Forge Trust

Fintech Portals


Antiblanks Were Approached by IRA Services Trust’s UK Based Development Partner King Street Apps to Take Ownership of the Product and Front End Development for Migrating Their Existing Legacy HP MPE Custodial System and Developing New User-Facing Web Sites for IRA Services Trust as Part of Their Ambitious Growth and Digital Transformation Programme.

Having developed their legacy HP MPE custodial system in-house over thirty years, IRA Services Trust were well aware of the complexity and magnitude of replacing this piece of software so there was no fixed budget for the project. Yet suspecting their competition would have plans to develop their own comparable digital solution and stifled by the limitations of their existing software which would not allow them to scale, there was pressure for this software to be delivered at the highest possible quality and in as little time as could be achieved.


Antiblanks Founder Dan Ivanovic and King Street Apps Founder Thong Nguyen Have a Long Standing Business Relationship, the Pair Having First Met When Dan Worked for Thong While He Was CTO of the Music Streaming Service bloom.FM, Where Dan Eventually Took Ownership of the Web Version of the Product and All Subsidiary Brand Web Sites.

When King Street Apps secured the contract for this project with IRA Services Trust, Thong approached Antiblanks knowing from past experience that Dan’s team possessed the skills required to deliver on the product focused elements of a project of this scale and that Antiblanks could be trusted implicitly. Antiblanks were hired only a few weeks after this first engagement.



1. King Street Apps and Antiblanks worked together to formulate a process that satisfied all the above criteria.

And we used this process to successfully deliver all client facing products alongside a new custodial management platform developed by the backend team. Our deliverables included a responsive and customisable white label sign up funnel and a fully featured self service client portal used to manage all aspects of a self directed US retirement account. After gaining traction with investment provider partnerships and growing rapidly to service around a half a million new accounts, we built an employee facing product on top of this foundation to replace the legacy back office system.

2. Establishing goals, eliciting, understanding and documenting requirements.

Steps taken to elicit, understand and document requirements helped us to fathom the complex domain and business processes associated with custodial services and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs).

The learned domain and process knowledge was also paramount in enabling us to take effective ownership of product focused decision making and operate efficiently in the absence of an internal product owner within the business.

Initial kickoff meetings with key stakeholders to establish high level goals.

Initial meetings with team leads from each department to gain a high level understanding of how each department operates and begin to understand how important the existing software is to their workflows.

Multiple focused workshops with each department coupled with self-directed research into custodial practice to understand the entire process in greater depth and to create comprehensive process flow diagrams that illustrate everything each department does day-to-day and the function of the existing software within this.

Codifying the process flow diagrams into user stories, breaking these apart to define high level features and documenting this in a Gannt chart to form a high level project plan, and making all documentation available on our collaborative workspace.

Presenting everything to key stakeholders in the business and holding Q&A sessions to demonstrate we’ve understood the end-to-end requirements.

Presenting everything to development team leads so that all creators understand the requirements and the scope of work.

3. Constructing a relevant agile development process

Building a relevant agile development process influenced by scrum and kanban and supporting this with a solid infrastructure to facilitate regular independent front and back end releases, product demonstrations and user acceptance testing helped us to efficiently modernise the software and replace outdated workflows.

Regularly communicating with stakeholders and educating users on a per-feature basis enabled us to breakdown any resistance to change and encourage advocation of the new system.

4. Practicing enterprise grade application development

Adopting an enterprise approach to application development was key in maintaining a high quality and cohesive codebase, allowing us to scale quickly and easily when required, minimise bugs and limit technical debt.

Establishing an integrated suite of project management and development tools.

Constructing a modern build pipeline incorporating development, test, sandbox, beta and production environments, test automation and reporting to drive regular and smaller releases.

Documenting all aspects of the software development process in a shared collaborative workspace.

Adding high level requirements as epics to project management software.

Breaking epics into features and adding these as subtasks to project management software.

Establishing an integrated suite of project management and development tools.


  The Outcome  

Over a Three Year Software Development Cycle Antiblanks via King Street Apps Have Established Ourselves as a Trusted Product Development Partner to IRA Services Trust, We’ve Contributed To the Delivery of a Custodial Platform That Has:

Increased the Number of Customer Accounts

Raised the Amount of Custodial Holdings

Enlarged the Valuation for the Sale of the Company

Increasing the Number of Customer Accounts

The software we created for IRA Services Trust has allowed them to increase the number of customer accounts in their system by over seventeen times the amount held before to 750,000 accounts at time of writing and this continues to grow by around 3,000 new accounts each day.

Enlarging the Valuation for the Sale of the Company

The software we created for IRA Services Trust has helped to make the company more attractive to buyers and has contributed to enlarging the valuation for the recent sale agreed at $55 million to Forge Global as reported in April 2019 by TechCruch.

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