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A-Team Insight Brief

CJC Achieves Cyber Essentials Certification, Enhancing ICT Defence Capabilities

Crown Jewels Consultants (CJC), the market data consultancy and professional services provider, has attained the Cyber Essentials certification, underscoring its commitment to robust cyber defence mechanisms. CJC was assessed to have met the Cyber Essentials implementation profile, with ICT defences deemed satisfactory against a commodity-based cyber-attack.

The UK government-backed certification aligns with the EU’s Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA), which aims to bolster the digital resilience of financial entities and their vital infrastructure against cyber risks. The certification process encompassed several critical areas, including secure configuration, access control, malware protection, patch management, and incident response.

Baader Bank Selects Broadridge for Regulatory Trade and Transaction Reporting

Baader Bank has extended its relationship with Broadridge Financial Solutions with an agreement to use the vendor’s regulatory trade and transaction reporting solution to ensure a more unified and comprehensive regulatory reporting framework. The bank already uses Broadridge’s front- and middle-office solutions for order management, trading and market connectivity.

Baader Bank offers asset classes including equities, bonds, derivatives, and funds/ETFs, as well as primary market transactions. The Broadridge platform will support the bank in fulfilling evolving requirements across multiple jurisdictions including MiFID, FinfraG, EMIR Refit and SFTR.

ANZ Partners with CobaltFX for Enhanced FX Credit Management

The Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) has integrated CobaltFX’s Dynamic Credit platform to manage its FX trade credit exposure management across interbank trading venues. The move underscores ANZ’s commitment to adopting innovative, real-time solutions for FX credit management that centralise and optimise the distribution of credit across multiple trading venues from a single, global limit.

The partnership with CobaltFX, a United Fintech company specialising in automated pre and post-trade infrastructure, not only eliminates the need for credit carve-outs but also enhances market access for ANZ, offering significant benefits to its customers, counterparties, and the bank itself by reducing credit usage and operational risks while improving liquidity access.

Sigma Broking Expands Partnership with ION to Utilize XTP Execution Suite for LME Trading

ION, the solutions vendor for capital markets, commodities, and treasury management, has extended its partnership with international brokerage firm Sigma Broking. Sigma will now deploy ION’s XTP Execution (XTP-E) suite, enhancing its capability to trade listed derivatives on the London Metal Exchange (LME).

Sigma Broking, offering broking and execution services across various financial markets, provides its institutional customers with access to various exchanges and products, including tailored hedging strategies and execution services. The use of ION’s XTP-E suite is set to bolster Sigma’s front-office execution capabilities, further solidifying its status among the LME’s Category 1 Ring Dealing members, and supporting its strategic objectives in commodities trading and risk management.

Sterling Trading Tech Expands into Asia

Sterling Trading Tech (STT), the independent OMS, risk and trading platform vendor, has unveiled its strategic expansion into Asia for 2024, targeting the key financial hubs of Korea, Hong Kong, and Singapore. This initiative is driven by the demand for more sophisticated OMS and Risk solutions in Asia, and will cater to the needs of local and cross-border clients, particularly those operating in the US.

STT’s multi-asset OMS is designed for firms trading in US equities and options, offering features such as real-time balances, advanced margin methods, customisable risk controls, API connectivity and international order processing beyond US trading hours.

FlexTrade Integrates with Coinbase Prime for Enhanced Digital Asset Trading

FlexTrade Systems, the multi-asset execution and order management systems provider, has announced its integration with Coinbase Prime, a prime broker platform for digital and crypto assets. This collaboration allows FlexTrade’s clients to access a significant liquidity pool for digital assets through its FlexTRADER EMS and FlexONE OEMS.

The integration offers users seamless connectivity, a consolidated view of market depth, and streamlined order placement within the FlexTRADER and FlexONE platforms. The move is part of FlexTrade’s ongoing efforts to expand its digital asset trading capabilities, providing institutional-grade trading, compliance, and analytics across the digital asset and cryptocurrency markets.

Canoe Intelligence Solution Offers Access to Asset-Level Data of Alternative Investments

Canoe Intelligence, a technology provider to the alternatives industry, has announced the commercial launch of Canoe Asset Data, a solution to the challenges of accessing and using complete, timely, and accurate asset-level data. The offering delves deep into the underlying holdings of alternative investments, leveraging the document collection, tracking, extraction, and organisation technology developed by the company, and is designed to solve investment use cases such as exposure analysis, portfolio analysis, and due diligence, while alleviating the operational challenges of accessing this granular data.

Canoe Asset Data is the inaugural product release from the Canoe Data Innovation Hub, an initiative dedicated to driving innovation, transformation, and transparency in the alternative investment markets, and was developed in collaboration with 13 clients. Aman Soni, vice president of data strategy at Canoe, comments: “Before its commercial launch, Canoe Asset Data saw strong adoption from its design partners, which speaks volumes about the end product.”

Bloomberg ESG Data Supports Hong Kong Greenhouse Gas Emissions Elimination Tool

Bloomberg ESG data is supporting development of the recently released greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions estimation tool of Hong Kong’s Green and Sustainable Finance Cross-Agency Steering Group (Steering Group) and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). The tool is part of key initiatives to facilitate sustainability reporting by corporates and financial institutions in Hong Kong led by the Steering Group, which is co-chaired by the Securities & Futures Commission of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority.

The tool deploys a regression model using data from listed companies and small- and medium-sized enterprises to represent corporate energy consumption and associated Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions and enables financial institutions to estimate the GHG emissions of their investees or borrowers in their portfolios, which is important where data from underlying companies is limited. The energy consumption data and GHG emissions data of Hong Kong listed companies used for the model is procured from Bloomberg.

SteelEye Strengthens Presence in APAC by Incorporating in Singapore

SteelEye, provider of an integrated surveillance platform, has strengthened its footprint in Asia-Pacific (APAC) by incorporating in Singapore. This will enable closer collaboration with clients and regulatory authorities and comes at a time of heightened enforcement action by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), which over the past year fined four banks and an insurer for money laundering and market misconduct according to SteelEye’s 2024 Annual Fine Tracker.

Recognising the parallels between regulatory environments in APAC, North America and Europe, SteelEye is well-positioned to continue assisting financial firms in APAC to address compliance complexities. Matt Smith, CEO of SteelEye, comments: “Fortifying our presence in APAC underscores our commitment to providing unparalleled support to our clients in the region. By leveraging our experience, SteelEye’s trade and communications surveillance solutions can enable financial firms operating in APAC to meet their regulatory obligations effectively.”

SEC Approves Watered-Down Climate Reporting Rules

American listed companies will not have to report on their Scope 3 emissions in rules that will, however, require them for the first time to disclose other climate data.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) yesterday approved measures that would bind corporates into presenting data on the climate risks they face, their plans to mitigate them and, for some, their own greenhouse gas emissions. The aim of the rules is to present investors with consistent and comparable data on which to make portfolio and risk management decisions, the SEC said.

“Our federal securities laws lay out a basic bargain. Investors get to decide which risks they want to take so long as companies raising money from the public make what President Franklin Roosevelt called ‘complete and truthful disclosure’,” SEC chair Gary Gensler said. “These final rules build on past requirements by mandating material climate risk disclosures by public companies and in public offerings.”

The Federal rules are the first of their kind in the US but fall well short of requirements under the European Union’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD). While they have been long in the making, SEC commissioners eventually presented a far more diluted set of measures than had been initially proposed in March 2022, including the declaration of emissions from supply and distribution chains.

Divided Reception

The SEC also watered down reporting requirements on Scope 1 and 2 emissions, those caused directly by companies’ own operations and energy usage. Firms will only be expected to make such disclosures if they are not already obliged to do so in other jurisdictions.

The announcement received a divided reception. Sustainable markets campaigner Ceres said the rules “represent a major victory for transparency in capital markets” but said it “will continue to advocate for voluntary and mandatory disclosures of a company’s full scope of emissions”.

The watering down of the initial proposals comes amid a growing anti-ESG movement in US. Since Gensler first proposed a climate reporting bill, opponents have rallied to demonise the ESG project. Banks and institutions have also lobbied against tough measures.

Many US state leaders have instigated bans on public funds being invested in sustainable markets and conservative movements have put pressure on institutions to row back on their ESG strategies.

Despite the SEC’s lowering of disclosure obligations, a coalition of states has already said it will oppose the measures. The SEC has said in response it will “vigorously defend the disclosures” in court.