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The knowledge platform for the financial technology industry

A-Team Insight Brief

Altair Acquires Datawatch

Simulation technologies provider Altair has acquired data intelligence specialist Datawatch – along with its Panopticon visualization platform – for $176 million in cash. The move is aimed at bolstering Altair’s offerings in the generic data science and analytics segment, where Datawatch has strong offerings in data prep, data prediction, and real-time high-volume data visualisation. For capital markets users, Datawatch is probably best known for its Panopticon suite of visualisation tools. Datawatch acquired Panopticon Software in August 2013, and recently made Panopticon Streams widely available to Datawatch clients.

RavenPack and CloudQuant Team Up

Machine-readable news platform provider RavenPack has granted access to its historical data to crowd researchers seeking alpha signals on CloudQuant’s online Python and JupyterLab-based tools. The initiative aims to support data scientists designing tools to improve financial modelling.

Abacus Group Acquires Hedgepoint Solutions

Abacus Group, a provider of hosting services for the hedge fund marketplace, has acquired Hedgepoint Solutions, a New York-based IT consulting firm that targets hedge funds, venture capital and private equity firms. As a result, Hedgepoint clients will benefit from the wide variety of features included in the Abacus Cloud platform, such as off-site data centres and a flexible, secure cloud.

PwC Acquires KYC-Pro

PwC has acquired client onboarding specialist KYC-Pro from compliance consultancy FSCom for an undisclosed amount. The move comes as part of PwC’s plans to expand its regulatory compliance offering. KYC-Pro enables customers access to over 127 million companies worldwide, conduct individual AML checks across more than 20 countries and cross reference potential customers against international PEPs and Sanctions lists. PwC partner Ian McConnell says: “AI and automation can deliver significant benefits for organisations and people and, by incorporating KYC-Pro to our existing regulatory compliance offering, it complements the significant presence we already have in the financial crime operations space.” Research shows that by 2020, European banks will spend more than €1bn annually on their KYC management.

MünchenerHyp Selects Finastra for Regulatory Reporting

Münchener Hypothekenbank (MünchenerHyp), the property financing partner of German cooperative banks Volksbanken and Raiffeisenbanken, has selected Finastra’s regulatory reporting solution to meet its post-trade transaction and transparency reporting requirements under MiFID II and MiFIR. MünchenerHyp worked closely with Finastra and local implementation partner Finbridge to successfully deliver the project ahead of the MiFID go-live in January 2018. By integrating the solution with its front-office Fusion Post-Trade trading system, the bank has gained an end-to-end platform with the ability to support regulations such as EMIR and the Securities Financing Transactions Regulation (SFTR) in the future.

Synechron Builds APAC Focus

New York-based IT and digital consulting firm Synechron has launched a new financial innovations lab in Singapore. The new facility will help strengthen the firm’s offering in the APAC region and partner with its clients on interactive workshops related to key digital strategies such as AI, Blockchain, Data Analytics and RegTech. Synechron also recently partnered with Singapore Polytechnic to co-develop a curriculum for blockchain courses in order to enable further innovation in the region. The new focus on Asia follows the September 2018 appointment of a new APAC head, Mihir Shah, who joined Synechron in November 2017 after 11 years with UBS.

Fintech Investment Tops $30bn, Says KPMG

Investment activity in the FinTech segment topped $30bnin Q2 of 2018, exceeding Q1’s $25bn, as M&A activity sees a boost from private equity interest. The 2018 edition of KPMG’s ‘Fintech Pulse’ found that 2018 funding to date has already exceeded the total amount of fintech funding seen in 2017 and is well on pace to exceed 2015’s peak. Venture capital investment in the RegTech segment is on a strong trajectory, with 26 deals in H1 (compared to 54 for FY17). In terms of value, capital invested in RegTech during the first half of 2018 has already surpassed all of 2017. Should it keep up this pace for the remainder of 2018, it will set a record for the segment.

According to Fabiano Gobbo, Global Leader of Financial Risk Management KPMG International: “The regulatory landscape has evolved significantly in recent years, with the introduction of GDPR, PSD2 and MiFIDII/MIFIR creating more opportunity for risk, regulatory and compliance gaps to emerge. As a result, we are seeing financial institutions increasingly turning to RegTech to fill compliance gaps, save on the costs of compliance, get ahead of requirements before deadlines and detect enterprise risk before the regulators. This has led to an explosion in investment in RegTech firms over the past couple of quarters.”

Singapore Affirms RegTech Commitment

At the launch of the Singapore Fintech Festival (November 12-14), Managing Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore Ravi Menon confirmed the country’s commitment to supporting regtech development. Menon identified six core pillars to develop the fintech ecosystem, many of which had a regtech focus – including identity/KYC, data governance and platforms for innovation. The Festival focuses on nine key themes, one of which is ‘TechRisk and RegTech’. It includes a Global Investor Summit showcasing next-generation ASEAN startups as well as an Artificial Intelligence Summit and an Innovation Lab Crawl.

Motive Partners Announces LPA Acquisition

Specialist fintech investor Motive Partners has announced the acquisition of a controlling interest in Lucht Probst Associates (LPA), a German software provider founded in 1999 which focuses on regulatory compliance for capital markets and wealth management, as well as providing strategic advice and implementation services. Motive will support LPA in accelerating the company’s growth, including product development, international expansion, and strategic hiring.

TORA Teams with NEX for MiFID II Trade/Transaction Reporting

TORA has partnered with NEX Regulatory Reporting to add MiFID II trade and transaction reporting capability to its cloud-based order and execution management system (OEMS). NEX operates an Approved Reporting Mechanism (ARM) and Approved Publication Arrangement (APA) under MiFID II. The initiative, which provides buy-side firms with a straight-through-processing solution that reduces the operational demands of the regulation, follows last December’s launch of an artificial intelligence (AI)-driven pre-trade transaction cost analysis (TCA) solution to help firms meet their MiFID II best execution requirements.