Optimal application programming interfaces (APIs) — those behind-the-scenes, functional connections among software systems and data sources — are proving to be very useful during these times of market volatility, says Jason Ang, senior and R&D program manager for collateral management solutions at SmartStream Technologies.
Ang was interviewed after it was announced that SmartStream won the the Best Sell-Side Collateral Management Solution award via the FTF News Technology Innovation Awards for 2020. The annual awards competition is decided by securities industry participants.
Over the past year or so, SmartStream has been pushing to expand its public API efforts for TLM Collateral Management clients, and the greater data, features and functions access has been having an impact upon the internal systems that clients use to stay ahead of volatile markets, Ang says.
“It’s all about information being available when it is needed. The volatility earlier this year meant a squeeze on collateral,” Ang says. “It was fundamental, therefore, that collateral departments could access the firm’s inventory to use the optimal instrument. Not seeing the bigger picture, instantly, implies sub-optimal collateral usage, which is costly and risky.”
APIs are helping firms improve their collateral management situations because the collateral application “sits at the center of the middle-office ecosystem. … It must send and consume data from multiple applications, and, ideally, would be doing this in real time. Our public APIs, coupled with messaging, enable this, and, better still, help make systems future proof,” Ang says.
A case in point are the real-time communication needs of settlement systems and custodians, which are “fundamental for retrieving the status of collateral movements. Knowing whether your collateral has settled or failed is integral to the margin process, and our public APIs can provide information like that,” Ang adds.
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Video Editor: Janene Knox
Interview conducted by Eugene Grygo, chief content officer, FTF News
Co-Producers: Sarah Hathaway, vice president, Financial Technologies Forum (FTF) and Eugene Grygo