In April 2018, US-based capital markets infrastructure technology provider Hyannis Port Research (HPR) expanded into the European market to offer high-tech multi-jurisdictional solutions for European investment banks and major buy-side funds. With an approach based around an end-to-end offering, the firm brings its experience with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)’s Rule 15c3-5 on risk management to assist direct market access firms struggling with Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (MiFID II) and Market Abuse Regulation (MAR) compliance.
CEO Tony Amicangioli explains: “Our clients continually struggle with a hodge-podge of legacy technologies, rapidly changing regulatory requirements, and an ever-increasing level of required technology sophistication to compete. HPR provides a break-through enterprise infrastructure that allows our clients to focus on their core value-add while HPR provides an industry leading technology platform offering agility, scalability, performance and reliability.”
The firm launched its first field programmable gate array (FPGA) pre-trade risk platform in 2013. This was followed by its flagship global market access platforms Riskbot and Softbot, which feature ultra-low latency direct market access (DMA) and pre-trade/at-trade risk management. The Riskbot appliance inspects orders travelling to and from financial markets, stopping erroneous trades that could cause disruption and uses revolutionary technology that can inspect such information in the time it takes a beam of light to travel less than 400 feet.
HPR developed from a partnership between Amicangioli and HPR head of business development Tom Wilson, who met while working together at Tower Research’s affiliate Lime Brokerage. Their previous experience, including leadership roles with advanced technology firms such as Juniper Networks, BBN Technologies (now Raytheon), and PictureTel, where they worked to develop carrier-grade networking gear, was the catalyst to the creation of HPR – which they believe fills a gap in the market. “We felt that there was a real need for performant computing solutions for capital markets given the ongoing electronification of markets worldwide,” says Amicangioli.
So what differentiates HPR from its competitors? Amicangioli says: “While we’ve encountered a small group of banks attempting to cobble together in-house solutions, we believe we are in an exciting position as direct competition has been all but non-existent, especially in the US market. HPR’s core team is comprised of numerous experts from hard-core technology markets including telecommunications, cloud and super-computer processor design. We have been applying advanced disciplines to capital markets for seven years, which affords us a tremendous barrier to entry for would-be competitors.”
The firm recently expanded into Europe through a leading global investment bank, which in April 2018 went live with the Riskbot market access platform in EMEA. “We’re excited to expand our footprint into Europe with one of the world’s largest global investment banks now pushing a considerable portion of the overall market’s equity flow through our platform,” says Amicangioli.
Following this success HPR is stretching its wings, with plans to introduce new products for low-latency data provision, real-time surveillance and regulatory reporting. “Without a doubt, we are in growth mode. With our core technology in place we are now working to expand into new asset classes, geographies and product areas. We believe our platform brings simplicity to the messy and complex infrastructures that many firms run. The opportunity for us is immense.”
And as the regulatory burden becomes heavier, HPR has seen its customer base expand. Amicangioli concludes: “Historically, our target market has been C-level executives at tier 1 investment banks, but increasingly we’re dealing with a much broader universe of clients: electronic market makers, proprietary trading firms, quant funds, agency brokers. Essentially, we focus on any firm that requires high-performance enterprise computing solutions. Given the rapid electronification of markets and asset classes globally, that universe of potential clients has expanded tremendously.”