Join FTF as we celebrate and recognize the professionals, financial technology vendors, service providers, industry bodies and regulators that have made significant strides and noteworthy achievements in operational excellence during 2018.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies are shaking up major facets of securities operations from robo advisors to reconciliation systems guided by A.I. This award will spotlight the industry participant that has done the most to advance operations via A.I./M.L. operations via natural language processing, A.I./M.L. initiatives.
The securities industry is moving ahead with new solutions that use blockchain/distributed ledger technology (DLT) for cryptocurrency-based transactions or for advances in key operations. The new systems are beginning to challenge incumbent middle- and back-office systems that support multiple assets. Financial services firms, a variety of IT and service providers and other organizations are making blockchains a new, exciting reality. This award is meant to focus attention on the breakthrough systems that will advance securities operations the most.
This award will recognize the IT solution, systems, innovation or service that exemplifies the best that a provider has to offer for buy-side firms as they strive for operational excellence. The winning offering can be a standalone product or service or part of a suite.
The voters will be rewarding the solution provider that has achieved a level of excellence via innovation for the clearing and settlement of market transactions. In addition to the established providers, the voters will consider those vendors breaking ground for new financial instruments and the latest regulatory changes.
This award honors the provider that has advanced the complex process of client reporting. The winner will demonstrate that it has improved the customization, look and feel, and delivery of reports for many kinds of clients and portfolios. The award also recognizes progress in automating reports, managing source data, monitoring the status of productions, and clarity in performance reporting.
Cloud computing has become part of the landscape for securities trading operations. More services and systems that were once strictly onsite are moving to the cloud. This award category is open to a variety of operations providers such as those that provide support via infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS); platform-as-as-service (PaaS); software-as-a-service (SaaS); managed services; and cloud-native solutions.
Financial services firms have had to comply with an onslaught of collateral and margining regulations that are creating workflows that stretch across front, middle and back offices. To alleviate the burdens of the new rules, providers are creating and updating solutions to help firms optimize the oversight of collateral and margining. This award will focus on the provider that has done the most to help firms prevail over an upheaval in a major securities operation.
This award is for the supplier that delivers distinguished offerings to help clients meet their critical compliance and regulatory responsibilities for equities, fixed income, derivative instruments and more. The award targets the offering that does the best job of improving operational efficiency while meeting the demands of regulators, anti-money laundering laws, and the latest domestic and international economic sanctions of governmental authorities. Suppliers that help participants with compliance in the over-the-counter (OTC) and non-cleared derivatives markets are also eligible for this honor.
Corporate actions processing continues to advance and this award spotlights the provider that has incorporated industry standards, advanced automation, data management, ESG data, and emerging technologies. The winner in this category will have helped its clients move closer to automation and streamlined processing.
This award recognizes the industry participant that has successfully developed innovative financial technology solutions for middle- and back-office post-trade operations. Eligible areas of consideration include artificial intelligence/machine learning systems, cloud-native services, hybrids of legacy and cutting-edge IT, a groundbreaking offering that eliminates manual processes, and new products that break the mold.
Internal and external financial crimes against financial institutions are on the rise and firms are fighting this battle on many fronts. Providers have been advancing solutions to combat internal and external acts of fraud, insider trading, cyber-attacks, money laundering, terrorist financing, and multiple forms of corruption. This award will shine the light upon software, services, systems, and advances in surveillance that help firms protect themselves from danger and reputational damage.
The middle office plays an important role in optimizing operations across the enterprise. The winner in this category will be chosen from among the ranks of middle-office operations providers that offer IT resource management services, risk management, risk data analytics, client and security master database support, and services for the coding, configuration and verification of trades.
The middle and back-offices are no longer autonomous groups existing independently of each other. They are linked by multiple operations serving multiple assets. This award will spotlight the Ops offering that helps firm facilitate more efficient integration between middle- and back-office applications, particularly IT innovations that eliminate manual systems, legacy solutions and pave the way for operational efficiency.
This distinction focuses attention on the solution from a startup or an established provider that launched an exceptional offering during the past year. The new product should bring new efficiencies and new benefits to middle- or back-office systems. The new offerings to be considered should help the buy side meet crucial operational efficiency demands. New offerings for consideration can come from established providers or newcomers to the industry.
Operational risk permeates everything that a financial services firm does, including securities trading. This award will go to the provider that has shown the most creativity in mitigating operational risk whether it is related to cyber-attacks, margining, collateral management, data management, anti-money laundering, disaster recovery/business continuity, corporate governance and other issues that may hamper operations.
Managing data to get the most out of it for securities operations is an ongoing challenge for all financial services firms. Data that is optimized will yield multiple benefits for current efforts and beyond. This honor is for the provider that has demonstrated that it can help firms derive the most value from their clean data, and pave the way for greater advancements to come.
Over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives processing has gone through a revolution over the past decade. This award will focus attention on the provider that has stayed ahead of the curve for OTC derivative operations and kept its customers ahead of the competition. The winner in this category should be able to demonstrate how it helps streamline transaction creation and execution, optimize documentation support, eliminate error-prone manual steps, and overall help end-users benefit from global OTC reforms.
Outsourcing plays a key role for many facets of securities operations. This category honors the provider that offers valuable, reliable, cost-effective and efficient outsourced services to the buy side. The winner in this category will be honored for offering the highest levels of reliability, security and adaptability, and for demonstrating capabilities for rapid implementations and flexible consumer models.
This category spotlights the performance measurement solution provider that offers systems for exemplary calculation of returns for portfolios (benchmarks and composites); calculation of attribution effects for equity and fixed-income portfolios; and calculation of ex-post risk, absolute and relative. This award also acknowledges the efforts that industry participants are making to advance performance measurement via the embrace of ESG concerns among investors and emerging disruptive technologies.
Reconciliation for securities operations has been the focus of a lot of energy over the past five years. The result is a wider range of opportunities available for firms looking for effective solutions. This category is an opportunity for the industry to reward the solution provider offering an innovative approach that yields great results and support, and helps firms reallocate resources to their advantage.
Keeping up with regulatory reporting requirements has become a major burden for financial services firms. Automating major processes across an enterprise is a daunting challenge for firms, and the industry is exploring a variety of models to support regulatory technology (RegTech). This award honors the solutions provider that has advanced data integrity and governance issues, eliminated repetitive processes, and paved the way for more streamlined reporting across the enterprise and to regulators.
This award will recognize a behind-the-scenes individual that has been highly effective in advancing a financial technology issue that has had a major impact upon the industry. The person to be honored has devoted much time and effort toward proliferating a new standard, a key technology initiative, a regulatory-related project or a technology breakthrough that benefits the industry. The winner in this category must show that he or she can work across the aisle with business executives and staff.
This award honors an executive-level individual who has advanced the cause of financial technology innovation from the business side of the aisle. The winner of this award can be from a solution provider, an end-user firm or related consultancy committed to improving operations for financial services firms. The winner must demonstrate that he or she has effectively worked with IT managers and staff.
The Service Provider of the Year will be celebrated for advancing the delivery of service, extraordinary client support, new synergies with key market participants and extraordinary leadership in the industry. The winner in this category must be able to show that it boosted the fortunes of its clients.
This award will recognize the software application or software system that over the past year has broken new ground in a major area of securities operations. This category is open to technology providers, industry organizations and financial services firms that are fully engaged in the advancement of operations software. The winning solution must have clear business benefits.
During 2018, there were many efforts by industry participants to be more socially responsible. These initiatives included moves to satisfy clients’ ESG requirements, diversity outreaches, charitable causes, disaster relief task forces, and innovative ways to finance causes that benefit humanity. In an effort to acknowledge these positive movements, the Editor’s Choice Award for 2019 will focus upon an organization’s push to spur positive changes for all. The FTF News chief content officer, FTF staff, and eligible FTF awards participants can nominate a provider, industry group, end-user financial services firm, user group or individual that has embarked upon a successful endeavor to help humanity. The editor and FTF staff will pick the top nominees and then the ultimate winner. The group or person to be honored in this category can be from any Ops areas.