of a major brokerage company where he engaged with brokers, brokerage traders, trading systems, brokerage-trading data, and know-your-client data, Margin Lending, brokerage fees and commissions to develop a comprehensive trading monitoring and credit management system.

He worked for ay years in Internal Audit Services [IAS] of RBC, where he was responsible for all Retail Risk Lending systems, Loans, mortgagees, VISA, Overdrafts, Leasing, designed and constructed the IAS Datamart for Retail Credit Risk Auditing.

He has worked with Point of Sales Systems [POS] at different levels including Moneris Solutions and within his own consulting business which includes web based technologies and advising on obtaining merchant status, ecommerce shopping carts, open source and Microsoft, and POS terminals.

He was involved with the data analysis and population of both cleansed and non-cleansed data into a Retail Credit Data Warehouse for Basel II reporting, and a major credit card processor where he lead the redesign and implementation of new high-speed statements for high-speed printing.

He honed his extensive experience with project management methodologies, corporate standards, and procedures and solid experience working with the business and IT stakeholders, as well as taking care of the projects status, planning, scope change, budgeting, and team effort coordination to ensure the project success.


A Business Analyst / Senior Business Analyst or Project Manager contract or permanent position.

Industry is not specific.

I am flexible on travel around the Greater Toronto area and as indicated, I am flexible on the employment type and not tied to any one industry

Work History

Work History

Senior Business Systems Analyst

Royal Bank, Canada's largest and most successful financial institution

  • Used Cayenne (Bachman) and ErWin as the case tools to design the data warehouse accessing MS SQL Server databases on a Windows 95/NT platform. Extracts from month end mainframe files (SAP, flat files, IMS, DB2) used to load SQL Server to provide access to data using business intelligence tools Cognos Impromptu and PowerPlay
  • Responsibility areas: Loans, Mortgages, CIF, VISA [Acquiring and Issuing], overdrafts, Chequeing, savings, leasing, and credit scoring and product groups.
  • Ensured Data Warehouse Change Management processes reduced downtime and reduced impact of changes and enhancements to the data schema and BI tools.
  • Rationalized host data extracts and processes to eliminate redundancy and reduced costs by using Impromptu and PowerPlay as delivery tools
  • Reduced processing costs and manpower requirements to conduct risk evaluation activities of branch lending and credit approval.
  • Responsible for all QA deliverables, strategies, and implementation testing of Retail Risk products and services provided to Internal Audit Service field auditors; including execution of testing and recording of metrics and work completed by other IAS IT staff.
  • Designed and developed methodology to automate auditing of entire domestic transfer files to report all manual debit transactions to revenue accounts.
  • Co authored Systems & Technology wide Year 2000 Compliancy and certification standard.
  • Business specification, Business Acceptance Testing design and analysis, moderator Joint Application & Design (JAD). Formal inspections and project phase management.

Technology Used: MS Project, MS Word, Excel, Outlook, VISIO, Cognos, SQL Server 2000, Cayenne (Bachman), Erwin, SAP, Cognos Impromptu and PowerPlay, IBM Mainframe, CICS & VMS

Senior Business Analyst

TD Wealth Management

TD Wealth Management a division of TD Canada Trust, one of Canada's largest banks.

  • Responsible for data mapping and conversion, data migration strategy software integration detailed design requirements, data and network analysis and testing, assessment of network testing results. Reviewed office operations in regard to the existing and proposed system changes.
  • Managed project deliverables procedures were consistent with Change Management processes and minimize impact on service.
  • Identified Infrastructure and Quality Assurance pressure points in the project deliverables as part of the overall deliverables
  • Responsible for liaison with vendor and Wealth management officers and PMO office.

Technology Used: MS Project, MS Word, Excel, Lotus Notes, Outlook, and proprietary financial planning and CRM Tools [Xeye]


Mark A Ashford Consulting Inc
May 2008 - Mar 2009

Business and Process Analyst

Macquarie Financial is headquartered in Sydney, Australia. Macquarie Financial is a Bank in Australia and the UK and is positioned to apply for banking status in Canada. The contract was in the Toronto Offices.

Macquarie is a diversified international provider of specialist investment, advisory, trading and financial services in select markets around the world including Canada and US.

  • Conducted Business and Operations Analysis of processes and procedures; upgrading Standing Operating Procedures [SOP] and providing them to staff and Team Leads for workplace implementation
  • Conducted a comprehensive review of the Quality Assurance and Audit Function, identifying gaps in process, accountability, and transparency
  • Developed Quality Assurance scripts and documentation for execution during system implementation
  • Redefined processes for standardizing legal assignment processes in the General Counsel [GC] office
  • Reviewed GC and Compliance and Privacy systems to improve monitoring of Anti Money Laundering, Terrorist, and Politically Exposed Persons - Bill C-25.

Technology Used: MS Project, SharePoint, MS Word, Excel, InfoPath, Visio, Enterprise Architect, Outlook

Sep 2007 - May 2008

Resolve Corporation is a major outsourcing company with 35 years experience delivering industry specific solutions in Financial Services, Government, Retail, Consumer Products, Communications & Media, Automotive, and Pharmaceutical industries

  • Responsible for process reviews of all operational areas including Call Centre and client facing product team[s]
  • Responsible for data and business purpose Mapping of WebSphere MQ Transaction family to new client server system and business systems analysis.
  • Comprehensive operational and system reviews of key processes for directors, areas included call centre, web development team, reconciliations, investigations, audit and controls.
  • Facilitated JAD sessions for business projects and team building purposes for the Resource Manager, interviewing SME's developing Business Requirements and Business Design documents, mentoring junior BAs.
  • Managed a team of 8 operations staff and a database specialist over a period of 3 months to define the extent of data errors in a client Government system and providing the data sets to resolve the errors.

Technology Used: MS Project, SharePoint, MS Word, Excel, , Visio, IBM Mainframe, WebSphere MQ Transaction SQL Server 2000 & SQL Server 2005, Enterprise Architect, and Outlook

Apr 2006 - Sep 2007

BBM Canada

Bureau of Broadcast Management [BBM] Canada provides the radio, TV, and media industry in Canada and NE USA with audience survey and ratings information. It works with the Nielsen Company in the US to enhance market surveying and integration with the US

  • Responsible for process reviews of all operational areas including IT, Call Centre, and client facing product managers and distribution processes
  • Designed and assisted with the implementation of BBM Canada's Systems Development Life Cycle [SDLC] and Project Management methodology.
  • Initiated Change Management Processes to ensure standardized methods and procedures for efficient and prompt handling of all changes to minimize impact on service.
  • Implemented a QA process as part of the SDLC to improve product quality delivery and shorten QA time and therefore costs.
  • Responsible for the validation of vendor products and services to demonstrate the QA implementation and recording of metrics for management approval
  • Developed current state documentation for a number of end user and client facing systems; proposed and designed a comprehensive End User Computing environment for executive use and research.
  • Conducted operations process reviews to improve efficiency and reduce costs.
  • Reverse engineered data models for several operational systems residing on Oracle 10g.
  • Created a proof of concept datamart database model using SQL Server 2005
  • Managed documentation of Oracle 10g applications using Oracle tools i.e. Designer, Form and Report builder and SQL Developer.
  • Developed proposals for internal and client facing technology strategies and sat on the BBM Architecture Review Panel including the CIO, Director of Application Development, and Senior Oracle Team Manager.
  • Managed staff and all phases of major projects i.e. Rim Weighting software for statistical Respondent Weighting; Integration of metered panel data in existing static survey reporting;
  • Implementation of Generic Behavioral [Respondent] Coding systems; upgrades and new versions of major TV and Radio Client facing systems.

Technologies Used: MS Project, SharePoint, MS Word, Excel, InfoPath, Visio, Enterprise Architect, Oracle 10g, Oracle Designer 2000, SQL Server 2005, Outlook, and proprietary demographic survey mapping tools, Stats Canada and Canada Post databases

Oct 2004 - Apr 2005

Senior Business Analyst


CIBC One of Canada's largest Banks

  • Responsible for Retail Credit warehouse business testing strategy, test planning, and development, with both subsidiary and inter dependent projects and systems. Including; current, ongoing data feeds and 5 years of historical data loading from 12 source systems.
  • Report design and Access Controls and Permissions design and integration with other warehouse components and web portal delivery. Business contact and management of business requirements covering credit monitoring, performance, Governance and Risk Quantification.

Technology Used: MS Project, MS Word, Excel, Lotus Notes, Outlook, and Erwin

Aug 2004 - Sep 2004

Business Analyst

Wood Gundy, the brokerage arm of CIBC, one of Canada's largest banks

  • Managing one technical resource in a Rapid Application Development (RAD) / prototyping environment. Conducted JAD sessions, prototyping sessions and production of manuals for designated enhancement and existing system.
  • Produced Business requirements and advised on prototype design.
  • Consulting Projects for a new Start-up Company July 2003 - August 2004

Technology Used: MS Project, MS Word, Excel, Outlook

Feb 2003 - Jul 2003

Senior Lead Analyst Retail & Small Business Lending Team - Basel II Accord


CIBC one of Canada's largest banks

  • Specialized in Small Business Lending and Credit Adjudication processes; analyzed credit risk management and processes; specified reporting requirements, data, and source system mapping.
  • Mentored and supported 7 other analysts in the following portfolios; retail personal lending, personal and corporate credit cards, agriculture, retail mortgages, collections, wealth management and Global private Banking. Reviewed project documents and developed training as required.

Technology Used: MS Project, MS Word, Excel, Outlook

Oct 2002 - Jan 2003

Royal Bank [RBC] Canada's largest financial institution

  • Originated the Project Charter and Document of Understanding between Systems & Technology and Business Sponsor for a major enhancement and process re-engineering of existing wire payment funds transfer & billing systems within Royal Bank.
  • Coordinated presentations to internal executive management review bodies, security, usability and other experts. The business objective was the rationalization of multiple billing systems while adding flexibility to the overall wire payment fee collection processes.

Technology Used: MS Project, MS Word, Excel, Outlook

Jun 2001 - Sep 2002

Senior Business Systems Analyst, POS, POS statements and web site

Moneris Solutions

Moneris Solutions Canada's largest supplier of Point of Sale services, VISA and MasterCard issuer

  • Researched, recommended, and developed systems strategies for various components of the migration of Bank of Montreal and Royal Bank Credit Card processing and Point of Sale, [POS] both Acquiring and Issuing and Debit card transactions to a common platform.
  • Developed QA processes and procedures for the processes being modified to ensure quality deliverables were delivered on time and in budget
  • Led integration of VISA & MasterCard data on high volume POS statements for a merger of two leading banks; including ensuring consistency with Internet statements

Technology Used: MS Project, MS Word, Excel, Outlook           

May 2000 - Jun 2001

Senior Business Systems Analyst, Office of General Counsel - Corporate Surveillance Systems

Merrill Lynch Canada Inc

One of the world's largest brokerage companies with a global presence in all major markets and industrial companies

Mandate: to increase efficiency of surveillance systems to mitigate litigation, credit and reputational losses as a percentage of business growth.

  • Designed and prepared a Process Re-Engineering Technology Strategy for the General Counsel which was approved in Canada and the US by the technology steering committee
  • Designed, recommended and obtained approval for expansion of Remedy workflow software and Sybase database to create a data mart and integrate additional systems. Expansion of hardware and software - cost $560,000.
  • Business Objects analytical tools for adhoc query and analysis and to function as a rules based risk identification tool to be included later.
  • Processes included Margin Lending and Risk assessment management, brokerage commissions, brokerage fees and client engagement with Merrill Lynch.
  • Managed project initiation, vendor interviewing, detailed specification gathering using JAD sessions and application construction.
  • Compiled and presented budget and project estimates and proposals.
  • Responsible for the QA process and validation of vendor deliverables, creating test plans and deliverables, reviewing the vendor QA processes to determine fit with the QC requirements, execution of testing and recording of metrics
  • Responsible for acceptance of work items for stage payments on projects to be made
  • Directed analysis of data structures (Erwin Data modeling tool used) and AS/400 extract design.
  • Designed proof of concept data model in SQL Server 2000, and Sybase
  • Led quality assurance and User Acceptance testing for the first two systems forming part of the recommended strategy
  • Managed internal resources based on work requirements and effort level required.
  • Trained end users
  • Led Office of the General Counsel Submissions and presentations to architecture review boards
  • Managed Operational Implementation
  • Project time lines 50 days and 30 days, proceeding concurrently

Technology Used: MS Project, MS Word, Excel, Outlook, VISIO, Business Objects, Sybase, Oracle, SUN Solaris, REMEDY, AS/400


Jun 2008 - Apr 2010

Masters Information Systems Management

University of Liverpool



Project Management

Project Management of teams and and external suppliers.   Liason with customer representatives re project dleiverables and requirements   Management fo projects according to PRINCE2 principles  

Business Analyst

Business Systems Analysis is the core of systems development, the interpretation of Business Unit requirements and needs into terms that can be agreed and worked on and delivered by the Technology Supplier.   Management of the project documents and deliverables.   Creation of test cases and management of QA activities and excuting test cases as required.   Development of training materials and provision of class training as required.