The Consolidated Audit Trail (CAT) first proposed by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) back in 2010 has come a step closer to reality with the selection of six bids from a list of 10 RFP responses that were submitted to build and maintain the audit trail.
The six bids still in the running to win the CAT project come from: AxiomSL and CSC; EPAM Systems; the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (Finra); J, Streicher Analytics on behalf of the CATPRO Consortium comprising HP, Booz Allen and Buckley Sandler; SunGard Data Systems; and Thesys Technologies.
The shortlisted bids were selected by the national securities exchanges and Finra – collectively known as self-regulatory organisations, or SROs – that were asked by the SEC in July 2012 to prepare a plan to create, implement and maintain a CAT system that can capture information regarding securities quotes and orders.
The plan is expected to be submitted to the SEC in September 2014 and has the purpose of creating a central repository for the SROs and the SEC to perform surveillance on order event data linked to customer and account information. It is also intended to permit regulators to efficiently and effectively perform market reconstructions.
The CAT is expected to cost up to $1 billion to build and when complete will be the world’s largest data repository for securities transactions, tracking about 58 billion records of orders, executions and quote lifecycles in equities and options markets on a daily basis.
The next step in the bidding process to build the CAT is a Bidders Summit that will be hosted by SIFMA on July 29, 2014 and will provide a forum for the remaining bidders to publicly share key concepts of their CAT proposals with the industry. The concepts are expected to cover technology solutions, security and privacy issues, the handling of customer information, linking trade data information, data collection and the elimination of systems.
Commenting on the selection of the six shortlisted bidders, John Zecca, senior vice president of NASDAQ, said on behalf of the SROs: “We would like to thank all parties that submitted a bid for this important effort. We will continue to consult with industry representatives and the trading community to develop the infrastructure to support this regulatory system, which is being designed to enhance the oversight of our markets.”