Post-trade, pre-settlement trade management services provider Omgeo, the joint venture company of DTCC and Thomson Financial, has released and signed up the first users for Omgeo Alert Plus. This new feature set within the Omgeo Alert web based database for the maintenance and communication of standing settlement and account instructions is designed to give high volume investment manager and outsourcer clients the ability to upload SSIs in bulk, saving them from the considerable manual effort of updating a large number of SSIs one by one.
Further new functionality includes a global search and replace function to enable users to change multiple instances of the same data at one time, as well as the ability for investment managers to grant broker access to multiple accounts, also on a bulk basis.
To take advantage of the new functionality, users will have to update their relationship with Omgeo. The senior level administrator at the client will be able to dictate which users have access to Alert Plus functionality. Three clients have already signed up for the new service. Omgeo is embarking on its third training day for Omgeo Alert, and says it has a strong pipeline in place.
Omgeo defines high volume users as those with approximately 250 or more accounts in Alert, and/or 5000 settlement instructions. According to this definition there are 219 eligible clients in the Americas, 85 in Europe and six in Asia, says Steve Matthews, managing director of product at Omgeo, though he adds the Alert Plus service will not be restricted to just those users: any client looking to streamline its data maintenance process may be interested in the new service. Omgeo’s research among the broker users of Alert suggests they do not have the same requirement for bulk upload, since they tend to have fewer accounts in Alert and to update them less frequently.
Matthews puts the release of the Alert Plus functionality in the context of the ongoing improvements it is making to its SSI product. “We know that SSIs are still the biggest cause of trade fails, and we continue to improve the Omgeo Alert service further, increasing validation, in order to offer increased value to the community,” he says.
Last year, Omgeo migrated the Alert community on to the new web based service, the flexibility of which creates further opportunities for service improvement, according to Matthews. The Alert Plus functionality has its origins in the understanding Omgeo gained of the way in which its clients use Alert through the migration process, adds his colleague Mark Bouchea, manager, Omgeo Alert product.
“We realised early on that the amount of manual effort required to input a large number of instructions at one time was labour intensive – it took a considerable number of click-throughs,” he says. “So while the migration was going on we began designing the new input function, doing a requirements gathering process based on information we gained access to about the functionality historically held on the customer site. The concept is relatively straightforward. What we had to gain was an understanding of how clients would make use of the new functionality; many have internal databases which they use to import and export data to Alert.”
Omgeo is currently working unite the legacy SID database of settlement instructions it inherited from the DTCC TradeSuite business with Alert via a single web interface. An effort is also under way to provide additional validation checks particularly around FX. “Equities and fixed income are the primary areas of coverage of Alert, but FX is increasing,” Matthews says.