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Pico Reaches Agreement to Acquire Corvil, Plans Corvil-as-a-Service

Pico has reached a definitive agreement to acquire Corvil, a deal that will create a powerhouse providing managed trading technology services underpinned by sophisticated real-time performance analytics. The acquisition will combine Pico’s trading technology services with Corvil’s performance monitoring and analytics products to help clients gain greater insight into Pico’s managed electronic trading environments. Existing Corvil products will continue to be available and supported, while a new Corvil-as-a-Service solution will be offered based on Pico’s ability to deploy, configure and operate Corvil environments.

Corvil CEO Donal Byrne will become chief technology officer at Pico, reporting to Pico CEO and founder Jarrod Yuster, and with global responsibility for product, marketing and data science. There is no news yet of how other Corvil executives and employees will be integrated into the company, although most are expected to make the transition.

Financial details of the acquisition will not be disclosed – both companies are privately held – but this is a big deal for Pico, and indeed the trading technology market, and is being funded by existing investors and users including Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, UBS and Wells Fargo. The acquisition is expected to close within 30 days, and will create a combined company with a client base of over 400 banks, exchanges, asset managers, financial technology vendors and trading firms worldwide, and a workforce of over 375 staff – about 235 from Pico, and 165 from Corvil.

Pico says it regularly evaluates opportunities to provide its clients with best-in-breed products within the Pico service environment and that its clients have consistently been asking for access to additional data and analytics products. In response, it looked to Corvil as the gold standard in terms of real-time analytics and machine intelligence products for infrastructure performance and operations.

Clients will be able to benefit from the combined service (Pico) and product (Corvil) company by using Corvil tools to simplify and shorten the timeframe of getting transparency and insight into Pico’s managed electronic trading environments. This is expected to give them competitive advantage and an opportunity to eliminate the need to train and retain in-house expertise to manage trading environments. The ability to monitor and measure performance is also expected to encourage companies that are uncertain about outsourcing trading infrastructure to look further at Pico’s offerings.

Pico claims the acquisition will put it at the top of the pack in terms of competitors, ‘as there are no other managed service providers that can offer the same degree of transparency and analytics-as-a-service within their environments’.

Yuster says: “Our motivation for acquiring Corvil is based on a commitment to our clients to deliver the industry’s best-in-class analytics and real-time insights. With Corvil, we can deliver full transparency into trading and IT operations while addressing the challenges that come with rapid expansion into new global markets.”

For Corvil, Byrne says: “We see a new era of financial technology for capital markets emerging. This will be defined by an on-demand and machine intelligent technology paradigm delivered as a service for infrastructure, platform, cloud, data and analytics. With Pico, we are making a transformational move on the financial technology services market.”

Corvil will operate under the Pico brand following the acquisition, although the Corvil name will continue to be used for its products and services. Among the company’s latest releases is

Corvil 9000, an analytics appliance designed to help trading firms identify new opportunities through the capture and analysis of network traffic and execution performance. The solution also helps firms correlate trading performance with underlying technology behaviours, and follows last year’s introduction of the Corvil Intelligence Hub that extracts data from Corvil analytics appliances throughout the trading lifecycle to give firms insight into client order behaviour, enhanced transparency into trade performance, and improved compliance through risk management.

Pico is also pressing ahead, particularly with a global expansion plan that will add 20 colocation facilities across Asia this year, as well as a global connectivity ring that expands the private and proprietary low-latency Piconet backbone to major financial data centres across North America, Europe and Asia.

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