Our free FinTech update features news about DRW & OpenGamma, EDI & FII, TrueFX’s first trades, Eventus & 100 exchanges, and Wolters Kluwer & Vizor Software.
Aladdin to Get Scalability, More Client Capabilities
Microsoft will be hosting the infrastructure for the BlackRock’s Aladdin investment management and operations platform via the Microsoft Azure cloud platform, a move that the asset manager says will facilitate scalability for computing power and new client capabilities.
BlackRock and Microsoft Corp. formed a hosting partnership for Aladdin, which is in use by institutional investors such as asset managers, pension funds, insurers and corporate treasurers, officials say. The platform also offers risk support systems for analytics, portfolio management, trading and operations.
By adopting Microsoft Azure, BlackRock will both accelerate innovation on Aladdin through greater computing scale and unlock new capabilities to enhance the client experience.
BlackRock will be able to offer extra computing power via the Microsoft Azure network of “global data centers and capabilities to meet the localized needs of Aladdin clients,” according to a press release.
BlackRock officials declined to provide more details on the new client capabilities and related support to come.
In addition to the partnership, BlackRock and Microsoft will work on joint initiatives to “improve and expand sustainability data and analytics,” the vendors say.
“The lack of standardized, high-quality data remains a significant hurdle in understanding the impact of sustainability-related risk on investment portfolios and company performance. Big data, machine learning and AI can all play a critical role in improving access to and the impact and quality of sustainability data,” according to the vendors. The vendors are welcoming help from academics, startups, non-profits and other groups.
DRW to Use OpenGamma’s Hosted Analytics
Chicago-based proprietary trading firm DRW is adopting the analytics from vendor OpenGamma to support its treasury function, which helps the firm to manage its derivatives margining, officials say.
DRW will be using OpenGamma’s analytics as a hosted, software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution as it grows its treasury capabilities to stay on top of regulations tied to the Uncleared Margin Rules (UMR) to mitigate systemic risk, officials say.
“UMR regulation was set in motion at the 2009 G20 meeting following the global financial crisis and requires firms using over-the-counter derivatives to post margin on those transactions. These regulations require any trading strategy that uses leverage to optimize and be efficient with its use of collateral,” according to OpenGamma.
DRW will use OpenGamma’s solution to “improve treasury processes by regularly evaluating alternative ways to put on new trades across both clearing houses and bilateral counterparties,” according to the vendor.
“We’ve been looking at technology solutions that can help us to adapt the processes we use for financing and cash management,” says Mark Wendland, global head of treasury at DRW, in a prepared statement, adding that the OpenGamma solution “will add efficiency to our trading operations.”
DRW officials declined any further comment.
EDI Adds FII’s Historical Reference Services
Exchange Data International (EDI) reports the advent of a strategic alliance with Financial Information Inc. (FII) that will add FII’s historical reference service to its offering.
FII notes that, since 2011, it has provided financial-actions and transfer-services data to the securities industry. FII also points out that EDI was founded in 1994.
FII subscribers will have access to “multiple historical data services which are comprised of stocks listed on the U.S. and Canadian exchanges: 50,000 Active Securities, 125,000 Obsolete Securities, 2,500,000 Trackable Securities,” among other offerings, the firm says in a statement.
EDI is based in London, with offices in New York, India and Morocco.
TrueFX Reports First Counterparty Trades on Its Platform
TrueFX, which characterizes itself as a “purpose-built OTC market designed for the buy side,” reports that it has “executed the first set of disclosed trades between counterparties” on its network.
Those first trades were by FXCM, AxiCorp, Velocity Trade and other “leading electronic market makers,” the vendor says in a statement.
TrueFX also notes that it was built to “provide all market participants with direct access to FX liquidity through a single point of credit intermediation and technology integration.
“Delivered in a cloud environment, its ultra-low latency network can be easily connected to and offers uninterrupted access for market participants around the world,” the vendor’s statement adds. “TrueFX operates both disclosed and non-disclosed trading and supports a wide range of execution methods, including full amount and VWAP,” an acronym that stands for “volume-weighted average price.”
Eventus Systems ‘Actively Surveilling’ 100+ Exchanges
Austin, Texas-based Eventus Systems, Inc., which characterizes itself as a trade surveillance and risk management software provider, reports that its Validus platform is now “actively surveilling activity for clients on more than 100 exchanges and trading venues around the world.”
The surveillance extends across a “diverse range of asset classes, with 10 new markets — eight of them European — added in the first quarter alone,” the vendor notes in a statement.
The Validus platform “assists clients that are active in equities, equity options, futures, foreign exchange (FX), fixed income and digital asset markets,” the vendor says, pointing out that the platform “addresses not only the different requirements of each asset class but also the varying exchange rules and regulatory requirements in multiple jurisdictions.”
The platform is employed by “banks, brokerages, futures commission merchants (FCMs), proprietary trading firms, exchanges, corporates and buy-side firms,” Eventus adds.
Wolters Kluwer & Vizor Software Target Singapore
The Finance, Risk and Reporting (FRR) business of Wolters Kluwer and Vizor Software are joining forces via a partnership to help firms in the Singapore market boost the quality of regulatory reporting and streamline regulatory compliance.
The partnership enables the Wolters Kluwer OneSumX system for regulatory reporting to use the Vizor Reporting application programming interface (API) to “automatically consume published machine-readable regulatory rules and data models directly from Singapore’s regulatory system,” officials say.
“OneSumX for Regulatory Reporting will automatically integrate these specifications into its Financial Institution (FI) template solutions,” officials add. The API link will facilitate the submission of regulatory reports.
“We recognize that regulators require a wide variety and increasingly granular level of jurisdiction-specific data to deal with emerging risks. Regulators using our platform are able to dynamically define data requests and rules in an open, standardized format,” says Conor Crowley, CEO of Vizor Software, in a prepared statement.
“However, this increased volume of data requests from the regulator poses problems when FI systems also require changes to respond,” Crowley adds. “APIs provide machine-to-machine communication so that both FIs and the regulator can layer automation onto their existing processes and technology investments.”