In other news, Clearstream embraces A.I., two compliance providers merge, the Bank of London looks to Belfast, and Venn gets a CEO.
Northern Trust Combines Groups for Digital Effort
Northern Trust has combined teams and launched a Digital Assets and Financial Markets group that will be “responsible for supporting the fast-growing digital asset markets and those dedicated to providing market access and insights across the traditional securities services markets,” officials say.
The step is a recognition of “the growth of digital markets alongside the continued evolution of the traditional securities services marketplace,
Justin Chapman, Northern Trust’s global head of market advocacy innovation and research, will lead the combined group, officials say.
“Traditional and digital markets already co-exist and the boundaries between the two will only continue to blur over time,” Chapman said. “At the same time as more institutional investors are entering the digital arena, the rest of the securities industry is also facing an unprecedented amount of change arising from new regulation, market evolution and the development of emerging technology capabilities.”
“Rather than create separate business lines, by aligning our focus on digital and traditional markets together, we can continue to develop services and capabilities that truly reflect and enable our clients’ evolving investment strategies,” says Pete Cherecwich, president of Asset Servicing at Northern Trust, in a prepared statement.
Northern Trust has been involved in the effort to provide digital transformation of securities servicing including efforts to use blockchain technology for private equity fund administration, the support of tokenization and fractionalization of bonds, and partnering with Zodia Custody in the launch of institutional-grade crypto asset custodian support.
Clearstream Applies A.I. Technologies to Collateral Management
Clearstream has launched a collateral management tool that combines “several artificial intelligence (AI) techniques,” and has dubbed the effort Own Selection Criteria with Automated Reasoning or OSCAR, officials report.
The key components of OSCAR are: knowledge representation and reasoning (KRR), machine learning (ML) and (structured) natural language processing (NLP), vendor officials say.
“As of Q4/2022, OSCAR will allow participants to easily define, create, negotiate and exchange optimized eligibility profiles of collateral baskets,” according to a Clearstream statement. “Until now, creating and managing collateral baskets has been complex and time-consuming and thus has put a major operational burden on market participants.”
For most firms, collateral management has required them to “manually review, compare, and translate different profiles of multiple triparty agents while keeping up with changing business requirements, market conditions and regulatory requirements, such as Uncleared Margin Requirements (UMR),” officials note.
Clearstream says that OSCAR will support users “in defining their own intelligent eligibility criteria whilst simultaneously checking automatically for inconsistencies. The tool also ensures interoperability with different counterparts, improving collaboration, negotiation, and reconciliation.”
OSCAR was developed with Intelli-Select and its academic partner, the KU Leuven, officials add.
Clearstream is an international central securities depository (ICSD), based in Luxembourg, and is part of Deutsche Börse Group.
Portman Compliance Merges with Compliancy Services
Compliancy Services, a United Kingdom-based provider of compliance-consultancy and regulatory-technology services, reports that it has formally merged with Portman Compliance.
The merger “will see Portman’s existing portfolio of over 150 clients, the majority of which are hedge funds and private equity organizations, continue to be serviced by the Portman team, within the Compliancy Services business. By doing so they will benefit from the company’s scale and expertise,” according to a prepared statement.
The founder of Portman, Nancy King, will “head up the new specialist funds division and lead client accounts in the newly created role of Senior Managing Director,” per the statement.
Portman also notes that the merger, “has been supported by private equity specialists Ethos Partners,” and it “will enable Compliancy Services to double the size of its specialist funds team. The deal will boost the company’s overall headcount to nearly 60 staff, servicing over 800 clients across its specialist teams. The expansion comes following rapid growth for both firms, with average annual revenues rising 20 per cent year on year, for the last five years.”
The merger with Compliancy Services “is a natural next step for Portman, as we seek to offer our clients access to a wider range of capabilities and expertise,” King says in the statement. “By combining resources, we can build a business that leads the industry, offering clients first class consultancy with a finger on the pulse of constantly evolving regulation.” — L.Ch
Bank of London to Open a Belfast Office
The Bank of London, a clearing bank, reports its intention to open its Centre of Excellence in Belfast, Northern Ireland, creating 232 new jobs by 2026.
The bank points out that it has “already welcomed 34 new colleagues — a team made up of payments leaders, software engineers, operations and other business functions — with 54 further roles already being advertised. This is expected to generate around £20 million worth of annual salaries for the local economy when all the roles are in place.”
The bank characterizes itself as a “next-generation technology company and the world’s first purpose-built global clearing, agency, and transaction bank.”
The opening of the bank’s Belfast hub “brings access to a strong and deep new talent pool, excellent academic institutions, and a growing technology sector,” according to the bank’s statement, which adds that the Belfast hub is an “opportunity to build on the successful expansion of other strategic locations and technology hubs in London and New York.”
“To build the future of finance, we need to be where the future is,” Anthony Watson, the bank’s founder and group chief executive, says in the statement. “Belfast is now the U.K.’s gateway city to the European Union, and this coupled with Belfast’s exceptional FinTech talent across multiple disciplines, makes it the logical choice for The Bank of London’s Centre of Excellence to power our UK expansion.” — L.Ch
Two Sigma Names CEO for the Venn Platform Business
Two Sigma reports that it has appointed Marco Della Torre, an industry veteran, chief executive officer of its portfolio analytics platform, Venn. The post is newly created.
“As Venn continues to expand its offering to meet the evolving needs of multi-asset investors in their investment decision making, we believe now is the time to bolster our leadership team with a chief executive at the helm,” said Carter Lyons, chief business officer at Two Sigma. “Marco has a proven track record of successfully scaling operations and driving innovation at technology companies at all stages, and we are excited to partner with him as we look to Venn’s next phase of growth.”
Della Torre most recently served as chief product and innovation officer of Forge Global, a private securities marketplace and data platform, where he oversaw the company’s product strategy.
Prior to Forge, Della Torre was chief technology officer of Derive Systems, an automotive technology company. Before that, he served as the lead technologist in the office of the chief marketing officer at Intel. — L.Ch