Simon Kanani, Project Manager in London, United Kingdom
Simon is available for hire
Hire Simon

Simon Kanani

Verified Expert  in Project Management

Project Manager

London, United Kingdom
Toptal Member Since
December 19, 2019

A seasoned delivery manager, experienced in creating order from chaos at the inception of projects. Simon combines senior experience as a head of change in investment banking, versatility to get into hands-on delivery, plus education and practice in the field of executive coaching and leadership development. Excellence in communication to bring home business value, through strong organizing skills and a passion for adaptive ways of working.

Project Highlights

eCommerce B2B Portal HTML5 Uplift
Rewrote 100 web page complex platform used by institutional clients for managing investments.
Data Provision Program Rescue
Hired to perform the rescue of a program in trouble, late-running by 2 years, and over-running on cost.
Product Startup of Broker Outsourcing
Hired as employee 3 as program director of new product startup delivering outsourced middle- and back-office service.


Work Experience

Director, Executive Coach

2019 - PRESENT
IKAN Coaching and Consulting
  • Consulted with organizations on the people side of change transformation.
  • Led leadership and team development utilizing emotional intelligence and resilience.
  • Organized open enrollment workshops on emotional intelligence and resilience for project managers and change leaders.
  • Founded a new business startup.
  • Delivered sales management training.

Portfolio Director, eCommerce

2017 - 2019
  • Led 120 FTE business change and technology teams delivering change to eCommerce B2B portal website used by institutional clients of Securities Services. Roles included project managers, feature owners (product owners), business analysts, testers, agile leads, development engineers, and automation engineers.
  • Led DevOps and Agile transformation, establishing autonomous pod teams with multi-disciplinary roles, and reducing the cycle time of delivery from 9 months to 3 weeks.
  • Headed extensive new investment under digital and data strategy, held a $20 million annual budget, and grew the team three-fold through hiring and consultancy.
  • Delivered workshops and facilitated community of practice on coaching skills for managers to 300 FTE in 5 countries.
  • Rewrote of 100 web page front ends from Flash to HTML5, driving adoption of Lean UX.
  • Delivered a new feature set for the Transfer Agency portal for a leading asset manager client.
  • Led teams located in London, Hong Kong, and Guanghzhou.
  • Governed, designed, and executed steering committee for effective executive decision making and portfolio level governance.
  • Developed delivery telemetry for effective monitoring and control of new agile ways of working.
  • Coached and mentored staff, talent management and career development.
  • Managed employee engagement, hosting town hall meetings and employee communications.
  • Collaborated cross-culturally.

Head of Product Change, Data, and Reporting

2016 - 2018
  • Led team of 70 FTE working on data provision for asset management and insurance clients, consisting of project managers, business analysts, and testers.
  • Managed the major delivery for an insurance fund manager of Solvency II regulatory reporting.
  • Hired into the role to deliver major program rescue, with CEO-level escalations.
  • Procured expert consultancy provider to aid in the rescue.
  • Led teams located in London, Edinburgh, Colombo, and Kolkata.
  • Led analysis and target operating model for agile ways of working.
  • Developed the testing strategy.
  • Contributed to resourcing optimization, hiring, and firing to overhaul the team.
  • Led employee engagement, hosting town halls, and coached and mentored staff.

Global Programme Director - startup to scale up

2012 - 2016
  • Led a new product startup, a broker outsourcing product for external clients, delivered operating model and technology platform for the internal equities business in global markets.
  • Governed, designed, and executed steering committees, business case decisioning, RAG based decisions to approve the scope and continue the program.
  • Created business cases up to $20 million funding, and navigated senior approvals.
  • Implemented target operating model.
  • Hired project managers, business analysts, developers, and testers.
  • Coordinated the new business model for regulatory requirements, full review, and outreach to clients to sign new onboarding legal documentation, implementing new business processes across five trading asset classes.

Head of Cash Equity IT

2012 - 2012
  • Led the IT team of project managers, business analysts, development engineers, and automation testers.
  • Owned the front to back systems architecture covering front-, middle- and back-office.
  • Challenged stakeholder management with front-office trading desk heads.

Head of Securities Change Delivery APAC

2011 - 2012
  • Moved to Hong Kong to lead teams of project managers, business analysts, and testers.
  • Led middle-office systems architecture re-engineering program.
  • Led prioritization committees in making decisions about projects and change requests.
  • Developed the target operating model.

Program Manager

2009 - 2011
  • Led the equities settlements rationalization program to consolidate systems architecture across New York and London hub entities.
  • Led project planning and workshops.
  • Oversaw RAID log management.
  • Managed stakeholders across 13 departments.
  • Developed program roadshows in New York and Hong Kong.
  • Developed business cases.

Senior Manager (Consultant)

2007 - 2009
  • Deployed on client site at Lloyds TSB Products and Markets.
  • Developed and delivered Six Sigma training for 150 FTE.
  • Contributed to RFP responses.
  • Produced the business architecture of a model bank for client proposals taxonomy.

Project Manager

2007 - 2009
Lloyd TSB Products & Markets
  • Served as the IT project manager for Reference Data ERP solution.
  • Acted as the project manager for MiFID regulations, delivered a transaction reporting system solution.

Business Analyst

2005 - 2007
JP Morgan
  • project managed the implementation of a new event roadshow platform supporting equities' primary issues.
  • Delivered multiple releases to Dealogic book builder application for the Equities Syndicate trading desk.
  • Trained for trading desks across five countries in Europe on a new system rollout.
  • Contributed to requirements analysis across divisions on new systems requirements across research, sales, and trading.
  • Produced user guide documentation.
  • Led user acceptance and regression testing.
  • Created user guide documentation.

Development Manager

1999 - 2005
Morgan Stanley
  • Managed the fixed income back-office development team.
  • Developed change requests for equities and fixed income operations.
  • Developed a new interface layer to CREST, the UK depositary for securities.
  • Trained as a Six Sigma green belt, and led the adoption of the methodology to the software development team.
  • Trained newly established offshore development team.
  • Led code reviews.

Graduate Analyst/Developer

1997 - 1999
Chase Manhattan Bank
  • Contributed to development, analysis, testing, user demos, and training.

eCommerce B2B Portal HTML5 Uplift

Rewrote 100 web page complex platform used by institutional clients for managing investments.

Impending deadline for loss of support for Adobe Flash created time pressure to rewrite the entire front end of 100 web pages.

Adoption of the Lean UX design process to speed up and optimize iterative collaboration.

Data Provision Program Rescue

Hired to perform the rescue of a program in trouble, late-running by 2 years, and over-running on cost.

Successfully led an overhaul of the program, starting with firing and hiring and review of delivery practices. Revamped testing approach.

CEO-level weekly briefings.

Procured expert consultancy to assist in recovering the delivery.

Created conditions for team psychological safety by pushing back pressure to senior management and to the client, by winning their confidence that the delivery was getting back on track.

Product Startup of Broker Outsourcing

Hired as employee 3 as program director of new product startup delivering outsourced middle- and back-office service.

Program inception, including business case creation and approval, vendor selection and procurement, hiring delivery team, coordinating target operating model, business readiness and creation of operations team, establishing team ways of working, and leading through to award-winning successful 1st delivery of the client-side (creation of new Equities trading desk in Singapore) and supplier side (creation of end to end service model by outsourcer, offering business process, service delivery and technology architecture).

This initiative grew from launch to a $30 million annual revenue business.

Reference Data Hub Platform

Implementation of the GoldenSource Enterprise Data Management solution.

IT project manager with ownership of the systems integration of new vendor package into the existing architecture.

Systems Consolidation Project

Project manager for a global rollout of new Equities back-office platform, replacing legacy.

Led from inception a program to migrate legacy systems in 3 continents to the new target architecture. Project planning and testing strategy. Stakeholder management across 13 departments.
1993 - 1997

Bachelor of Law Degree with Honors in Law

Queen Mary College, University of London - London, England


Professional Scrum Master Level I (PSM I)



Daniel Goleman Emotional Intelligence Coaching

Goleman EI


Resilience Engine Accredited Practitioner

Academy of Executive Coaching


Neuroscience in Coaching

British Psychological Society


Executive Coaching

Academy of Executive Coaching


PRINCE2 Practitioner

APM Group


Jira, Microsoft Project, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Excel




PRINCE2, Agile Project Management, Servant Leadership, Scrum, Kanban, Testing, Six Sigma

Industry Expertise

Financial Services, Banking & Finance


Project Delivery, Project Discovery, Project Tracking, Program Management, Agile Program Management, Project Planning, Cross-cultural Communication, Cross-cultural Management, Cross-functional Team Leadership, Cross-functional Collaboration, Cross-departmental Collaboration, Stakeholder Analysis, Stakeholder Management, Stakeholder Engagement, Coaching, Mentorship & Coaching, Executive Coaching, Leadership, Change Leadership, Project Leadership, Communication, Planning, Governance, Portfolio Management, Project Rescue, Project Initiation, Operating Models, Testing Strategy, Test Management, Digital Strategy, Agile Coaching, Engagement Strategy, Vendor Management, Microsoft 365, Securities, Equities, Investment Banking, Investment Banking Technology, Data, Regulatory Compliance, Regulatory Reporting, Business Consulting, Management Consulting, Startups

Collaboration That Works

How to Work with Toptal

Toptal matches you directly with global industry experts from our network in hours—not weeks or months.


Share your needs

Discuss your requirements and refine your scope in a call with a Toptal domain expert.

Choose your talent

Get a short list of expertly matched talent within 24 hours to review, interview, and choose from.

Start your risk-free talent trial

Work with your chosen talent on a trial basis for up to two weeks. Pay only if you decide to hire them.

Top talent is in high demand.

Start hiring