Vancouver-based provider of independent valuations for derivatives and complex products OTC Valuations Limited (OTC Val) has marked a concerted push into the European marketplace and an ambition to grow worldwide with the hire of Ian Blance, recently ex of Interactive Data (Reference Data Review @ FIMA, November 5 2007), as vice president of strategic sales. Blance will be responsible for driving business development for OTC Val globally.
Blance spent 12 years in a variety of senior roles in Interactive Data’s Fixed Income Evaluations business in London and New York. He played a key part in spearheading Interactive Data’s extension of its evaluations franchise into the OTC derivatives arena, in line with the growing demand from clients for independent prices for these asset classes. (For more on Interactive Data’s strategy for derivatives pricing see Value for money?, A-Team IQ, Q3 2007.)
OTC Val was founded last year (Reference Data Review, September 2007) and launched a service for primary, secondary and tertiary valuations for both vanilla and exotic derivative instruments. OTC Val also planned to target white-label relationships with data vendors and fund administrators. The vendor joined an increasingly crowded marketplace on the supply side – but at a time when (in the early throes of the sub-prime crisis) the demand for independent prices for complex instruments was recognised to be growing rapidly.
Bob Sangha, managing director at OTC Val, said the plan was to target “a unique, niche market around structured products”: essentially to fill “a significant gap in the area of illiquid structured products, due to the unique nature of the products”. At the heart of the OTC Val service is a system that automates the typically manual process of pricing derivatives.
Commenting on his new appointment, Blance says: “The development of independent valuations of derivatives has struggled to keep up with (the market’s) growth and the recent market turmoil only highlights the need for a robust and objective source.”