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The leading knowledge platform for the financial technology industry

A-Team Insight Brief

QuantCube Launches Crude Oil Risk Sentiment Indicator

Alternative data specialist QuantCube Technology has launched the QuantCube Crude Oil Risk Sentiment Indicator, which uses natural language processing (NLP) in Arabic and English to accurately capture short-term market risk and predict price movements. By using Arabic social media data, information available on crude oil is increased more than five-fold, creating the most comprehensive crude oil sentiment indicator in the market, according to the company. The Indicator processes multiple factors impacting crude oil prices in real time, including OPEC meetings, production and stocks. As a result, Quantcube claims it can provide insights several hours in advance of traditional news outlets, giving commodity traders and hedge funds an edge in the market.

Archax Completes First Fundraising Round for Subsidiary Montis Digital

Archax, the UK regulated and registered digital securities exchange, broker and custodian, working with DLA Piper, has completed the first fundraise on its Primary Issuance Platform, an oversubscribed round of $1.5 million for its recently announced Montis Digital subsidiary, which is building blockchain-based market infrastructure for the post-trade ecosystem.

Participants in the raise were onboarded through the Archax website portal, with holdings maintained and recorded in the Archax regulated custody service, ready for future digital token issuance. The DLA Piper regulatory compliance platform was also used to automate the applicable regulatory requirements and to create the required legal documents for participating in a digital issuance. Also party to the raise was US broker/dealer GB Capital Markets, acting as placement agent for US investor participants.

GRI Revises Universal Standards and Restructures Governance

Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) has revised its universal standards to help subscribers better report on their ESG impacts. The revisions, the “most significant” update since 2016, incorporate human rights disclosures and have been carried out to enable firms to better respond to new regulations, particularly SFDR. The Netherlands-based sustainability standards setting organisation has also reshaped its governance structure, creating a two-tired setup comprising a Supervisory Board of directors and a Management Board, consisting of the CEO and Chief Financial Officer. Current CEO Eric Hespenheide will step down in January.

Broadridge Adds AI-powered Anti-Money Laundering Solution

Broadridge Financial Solutions has released Broadridge Anti-Money Laundering Solution (AMLS), bringing new capabilities to the company’s existing intelligent automation suite. The solution delivers an end-to-end machine learning (ML) powered AML platform covering transaction monitoring, name screening, alert prioritisation, and customer risk scoring. The platform is powered by cloud-based AML transaction monitoring software provider Tookitaki.

Encompass Expands into North America

Encompass, a provider of automated KYC solutions, has expanded into North America with office headquarters in New York and the intention to better serve the needs of existing global clients with a presence in North America, as well as secure new clients and partnerships in the region. Alex Ford has been appointed president, North America. She joined Encompass in 2012 and has held executive responsibility for several business units of the company. She will be joined initially by six senior staff members before an increase to more than 10 by the end of 2021, and double the number in 2022.

SmartStream Adds Intelligent Exceptions Management Design to SmartStream Air

Financial solutions provider SmartStream Technologies has launched a new intelligent exceptions management design for its cloud-native AI-powered SmartStream Air solution. The enhancement, which follows the release of TLM Aurora Universal Data Control earlier this year, is designed to further simplify the typically complex and manual exceptions management process for data reconciliations. The new design aims to reduce manual touchpoints around identification, prioritisation, allocation and audit, and to provide real-time and dynamic business insights and analytics, for more effective management of risk and greater operational insight.

ION Commodities’ Openlink Replaces 30+ Legacy Systems at Constellation

ION Commodities, a global provider of commodities trading and risk management solutions, has implemented its Openlink CTRM solution at Constellation, a US provider of clean energy solutions. Openlink will manage Constellation’s end-to-end wholesale energy operations, replacing over 30 legacy systems, and will serve as a single source of truth and system of record. The ‘Wholesale Transformation Program’ project enables Constellation to manage its global commodity business through a single CTRM, covering trading and risk management operations for power, natural gas, emissions, renewable energy credits, and other fuels It is expected to save Constellation thousands of hours on manual processes and data reconciliation, and to provide a simplified technology infrastructure, delivering improved operational processes, increased automation, consolidated risk management across business lines, and a scalable solution that supports business growth.

Council of Europe Development Bank Implements Bloomberg MARS Front Office

The Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) has adopted its Bloomberg’s Multi-Asset Risk System, MARS Front Office, to enable the bank to assess the impact of trading activity on the risk profile of its books.

MARS Front Office will provide the CEB with consolidated pricing and risk analytics, including pre-trade and daily post-trade valuations, Greeks and scenario analysis. The bank will also use Bloomberg’s new ‘PnL Explain’ reports, which show fluctuations in market value and the contributions of the various underlying market factors.

The CEB is a long-standing customer of Bloomberg and also uses BVAL Derivatives, a pricing service that provides independent valuation for derivatives, and MARS XVA for counterparty risk management.

FSB and IMF Report on G20 Data Gaps Initiative

The Financial Stability Board (FSB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) have published their Sixth Progress Report – Countdown to December 2021 on the implementation of the Second Phase of the G20 Data Gaps Initiative (DGI-2). The report highlights significant progress in closing identified policy relevant data gaps during phases 1 and 2 of the Data Gaps Initiative, and the value of the initiative through the Covid pandemic in helping policymakers access key information to assess developments and risks in financial and non-financial sectors.

While some DGI-2 recommendations will not be completed by the end of 2021 and firms will continue to implement them, four data priorities that are likely to be covered by a new DGI are: climate change; household distributional information; fintech and financial inclusion data; and access to private sources of data and administrative data, and data sharing. A detailed workplan for the new initiative will be developed.

Milestone Group Offers Fair Value Control Solution

Milestone Group, an investment technology specialist recently acquired by BNY, has released a Fair Value Control solution for teams responsible for the administration and compliance of the fair value process, and ensuring funds’ securities are correctly valued in accordance with policy set by governing parties. The solution uses the pControl funds platform and includes workflows providing automation, transparency, and control of the end-to-end fair value determination process. It also unifies stakeholders involved in the process by providing a centralised solution for monitoring, decision-making, and implementation of fair value prices.