Tag Archives: SaaS

Why now is the time for a fresh approach towards FX technology at banks

In an era where pundits like to predict doom and gloom for banks FX businesses, Integral’s Chief Revenue Officer Vikas Srivastava offers a different perspective that shows how a change in the approach towards technology can allow heads of FX desks to significantly increase their profits – even during the periods of low volatility.

We’re all aware that the size of the FX pie hasn’t been growing. The latest triennial survey by the BIS supports this sentiment, having flagged a decline in FX volumes for the first time in 15 years. After the slow-down in market activity amidst the spate of regulations that the FX market had to contend with it is quite likely that the worst may be behind us. Continue reading Why now is the time for a fresh approach towards FX technology at banks

Firms Continue to Turn to Cloud-Based Solutions to Comply with MiFID II Rules

For many firms, the RTS-28 requirement and the upcoming RTS-27 reports are proving to be a headache. Collecting complex data on this large of a scale and on a detailed level is a complicated effort that requires integrated data science services with a depth of trade data and robust analytics that allow customers to address these regulatory and reporting challenges. Given these exacting standards, cloud-based platforms are ideal in offering the most sophisticated and flexible MiFID II-compliant solutions.

MiFID II continues to present challenging obligations for financial institutions nearly six months since the rule first went into effect. RTS-28, the most recent regulatory hurdle under MiFID II, is meant to ensure transparency and keep firms accountable to best execution policies when transacting on behalf of clients. The reporting standards under RTS-28 require investment firms to disclose their top five execution venues, publish granular details on the execution data obtained at each of these venues, and provide a qualitative review of their best execution policies accompanied by an analysis of how execution is performed. Continue reading Firms Continue to Turn to Cloud-Based Solutions to Comply with MiFID II Rules

Currency Trading That Everyone Can ‘LIKE’

Social media changed the way people interact with each other. Now it’s time for FX trading to catch up.

This past May marked the five-year anniversary of Facebook going public, a seminal event that cemented the influence of social media on our lives.

At the risk of heaping too many additional encomiums on the bright people that brought us these networks, it’s not hyperbole to note that the advent of social media has changed the way we interact. People can now very easily reconnect with grade-school friends, quickly share photos of loved ones, and be introduced to new people through mutual friends or shared interests. At the same time, everyone has the option to control their levels of privacy. You can view and share only those things that suit your needs.

The future of trading technology is going in the same direction. Each trader will sit at the center of his or her own universe, controlling what trades to make available to whom. And the best market to demonstrate this new paradigm is the currency market. Continue reading Currency Trading That Everyone Can ‘LIKE’

A Tale of Two Kinds of Companies

Recently, two complex event processing (CEP) technology vendors changed hands. Progress Software sold its Apama CEP platform to Swiss vendor Software AG, and Tibco acquired StreamBase — the last remaining independent CEP vendor.

Both companies were tackling very complex issues in financial services and enjoyed initial success. The founders of Apama sold their firm to Progress Software for $25.4 million in 2005, the year StreamBase launched its first product. What sealed both vendors’ demise was not bad software, but rather a paradigm shift in the software industry.

When you search for the term “cloud computing” on Streambase.com, Google can find only two instances and they are both located in boilerplates of a business partner that is a part of a customer case study.  Run the same test on Apama.com and Google responds that the search “did not match any documents”. These are bad signs. Continue reading A Tale of Two Kinds of Companies

Some Businesses Take a Really Long Time to Build, FX isn’t One of Them

Recently, Euromoney Magazine published its annual FX Survey 2012. Whether or not you like the survey and trust its findings, at least there is entertainment value in the media coverage that discusses the results. A very entertaining article in the Wall Street Journal provided insights into the great lengths that several participants went to drum up support for their institutions. But there are statements from some of the protagonists that make me smile. Here are two examples:

“Instant results are difficult to achieve in foreign exchange.” (…) Coming in, you need to invest for three to five years before you see results on the scale that the top handful of banks have been [having].”

It’s a matter of perspective but I disagree. There might be some businesses that require multi-year investments before delivering results but FX is not one of them. I can think of a few wineries in Napa Valley where new crop has to mature for years before delivering world class product. Virgin America, on the other hand, launched an entire airline in three years. They achieved this by leveraging a variety of third party service providers to assemble their final product in record time. Likewise, launching your FX business need not require multiple years of investment to deliver a world-class FX product to the market. It can be as simple as setting up a network connection to Integral. You can be up and running in weeks. More complex deployments on FX Grid® might require several weeks or a few months but nothing in the neighborhood of three to five years. That’s just wrong. If you’re in the middle of such a project, consider cutting your losses and give us a call now. Continue reading Some Businesses Take a Really Long Time to Build, FX isn’t One of Them

Not all Clouds Are Created Equal

Not all clouds are the same, and I am not talking about the different ones you see up in the sky. The term cloud computing has reached true buzzword status by now, with everyone having a different understanding of what it means — which by the way is one characteristic of a buzzword.

I don’t want to add to the many interpretations of cloud computing out there, rather outline the most important characteristics that in my view define it: 1) Market participants receive and deliver services over the Internet. 2) They are sharing a common pool of IT infrastructure. 3) They have the ability to easily scale these services up or down in line with how their business needs change. 4) They pay for these services in a pay-as-you-go business model and, and 5) these services are managed by a provider. If all these statements are true, you are looking at a real example of cloud computing.

Open matters

Today, Integral announced an open platform for FX. While ‘open’ to some might just be yet another buzzword, it is critically important in this context. Continue reading Not all Clouds Are Created Equal