Our free fintech update also offers news from IHS Markit, Scivantage, Style Analytics, DriveWealth, and the CFTC.
Biometrics to Help with Cybersecurity Compliance
Hearsay Systems, a digital communications and workflow solutions vendor for the financial services industry, has added biometric and personal identification number (PIN)-based security features to its Hearsay Relate solution for managing mobile compliant voice, text messaging, and advisor workflows, officials report.
“This makes it the industry’s first solution to offer this high level of privacy and security across both iOS and Android devices for advisor texting and cellular calling capabilities,” according to Hearsay.
The Hearsay Relate system can now help financial services organizations make certain that every agent and advisor aheres to the mobile application security guidance of FINRA’s 2018 Report on Selected Cybersecurity Practices, officials say. The new level of security is intended to mitigate end-user vulnerabilities.
“Advisors increasingly conduct business over mobile devices. They want to be connected at all times but have no desire to use a different device for work than they do for personal communications,” says Alex Falls, vice president of product at Hearsay, in a prepared statement.
The Hearsay Relate system can now use “the device’s preferred security method ― facial recognition, fingerprint or PIN ― to unlock for the user, providing nearly instant access to secure conversations,” officials say. “This also ensures that sensitive data stored within the Relate application is protected behind an additional wall of security while preventing sensitive data from being accessed if a device is compromised.”
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IHS Markit Teams with Scivantage
IHS Markit, an information, analytics and Ops solutions specialist, reports it is now offering brokers and other asset managers a “comprehensive solution for cost basis calculation and reporting in alliance with Scivantage.”
IHS Markit points to new IRS rules as the reason for the new alliance, saying that when assets like stocks are sold, “resulting in a gain or loss, brokers are required to report basis and holding period information to the selling shareholder and the IRS via Form 1099-B. The latest challenge for brokers stems from the new IRS Rev. Rul. 2019-24, which reinforces that cryptocurrency trading is subject to tax reporting. The maximum IRS penalty for improper cost basis reporting is $3 million per occurrence.”
“In concert with Scivantage, we can deliver the most streamlined cost basis and information reporting solution and be the most effective in helping our clients reduce operational costs while maintaining their standards for compliance,” William Sheridan, IHS Markit’a managing director for tax solutions, says in a prepared statement.
Style Analytics Taps StatPro for Chief Commercial Officer
Style Analytics, a provider of factor-based portfolio and market analytical tools for investment professionals, reports the appointment of Damian Handzy as chief commercial officer. Prior to joining Style Analytics, he was global head of risk for StatPro.
Based in the U.S., Handzy will be responsible for a “broad range of both strategic and tactical functions including commercial strategy, product and market research, marketing, and strategic partnerships,” the vendor says in a statement.
Handzy has “over 20 years’ experience in the investment industry with a focus on growing software platforms inspired by technical and financial innovations,” Style Analytics adds, pointing that he “founded Investor Analytics in 1999 as Wall Street’s first cloud-based, multi-asset risk platform, which he sold in 2016.”
Style Analytics says it is “aiming to accelerate its growth in North America and expand its client base consisting of over 200 clients in the US and the UK, including 41 new clients in the past 18 months.”
Style Analytics was previously known as Style Research.
DriveWealth Partners with Chaka in Nigeria
DriveWealth, Inc., a U.S. based digital-trading technology firm, reports entering into a partnership with Chaka, a recently launched trading platform based in Nigeria.
Chaka’s platform, which provides access to Nigerian and global financial assets, is using the DriveWealth’s platform for access to U.S. stocks.
DriveWealth has launched partnerships with firms on six continents. Through these partnerships, it has brought digital access to the U.S. securities market for individuals around the world, the firm says, thereby “enabling investors of any size to gain affordable access to the U.S. stock market with a straightforward online user experience.”
CFTC Chairman Tarbert Elevates Status of LabCFTC
The CFTC Chairman Heath P. Tarbert has elevated the fintech startup outreach effort, LabCFTC, to become an independent operating office of the U.S. commodities regulator, reporting directly to Tarbert.
“LabCFTC was established to be a beachhead in the emerging world of fintech,” Tarbert says in a prepared statement.
“Blockchain, digital assets, and other developments hold great promise for our economy. Now is the time for LabCFTC to play an even greater role as we work to develop and write the rules for these transformative new products. That reality requires engagement at the highest levels within the CFTC, which is why I am elevating LabCFTC to be an independent operating office of the agency and a direct report to me,” Tarbert adds.
LabCFTC was established within the Office of General Counsel in 2017 under former CFTC Chairman Chris Giancarlo. Its mission is to be a “focal point to engage with fintech innovators and promote responsible innovation,” officials say.
Melissa Netram, CFTC director and chief innovation officer, now heads the LabCFTC, and was recently appointed by Tarbert. She previously served as a policy and regulatory affairs executive for vendor Intuit, officials say.
In a related move, LabCFTC released a primer on artificial intelligence (AI)
in financial markets, “as an educational tool for market participants, consumers, and the public,” officials say. “The primer is part of a series produced by LabCFTC to provide fundamental and essential information about fintech innovation.”
AI-based systems have the potential “power to analyze vast pools of data to detect patterns and generate insights presents great opportunities to enhance the integrity of our derivatives markets,” Netram says. “This primer provides an overview of how AI is applied in financial markets and further illustrates the CFTC’s commitment to AI and innovation.”