Innovations in Investment Operations Technology – ipushpull part of InvestOps Europe 2019
By Katya Mironova
ipushpull CEO Matthew Cheung will be representing the best of London’s thriving fintech scene this week when he participates in the “Dragon’s Den”-style innovation session at InvestOps Europe, the leading buy-side event.
As part of the ‘New Game-Changers’ afternoon on 19th September, Matthew will be pitching ipushpull, the unique service that connects and automates workflow between data, applications and people – in real-time – across the capital markets ecosystem. His pitch is part of a wider discussion of ‘the latest and greatest innovations in Investment Operations technology, which offer true added value and should be considered for future investment plans’.
With 350 business leaders in attendance significant discussion is expected around how technology, and the resulting improvements in efficiency, is vital for firms to stay ahead of competitors in a cost- pressured middle and back office environment.
Across the sector, buy side firms are facing similar technology challenges as they plan priorities and budgets for the coming year, namely:
Automation of manual processes
Moving away from spreadsheet reliance and manual intervention
Accurate, centralised, standardised data
Seamless integration into 3rd party services, legacy platforms and cloud services
Easy cross-asset class expansion
According to Ascendant Strategy, a capital markets consultancy specialising in post-trade transformation, many of these challenges arise from the outsourcing of buy side operations to custodians, prime brokers, fund admins and other back office service providers. This outsourcing often leads to inefficiencies, with day-to-day processes such as reconciliation and fails management dependent on manual interventions by operations analysts using email, file sharing and chat.
Increased regulation is another driver for technology investment.
Phases 4 and 5 of UMR (Uncleared Margin Rules) for OTC derivatives, coming into force in September 2019 and 2020 respectively, could result in thousands of firms could facing hefty fines for non-compliance. An InvestOps survey of 100 buy side firms showed that 28% of them are not prepared and only 16% are fully compliant. A key part of these regulations relates to the exchange of collateral information, often held on disparate systems and spreadsheets and shared using email. Improvements to workflow efficiency are consequently crucial for successful implementation of the rules.
CSDR (Central Securities Depositories Regulation) adds further pressure as it’s expected to result in an increase in pre-settlement mistakes due to tighter matching criteria. This means firms face potentially significant fines falling due when failed trades remain unmatched after 4-7 days. Domain Matters, a boutique advisory firm specialising in operations and technology for financial markets, expect increased demand from Operations teams looking for tools to enable them to quickly collaborate and resolve unmatched pre-settlement items and minimise these penalties.
Finally, SMR (Senior Manager Regime) for buyside, means oversight is increasingly important for any information exchange with outsourced service providers, counterparties or in-house trading desks. The ability to demonstrate governance is critical – a challenge if data workflows are not audited, compliant, centralised and easy to retrieve.
However, there is hope and opportunity. Accenture estimates up to £125bln of complexity costs in pre- and post-trade can be reduced significantly or eliminated through improvements in efficiency.
Live data sharing and workflow automation platforms such as ipushpull are helping to solve these complex challenges. The London-based fintech firm enables customers to streamline their processes by connecting and synchronising data in real-time across multiple applications and building data-driven workflow tools with little or no code.
The ipushpull platform is not limited to any single workflow or asset class but can be applied to a wide range of tasks, with custom apps created in hours and days rather than months and years. This enabling technology is helping middle and back office to create workflow apps and micro-ecosystems – both internally with the front office and externally with counterparties – and streamline common and time-critical workflows including collateral management and high-risk break resolution plus common tasks such as client onboarding.
ipushpull has been recognised by financial industry publications such as the The Wall Street Journal, Waters Technology and The Trade News, has also won 3 industry awards and has been named in the 100 most influential Fintech companies of 2019 by The Financial Technologist, now holding the title for two years in a row. Get in touch if you want to find out more at firstname.lastname@example.org.