Our free roundup also covers Smarsh buying Digital Reasoning, Clarity AI’s new funding round, a portal for Northern Trust Hedge Fund Services, and NeoXam’s market data monitoring tools.
RJO to Be the First Customer on New Platform
Futures and clearing broker R.J. O’Brien & Associates (RJO) will be consolidating two separate back-office systems onto one post-trade platform from systems and services provider Broadridge Financial Solutions that will support exchange-traded derivatives (ETD) operations globally.
RJO will be the first customer for the platform to come from Broadridge.
The consolidation is intended to help RJO make strides in productivity and performance via streamlined, real-time processing workflows and exception management rationalizing processes “previously conducted using two major back-office systems in the U.S. and U.K.,” officials say.
Ultimately, the new system will provide RJO with one solution for all of its asset classes.
“We selected Broadridge as our strategic partner on this important infrastructure initiative to help us set a new industry standard for global derivatives processing,” says Gerald Corcoran, RJO chairman and CEO, in a prepared statement. “We are excited to forge new ground as Broadridge’s first customer of this important new back-office platform for exchange-traded derivatives.”
RJO, the biggest independent U.S. futures brokerage and clearing firm, will use the new platform “to reduce the complexity and cost of running two separate back-office systems, without the need to maintain the technology and hardware,” officials say.
Smarsh Acquires Digital Reasoning
Electronic communications archiving vendor Smarsh, which “manages over 3 billion messages daily across email, social media, mobile/text messaging, instant messaging and collaboration, web, and voice channels,” reports that it has acquired Digital Reasoning, which specializes in “natural language processing (NLP), artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML).
“The combined company will enable customers to spot risks before they happen, maximize the scalability of supervision teams, and uncover strategic insights from large volumes of data in real-time,” according to a prepared statement from Smarsh.
“The ongoing pandemic and its impact on how and where people work has accelerated long-term trends that were already well underway,” Brian Cramer, CEO of Smarsh, says in the statement.
“The exploding volume, velocity, and variety of electronic communications are creating greater risks for firms, while also presenting opportunities to leverage communications data to spot risks before they happen and identify new insights to drive fresh growth initiatives. These conditions are creating a large divide between firms investing to harvest data-driven insights and leverage data to manage risk, and those who are falling behind. This will bear out in earnings and share prices in the years to come,” Cramer says.
Smarsh says its investors include Barclays, BNP Paribas, Goldman Sachs, Nasdaq, Macquarie Group, and Standard Chartered.
Financial details of the transaction, which is expected to close in the next 60 days, were not disclosed, according to the Smarsh statement, which also noted that Barclays acted as exclusive financial advisor to Digital Reasoning.
Clarity AI Closes $5M Funding Round
Clarity AI reports that it has closed a $15 million funding round led by exchanges operator Deutsche Börse AG and co-investor Mundi Ventures. The vendor offers a proprietary technology platform that “leverages big data and machine learning,” so “investors to manage the impact of their portfolios.”
“Our purpose is simple: to measure the impact of companies on our society and planet,” Rebeca Minguela, founder and CEO of Clarity AI, says in a prepared statement.
“Investors attempting to evaluate impact have faced fragmented and unreliable data, inconsistent subjective definitions, and a lack of standards and tools for comprehensive analysis. Historically, it has been too hard and resource-intensive to get accurate and transparent insights,” Minguela says.
Clarity AI was founded in 2017. It reports funding from investors that include Kibo Ventures, Founders Fund, Seaya Ventures, and Matthew Freud.
Northern Trust Hedge Fund Services Opens Investor Portal
Northern Trust Hedge Fund Services reports the launch of an investor portal for alternative asset managers. The portal offers “updated data feeds, customized views and analysis,” the service provider says in a prepared statement.
“We aim to be an extension of our clients’ business and understand the significant role that technology plays in their relationships with investors,” says Jeff Boyd, CEO of Northern Trust Hedge Fund Services, in the statement. “With this … new portal, we have empowered our clients with greater agility to meet evolving investor expectations as the alternatives industry quickly becomes more complex.”
Northern Trust Corp., the parent company, traces its corporate history to Chicago in 1889. The company maintains offices in the U.S., Canada, Europe, the Middle East, and the Asia-Pacific region.
NeoXam Launches Market Data Monitoring Toolset
Paris-based financial software vendor, NeoXam has released the DataCost suite of tools intended to help financial services firms optimize market data subscription costs, and possibly generate “recurring annual savings of more than 15 percent.”
The new suite consists of two solutions — DataCost Monitor and DataCost Optimiser, officials say. The DataCost offerings are built on top of NeoXam’s DataHub platform, which normalizes pricing and reference data from different sources. Customers can create “a gold copy” of the pricing and reference data “that makes it easier to switch from one market data vendor to another,” officials say.
The DataCost Monitor is intended to help investment banks and asset managers manage all of the data requests in their monthly market data vendor reports, officials say. The new tool “slices and dices various pricing data before showing exactly how much information has been consumed, and how data consumption levels evolve over time across different vendor accounts, asset classes and field categories,” the vendor adds.
The DataCost Optimizer is intended to wipe out “all redundant client requests by proactively by maintaining all the information consumers might request,” according to the vendor.
“The combined force of the two tools means financial institutions will be able to quickly work out why, for example, end of day prices for fixed income pricing costs suddenly doubled compared to the previous month,” officials say. “With market data costs increasing rapidly in recent times, the release of the suite comes at a welcome time for the industry. According to an analysis at the end of last year by Burton Taylor, global spend on market data topped $30 billion last year.”
“As long as market data vendors continue to charge for every single piece of information requested, then financial institutions need to be 100 percent confident they are not requesting data that they fail to act on,” says Yann Bloch, vice president of product management at NeoXam,
Targeting sell-side and buy-side firms, the DataCost suite will be “provided in partnership with a specialist consultancy firm with over 15 years’ experience in market data optimization,” the vendor says.