Our FinTech update also features news from Eventus Systems, Broadridge, Citco Group, S3 Partners and CLS.
Prattle Purchase Follows Related Liquidnet Acquisitions
Liquidnet, an institutional trading network provider, has acquired Prattle, an automated investment research solutions vendor, in a bid to further expand the Liquidnet artificial intelligence (AI) investment analytics platform, officials say.
Prattle was launched in 2014 by former academics Evan Schnidman and Bill MacMillan, and provides predictive analytics for approximately 3,000 publicly traded companies and 15 central banks.
“Prattle has the ability to build and maintain a unique lexicon for any publicly traded company and central bank, allowing for a searchable repository of corporate and central bank communications,” officials say. Schnidman and MacMillan will stay on to oversee the day-to-day operations of Prattle, and will report directly to Brian Conroy, president of Liquidnet.
Prattle is known for developing a proprietary Natural Language Processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML) system that targets asset managers, research analysts and other professionals. The system produces “analytics that measure sentiment and predict the market impact of publicly available content including central bank and corporate communications such as company earnings calls and press releases,” officials say. Asset managers are using these analytics to “understand and anticipate relevant market movement, strengthen investment theses, and inform trading strategies.”
The Prattle acquisition follows Liquidnet’s recent purchase of RSRCHXchange, an aggregator of investment research for asset managers, and Liquidnet’s 2017 acquisition of OTAS Technologies, officials.
With the combination of Prattle’s NLP and data science technology, OTAS’s AI-based analytics, and RSRCHXchange’s distribution platform, Liquidnet’s asset manager clients will have access to investment analytics “leveraging AI methodologies across both structured and unstructured data,” officials say.
The hope is that this set of tools will help improve the way fund managers source, access, evaluate, and act on market information and insight “to strengthen investment decisions and help generate alpha,” officials add.
INTL FCStone Picks Eventus for Surveillance Support
Eventus Systems, Inc., a trade surveillance and market risk platform provider, reports that broker INTL FCStone Inc. has signed with the vendor to use its futures market surveillance technology.
Eventus provides trade surveillance and financial risk management to more than 20 percent of registered U.S. futures commission merchants, the company notes in a statement.
Also deploying the Eventus platform are a “growing list of exchanges and firms participating in a wide range of global asset classes, including equities, options, foreign exchange, fixed income and cryptocurrencies,” the vendor adds.
The Eventus platform “helps firms monitor for unwanted market manipulation behavior such as spoofing, layering and wash trading,” as well providing functionality for a “wide range of procedures.”
The platform also “enables full compliance with all trade-related regulatory and exchange requirements across the globe,” Eventus adds.
A Fortune 500 company, INTL FCStone is a securities and commodities broker.
Broadridge Solution Embraces Shareholder Rights Directive
Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. has developed a solution supporting institutional- and retail-focused intermediaries for global proxy voting that complies with the European Commission’s (E.C.) updated Shareholder Rights Directive, officials say.
The E.C. directive pushes greater transparency in corporate governance and improved shareholder engagement. The implementing regulation “is due to be transposed into national law in EU member states by September 3, 2020, at which point financial intermediaries and other participants in the proxy voting lifecycle will need to be compliant,” Broadridge officials say.
“The new offering includes a range of process enhancements and a new blockchain-based platform for shareholder disclosure. In addition, firms supporting retail and private wealth clients will now be able to distribute proxy materials to these retail clients through electronic distribution, including mobile devices,” officials say.
Broadridge has been working with custodian clients, banks, brokers and other market service providers to build the new global proxy voting infrastructure that facilitates a “vantage point across the shareholder communication value chain to help intermediaries navigate their new responsibilities under the directive,” officials say.
As for the blockchain technology, it “will help address a significant aspect of the directive which will entitle EU-based issuers to obtain the identity of their shareholders,” officials say. “This requires intermediaries holding an issuer’s shares to provide shareholder disclosure within 24 hours of receiving a disclosure request.”
Citco Group Adds Blacklight Tech from S3 Partners
The Citco Group of Companies, a provider of asset servicing procedures and processes for the alternative investment industry, reports a “product partnership” with S3 Partners, a fintech and data analytics firm.
Under the arrangement, Citco will employ S3’s Blacklight Treasury management software.
S3’s financing data “prices opaque borrow and loan markets and redefines short interest, crowding and previously stale indicators for which the industry has had no centralized source,” the companies say in their statement. Blacklight “leverages these analytics along with leading technology for better outcomes in investment process, risk management, and counterparty relationships,” according to the statement.
“Our focus at Citco has always been to provide our clients with the best technologies and services to make their lives easier. This is why we have decided to integrate S3’s market-standard BLACKLIGHT suite of data and technology,” Albert Bauer, managing director at Citco Fund Services (USA) Inc., says in the statement.
The Citco Group administers more than $1 trillion in assets and deploys 6,500 staff across 40 countries, according to the statement.
Founded in 2003, S3 Partners characterizes itself as a financial technology and data company.
CLS Hires Ex-ECB Director General to be its New CEO
CLS, a market infrastructure group that specializes in foreign exchange (FX) settlement, processing and data processes and procedures, reports the appointment of Marc Bayle de Jessé as its new CEO, effective this coming December 2.
He joins from the European Central Bank (ECB) where he is currently director general, market infrastructure and payments, and chairperson of the market infrastructure board.
Bayle de Jessé joined the ECB in 1997. Prior to the ECB, he was a senior advisor in the general secretariat at Sicovam SA, the French central securities depository — now part of the Euroclear Group — which manages the French securities settlement system, according to the CLS statement.