Microsoft has set out its MiFID stall, and has identified reference data and client classification as two of the eight MiFID related challenges it wants to help financial institutions address through its initiative to offer “mix and match” MiFID solutions in conjunction with a range of partners.
TAP Solutions, provider of the Microsoft based TAPMaster enterprise data management platform, is among the ISVs over which Microsoft has put a MiFID “umbrella”, according to Ian Warford, industry director for securities and capital markets at Microsoft EMEA, Financial Services, as is enterprise data and analytics management solutions provider Xenomorph. For the client classification piece Microsoft is partnering with Italy based Debug Software Tailoring and Northern Irish vendor Singularity, both of which provide KYC solutions, says Warford. The next phase of the initiative involves Microsoft and its partners working together to create a demonstrable reference architecture for MiFID, from which clients can pick and choose the elements they require to complete their own MiFID infrastructures.
To meet what it sees as a key reference data related challenge of MiFID, Microsoft and partners plan to offer solutions to enable the capture and storage of the five years of relevant market and trade data stipulated by the directive. Warford acknowledges that TAP Solutions’ main traction is in the North American marketplace, but says Microsoft will leverage TAP’s reference clients in that market to demonstrate to European banks the appropriateness of TAP’s data model for financial markets in the MiFID context.
Warford has been working on Microsoft’s MiFID strategy and solutions since he joined the company in March last year. The software giant’s pitch is that because Microsoft technology is so familiar within financial institutions and easy to integrate with existing IT systems, the overall cost of taking a MiFID solution or components thereof from Microsoft will be reduced. While the largest banks in markets like the UK are already fairly well advanced with their MiFID preparations, Warford believes there is an opportunity for Microsoft to help out smaller banks by working with them as a strategic partner, and providing solutions such as its BizTalk middleware for integration.
There is something of a religious divide within the financial industry when it comes to favouring or not favouring Microsoft technology, but Warford insists he is seeing opportunities within Microsoft and non-Microsoft shops for it to tackle the remaining MiFID related problems firms face as the deadline for implementation rapidly approaches. The mix and match approach is gaining traction, he says, with markets like the UK, Germany, the Netherlands and the Nordics showing particular interest in Microsoft’s MiFID solutions. Microsoft is tackling six other MiFID related challenges – planning and testing, best execution, reporting, market connectivity, systematic internalisation and systems integration. Other partners in the initiative include AleriLabs, BearingPoint, Fintecs, Gissing Software, HP, Progress Apama and Qumas.